GraduatePrograms.com has ranked the department as 17th on its list of the top 25 anthropology graduate programs. The rankings are based on student reviews of several graduate program features, such as faculty support, overall program value, and quality of network.
Michael Powell, who received his PhD from Rice in 2006, has been commended by
the Mayor of Los Angeles “in appreciation and recognition for [his]
participation in the Community Market Conversion Program to bring
healthy food to all in Los Angeles.” Powell is employed at the strategy
and design firm Shook Kelley, where he works with retail clients and
even some urban districts to redirect food-marketing strategies. His
research collaborator and co-author of the Anthropology News piece,
Hanna Garth, earned her BA at Rice.
Professor Dominic Boyer's newest book, The Life Informatic: Newsmaking in the Digital Era,
relies on ethnography from three fieldsites to describe the ongoing
revolution in the media industry. His theoretical contributions include
coinage of the term digital liberalism, and he concludes the book with a
glimmer of hope by making five predictions about the future of news.
Samli earned her PhD from Rice anthropology in 2011. She will serve as
the new managing editor of Anthropology Now, a publication dedicated to
the discipline's engagement with the broader public.
Activism, written by Assistant Professor Cymene Howe, appears on
bookshelves across the country this month. Published by Duke University
Press, Howe's book employs richly nuanced ethnography to trace how gay
rights activists in Nicaragua successfully overturned the hemisphere's
most repressive anti-sodomy law.
student Elizabeth Rodwell won the KCC Japan Education Exchange Travel
Grant for 2013. This grant enabled Rodwell to travel within Japan while
doing her fieldwork, visiting Osaka and Kyoto to speak with media
Lina Dib, who received her PhD from Rice in 2013 has her
work MURMURATIONS in the Lawndale Art
Center “On View” exhibition from August 23 through September 28, 2013.
Graduate student Marcel LaFlamme has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant by the National Science Foundation for his research on unmanned aircraft testing and training in North Dakota. The grant is Rice's second in as many years, with the NSF funding graduate student Brian Clark's dissertation research in 2012.
The Society for Cultural Anthropology has announced that
Professor Dominic Boyer will serve as the next editor of Cultural
Anthropology. The journal was founded at Rice in 1986, and has
become one of the most intellectually ambitious and widely cited
journals in the discipline. As of January 2014, the leadership of
Cultural Anthropology will take the form of an editorial
collective, including Boyer and associate editors James Faubion and
Cymene Howe. The three faculty members will solicit, review, and
curate content for the journal as it transitions to an Open Access
format and continues to chart the cutting edge of anthropological
Dominic Boyer has been named the founding director of Rice’s Center for
Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS). The
center will anchor research, teaching, and publishing initiatives that
bring distinctively humanistic insight to bear on the problems of energy
transition and climate change.
student Ian Lowrie has been selected as a graduate student participant
in the 2013-2014 Rice Seminar on Materialism and New Materialism Across
the Disciplines, sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and the
School of Humanities. During the seminar year, Lowrie will be
researching the relationship between mind and its material substrate
through a historical and ethnographic investigation of Russian
student Marcel LaFlamme was awarded first prize in the annual contest
for his paper "'A Riot, A Market, A Pilgrimage, A Beating': Aerial
Photography and Anthropological Method," which he wrote in the spring of
2012 in a seminar with Professor James Faubion. LaFlamme is the second
anthropology graduate student in four years to win the $1,000 prize,
following Jessica Lockrem's win in 2010.
Nathanael Vlachos visited the National Hansen's Disease Museum in
Carville, Louisiana as part of the Mellon Graduate Research Seminar
"Frames of the Beautiful, the Criminal and the Mad: The Art and the
Science of Excess." Vlachos and four other Rice students made the trip
in early April with Associate Professor of French Studies Deborah
Harter, the convener of the seminar.
Isabella Adamiak, a senior in Brown College majoring in anthropology and
ecology and evolutionary biology, will be initiated into the Beta of
Texas chapter as part of Rice's commencement exercises on May 10.
Established in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa remains the oldest and most
prestigious honorary society in the United States.
student Maria Vidart, who defended her dissertation earlier this
spring, will serve as one of two Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in the
School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. Vidart was selected for the two-year fellowship from a
pool of some 900 applicants.
Dominic Boyer and Assistant Professor Cymene Howe will spend May and
June 2014 at the British university, forging ties with Rice's Energy and
Environment Initiative and advising Durham's Department of Anthropology
as it creates a new Energy and Society track. Durham Senior Research
Fellowships are administered by the Durham Institute of Advanced Study
and are partly funded by the European Union.
