2018 Workshops

——————————————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 1 11:30–12:20

——————————————————-

The Evolution of Culture

Culture has played a fundamental role in the evolutionary success of our species. People everywhere depend on collectively shared knowledge and skills that have been accumulated over generations, and which would be impossible for an individual to learn in a single lifetime. But when and how did our capacity for culture evolve? To what extent is it shared with other animals, especially our closest primate relatives? If cultural learning is supposed to be adaptive, why are we so prone to spreading useless, or even dangerous, beliefs and behaviours? Can we predict how human culture will evolve in the future? In this workshop we will examine how these questions are being explored by researchers working across the traditional boundaries of biological and social anthropology, covering examples as varied as the origin of the boomerang, the chimps who go fishing, a famous English football failure, and the evolutionary roots of modern celebrity culture.

Durham University: Jamie Tehrani

(Stevenson)

——————————————————-

Why Climate Comes to Matter: Anthropology of Climate Change and Environmental Transformations

Why climate comes to matter? How do climate change and human society intersect? How do anthropogenic transformations in ecosystems and environmental processes affect global security, human livelihoods and infrastructures? The discussion will focus on anthropological studies that have made attempts to understand the implications of environmental changes and ecological degradation across variety of ethnographic locations. We shall examine what contributions anthropologists are making for better understanding the latest threatening dynamic of climate change.

University of Manchester: Olga Ulturgasheva

(BP)

——————————————————-

Out of Focus: Film Screening and Discussion

During this session, you will get a chance to watch this collaborative documentary directed by Adrian Arcé Antonio Zirión about arts, culture and everyday life inside a prison for minors. The film was shot during a photography and video workshop with young inmates at the Juvenile Community for Specialized Treatment in San Fernando, Mexico City. Through shared production methods and self-representation we explore alternative ways of approaching and understanding subjects that would normally remain invisible, or are seen only through many social stigmas and prejudices.

The film will be followed by time for discussion with the RAI Film Officer and Festival Manager Caterina Sartori.

RAI: Caterina Sartori

(Moser)

——————————————————-

The Forensic Anthropology of Human Evolution

Any science can be forensic when used in the criminal justice system, but now the CSI skills used to investigate crime scenes and homicides are being used to study human evolution. This workshop will cover how forensic anthropological skills are being applied to deep-time, including how 3D imaging is used to reconstruct fossil bones and cave environments, and how forensic taphonomy was used in the analyses of body disposal by the primitive hominin Homo naledi from the Rising Star Cave in South Africa.

University of Central Lancashire: Patrick Randolph-Quinney and Rick Peterson

(Studio)

——————————————————-

Beyond the Bones: Skeletal Studies in Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology

Bioarchaeologists specialize in the study of skeletal remains at archaeological sites. By actively exploring the human skeleton, participants in this workshop will be introduced to a range of animal and human bones, learning about the form and function in skeletal anatomy. Furthermore, the workshop will address some of the ethical considerations encountered in bioarchaeology around the world.

Claire Hodson: BABAO

(Sackler A)

——————————————————-

Honour, Conflict and Coercion: The Anthropology of Violence

Whether experienced as rivalry between individuals, ethnic conflict or criminal coercion, violence is a central feature of many societies. In this session we will use excerpts from two anthropological and documentary films to discuss the ways in which violent acts may have many different motivations for the people that commit them. Participants will be asked to consider the ways in which the anthropologist might understand conflicts within small communities, acts such as genocide and rioting, and the violence of organised crime.

University of Cambridge: Andrew Sanchez

(Sackler B)

——————————————————-

Surviving Storms: Caribbean Hurricanes as Social Relations

Prompted by Adom’s current research on the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in Dominica, this interactive session invites you to think through environmental disasters as the social relations that make them. Together we ask what anthropological perspectives can bring to our understanding of how humans confront climatic uncertainty.

Goldsmiths: Adom Heron

(Anthropology Library – meet at info desk)

——————————————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 2 12:30–13:20

——————————————————-

Life in the Field: How Anthropologists Build Knowledge

Anthropology involves two kinds of knowledge: what we know about human beings in general; and what we know about particular groups and communities. Learning about the latter means living with and spending time studying particular communities. This is ethnographic fieldwork, and for many anthropologists it involves months and even years learning what life is like  ‘from the inside’ in diverse communities around the world. This is more than tourism, adventure or geography – it is the art of anthropological knowledge.

University of Aberdeen: Martin Mills

(Stevenson)

——————————————————-

The Madness of Success? Why Stress, Anxiety and Depression are on the Rise in Contemporary Societies

Who amongst us doesn’t want to be successful? Whether it be getting a job, winning the X-Factor, or passing our exams, most of us are motivated by some vision of ‘success’, and imagine that our life will be better when we achieve it. But will it? This workshop will explore recent anthropological studies that suggest contemporary ‘cultures of success’ and ‘motivation’ may in fact be generating increasing levels of anxiety, depression and psychic trauma amongst those who ‘make it’, as well those who do not. We will investigate why ‘success’ has become such a major preoccupation recently, how it might be linked to the rise of mental illness, the ways in which these processes might affect people differently according to their race, class, gender and the nation in which they live. Finally, we’ll ask how anthropology could be used to help make things better.

