Spring Term, 2015
Anthropology Tan Sack Lecture Series
Friday's at Noon
Waldo 201A

Continue to watch our site for updates.

April 10 - We Wanted Her Voice to Speak from the Page: Writing The Woman Who Loved Mankind: the Life Story of a Crow Elder. Barbara Loeb, Emeritus, Oregon State University

 Lillian Bullshows Hogan was born into the Apsaalooke (Crow) tribe sometime between 1902 and 1905, and when she died in 2003, she was the oldest living member of her tribe.  Like most of her generation, Lillian was a literate and somewhat modern person.  Yet her parents lived close to the customs of the 19th century, so she was carefully trained to traditional values and skills.  She also became a compelling history teller, with a keen memory, and when she was eighty-eight years old, decided to tell her life story to her daughter and a close family friend. Drawing upon her parents’ lives as well as her own, she ranged from the 1870s to the 1990s, filling the telling with laughter, sorrow, and Apsaalooke knowledge. This presentation by one of the authors will include readings and the story of how they brought Lillian’s oral words to life on the page. 

Barbara Loeb is co-author of The Woman Who Loved Mankind: the Life of a Twentieth-Century Crow Elder.  She has also written Felice Lucero-Giaccardo: A Contemporary Pueblo Painter and numerous articles on Crow, Plateau and contemporary Native American art and culture.  She retired from the OSU Department of Art where she taught Native American art history.

May 1 - Supernaturalism, Science, and a Mexican Superhero. Peter Wogan, Professor of Anthropology, Willamette University

Kalimán, one of the most popular Mexican comic-book heroes of all time, is an intriguing cultural figure who raises questions about the distinctions between science and supernaturalism, reality and “superstition.” Instead of using weapons, he overcomes foes with his extraordinary mental and spiritual powers, including clairvoyance, meditation, psychic abilities—and scientific skepticism. He also embodies a mishmash of cultural markers: he speaks Spanish, descends from the Indian goddess Kali, trained with Tibetan monks, wears a white turban, and has blue eyes. While previous scholars have criticized Kalimán’s representations of race, gender, and colonialism, they have not explained his ongoing appeal. Based on 10 years of fieldwork with the customers and owners of a Mexican-American corner store in Salem, Oregon, I explore the following explanations for Kalimán’s appeal: 1) his valorization of Mexican spiritual traditions (e.g. nagualismo, “shape-shifting”) by blurring the lines between science and “superstition”; and 2) his reconfiguration of supposed differences based on racial, class, and national identities.

This paper grows out of Peter’s ongoing fieldwork at a Mexican-American corner store in Salem, Oregon, to be published as Turtle Dreams: A Mexican-American Quest for Truth, Meaning, and a Bakery. For other publications, visit www.willamette.edu/~pwogan/

May 8 - 'A Strong Woman of the Lord': Athletic Gender Complexity in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Magazine, 1970-2013. Megan Lease, PhD candidate in WGSS, U of Kansas in Lawrence

Summary: In this lecture I will discuss how the FCA Magazine presents a complex view of what it means to be a Christian athlete. Specifically, I argue that depictions of both female and male athletes break with traditional femininity and hegemonic masculinity. However, depsite the range of gendered possibilities for athletes "on the field," "off the field" roles of parents and spouses reinforce traditional roles and essentialists beliefs about gender within FCA. 

Megan Lease is currently a PhD candidate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. My undergraduate degree is in history with a minor in English; and I hold a master’s degree in English Literature and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. My current research examines how contemporary Christian women’s increased participation in sport has changed gender roles within evangelical families and churches. Other research projects include investigating the moralization and racialization of fatness that took place in the nineteenth century continues to influence contemporary Christian triathletes’ construction of fatness, fitness, and health and in turn what it means to be “good” and white. Along with teaching in the WGSS department at the University of Kansas, I also enjoy training for triathlon and other endurance events. 

May 15 - Adoptive Migration: Race, Nation, and Family in Multicultural Spain. Jessaca Leinaweaver, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Brown University

This talk analyzes international adoption in a multicultural context, focusing on the case study of Peruvian children adopted to Madrid, Spain. Drawing on insights from demography, I develop a theoretical perspective for viewing adoption as a form of migration. I examine two outlier cases – “international” adoption by “mixed couples” (where one member of the couple is Peruvian) and “domestic” adoptions of the children of Peruvian immigrants – to demonstrate how Spanish ideologies of race, nation, and family are being challenged and remade.

Jessaca Leinaweaver is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, where she is also affiliated with the Population Studies and Training Center and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is the author ofThe Circulation of Children: Adoption, Kinship, and Morality in Andean Peru (Duke, 2008), which won the Margaret Mead Award. Her most recent book is Adoptive Migration: Raising Latinos in Spain (Duke, 2013).

June 5 - Global Gypsy:  Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation and Representation. Carol Silverman, Prof. of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore, University of Oregon

In the last twenty years  the popularity of Balkan "Gypsy" music has exploded,  becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs in the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of Balkan Roma have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions, and entrenched stereotypes of thievery have arisen amidst deportations and harassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are revered for their music yet reviled as people. Balkan Gypsy music is simultaneously a commodity, a trope of multiculturalism, and a potent in-group symbol in cosmopolitan contexts.  Focusing on clubs and festivals, this ethnographic presentation investigates the ramifications of the current scene for Romani performers and non-Romani musicians, producers, audiences and marketers.

Carol Silverman is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon. She has done research with Roma for over 25 years in Balkans, Western Europe and the US. Her work explores the intersection of politics, music, human rights, gender, and state policy with a focus on issues of representation. She is also a professional performer and teacher of Balkan music, and works with the NGO Voice of Roma. Her book Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2012) won the Merriam Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology.