MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR
As we conclude the spring semester, many of us are gearing up for a productive summer of fieldwork and research AND ALSO some much-deserved downtime. We enjoyed a busy year with important faculty work published and funding requests awarded. Please see the stories and media coverage on Dr. Snodgrass's new book, the provocatively titled, The Avatar Faculty: Ecstatic Transformations in Religion and Video Games, Dr. Henry's NSF-funded work on Cahokia, and Dr. Chennault's investigation of prison agricultural labor.
The year was busy for another exciting reason as well – it looks like the Clark Building finally will get a significant facelift and remodel over the next two or three years. Jeannine Pedersen-Guzman, our intrepid collections manager, is packing up our archaeological holdings in the Archaeological Repository, while Drs. LaBelle, Henry, and Van Buren prepare their labs for a temporary move as the A-wing basement gets reworked this summer. Next up will be our academic offices in the B-wing! The new design for Clark has not been shared yet; I am optimistic Anthropology and Geography will have excellent new spaces and places primed for student and public engagement alike.
In sad news, I want to acknowledge the passing of Dr. Barb Hawthorne this spring. She represented an integral part of our online major, teaching no less than four cultural anthropology classes. Barb loved anthropology and teaching, she made a positive impact on our students. I will miss her.
Congratulations to our 2023 graduates and don't be strangers.
With best wishes,
In Remembrance: Barbara Hawthorne (1949-2023)
Colorado State University anthropology instructor and alumna Barbara Hawthorne passed away this February, leaving a legacy as a compassionate teacher and practitioner who helped developed some of the department’s first online courses. Hawthorne taught several CSU Anthropology courses online, including Introductory Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 100), Modernization and Development (ANTH 313), Art and Culture (ANTH 336), Gender and Anthropology (ANTH 338), and Indians of North America (ANTH 412). She also taught Women’s Studies classes at CSU and anthropology at University of New Mexico, University of Northern Colorado, and Aims Community College, winning several awards as an instructor.
Snodgrass Writes on Spiritual and Virtual Avatars
Professor Jeffrey Snodgrass has a new book, The Avatar Faculty, which examines the parallels between spiritual and digital activities to explore the roles that symbolic second selves — avatars — can play in our lives. In his book, Snodgrass argues that avatars allow for “the ecstatic projection of consciousness” into alternate realities, potentially providing both the spiritually possessed and gamers access to superior secondary identities with elevated social standing.
HEAR Snodgrass speak about his research and book on New Books Network Podcast.
Chennault Takes a Hard Look at Prison Agriculture
Carrie Chennault, Assistant Professor of Geography, and Joshua Sbicca, Associate Professor of Sociology, recently published a landmark dataset analyzing the different types of current prison agricultural programs and the underlying drivers and outcomes of these programs and their connections of "racial capitalism."
The collaborators who run the CSU Prison Agriculture Lab recently spoke about their research and takeaways with CSU's The Audit podcast.
HEAR THE PODCAST AND READ MORE about the Prison Agriculture Lab and Chennault's research
HEAR MORE from Chennault and Sbicca via Edge Effects, a digital magazine produced by graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Culture, History, and Environment
Henry Leads Massive Geophsyical Survey Project at Cahokia
Assistant Professor Edward Henry is the lead investigator on a National Science Foundation-funded, collaborative project to conduct the largest single-instrument geophysical survey ever in the Americas at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois. Henry and colleagues hope to identify house foundations, plazas, and other landscape changes and to recognize how Cahokia grew to be a city of earthworks and wooden structures with 15,000 people or more during the 1100s and 1200s.
READ about Henry and colleagues’ project and goals via CSU SOURCE
August 17 Fall 2023 Orientation
August 21 Fall 2023 classes begin
September 28 (tentative) Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series: Briana Pobiner, Smithsonian Institution Human Origins Program
October 5-8 Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association Conference 2023, Laramie, Wyoming
October 21 International Archaeology Day, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Morrison
November 3 (tentative) Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series: Sarah Hall, Berea College
November 15-19 American Anthropological Association/ Canadian Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (hybrid)
November 20-24 Fall Break
December 8 Last day of Fall 2023 classes
December 11-15 Finals Week
December 15-16 Fall 2023 Commencement
For more details and new events, visit our homepage
MORE NEWS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
A Peek into the Clark A Basement Labs
As CSU prepares to renovate the Clark Building, our department offers a look at the impressive and diverse artifacts, equipment, collections, and learning opportunities in the Archaeological Repository and other A-wing basement labs.
