Anthropology Events and News

By Ann Eberwein Upcoming Wisconsin Archaeology Event Madison College and the Center for Wisconsin Archaeology will host “An Evening with Artifacts” on Tuesday, February 21, from 6:30-8:30pm on the Madison Area Technical College Truax Campus. More information can be found… Read More

UWM Anthropology Colloquium Series: Friday, March 3, 2023

Friday, March 3 2023 3:30pm

Sabin Hall G28

Water insecurity, human health, and well-being in Indonesia and Peru

Dr. Paula Skye Tallman
Assistant Professor, Dept of Anthropology, Loyola University Chicago

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 3:30 pm
Sabin Hall G28 (3413 North Downer Avenue, Milwaukee)

Abstract: Globally, scientists are finding an alarming link between water insecurity, or the inability to access and benefit from affordable, adequate, reliable, and safe water, and human health and well-being. This talk presents multi-disciplinary research in Indonesia and Peru about the relationship between water insecurity and multiple forms of mental and physical health. This work documents associations between water insecurity and measures of human biology, depression, and experiences of gender-based violence. The research highlights how anthropologists can work with global health and conservation experts to understand and address issues of contemporary concern.

Speaker: Dr. Paula Skye Tallman is an Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology at Loyola University Chicago. Her research integrates theory and methods from anthropology and global health to examine how environmental factors are linked to human biology, health, and well-being. Dr. Tallman received her B.A. in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University, her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from Northwestern University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on indigenous well-being and conservation at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Her work has been supported by funds from the British Academy, the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

UWM Anthropology Colloquium Series Event: Friday, February 3 @ 3:30 PM

Friday, February 3 2023 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Sabin Hall G28

The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in West Africa

Professor Amanda L. Logan
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Northwest​ern University

Friday, February 3, 2023 @ 3:30 pm 
Sabin Hall G28 (3413 North Downer Avenue, Milwaukee)

Abstract: African foodways have been viewed through the lens of ‘the scarcity slot,’ a kind of Othering based on presumed differences in resources. Combining archaeological, historical, and environmental data with food ethnography, I illustrate how a longue durée approach can combat these stereotypes. Drawing on a case study in Banda, west-central Ghana, I show that people maintained high food security during the worst drought on record in the last millennium, lasting from 1400-1650, in part through diverse economic strategies. Seasonal chronic food insecurity increased in severity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in association with changing labor dynamics and market economies further institutionalized under British colonial rule. This long-term view challenges notions of the African continent as a forever food scarce place, and suggests that the past can act as an inspiration for food secure futures.

Amanda Logan is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University with affiliations in the Program of African Studies, Program in Environmental Policy and Culture, and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. She studies how underdevelopment and other political and economic shifts have helped create food insecurity across the African continent. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. She is the author of The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of African Food Security (University of California Press 2020) and articles in American Anthropologist, African Archaeological Review, among many other journals


Vikings in Africa

By Aislinn Sanders Vikings, the Middles Ages Norse explorers, have a long history of exploration and contact with other civilizations. They settled from the Greenland to the western coast of Canada. Their history in Africa, however, remains a forgotten part… Read More

Did Homo naledi use fire?

By Aislinn Sanders           Fire and Homo naledi Homo naledi, the hominin discovery published in 2015, has sparked a heated debate for nearly a decade. The remains of at least 15 individuals, dated to approximately 300,000 years… Read More

The Origins of the Thanksgiving Meal

By Aislinn Sanders As the temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, people are undoubtedly imbued with the classic holiday spirit that comes with this time of year. Thoughts of holiday-specific food and drink, story telling with friends and family,… Read More

Evidence of Cooking 780,000 Years Ago Found in Israel

By Aislinn Sanders When did hominins utilize fire for cooking? A new study published on November 14th, 2022, suggests that hominins mastered fire for cooking 600,000 years earlier than previous research claimed. Previously, the estimated date of the use of… Read More

UWM Anthropology Searching For Assistant/Associate Professor in Great Lakes Archaeology

UWM Anthropology is searching for qualified candidates to apply for the position of Assistant/Associate Professor in Great Lakes Archaeology. This is an important position within the department and will be the cornerstone of our Midwest Archaeological program. Please follow the… Read More

Uncovering the Neanderthal Diet

By Aislinn Sanders What Neanderthals ate has been an ongoing debate in research communities. A new study on Neanderthal teeth has attempted to provide an answer to this question. Led by Dr. Klervia Jaouen, a researcher at the Observatory Midi… Read More

Svante Pääbo wins Nobel Prize for Sequencing of the Neanderthal Genome

By Aislinn Sanders On October 3rd, 2022, Svante Pääbo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on ancient human genomes. Pääbo’s work on the hominin genome founded the new scientific discipline of paleogenomics, a… Read More