Pedagogy, Engaged Anthropology, and Zombies

I love zombies! Not only are zombies popular, but in the immortal words of Levi-Strauss, zombies “are good to think with.” Zombies stand (stagger?) as powerful metaphors supporting everything from emergency preparedness to invasive species education. Scholars draw on zombies as part of an engaged pedagogy to spark student interest. This includes Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies and Harman’s Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. I have also joined the horde by using the zombie apocalypse to teach geospatial analysis. Anthropologists have studied zombies for decades and I draw on this rich tradition as part of my freshman seminar to introduce students to anthropology with an exploration of zombies past, present, and future.

Zora Neale Hurston’s immortal photo of Felicia Felix-Mentor, a zombie from Haiti.


Archaeologies of Intersectionality (AAA 2013)

It was my great pleasure to bring a session I originally organized for the SHA meetings to the AAA meeting, with my co-organizer Whitney Battle-Baptiste (UMass). I delivered a paper representing a theoretical updating of my earlier ideas on Rosewood as part of this session, in a paper titled “The Archaeology of Intersectional Violence: The 1923 Rosewood Pogrom in Historical Perspective.” Update: it was presentations like this that helped me frame my book, “The Rosewood Massacre: An Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence.” (more…)

Fort Charles Archaeology Project Year 1

The Fort Charles Archaeological Project (FCAP) is a multi-year project exploring one of the earliest British forts in the Caribbean. The site is home to an early 17th century fort built shortly after the settlement of Nevis in 1628. Our work seeks to understand the changing nature of Caribbean society for more than two and a half centuries. In many ways, forts acted as points of contact between islands and the broader world. This is especially true at multipurpose sites like Fort Charles, which served as a customs fort for at least part of its occupation. You can learn more about this exciting project at the FCAP Website.

Main gate at Fort Charles (2013).


New Heritage and Dark Tourism (Publication)

I recently published an article that I’m very, VERY proud of. It is the culmination of year’s of thinking about the role that new media can play in public outreach at sites stained by death and/or an association with death. These places are increasingly view through the rubric of dark tourism. The article is titled “New Heritage and Dark Tourism:A Mixed Methods Approach to Social Justice in Rosewood, Florida” and you can download it here. You can read the abstract below. (more…)

New Heritage and Dark Tourism (SAA 2013)

I don’t often make it to the annual Society for American Archaeology (SAA) meetings, mainly because I’m an historical archaeologist and I regularly attend the SHA meetings which are typically held a couple of months earlier. I made an exception this year after being invited to participate in a session on engaged and public approaches to archaeology. You can read the title and abstract below. Update: this and other presentations formed the basis for my article “New Heritage and Dark Tourism: A Mixed Methods Approach to Social Justice in Rosewood, Florida.” (more…)

Intersectional Violence and Documentary Archaeology (SHA 2013)

This was a particularly busy year for me at the annual Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) meetings, held in beautiful Leicester, England! My participation included once again presenting as part of the Tech Room, this time on arranging a sponsored session titled “Modern Technology, Past Culture: Emerging Effects of Information Technologies on Archaeological Practice,” which I organized with Quentin Lewis of UMass Amherst. I also presented a solo-authored paper titled “Intersectional Violence and Documentary Archaeology in Rosewood, Florida,” as part of a session I organized on the “Archaeology of Intersectionality.” You can read titles and abstracts for both sessions below. Update: portions of this paper and others presentations eventually formed a core portion of the theorizing in my book “The Rosewood Massacre: An Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence.” (more…)

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom (AAA 2012)

My participation at this year’s annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings centered on delivering on paper and serving as a discussant. The paper, which I presented as first author with UF’s Clarence Gravlee, was titled “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Techniques for an Engaged Anthropological Pedagogy.” I also served as the discussant for a session titled “Borders and Crossings by Land, Sea, and Air: Geospatial Advances in Anthropological Research.” You read the abstract for the paper below. Update: several of the ideas presented in this year’s paper were (eventually!) published as part of the chapter titled “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Technologies for an Engaged Anthropological Pedagogy.” (more…)

GIS Workshop at AAA 2012 Meetings

The 2012 annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings are once again in San Francisco, California (November 12-18). This year’s conference includes a workshop on GIS and cultural anthropology, co-organized by Andrew Tarter (website) and myself. The workshop is kindly sponsored by the Culture and Agriculture section of the AAA (website).The workshop has approximately 25 pre-registrations, one of the largest enrollments of any workshop at this year’s meetings. Participants received a 90+ page workbook introducing them to basic and intermediate geospatial techniques commonly used by anthropologists. The following post presents a brief introduction to the workshop. (more…)

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