2019 Workshops

2019 Workshops

——————————————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 1 11:30 – 12:20

——————————————————-

7 Million Years of Human Evolution in 45 minutes!

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!’

Room: Stevenson

Simon Underdown, Oxford Brookes

——————————————————-

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 as 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.

Room: BP

Nick Long, LSE

——————————————————-

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.

Room: Moser

Claire Hodson: BABAO

——————————————————-

But a Monkey Shaved? Primate Comparative Anatomy, Evolution and Ecology

Biological anthropologists examine the behaviour of our closest relatives, the primates, in many ways, from observing living animals in the wild to reconstructing the lives and distributions of fossil primates. In this workshop you will get the chance to be a primate behavioural ecologist, using ethograms to quantify primate behaviour from films. You will also be able to try your hand at recreating fossil primate distributions using computer models – you might get a few surprises about where primates were found in the past!

Room: Studio

Sarah Elton, Durham University

——————————————————-

Contested Symbols

This workshop will examine how Anthropology looks both at contestation around symbols and the role that can be played in mediation and peace building.

Room: Sackler

Dominic Bryan, Queen’s University Belfast

—————————————————-

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.

Room: Stevenson

Martin Mills, University of Aberdeen

——————————————————-

You Can’t Speak “Properly” (that’s a good thing!)

Language changes constantly, in space and in time. “Proper English” (or any other language) is a human invention constructed by people in power, not an objective reality., and even Her Majesty doesn’t speak the Queen’s English anymore. In this workshop we’ll discuss the subfield of linguistic anthropology. We study how we use language to navigate our social world and express our identities: gender, age, class, and attitude. Linguistic anthropologists are interested in people’s sounds, grammar, and words for what they reveal about how they think and see the world. In this workshop we’ll explore the history of “like”, how body parts are not the same across cultures, why everyone has an accent, and how signed languages can resist the powerful. Don’t let anyone tell you something is a made-up word. They’re all made-up!

Room: BP

Fiona Jordan & Theresia Hofer, University of Bristol

——————————————————-

Evolution of the Human Hand over Five 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.

Room: Moser

Chris Dunmore, University of Kent

——————————————————-

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).

Room: Studio

Emma Pomeroy, University of Cambridge

——————————————————

The Anthropology of Sound: Exploring Auditory Culture

In this workshop we will think about sound worlds. We will spend some time listening together, and consider some of the similarities and differences anthropologists have found in how people listen to and interpret sound across cultures. We will ask what sounds can tell us about the people and places we seek to study, and reflect on how listening is used as a way of learning about culture in anthropology.

Room: Sackler

Tom Rice, University of Exeter

——————————————————-

WORKSHOP SESSION 3 14:30 – 15:20

——————————————————-

The Global Lives of the Orangutan: an Anthropological Perspective

In this talk, Dr Liana Chua will discuss her ongoing research on orangutan conservation. She will trace the connections between orangutans in their homes in Malaysia and Indonesia, local people, activists in the UK and abroad, and the forest products that drive the destruction of orangutan habitats. What can we learn about contemporary human life and our relation to the planet by examining the global lives of the orangutan from an anthropologist’s point of view?

Room: Stevenson

Liana Chua, Brunel University London

——————————————————-

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.

Room: BP

Mike Poltorak, University of Kent

——————————————————————————

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.

Room: Moser

Ludovic Coupaye, UCL

——————————————————-

Anthropology, Migration and Crisis

What is a crisis? Is the whole world on the move? Contemporary public debates are saturated with references to a migration crisis in Europe and beyond. While some people are able to cross borders unimpeded, others face long delays, detention and potentially deadly journeys. This inequality in the distribution of mobility is exemplified by the contemporary erection of walls and fences at the borders of the European Union while its leaders regularly point to freedom of circulation as integral to its political project. How can anthropology help make sense of these issues? In this workshop, we will focus on anthropology’s contribution to very contemporary and urgent debates about migration.

Room: Studio

Sebastien Bachelet, University of Manchester

——————————————————-

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.

Room: Sackler

Heidi Dawson-Hobbis, University of Winchester

——————————————————-

Teachers Session – Fieldwork, Ethics and More!

This session is for teachers currently teaching (or interested in teaching) anthropology and related subjects in schools. Delivered by Angela Riviere (DP Curriculum Manager of International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology) and Emma Ford (Education and Communications Officer of the Royal Anthropological Institute) the session is suitable for teachers of a variety of qualifications and extra-curricular activities. This is an opportunity to find out how the IB students get to ‘think like anthropologists’, by experiencing the practice of anthropology in fieldwork settings. Meet fellow anthropology teachers to exchange ideas and discuss methods of teaching specific topics such as theory, fieldwork and ethics.

(Ford Centre for Young Visitors) Angela Riviere, International Baccalaureate, and Emma Ford, Royal Anthropological Institute

WORKSHOP SESSION 4 15:30 – 16:20

——————————————————-

Sex, Gender and the Body

What makes a man? What makes a woman? How universal are the differences between us? Are they due to culture or biology? Presented by a social and biological anthropologist, this workshop will explore a variety of topics, from ‘manspreading’ and slut-shaming to gender-testing at the Olympics.

Room: Stevenson

Kirsten Bell and Colette Berbesque, University of Roehampton

——————————————————-

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?

Room: BP

Fiona Coward and Stephanie Schwander-Sievers, Bournemouth University

——————————————————-

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.

Room: Moser

Joshua Pollard and Yvonne Marshall, The University of Southampton

——————————————————-

The Museum as a Courtroom of Colonialism

In this workshop, I will draw on my research in West Africa and at the International Criminal Court in the Hague to help us think about how museums should deal with repatriation claims on their collections. Should museums start returning their collections? How can we think anthropologically about these issues? Together we will think about whether the question of repatriation is in fact as complicated as many people claim it is.

Room: Studio

Charlotte Joy, Goldsmiths

——————————————————-

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.

Room: Sackler

James Fairhead, University of Sussex

——————————————————-