Celebrating ANTH/GR Faculty in 2023
Chair Mica Glantz, Associate Teaching Professor Suzanne Kent, and Assistant Professor Adrienne Cohen were recognized for their outstanding service, teaching excellence, and research projects at the 2023 College of Liberal Arts Awards. Congrats!
Planting Rain Gardens, Sowing Conservation
As a CSU Extension intern with the Colorado Stormwater Center, master's student Riley Lynch helped plant nearly 50 rain gardens at Front Range homes to help reduce water-thirsty lawns and provide equitable support for residential water conservation.
Documenting Change in Southwest Denver
Working with Assistant Professor Carrie Chennault and CSU Extension, undergraduate Axel Sandoval Bravo produced a video documentary about residents of Denver’s west-side neighborhoods and their concerns about the changes affecting their communities.
MORE NEWS & ACHIEVEMENTS
- Welcome to Valeria Meza Alba, our department's new office administrator and assistant to the chair beginning December 2022. Meza Alba holds a master's in Languages (Spanish Instruction) and a bachelor's in International Studies and Languages from CSU.
- The Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series hosted researchers this academic year from institutions including the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, University of Northern Colorado, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Brown University, CSU, and University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. Stay tuned for announcements about our 2023-24 series (tentative dates for Fall events above).
- Dr. Heidi Hausermann presented on her research and experiences studying gold-mining, health, and technology in Ghana at the September 2022 College of Liberal Arts Great Conversations series.
- Graduate student Robert Madden won the Graduate Student Paper Competition at the Plains Anthropological Society annual conference, in Oklahoma City, Okla., in October 2022. Madden presented and wrote on his work and research, “Morphological Comparison of Prehistoric Colorado 'Gaming Pieces' to Historic Native American Dice.” Madden works with Dr. Jason LaBelle.
- Students Caden Hooker, Aleah Kuhr, Bryn Sullivan, Kelsy Kreikemeier, and Spencer Little collaborated to win the Student Poster Competition at the Plains Anthropological Society meeting. Their poster was titled “Of Rarified Air and Form: A Recently Recorded Ceramic Vessel from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado,” and used data collected during the 2022 Archaeological Field School.
- The CSU Office of Sponsored Programs featured Anthropology and Geography faculty research on their website and blog, September 2022. Read more on the OSP blog.
- Dr. Melissa Raguet-Schofield and undergraduate student Helen Obuna were among the presenters at CSU Inspire, part of this year’s Symposium for Inclusive Excellence, October 2022.
- Chair Mica Glantz, Dr. Michael Pante, and Dr. Connie Fellmann traveled to Croatia in October to continue their collaborative research on Neandertals' presence and behaviors in Krapina Cave.
- In addition to her work as a professor and graduate program coordinator, Dr. Mary Van Buren has worked as as an advocate on behalf of faculty and graduate-student pay equity, including speaking at the October CSU Board of Governors meeting, October 2022. Read more in CSU SOURCE.
- Dr. Kathleen Galvin was among the panelists at “Women: Key to the Sustainable Development Goals,” part of the SOGES Managing the Planet Series, October 2022.
- Graduate student Riley Lynch won a Top Scholar Award from the College of Liberal Arts at the 2022 Graduate Student Showcase for her poster, “Expanding Residential Rain Garden Installations in Front Range Communities: A Bilingual Project.” Riley’s project advisor is affiliate faculty Jessica Thrasher, of the Colorado Stormwater Center, and her master’s advisor is Dr. Heidi Hausermann. Graduate students Kimberly Biela, Zoe Shaw, and Seunghyun Woo also each presented original research at the 2022 GradShow.
- Undergraduate Hayley Berland was been named a Fall Class of 2022 CSU Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts. Berland, a CSU Online student, graduated with an Anthropology BA, Cultural Anthropology concentration. Read about Berland’s achievements via CSU SOURCE.
