Winter 2017
Tan Sack Lecture Series
Friday, Noon
Waldo 201A


Week 1 – 1/13 - Introduction


Week 2 – 1/20 - Dr. Christina Cappy, Lecturer in Education Policy, Central Oregon Community College

"Unity, Fragmentation and the Moral Self in South African High Schools"

This presentation discusses how youth attending low-income, rural and township high schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa embrace different forms of belonging and the role that schooling plays in structuring this experience. As youth participate in school activities—particularly in morning assemblies, cultural activities, and English and history classes—they develop a sense of belonging based on understandings of morality that emphasize working hard toward the future. These imagined moral futures not only remain unattainable for most youth in South Africa, but mask structural inequalities and challenge the potential of collective action to foster social change.

Week 3 – 1/27 - Dr. Joan Gross, Max Sage & Buddy Terry, Oregon State University

"Food ConnECtions Across BORders: Intercultural Learning Community of Food, Culture & Social Justice."

The Intercultural Learning Community on Food, Culture and Social Justice (ILC) is composed of a multicultural group of people who are passionate about food and social justice. They spent last term experiencing and investigating local food systems and alternative food movements in Oregon and Ecuador. Come see the beginning of a documentary film project and hear ILC members discuss their collaborative learning about food from seed to table in a variety of ecological zones and with different cultural groups in Ecuador.

Week 4 – 2/3 - NO CLASS


Week 5 – 2/10 - Dr. Xia Zhang, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Portland State University

"Filial Piety, New Media, and Anti-Parents Sentiments in China"

In recent years, the Chinese government has fervently promoted the Confucian virtue of filial piety in public life as the essential element of President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream.” However, this return to Confucian filial piety is not embraced by everyone, in particular by those whose negative experiences with parents have pushed them to utilize new media and western-originated popular psychology to reject filial tradition. Drawing on online postings and ethnographic data from recent fieldwork in China, this presentation contends that the online explosion of anti-parents sentiment reveals the drastic social transformation of the Chinese family that is intertwined with a reconfiguration of intergenerational relationship and the reshaping of public/private boundaries in the age of new media and psychological self-help.

Week 6 – 2/17 - NO CLASS


Week 7 – 2/24 - Dr. Kenneth Maes, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Oregon State University

"Measuring, Understanding, and Enhancing Community Health Worker Effectiveness from Ethiopia to Oregon: Anthropological and Public Health Perspectives"

The importance of community health workers is increasingly recognized by high-profile global health programs. Yet, community health workers are often underpaid, politically marginalized, and misrepresented.  Based on research in Ethiopia and Oregon, this talk will summarize how various health system actors and researchers are conceptualizing, measuring, and attempting to enhance community health worker effectiveness. This comparative analysis illuminates how community health worker contributions at a micro level are linked to policymaking and practice at state and global levels. It shows that many of the challenges that community health workers face in their daily lives are embedded in larger social, economic, and political problems, and it raises a resounding call for further research and engagement.

Week 8 – 3/3 - Dr. Maria Fernanda Escallón, Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Oregon

"IntangibleHeritage and the Reproduction of Privilege"

The town of San Basilio de Palenque (Colombia) was proclaimed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2005. This talk examines how the declaration helped consolidate political and economic inequality within this Afro-descendant town. I focus on the emergence of local intellectual elites and show how they use the language of heritage-based rights to justify their current status. Although Colombian bureaucrats consider heritage nominations as vehicles for integration, I show how the declaration exacerbated elitism, exclusion, and economic inequity. I question the underlying premise that recognizing cultural heritage as a means to celebrate ethnic diversity is inherently positive. My findings challenge assumptions held by UNESCO delegates and scholars that heritage declarations bring political visibility to Afro-descendants and provide an alternative for claiming their historical reparation.

Week 9 – 3/10 - Dr. Kelly Biedenweg, Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University

"Integrating Human Wellbeing and Ecosystem Services with Puget Sound Communities"

Dr. Biedenweg will share the proposal for her recently funded EPA grant to develop restoration strategies by integrating concepts of human wellbeing and ecosystem services.  She will present how this effort builds off a decade of prior research and local organization, and the proposed mechanism for turning the research into practice.  As the project is still in design, there will be plenty of time for feedback and questions during the presentation.

Week 10 – 3/17 - Dr. Charles Klein, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Portland State University

"Real Talk: A Computer-delivered Sexual Health Promotion Intervention for Black Gay Men"

In this talk I will discuss the development of Real Talk, a harm reduction based sexual health promotion program specifically designed for Black gay men and other men who have sex with men. My presentation will include qualitative data from our formative research, a hands-on demonstration of the product, and initial efficacy findings from a recently concluded outcome study.

Finals Week - NO CLASS