Welcome to the Spring issue of the Anthropology E-News
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A message from the chair
We would like to share with you the following electronic newsletter about the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.
With 17 full-time faculty, four faculty with cross-appointments in other departments, and one adjunct, the department continues to thrive and to grow. We are joined most recently by new faculty members Angela Garcia, Keith Murphy and Lilith Mahmud. We will soon offer a joint J.D./Ph.D. with the newly founded School of Law, capitalizing on the department's strengths
in the anthropology of law. Our new faculty members build on our expertise in medical anthropology and science studies, the anthropology of markets, and an emerging strength in linguistic anthropology. Home to the editorial offices of American Anthropologist, the book review editorship of American Ethnologist, the Center for Ethnography, and the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, and having close ties to the Center in Law, Society and Culture and other research institutes on campus, the department has strengthened its commitment to the core of the discipline while reaching out into key interdisciplinary arenas.
We hope you enjoy this e-newsletter and we encourage you to share it with your students and colleagues.
Professor and Chair
Anthropology in the field
From Singapore to Morocco to Ireland and beyond, UC Irvine anthropology graduate students are making a global impact through their field research.
Learn more about some of our spotlighted student field research projects:
- Pacific Rim Research grant supports Erica Vogel's study on Korean migrant policy
- Citizenship as blood right rather than birthright: Anthropology graduate student Erin Moran studies Ireland's efforts to curtail immigration
New institute to explore how world’s poor use technology to spend, store money
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded UC Irvine a $1.7 million grant to create a new research institute focused on the growing use of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries. The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion will be the first to explore how the world's poorest people spend, store and save money. The institute will study how these habits are affected by the emerging mobile banking industry, known as m-banking, which could make financial services and the security they provide available to millions of poor people for the first time.
UCI anthropologist receives grant to study science, ethics behind drug trials
The ethical and scientific issues surrounding international clinical drug trials have long been debated. A newly funded National Science Foundation study, led by a UC Irvine anthropologist, may potentially impact the way such trials are approved, carried out and perceived around the world.
Kristin Peterson, anthropology assistant professor, will perform a three year study on the implementation, effectiveness and perception of one such trial carried out in four African countries for the potentially preventative HIV drug, Tenofovir.
UC Irvine anthropologist explores life in a virtual world
For centuries, anthropologists have studied the science of human beings-how people interact with others in their “native” environments, how they make money, eat, play and so on. In his new book, Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, UC Irvine anthropologist Tom Boellstorff applies this traditional field of study to a new world where businesses, homes, money - even relationships - are created and lived completely online through the click of a mouse.
Chavez investigates media portrayal of immigrants in new book, The Latino Threat
Why aren't Latinos learning English? Do they really want to take over the Southwestern United States? Political pundits have made their careers debating these questions, but UCI anthropology professor Leo Chavez provides answers and exposes myths in his latest book, The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation.
Chavez recently spoke about immigration and the 2008 election, May Day rallies, and the surprising way Latino culture is changing American culture.
Greenhalgh's latest book praised by Science and Nature
UC Irvine anthropologist Susan Greenhalgh's latest book, Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng's China, has received positive reviews from Nature and Science magazines. Described by the latter as “our most surefooted guide to China's adventure in mass birth planning,” Greenhalgh explores how scientific policymaking by a team of aerospace engineers led directly to widespread social suffering as China developed into a technologically advanced state.
Inequality, both literally and figuratively, makes many people sick, says Michael Montoya, UC Irvine anthropology and Chicano/Latino studies assistant professor. He, along with a group of Orange County community members and UCI undergraduate and graduate students, is doing something about it.
Anthropologist explores root causes of drug addiction in rural New Mexico
The triangle of land in northern New Mexico between Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos has been a place to call home for a number of artists, authors and Hollywood elites including, among others, Julia Roberts and Val Kilmer, and continues to be a hot spot for second homes for those looking to get away from city life.
Amidst this triangle of wealth lies the Espanola Valley, an area which stands in stark contrast for its much different claim to fame. Here, among a population of less than 30,000 people, an average of 40 lives are lost each year to heroin overdose, the vast majority of whom are of Spanish-descent, or Hispano. According to Angela Garcia, UC Irvine anthropologist, the number is more than 6 times the national average, marking the area as having the highest rate of heroin-induced death in the United States.
We all want to exercise our will to get things done and make our intentions known. But to what extent is the will - so basic to being human - impacted by language and culture? In his new book, Toward an Anthropology of the Will, Keith Murphy, linguistic anthropologist, explores from an anthropological viewpoint how choices and decisions are impacted by culture, emotion, cognition and imagination. Insights and research experiences from contributing anthropologists in the field help address a number of fundamental questions throughout the book including: What form does decision-making take in culture? Is it a human a universal? How is it experienced? How does it relate to emotion and cognition? What does imagination have to do with it? What is the connection between morality, virtue, and decision making? The book is currently with in press Stanford University Press.
UCI ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE NEWS
Bill Gates gives UCI $1.7 to study the poor
Virtual worlds provide real interaction
Two-day conference puts spotlight on digital money
New institute to assess mobile banking in developing world
Nonfiction review: “The Latino Threat”
UCI scholar to deliver famed lecture in musicology
Where’s the money, honey?
Did the Iranian revolution change the world?
Locals are proud that ‘Slumdog’ shines light on Bollywood
Can Islam save the economy?