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Letter From the Chair I heartily but belatedly welcome our new students and welcome back our returning students. I hope you all had a pleasant and productive summer and rewarding fall semester. I am pleased to report that the Anthropology Department continues to grow and develop in new and exciting ways. Our faculty and current and former students are involved in a number of impressive research and service efforts in the US and elsewhere. I urge you to read about their many accomplishments and awards in this newsletter.

Inside this issue: New Faculty Member


News From Students: Past and Present


Engaged Anthropology


Congratulations to 2012 Graduates!


Faculty News


We are very fortunate to have had Dr. Christopher N. Matthews join our department this past Fall (see article on next page). Dr. Matthews, a historical archaeologist, will be teaching existing courses and developing new courses including Historical Archaeology, Anthropology and Race, and two new fieldwork courses in Montclair and Long Island. Because of the growth in the number of students and faculty, Dr. Brook, the Advising Coordinator of the Department, who has almost single-handedly advised all our majors and minors will continue to do some advising and oversee the organization of the advising system. In this capacity he will assign students to all faculty members for advising. Where student interest is known and where it is possible, students will be assigned to a faculty member with that interest. If students’ interests change, a new advisor can be assigned or selected. I strongly urge you to meet with your advisor. A recent study of advising at MSU found that students often do not meet with advisors. It is really very important that you do so. Students can look at their Analysis of Academic Progress reports on WESS and the course schedule for an upcoming semester on their own, but, without talking to an advisor, a student may not know what new courses are coming up, how to mix very challenging courses with less demanding ones, or what courses in other disciplines would be useful complements for their particular interests. Advisors also know about other opportunities on and off-campus, such as research grants and internships, career trajectories, study abroad, and field work and graduate programs. I would like to thank all the students who have been responsible for organizing and running regular meetings of the Anthropology Club. Their work has made an important contribution to Anthropology at MSU. Watch for announcements of meeting in the Spring semester. This is an excellent way to find out more about anthropology at MSU and elsewhere. Watch for a club meeting about graduate school. Fran Rothstein


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New Faculty Member DR. CHRISTOPHER MATTHEWS (second from right) came to MSU from Adelphi University in Garden City, Long Island. He is an historical archaeologist with specialties in the archaeology of the African Diaspora, public archaeology, and the archaeology of landscape. He is author of two books: The Archaeology of American Capitalism (2010) and An Archaeology of History and Tradition (2002) and co-editor of Ethnographic Archaeologies: Reflections on Stakeholders and Archaeological Practice (2008). He has pub-

lished several book chapters and journal articles in Historical Archaeology, Archaeologies, Journal of Social Archaeology, and The Public Historian. He is also project co-director of “A Long Time Coming: The History and Archaeology of the Native and African American Community of Setauket, NY.” This year Professor Matthews will be teaching Prehistoric Archaeology, Native North Americans and Cultural Anthropology. He will also be working on a new project to develop a historical archaeology field site in New Jersey.

News From Alumnae Alumnae Event The Department of Anthropology participated in the First Annual Alumnae Event . About ten people, including alumnae and their guests, showed up and shared their experiences since they graduated MSU. They as well as others who could not attend also responded to a survey about their educational and career experiences since graduation. Several have received graduate degrees in various fields including anthropology, public health, and museum management. All are doing interesting work ranging from public relations, law, teaching, and newspaper reporting. Others, as indicated below, described their current activities in various places. Alumnae from left to right Nancy Burke Toomey („77), Lucy Gambino („94), Rosa Diaz Mulryan (‟84), Catherine Just Sciallo (99)

Jonathan Hanna (2006) Following graduation in 2006 (BA Anthropology, Archaeology), Jonathan Hanna worked in Cultural Resource Management for a variety of firms throughout NJ, NY, PA, MD, and TX- including the World Trade Center Forensic Recovery led by the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner from 20072008. He then worked in the Department of Membership and Development at the American Museum of Natural History, managing the membership database and hoping in vain to land a job in the Anthropology division.

