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

Continue to watch our site for updates.

Jan 9 - No lecture

Jan 16 - Michele Ruth Gamburd, Portland State University

The Golden Wave: Power and the Gift in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Sri Lanka was immediately overwhelmed with a second wave – an influx of disaster relief of unprecedented proportions. This presentation examines the effects of large-scale humanitarian aid by focusing on the power dynamics inherent in giving and receiving gifts. People on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast reshaped identities of class, citizenship, and nationality in the aftermath of the disaster. Using discourse analysis, the talk explores how through narratives about humanitarian aid, people rebuilt hierarchies, communities, and enmities.  

Jan 23 - TBA

Jan 30 - Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon

Institutional Betrayal: The Case of Campus Sexual Assault
Institutional betrayal refers to wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution...research reveals areas of institutional policy and practice that could and should be targeted for improvement so that we  can move from institutional betrayal to institutional courage.


Feb 6 - Lamia Karim, University of Oregon

The Cost of Cheap Clothes: Industrial Dystopia and Everyday Life of Female Garment Labor in Bangladesh
How do working-class women in the readymade garment manufacturing (RMG) industry encounter modernity? This paper is an assessment of the everyday lives of female garment industry workers as they travel between the domestic and public spheres as young workers. Bangladesh is touted as the ‘cheapest” place to manufacture clothes, and its workers are paid the lowest wages in the world while their labor is the source of a $20+  billion revenue stream for the country. The garment industry employs over 4 million young women, mostly poor migrants from rural to urban areas. Following the eight-story factory collapse in April 2013, the world has learned about the dire conditions and low wages under which poor women stitch clothes for major American and European labels. Less is known about these women’s private lives. These women are more than workers; they are sisters, mothers, lovers, activists, and poets. Their migration from rural to urban areas has radically altered how they hope to live in the modern world, and has introduced new social identities and ideas. This paper is an examination of the changes in factory women’s lives as they become part of the global supply chain of commodities.

Feb 13 - Joylin Namie, Utah Valley University

'In the World, but Not of the World’: The Paradox of Plastic Surgery among Latter-day Saint Women in Utah.
The body is a powerful symbol of individual and collective identity among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or “Mormons”). Yet physical appearance is also employed by Church members to mark acceptance into mainstream society, rendering management of the body and its covering especially important, particularly in cases where the two value systems differ. Give the admonition to be “in the world, but not of the world,” meaning to resist outside practices that challenge church teachings, including prohibitions against other types of body modification, cosmetic surgery appears contradictory. However, Utah, the center of the Mormon religion, boasts one of the highest concentrations of plastic surgeons in the U.S. Several cultural factors influence LDS women to have surgery, including the high birth rates that move women’s bodies away from the mainstream cultural ideal. Since physical beauty is a marker of status for women in both mainstream and Mormon society, Plastic surgery has proven to be a useful tool for gaining and maintain symbolic capital in both worlds. This talk will investigate the ways Mormon women employ surgery to fashion a mainstream, yet simultaneously Mormon, identity using the visual language of the body.

Feb 20 - Monica Rojas, University of Washington

"African Diasportic Music in Peru and Latin America"The lecture will include a general presentation on geography, concepts, Afro-Peruvian instruments, demonstrations of the music, and a participatory piece involving the audience. Monica will finish by talking about the recent work she has been doing with the Afro-Latino arts community in Seattle.

Feb 27 - TBA

Mar 6 - Jennifer Hubbert, Lewis & Clark College

"Why Tank Man Still Matters" - This talk examines the performative nature of iconic photographs, considering what happens when iconic photographs are modified and repurposed to new political ends.  Specifically, it considers contemporary appropriations of the 1989 “Tank Man” photograph of a lone man confronting a column of Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square.  By doing so, this article analyzes the conflicting temporal and spatial trajectories through which the meaning of Tank Man is inscribed and has value as a symbol of global and domestic citizenship.  In the contemporary era, these appropriations speak less about the possibilities for political liberalism and democratic dissent in China that were encapsulated in the original Tank Man image and more about their absence in the contemporary United States. 

 Mar 13 - TBA