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Powell honored for work to create healthier food retail options in Los Angeles

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.

Boyer Maps the Media Landscape, Trajectory

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 appointed managing editor of Anthropology Now

Ayla 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.

Howe analyzes activism in Nicaragua

Intimate 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.  

Rodwell wins KCC Japan Education Exchange Travel Grant

Graduate 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 research specialists. 

Dib’s work featured at Lawndale Art Center

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.

LaFlamme receives NSF support for dissertation fieldwork

 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.

Top anthropology journal returns to Sewall Hall

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 scholarship. 

Boyer to lead new center for energy and environmental research

Professor 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.

Lowrie to join new materialism seminar

Graduate 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 artificial intelligence.

LaFlamme wins Fondren Library Research Award

Graduate 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.

Vlachos visits former leprosarium with Mellon Seminar

  Graduate Student 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.

Adamiak selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa

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.

 Vidart lands highly competitive MIT postdoc

Graduate 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.

Boyer and Howe named Senior Research Fellows at Durham University

Professor 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. 

Falu awarded Sarah Petitt doctoral fellowship

  Graduate student 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 in Salvador-Bahia.    

Ancient manuscripts feared lost amidst fighting in Timbuktu

  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. 

Landes fund to support Falu

 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.

Goodman Reading Room not forgotten

University 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 real triumph."

Soldier rape in militarized economies

Graduate 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.

Boyer tapped to lead universitywide energy initiative

Associate 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.

Youth-driven design process draws on anthropological insight

  The 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.

Breglia elected to SLACA executive board

 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.

UT and Rice to team up for graduate student conference

 Established 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.

Ethnography on/from the sidelines

 Deepa 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.

African-American Muslims revolutionize the message of hip-hop

Shirin 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 Dominic Boyer.

LaFlamme awarded North Dakota humanities grant

Graduate student 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.

Petersen selected for Watson Fellowship

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 sovereignty.

Barnett named NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Graduate student 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.

Huichol peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine

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.

Smart to reflect on Menil fresco chapel closing

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.  

Clark bound forEthiopia on NSF dissertation grant

  Graduate student 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.

Howe article featured in CA ritual collection

 A 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.

Marks heads to Montreal on NASA grant

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.

Trickle-down debt 

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.  

Writing Culture's decomposition

 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. The collection, co-edited by then-professor and chair George Marcus, galvanized Rice's reputation as a center of representational experimentation.

Rice archaeologist studies ancient urbanism on an East African island

Assistant 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 the settlement.

Cultures of Energy blog goes live

The 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.

Boyer tapped for two leadership positions

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.

Archaeologist nominated to historic conservation council

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.

Faubion charts new directions in ethics 

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.

Rice anthropologists featured in May 2011 Anthropology News

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."

LaFlamme named NSF Graduate Research Fellow

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.

Jones awarded graduate student paper prize

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.

Boyer to edit book series for Cornell Press

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.

Fleisher selected as HRC Collaborative Research Fellow

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.

Ethnographic Terminalia

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.

Six faculty members recognized with George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching 

Professor Eugenia Georges, chair of the Department of Anthropology, was recognized for her outstanding skill in the classroom.

'Commoditizing Katrina' is among Fondren Library research award winners

Anthropologygraduate student Jessica Lockrem won Fondren Library's 2010 GraduateResearch Award for a research paper she wrote for a Cultures ofCapitalism anthropology class.

National grant funds Gimbel’s research in Haiti

Rebecca Gimbel, an Anthropology graduate student at Rice University, was awarded the prestigious Graduate Research FellowshipProgram award from the National Science Foundation.

Sounds for Stairs

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.

Old World but oil rich in Azerbaijan

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.

The fall of Muhammad Yunus

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.