January 2014, Department of Anthropology Chair, Janelle S. Taylor, sends a letter noting new hires, and news of interest to our alumni and friends.
In the News
Note for the New Year
UW Research Snapshots
Biocultural anthropology faculty show up in The Daily, "UW Research Snapshots."
e-Anthropolog Returns Spring 2014
From the Chair
As people with an interest in human life in all its diversity, anthropologists have always been fascinated by how communities reproduce themselves, not only through procreation and birth, but also through the recruitment and incorporation of new members—processes that always entail continuity and transformation. This year, we are delighted to see the UW anthropology community renewed and transformed by an infusion of new people, bringing remarkable new talents and energies.
Summer 2014: French Polynesia
This past summer Professor Miriam Kahn (together with assistant Jodene Davis) took sixteen UW students to French Polynesia (Tahiti) for a month to learn about colonialism in the Pacific. History, for all the Pacific islands (except Tonga), is a story of profound colonization. What most people do not realize, however, is that French Polynesia is still a colony today—one of the few remaining colonies in today’s otherwise “post-colonial” world.
To learn about colonization, the students first spent one week in the capital city of Pape’ete on the main island of Tahiti and then three weeks on the outer island of Huahine where they lived with Tahitian host families. While in Pape’ete they met with politicians and activists, attended a political rally, and generally experienced urban life. On Huahine they learned about the complexities of colonialism firsthand through daily life with their families—and saw how colonialism weaves itself into every aspect of Tahitians’ lives through such things as language, environmental policies, education, health and medical care, religion, and tourism. One of the highlights for the students was that their stay on Huahine coincided with the annual month-long Heiva festival and they were invited to dance—as a UW group—in the festival.