LSE: Nick Long

(BP)

——————————————————-

21st Century Forensic Anthropology

Forensic and Physical anthropology have grown from a number of ancient disciplines (Anthropology, Anatomy, Archaeology). As they move into the 21st century the methodologies and processes used in these disciplines need to evolve to meet the needs of the changing world around us. This workshop will investigate how these disciplines stay current and how they can use new technologies such as scanning (CT, MRI, Surface), 3D printing, VR and AR. How can these technological advances help us to identify the dead?

University of Dundee: Helen Langstaff

(Moser)

——————————————————-

Why We Eat, What We Eat

This workshop explores why we eat what we eat. We think about what is edible and inedible, how this changes cross-culturally, and the reasons behind different food preferences. We also consider eating as a social practice that makes and unmakes social relations, and conclude by reflecting on eating behaviours that seem alien to us, such as cannibalism and a preference for insects.

University of Wales, Trinity St. David: Emma-Jayne Abbots

(Studio)

——————————————————-

Bones, Brains and Behaviour: What makes us human?

Biological anthropologists are interested in understanding humans, past and present, from an evolutionary perspective. This workshop will offer an introduction on the bones of humans, other primates (such as chimpanzees) and the bones of our ancestors and detail how they can provide information on what makes humans so unique. Short presentations will be supplemented with hands-on activities showcasing how bones can give us information on tool use (brains) and the effects of changing lifestyles throughout evolutionary time (behaviour).

University of Cambridge: Sarah-Louise Decrausaz and Michael Rivera

(Sackler A)

——————————————————-

Ethnographic Film and the Magic of the Moving Image

The movie camera, the sound recorder and and the stills camera have been part of the anthropologist’s tool kit since early on in the history of the discipline: in this session we will explore how anthropologists use film and video in their work, to carry out research, make an argument and disseminate their findings. We will watch excerpts from ethnographic films from the past and the present, and we will ask: what is an ethnographic film, exactly? How can anthropologists use film to make their work more accessible to a wider audience? Do anthropologists make good filmmakers?

RAI: Caterina Sartori

(Sackler B)

——————————————————-

Teacher’s Session

This session is for teachers currently teaching (or interested in teaching) Anthropology and related subjects in schools. Teachers may be teaching Anthropology A-Level, Social and Cultural Anthropology within the International Baccalaureate or in other pre-university settings. The session will offer a chance to meet fellow anthropology teachers to exchange ideas.

(Anthropology Library)

——————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 3 14:30–15:20

——————————————————-

Why Economists are Almost Always Wrong: the case for studying anthropology

Governments, corporations and international agencies use economics and statistics to understand social life — but in the process, they miss almost everything worth knowing. To demonstrate this, we’ll adopt an anthropological perspective to examine the development of a middle class in Africa, looking at why simple economic models don’t tell us much about social reality.

Brunel University: Will Rollason

(Stevenson)

——————————————————-

Perceptions and Projections: Visual Anthropological Transformations in the South Pacific

Drawing upon research on mental illness, spirit possession, comedy and psychiatry in the South Pacific nation of Tonga,  this workshop looks at some of the key ways video can be used as a way to research, collaborate, get feedback, and create a shared and participative anthropology that is socially and personally transformative.  Come prepared to comment in small groups on a variety of perplexing research footage and clips from documentary and ethnographic films.

University of Kent: Mike Poltorak

(BP)

——————————————————————————

What is a Cannibal?

At first sight this seems like a straightforward question. But look more closely. Is a cannibal defined, for example, by a practice (eating human flesh) or by a purposefulness of intention (the active seeking of human flesh for consumption). And is a specific practice, eating human flesh, sufficient to establish a specific kind of person – a cannibal. If so, just how much human flesh must pass into a person’s body for them to cross the critical threshold – ‘become a cannibal’: a molecule, a mouthful, a meal, a cuisine? But then, perhaps we are all simply cannibals in waiting. Perhaps it is ‘natural’ to consume human flesh, or perhaps it is ‘natural’ in some contexts? Where might those contextual limits lie?

In this we talk we will consider these and other perspectives on the question, what is a cannibal? Our aim is to explore the power of anthropology, with its extraordinary diversity of approaches, to investigate complex questions concerning humanity and what constitutes being human.

The University of Southhampton: Joshua Pollard and Yvonne Marshall

(Moser)

——————————————————-

Pull down the Statues and Flags: Public Space, Power and Historical Narratives

This talk will examine symbolic landscapes and explore how competing historical narratives are played out in public space. With particular reference to Belfast we will examine how the Union (Jack) flag and a range of statues are used to demarcate different types of spaces. With examples from around the world we can examine how symbols are valued, appropriated and destroyed in a shifting range of political circumstances. The talk will conclude with some thoughts on the nature of identity politics and peace building.

