Anthro in the news 5/23/11

• Who’s stressed and why?
USA Today quoted Elinor Ochs, professor of cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles, in response to a new U.S. study reporting on the relationship between husbands and wives doing household chores and stress levels: “This is the first time biological stress levels have been coordinated with…information we have about every moment of people’s lives across a week.” The study, conducted at UCLA, is described in the Journal of Family Psychology. Key findings are: men’s stress levels drop when their wife is doing chores, and women’s stress levels drop when their husband help with chores. Among the households in the study, women spend twice as much time as men on household chores.

• Mother is gold in Nigeria
Africa News quoted Misty Bastian, professor of cultural anthropology at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania, in a review of a new book on gender in Nigeria entitled Mother is Gold, Father is Glass by social historian Lorelle D. Semley. She said that the “book will be of great interest to Africanist historians, anthropologists, and others…”

• Oldest organized mining in the Americas
Archaeologists have discovered a 12,000 year-old iron oxide mine in Chile that is the oldest evidence of “organized mining” in the Americas. Findings are reported in Current Anthropology. Blogger’s note: the concept of unorganized mining has my attention.

• Height may be over-rated
Alexandra Brewis, professor of anthropology at Arizona State University, cautioned about “super-sizing humans” in a Room for Debate feature in the New York Times. She mentions the work of Andrea Wiley in challenging common assumptions about pro-height cultural values and emphasis on children drinking more milk.

• Kudos
Kay Fowler, emerita Reno Foundation professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, is one of the 212 new members elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Fowler is the only representative from a Nevada institution among the 4,300 active members.

• Largest U.S. Campus prize to anthropology student
An anthropology major who wrote about a life-changing trip to Tanzania and the simple pleasures of life in a small town in Maryland has won the largest student literary prize in the nation, the Sophie Kerr Prize awarded by Washington College in eastern Maryland. Graduating senior Lisa Beth Jones will receive a check for $61,062 from an endowment.

• Faculty campus prize
Donna Chollett, associate professor of anthropology and Latin American area studies coordinator at the University of Minnesota-Morris, received a 2011 Imagine Fund award. It will support research on the question “Are Social Movements Morally Noble? Challenging the Intrinsic Virtuosity of Grassroots Social Movements.” Her enduring interest in rural communities and sociocultural change in Latin America will take her back to her established research site in Puruarán, Michoacán, Mexico, this summer to learn why a worker-run sugar mill cooperative failed to live up to its potential for modeling democratic ideals and ensuring economic stability.

• In memoriam
Pamela Bunte, recently retired professor of linguistic anthropology at California State University at Long Beach, died on May 8. Her research over 30 years focused on the Southern Paiute Indians in Utah, and she and her husband worked with the tribe to gain them federal recognition. She also worked with the Cambodian community in Long Beach. Bunte, who had served as chair of the department, published 20 articles and gave more than 50 presentations during her career.

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