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Jonathan Hanna (continued) Married in 2008, he and his wife (Stephanie Morano, also Montclair, 2006- Industrial Design) have been serving as Peace Corps Volunteers on the island of Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean since 2010. Jon teaches computers at a primary school and runs an archaeology camp for local kids during the summer. Upon return in 2013, he plans to attend graduate school, focusing on Caribbean archaeology.

Katie McGhee (2008) Katie is currently living on the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ (http://, where she is working as an apprentice for six months, learning how to plant, grow and harvest produce for local consumption, and how a CSG functions. She is interested in the growing movement that is shifting our culture toward more locally-focused and sustainable ways of being, so this is her exploration into that. Perhaps it will turn into a career in sustainable agriculture, or environmental education. She writes that “It's a very beautiful place, and I bet that some classes or student groups would be interested in coming to visit and having a tour. Let me know! Right next door there is an incredible education center as well with very interesting programming and an extensive library of materials on all things “It's a very sustainable.” ( Katie has also been working with Viviana Bernal (MSU class of '08), current Program Assistant in the Women's and Gender Studies Program at MSU) and several other women. They created a skills-building workshop for the 2012 Forum for the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). This year's Forum theme was “Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women’s Rights and Justice.” In line with that theme, their workshop was entitled “Creating a Culture of Peace for Economic Transformation: Skills to Empower, Knowledge to Transcend.” It was intended to help facilitate a paradigm shift based on principles of a culture of peace, such as cooperation, mutuality, integration, flexibility, accompaniment, etc. They highlighted the particular strengths and insights of women who are already creating such a culture in different communities and around different issues, with a particular focus on economics and the incredible potential they believe such practices have to transform the way we exchange goods and services across all levels of society.

beautiful place, and I bet that

some classes or student groups would be interested in coming to visit and having a tour. Let me know!”

In the summer of 2011, Katie and Viviana visited Viviana’s family in El Salvador and met with peace activist, Marta Benavides. Benavides has created a movement called "Siglo XXIII Paz Sustentable" (the 23rd Century Movement)-- a process for transforming culture through the arts, creating a culture of peace, of being intentional in heart, mind, word and action to create the world we want, while always keeping the children of the 23rd century in mind. Marta Benavides has formed her ideas and processes from her years of experience as a peace activist in El Salvador, and from her relationship with her mentor, Monsignor Oscar Romero-the Catholic Archbishop from El Salvador who became a martyr for peace in 1980. The AWID workshop Katie and Viviana created was inspired by the work of Marta Benavides and Monsignor Romero. Katie also recently finished co-directing the musical Willy Wonka Jr. at Howell Middle School North in Farmingdale, NJ. “The kids” she writes “were wonderful, and it was a great experience.” She has also worked on a few other theatre projects, as an Artistic Intern with the American Place Theatre in NYC, and worked as a production assistant for the World Science Festival. She has also bartended!

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Halah Thomas (2010) Upon graduation Halah was selected as a 2010 New Jersey Housing and Community Development Scholars Intern. As a Community Development Scholar she interned for ten weeks at the Parkside Business and Community in Partnership, Inc in Camden, N.J. In 2012 she was invited to serve in the Peace Corps. She is currently in Indonesia going through the training process to become a Peace Corps volunteer. After training involving Bahasa Indonesian classes 4 days for 20 hours a week and a TEFL class once a week for 6 hours she will spend two years teaching English in an Indonesian school.