Queen’s University Belfast: Dominic Bryan

(Studio)

——————————————————-

Intelligent Objects: A hands-on workshop examining strange things (including beer cans and giant vegetables)

What do objects and material things do and what do they demand from us? Why do they provoke such powerful responses (fascination or rejection) and how do they influence us? What are the similarities and differences in the ways in which societies around the world think through artefacts? How can we think about the effects of the spread of new objects (digital, “smart”, biotechnologies, etc.) in every corner of the planet? Do these new things change the ways in which as human beings, interact with each other and with the world? This hands-on workshop aims to explore these questions and the emerging realisation that things are not just lifeless objects that convey meaning, they can also act as proper (at times even animated) beings with desires, needs, appetites, demands and drives of their own.

UCL: Ludovic Coupaye

(Sackler A)

——————————————————-

Disease, Death and Dissection: Evidence for Health Care in Past Societies

This workshop will explore the evidence for disease and medical intervention on human remains from the medieval to the Victorian period. We will discuss how we can interpret this evidence to determine levels of health care in past societies.

University of Winchester: Heidi Dawson-Hobbis

(Sackler B)

——————————————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 4 15:30–16:20

——————————————————-

When South Asians were white, Irish folk were black, humans had one biological sex, and other surprising tales of modern life

In this interactive workshop you will work with others to learn about shifts in what counts as biological knowledge and to think about how we use the human body to make difference and index social identities. Be prepared to speak from your heart, to learn things that will go against your gut reactions and to encounter others in the room in ways that could re-make your world – and theirs. No preparation necessary except an open mind. Darwin’s dangerous idea? And then some!’

SOAS: Caroline Osella

(Stevenson)

——————————————————-

Bodies and Performances

In the West, a beautiful body is often defined as a thin body. It may be surprising to learn, then, that in other cultures entirely different ideals of beauty exist. Among Fijians, for example, a full, rounded body is desirable, and is proof that a person is well cared for by their family and community. Bodies and bodily performances are important across all cultures and have been throughout history. Quite often, however, the very same bodies or practices carry different meanings depending on the respective cultures. In this workshop we will explore some anthropological approaches to the body, considering practices such as tattooing, piercing, scarring, masking, and wearing clothes, and find out how they express differences in individual, ethnic, religious, or gendered identities. Students will be venturing into the space of the British Museum to gather examples from past and contemporary peoples, which we will discuss together.

University of Sussex: Meike Fechter

(BP)

——————————————————-

7 Million Years of Human Evolution in 45 minutes!

The breath-taking story of human evolution in just 45 minutes. Answering such questions as; Where did we come from? Why do we walk on two legs? Why are we so clever? And of course; If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

Oxford Brookes: Simon Underdown

(Moser)

——————————————————-

Anthropology of Britain: An anthropological approach to the world you live in.

Dispelling the myth that social anthropologists get their knowledge of social life from exotic and far flung locations, this workshop will illustrate how the core ideas  and methods of anthropology can be applied in any field or location. You will learn how looking at life in Britain through an anthropological lens encourages critical engagement with the world you live in, through a focus on the anthropologies of food and reproduction.

University of Exeter: Aimee Middlemiss and Celia Plender

(Studio)

——————————————————-

Evolution of the human hand over 5 million years

The modern human hand is one of the defining anatomical characteristics of our species due to its links to tool manufacture and use over the last three million years. In this workshop you will have a unique opportunity to directly examine the fossil evidence for the evolution of the human hand, beginning with our closest ape relatives, the hands of the earliest human ancestor, and through to modern humans (including the newly discovered hand fossils of Australopithecus sediba, Homo naledi, as well as Homo habilis, Homo floresiensis aka The Hobbit’, and Neanderthals). The workshop will be led by leading researchers in hand evolution from Professor Tracy Kivell’s APE Lab at the University of Kent.

University of Kent: Ameline Bardo and Chris Dunmore

(Sackler A)

——————————————————-

Natural born killers? The anthropology of conflict, from chimpanzees to Crusaders and everything in between

Are humans irredeemably, ‘naturally’ violent, or are we generally quite nice to one another, with violence mainly happening in situations of intense competition, for example in the case of famine, drought or the need for land? How can we tell if the current disheartening state of the world means we are more violent than in the past – or does it just feel like it, with 24-hr news channels and social media keeping us increasingly informed on global events? Is war and violence a departure from normal human nature, or just business as usual? This talk will look at the kinds of evidence anthropologists can use to shed light on this question. How does human violence and warfare compare to that among our closest living primate relatives? How can anthropologists spot the signs of violence and warfare from skeletal and other evidence? Can we go even further to interpret the kinds of violence, weapons and strategies of warfare that were being used? What evidence is there that violence and warfare was more or less common in past societies, and what does this tell us about human ‘nature’? What ethical issues might anthropologists need to consider in addressing these kinds of questions? And what kind of a role might anthropologists play in mitigating and resolving conflict in the contemporary world?

Bournemouth University: Fiona Coward and Richard Mikulski

(Sackler B)

——————————————————-