Nessette Falu has been selected by Yale University for the fellowship, which
provides a year of support to a graduate student who is writing a dissertation
in LGBT studies. Falu will spend the 2013-14 academic year in New Haven, where
she will begin writing up her dissertation research on Afro-Brazilian lesbians
The battle for
control of the Malian city resulted in retreating militants setting fire
to the library of the Ahmed Baba Institute. Douglas Park, a visiting
lecturer at Rice and the co-director of the Saharan Archaeological
Research Association, is quoted assessing the extent of the loss.
Graduate student Nessette Falu has received a $28,000 grant from the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund to support her dissertation research on Afro-Brazilian lesbians in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil. The award includes funds for producing a documentary film in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Tiona McClodden.
historian Melissa Kean has written a blog post tracing the evolution of
the Mary Ellen Goodman Memorial Library, which bears the name of former
anthropology faculty member Mary Ellen Goodman, the first woman to hold a
tenured professorship in the social sciences at Rice University. Kean
describes the rededication of the library last spring as "a small but
student Rebecca Gimbel has published an article on soldier rape in
Anthropology News. The article explores the role that economy plays in
the development of frameworks of personhood, agency and consent in Haiti
and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two regions where violence is a
routine experience not confined to wartime.
Professor Dominic Boyer will serve on the committee leading Rice's
Energy and Environmental Initiative (E2I), a new effort to support
interdisciplinary research on the sustainable development and use of
current and alternative forms of energy. E2I is to be distinctive for
its cultivation of energy and environmental research in the humanities
and interpretive social sciences.
Social Agency Lab, an urban ideas collaborative that includes graduate
student Maria Vidart, has been awarded third prize in a competition to
reimagine a vacant housing project in St. Louis. The Lab partnered with
local teens to design a multi-year process through which community youth
can debate, explore and shape the future of the site.
Lisa Breglia, who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 2003, has been elected
secretary of the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.
Breglia, who teaches at George Mason University, begins her three-year
term on the board this fall.
at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, the New Directions in
Anthropology conference will be held at Rice in March 2013, thanks to a
grant from the Humanities Research Center. The conference aims to
present students from both departments with an opportunity to build
relationships with colleagues at a peer institution and to receive
feedback on their work from new faculty mentors.
Reddy, who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 2000, is organizing a series
of guest blog posts at Savage Minds on the topic of academic precarity
and the production of ethnography. Laurel George, who received her Ph.D.
at Rice in 2002, will also be a contributor.
Lakhani, a junior in Lovett College and an anthropology and religious
studies major, considers how artists like Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco
represent Islam to an American audience. Lakhani's article draws on
research she conducted for a media anthropology course with Professor
Marcel LaFlamme will serve as project director and lead scholar on a
competitive grant made by the North Dakota Humanities Council to the
Cavalier County Job Development Authority. The grant will allow LaFlamme
and Maxime Brouillet, a Montreal-based photographer, to design and
stage an ethnographic installation about the aftereffects of the Cold
War in rural North Dakota.
Rachael Petersen, a
graduating senior and double major in anthropology and environmental
policy, has been chosen as one of forty Thomas J. Watson Fellows.
Petersen's fellowship year will take her to Canada, Ecuador, Brazil,
Malaysia, and Australia to examine how indigenous communities are
harnessing digital tools to assert their cultural identity and
Camille Barnett has been selected for the National Science Foundation's
2012 Graduate Research Fellowship Program, one of only 21 graduate
students in cultural anthropology to be selected nationwide. Barnett
becomes the third anthropology graduate student in as many years to be
selected for the prestigious program.
Paul Liffman, a research associate at Rice and research professor at El Colegio de Michoacán, is quoted in a Washington Post article about a Mexican indigenous group's conflict with a Canadian mining company.
Pamela Smart who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 1997, will speak on a panel at the Menil Collection closing of the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. Smart's ethnography of the Menil, Sacred Modern, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2011.
Brian Clark has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant by the
National Science Foundation for his research on the 13th-century church of
Geneta Mariam in north central Ethiopia. Clark and his collaborators will be
conducting surveys and excavations around Geneta Mariam through the month of June.
2001 article by Assistant Professor Cymene Howe is featured in a new
curated collection of Cultural Anthropology articles on ritual.The
article, entitled "Queer Pilgrimage: The San Francisco Homeland and
Identity Tourism," presents a novel perspective on how ritualized
activities constitute, affirm, and reproduce ideals of identity even as
they remain open to different readings and modes of subjectivity.
Third-year graduate student Elizabeth Marks has been given a
Travel Award by the National Association for Student
Anthropologists (NASA) in order to attend the annual meeting of the
American Anthropological Association on November 15-20. Marks
co-organized a conference panel on new media, and will be
presenting her paper "Under Pressure: Precarious Relevance and
Evolving Expertise on Japanese Morning Television.
Aimee Placas, who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 2009, is featured in a Cultural Anthropology
Hot Spots forum on the Greek debt crisis. Placas' contribution
discusses the recent emergence of bankruptcy laws and credit scoring in a
post-EU Greece, as well as the (ir)rationality that kept the
possibility of default from being imagined or planned for.