Engaged Anthropology In addition to the two new courses being offered by Dr. Matthews (previous page), several other courses offered by the department are focusing on engaged anthropology. This summer Dr. McCaffrey will take a class to Ithaca, NY as part of a service learning class, “Sustainability in Action.” Students will volunteer on an organic farm and visit Ecovillage at Ithaca, an intentional community that promotes a healthy, socially rich lifestyle, while minimizing ecological impacts. Students will learn about sustainability initiatives in Ithaca ranging from wind and solar power projects, sustainable food initiatives, and alternative banking. For more information, contact Dr. McCaffrey at Last Spring Dr Gerber’s Community and Health class was treated to unique guest lecturers. Jane Dunhamn of the National Black Disability Coalition agreed to speak to the class and brought an entire panel of esteemed speakers with her!!! Check them out at: Jane, co-founder of NBDC and member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, was joined by James Harris, Chair of the N.J. NAACP, Safiyyah A. Muhammad, a parent advocate, and Sue Gottesman, a lawyer and disability policy advisor. The panel was entitled, “Social Justice and Dominant Culture Values in Disability Policy.” Their presentation had a powerful impact on at least one student, Lisa Williams who applied for (and won!) a Bigel Award in order to intern with them this past summer. Students also had the opportunity to think about community health from the standpoint of sustainable agriculture and a local, healthy, food supply-chain. They visited the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and got to think about what makes something “natural,” and whether organic is always better, and the complications and logistics of eating locally, among other things. They got to meet pigs and chickens , and see plants grow! And, they were escorted by the incredibly knowledgeable Nena Johnson (thanks again, Nena!), the Director of the Growing Farmers Initiative. She spent quite a long time talking about the politics of farming and how it is part of a youth resistance movement, as well as a practical career choice for some. She discussed how students can get involved via internships and apprenticeships, and about their new Young Farmers Program and why it is important nationally. To find out more, see And lastly…….the Community & Health class participated in the Center for Public Anthropology’s Community Action Project The Community Action Project provides an interactive venue for both intellectual exchange and for activism. It uses the internet to draw thousands of students at over sixty universities together into an intellectual community, and has students consider ethical issues that lie at the interface of anthropology and the contemporary world. Thus, it empowers students by providing them with a sense of engagement, of how what they are learning relates to the broader world, and an opportunity to put that knowledge into practice and literally apply what they know to make a difference. Two students from our department wrote winning op-eds. Congratulations to Ellen Henry-O'Hara and Linda Anne Schuman!!




Congratulations! To all the graduates in 2012! Lambda Alpha (National Anthropology Honor Society) Inductees Angelica Maria Abreu, Nicole Barile, Jaclyn Beck, Laura DiMattina, Christopher Hillyer, Jesse Mazzariello, Sean O'Connor, Robin Paoletti,,Noele Reany, Malgorzata Smerdel, Bigel Recipients Melissa Belloff (research on use of seatbelts), Jessica Mulcahy (forensic study at Mercyhurst College), Sean O’ Connor (research on Japanese religion), Lisa Williams (internship with the National Black Disability Coalition). Linda Anne Shuman and Ellen Henry-O‟ Hara were recognized for outstanding achievement for their essays for the Center for Public Anthropology’s Community Action Project. Kelly Vaghenas was the recipient of the Undergraduate Oral/Multimedia Presentation Award at the 2012 Student Research Symposium for her presentation entitled, "Danthropology: A New, Interdisciplinary After-School Project in Structured Play." She also received a $500 scholarship from AFT, the union, called the BeckerKeenen-Moore-Uhia-Waller Scholarship.

Dr. Gerber with Bigel recipient Lisa Williams

Dr. Brook with Kelly Vaghenas, recipient of the Undergraduate Oral/Multimedia Presentation Award