- Anthropology graduate students Erika Brooks, Spencer Little, and Kimberly Biela each won student research awards at the 2023 Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists (CCPA) Annual Meeting. All three students are advised by Dr. Jason LaBelle and work in the Center for Mountain and Plains Archaeology.
- Student employee Sydney Holden, an undergraduate Geography major, was recognized as a CSU Student Employee of the Year Runner-Up. Holden worked for the department for more than two years, helping with administrative, communications, and other office tasks and responsibilities. Congrats!
- The student-led CSU Geography Club organized its own speaker series in Spring 2023, arranging department faculty talks and presentations for all students. The club also took part in a Fall field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with advisor Dr. Carrie Chennault, and members also attended and presented at the 2023 American Association of Geographers in Denver in March with Chennault and Dr. Heidi Hausermann.
- The student-led CSU Anthropology Club participated in volunteer and outreach activities to support the department's Anthropology and Geography Trunk Show and other events, and also organized speakers, pizza nights, and study sessions throughout the academic year. The club's advisor is Dr. Andrew Du.
SELECTED FACULTY RESEARCH & ENGAGEMENT
Dr. Merrill Johnson has a new book, Social Virtual Worlds and Their Places: A Geographer’s Guide (2022), which offers an original and accessible geographical perspective on the content and meaning of virtual worlds and communities
Dr. Michael Pante presented on his work analyzing the meat-eating habits of hominins at Olduvai Gorge at the Dmanisi-Olduvai: Bridging Africa and Europe conference in Tbilisi, Georgia in September
- Archaeological Collections Coordinator
- Instructor, Museum Studies
- Internship Coordinator
Archaeological Collections Coordinator Jeannine Pedersen-Guzmán, MA, has won a $30,000+ State Historical Fund grant from History Colorado to fund student work and research and supplies for the CSU Archaeological Repository.
In the journal World Development, Dr. Stephen Leisz and colleagues examine how remittances — funds sent by migrants to family and friends back home — are impacting land use change and management in home countries
GRADUATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS
DEFEND AND ADVANCE!
This academic year has been a highly productive one for our graduate students including a bumper crop of master thesis defenses on a diverse range of topics in anthropology and geography as well as the progression of several doctoral dissertations. Congratulations to all our advancing graduate students!
Master’s Theses, 2022-23
Wyatt Benson, “Cut it out: A novel, quantifiable approach to kerf mark analysis using 3D confocal microscopy and machine learning.” Advisor: Dr. Michael Pante
Ross Campbell, “Quantitatively distinguishing between bone surface modifications using confocal microscopy and scale-sensitive fractal analysis”. Advisor: Dr. Michael Pante
Stephen Chang, “Land tenure security and land-cover change: a case study from protected area buffer zone communities in Madagascar.” Advisor: Dr. Stephen Leisz
Morgan Guttmann, "Surveillance, Social Control, and State Integration: A GIS Visibility Analysis at the Ancient Purèpecha City of Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico." Advisor: Dr. Chris Fisher
Artemis King, “An examination of Middle Woodland pre-mound contexts in the Ohio and Southeast regions.” Advisor: Dr. Edward Henry
Morgan Lundy, “Federal perceptions and tribal sovereignty: consultation and relations between the Bureau of Land Management and federally recognized tribes.” Advisor: Dr. Heidi Hausermann
Riley Lynch, "On the ground: community-based water conservation on Colorado’s Front Range." Advisor: Dr. Heidi Hausermann
- Cody Nixon, "Happiness in Gielinor: Modelling Social Play and Well-being in Online Third Places.” Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Snodgrass
Cynthia Ortega, "Cuidate Mija: Power in Everyday Discourses about Adolescent Pregnancy in Urban Ecuador." Advisor: Dr. Lynn Kwiatkowski
- Donny Rowe, "Public Archaeology and Geophysics: Searching for Unmarked Human Burials in Rural Colorado." Advisor: Dr. Edward Henry
- Seth Sagstetter, “Gaming culture, motivation, and cathartic experience: an ethnographic study of tabletop roleplaying streamers.” Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Snodgrass