Ayla Samli, who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 2011, blogs at
Savage Minds about a conference at Duke University marking the 25th
anniversary of the publication of Writing Culture.
collection, co-edited by then-professor and chair George Marcus,
galvanized Rice's reputation as a center of representational
Professor Jeffrey Fleisher is profiled for his research on Songo Mnara,
a 15th-century Swahili settlement off the coast of Tanzania. Fleisher's
research team is focusing on the open spaces between domestic
structures in order to learn more about public and ceremonial life in
blog will feature news, announcements, and personal reflections by
participants in the Cultures of Energy Initiative, an interdisciplinary
project sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and aimed at
incubating innovative research on energy and the environment. Associate
Professor Dominic Boyer and Assistant Professor Cymene Howe are founding
members of the faculty working group, and graduate student Marcel
LaFlamme will coordinate undergraduate participation.
Associate Professor Dominic Boyer has been invited to join the
editorial board of American Ethnologist, the quarterly
journal of the American Ethnological Society. Boyer was also
elected to the AAA's newly formed Committee on World
Anthropologies, which is charged with developing strategies for
drawing US and international anthropologists together in ways that
benefit anthropology globally.
Dorothy Lippert, who received her B.A. in anthropology at Rice in 1989,
was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the
Advisory Council on Historic Conservation. Lippert currently works as a
case officer for the Repatriation Office of the Smithsonian's National
Museum of Natural History.
An Anthropology of Ethics published by Cambridge University Press in May, is Professor James Faubion's third single-authored monograph. Proceeding from Michel Foucault's later work on ethics, Faubion develops an original framework for approaching the ethical domain that is at once boldly comparativist and deeply rooted in ethnographic detail.
Associate Professor Dominic Boyer introduced the issue with an article on energopolitics and the anthropology of energy, while Assistant Professor Cymene Howe contributed a piece on wind development in Oaxaca. Graduate student Dan White, who was awarded his Ph.D. in May, was also featured with an article entitled "Paranoia, Public Spheres and Time in Tokyo."
First-year graduate student Marcel LaFlamme has been selected for the National Science Foundation's 2011 Graduate Research Fellowship Program, one of only 26 graduate students in cultural anthropology to be selected nationwide. Graduate students Jessica Lockrem, Ian Lowrie, and Nathanael Vlachos also received Honorable Mentions in the competition.
Anthropology graduate student Laura Jones was recognized by the Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology for her paper "The Medicalization of Menstruation, Hormonal Contraception...and Society." Jones successfully defended her dissertation in November 2010.
Associate Professor Dominic Boyer will serve as the series editor for Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge, a new book series from Cornell University Press dedicated to publishing scholarship at the juncture of science and technology studies, new media studies, and the anthropology of knowledge. Professor James Faubion will also serve on the series' advisory board.
Assistant Professor Jeffrey Fleisher was selected as a 2011-2012 CollaborativeResearch Fellow. The fellowship will allow him to work with colleaguesat universities in the United Kingdom and South Africa to develop aninnovative 3D model of Songo Mnara, a medieval Swahili town on thesouthern Tanzanian coast.
Anthropology graduate student Lina Dib will present her interactivevideo work "Recantorium" at Ethnographic Terminalia, a gathering ofethnographers, artists, and artist-ethnographers at and around theAmerican Anthropological Association's annual meeting in New Orleans.Dib's work will appear at Barrister's Gallery in the St. Claude Arts District.
Professor Eugenia Georges, chair of the Department of Anthropology, was recognized for her outstanding skill in the classroom.
Anthropologygraduate student Jessica Lockrem won Fondren Library's 2010 GraduateResearch Award for a research paper she wrote for a Cultures ofCapitalism anthropology class.
Rebecca Gimbel, an Anthropology graduate student at Rice University, was awarded the prestigious Graduate Research FellowshipProgram award from the National Science Foundation.
Anthropology graduate student Lina Dib'sInstallation 'Sound for Stairs' animates the main staircase of Box13 for thisinteractive exhibit. Making themundane whimsical and otherworldly, Dib’s installation defamilarizes andrecontextualizes sounds to create a dynamic sonic postcard, orchestrated by theup and down movements of the visitors. The staircase turns the world inside out by bringing into the quietgallery space reverberations, swishes and clatters that dwell outside.
Bruce Grant, who received his Ph.D. at Rice in 1993 and is currentlyAssociate Professor of Anthropology at New York University, is quotedin a New York Times article about the changing face of Azerbaijan'scapital city, Baku.
Lamia Karim, who received her Ph.D. at Rice in 2002, blogs about how media coverage of the ouster of Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus draws attention away from the debt crisis facing poor women in Bangladesh.