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Faculty News Dr. Brash continues to promote his 2011 book, Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City, which was named the Best Overlooked New York City Book of 2011 by The Village Voice. He gave invited talks on the book at the University of Pennsylvania, the College of Mount Saint Vincent and the 2011 meetings of the American Anthropological Association. Dr. Brash also gave the Marquee Lecture of the Cultural Geography Specialty Group at the 2012 meetings of the American Association of Geographers. He has been interviewed about the book and related issues by journalists from The Nation, Salon, and a number of other media outlets. In the past year, Dr. Brash has published articles in Anthropology Now and the Journal of Cultural Geography, as well as two book chapters, one in Global Downtowns, an edited volume on central cities across the globe, and another in Beyond Zuccotti Park, a collection of essays on protest and public space. Currently, he is teaching a new seminar on the Occupy Wall Street movement, starting a research project on Manhattan's High Line Park, and serving as President of the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Dr. Brook has been working with Bryan Murdock, the Director of MSU Service Learning and Civic Engagement Program (SLCE), to develop and submit a planning grant ($30,000) for funding to JP Morgan Chase. The grant, “Campus-Community Partnerships for Transformational Change in the Oakwood Avenue School,” proposes a campus-community partnership between JP Morgan Chase, the Orange Public Schools and the SLCE program. The grant would support an underperforming school and a distressed neighborhood by linking the three partner institutions. In the past year, Dr. Davidson has published a comparative essay on two ethnographies of precarious poverty and affliction in the global North and South in Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power (February 2012), and submitted an article on the gendered politics of aspiration among adolescent girls in Silicon Valley now under review by Gender, Place, and Culture. She has also published a book review essay in the magazine AnthropologyNow (December 2011), and has reviews in press and forthcoming in anthropology journals and anthropology newsletters. In addition, a 2011 article she published in Ethnography is being reprinted in an anthology entitled, Education and the Risk Society: Theories, Discourse, and Risk Identities in Education Contexts (Sense Publishers,forthcoming in 2012). Recently, Dr. Davidson gave invited presentations on her book, The Burdens of Aspiration: Youth, Schools, and Success in the Divided Social Worlds of Silicon Valley (2011) in California, (University of California at Santa Cruz and Center for Community and Civic Engagement at DeAnza College in Cupertino, California), and presented papers at the 2011 AAA meetings in Montreal (for which she also organized a panel), and at the American Association of Geographers meetings (New York City, February 2012). She is currently working on an article about racialization, academic performance, and class politics in contemporary Silicon Valley. Last summer, Dr. McCaffrey was selected to attend a National Science Foundation sponsored intensive class on research methodology and video analysis at Duke University. She continued her work as editor of Anthropology Now. This fall, her exhibition (curated the photographer and video artist Bonnie Donohue, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) “Killing Mapepe: Sex and Death in Cold War Vieques,” will open at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, with sponsorship of the American Anthropological Association. Dr. Rothstein presented papers at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Montreal and at the 2012 American Ethnological Society (AES) meeting in New York City. She was also a discussant at a session on “Anthropologies of Unemployment: Disciplinary Borders and Crossings in the Study of Unemployment” at the AES meeting. During the summer, she gave an invited presentation at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City entitled "¿Por qué no soy antropóloga pos-moderna?: cuarenta años de trabajo de campo y teoría en San Cosme Mazatecochco, Tlaxcala" (Why am I not a post-modernist anthropologist? Forty years of field work and theory in San Cosme Mazatecochco, Tlaxcala). A book review on The Broken Village: Coffee, Migration, and Globalization in Honduras by Daniel. R. Reichman is in press for the Fall, 2012 issue of the Anthropology of Work Review. During the Spring 2012 semester, Dr. Siegel was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and conduct research with the Caribbean Research Group in the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, The Netherlands. He directed two graduate seminars in Caribbean/ lowland South American archaeology and collaborated with faculty and graduate students in research of mutual interest. Dr. Siegel traveled to Vienna in July to deliver a paper at the International Congress of Americanists. In the fall, he will continue to collaborate with the Caribbean Research Group to develop a paper on heritage consideration and current conceptions of identity in the Caribbean. Additionally, he will continue work on a book on island historical ecology. In November, he traveled to Cuzco, Peru to present a paper entitled “Confronting Caribbean Heritage in an Archipelago of Diversity: Politics, Stakeholders, Natural Disasters, Tourism, and Development.” Dr. Vedwan is analyzing the data on drinking water attitudes and practices in a Delhi neighborhood that he collected during the summer of 2012. Also, he is supervising two doctoral students and assisting them in planning and carrying out their dissertation research. The students are working on the following topics: a socio-economic model of mitigating environmental contamination (groundwater arsenic in India); and, impact of environmental education and exposure on environmental awareness among school kids in Jersey City. He will be presenting a paper he has co-authored with Sushant Kumar Singh, an MSU doctoral student, at the upcoming Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting on deriving a composite vulnerability index aimed at mitigating arsenic contamination in Bihar, India.

Anthropology Department Dickson Hall Montclair State University Chair Dr. Frances Rothstein Phone: 973-655-3317 anthropology

Montclair State University Spring 2013 Anthropology Newsletter  

Spring 2013 news from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Anthropology department.