News and Announcements

Our undergraduate students' news and awards: Please see our undergraduate program page.

Our graduate students' news and awards: Please see our graduate program page.

January 2015: Professor Racquel-María Sapién was recently awarded NSF funds to create a series of instructional videos that can be used by indigenous peoples and others to develop programs to document and preserve endangered languages. Congratulations!

August 2014: The Undergraduate Anthropology Society welcomed our new and returning students at their Faculty/Student Meet and Greet at Reaves Park on August 26. See pictures from this fun event on the UAS Facebook page.

July 2014: Congratulations to our linguistic anthropology faculty and students who recently took part in the Oklahoma Breath of Life, Silent No More workshop and CoLang 2014: Institute on Collaborative Language Research. Graduate student Juliet Morgan blogged about Oklahoma Breath of Life workshop for the Linguistic Society of America. The image below shows CoLang 2014 participants Juliet Morgan, Nicole Umayam, Dane Poolaw, Dr. Mary Linn, and Christine Boeke.

CoLang 2014 participants

June 2014 (catching up on some news from the spring):

  • Professor Kristin Dowell, whose book Sovereign Screens was nominated for the 2014 Canadian Aboriginal History Book Prize book prize, was featured in a Vancouver arts weekly.
  • Dr. Jessica Blanchard was recently named one of the Mayo Clinic's Hampton Faculty Fellows for her work on cancer prevention in Native American communities
  • Professors Racquel Yamada, Lucas Bessire and Kim Marshall were all awarded Junior Faculty Research Grants for summer 2014.
  • Professor Kim Marshall was awarded the Ed Cline Faculty Development Award by the OU Faculty Senate.
  • Dr. Sean O'Neill was invited to serve on the senior advisory board for the NSF Cultural Anthropology Program.
  • Graduate student Stewart Younger-Mertz was awarded the "Best Student Poster Award in Ion Beam Analysis" at the 23rd International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry (CAARI). The title of the poster was "Ion Beam Analysis of Microcrystalline Quartz Artifacts from the Reed Mound Site, Delaware County, Oklahoma."

May 2014: Congratulations to our graduates! (Picture credit: Jessica Blanchard)

2014 graduation cupcakes

May 2014: The department welcomes our most recent faculty member, Dr. Samuel Duwe, who will join us in the fall. Dr. Duwe's research interests include archaeology and ethnography of the American Southwest, human-environment interactions, and water rights and indigenous archaeologies.

May 2014: Congratulations to our newest professors emeriti, Dr. Pat Gilman and Dr. Paul Minnis.

Earlier news: Please scroll to the bottom of the page.

A sample of recent faculty and student publications and funded research projects

Book cover imageYamada, Racquel-María (2014) Training in the Community-Collaborative Context: A case study. Journal of Language Documentation & Conservation, 8: 326-344. Manoa: University of Hawai'i Press.

Yamada, Racquel-María (2014) Mobilities into (and out of) Konomerume (Donderskamp). In Carlin, Eithne B., Isabelle Léglise, Bettina Migge, & Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat (Eds). In and Out of Suriname: Language, Mobility, and Identity. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Kruettli A, Bouwman A, Akguel G, Della Casa P, Ruehli F, Warinner C. (2014). Ancient DNA analysis reveals high frequency of European lactase persistence allele (T-13910) in medieval Central Europe. PLoS ONE 9(1), e86251.

American Antiquity cover artGilman, P., M. Thompson, and K. C. Wyckoff (2014). Ritual Change and the Distant: Mesoamerican Iconography, Scarlet Macaws, and Great Kivas in the Mimbres Region of Southwestern New Mexico. American Antiquity 79:90-107. (Article image used for the issue cover art.)

Bessire, L. (2014). Behold the Black Caiman: A Chronicle of Ayoreo Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Randall, A. (2014). LiDAR-Aided Reconnaissance and Reconstruction of Lost Landscapes: An Example of Freshwater Shell Mounds (ca. 7500–500 cal B.P.) in Northeastern Florida. Journal of Field Archaeology 39(2):162–179.

Bessire, L. (2014). The Rise of Indigenous Hypermarginality: Culture as a Neoliberal Politics of Life in Latin America. Current Anthropology.

New Lives for Ancient Plants book cover

Minnis, Paul (Editor). (2014). New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops. University of Arizona Press.

Bement, L. C., Madden, A.S., Carter, B. J., Simms, A. R., Swindle, A. L., Alexander, H. M.,  Fine, S., and Benamarae, M. (2014) Quantifying the distribution of nanodiamonds in pre-Younger Dryas to recent age deposits along Bull Creek, Oklahoma Panhandle, USA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jervis, L. L., Spicer, P., Belcourt-Ditloff, A., Novins, D. K., Sarche, M., Fickenscher, A., and Beals, J. (2014). The social construction of violence among American Indians with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder. Transcultural Psychiatry, 51(1):23-46. DOI: 10.1177/1363461513501710

Method and theory in paleoethnobotanyMarston JM, d’Alpoim Guedes J, Warinner C, eds. (In press, 2014). Method and Theory in Paleoethnobotany. University Press of Colorado.

O'Neill, Sean. (In press, 2014). The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis aka the Principle of Linguistic Relativity. Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction. Oxford, England: Blackwell.

O'Neill, S. (In press, 2014). The Politics of Language Contact in Northwestern California: Maintaining Diversity in the Face of Cultural Convergence. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

New Histories book cover

Wallis, N. J. and Asa R. Randall (2014). New Histories of Pre-Columbian Florida. University Press of Florida.

O'Neill, S. (2013). Mikhail Bakhtin. Encyclopedia of Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pitblado B, Cannon MB, Bloxham M, Janetski J, Adovasio JM, Anderson K, and Nelson S. (2013). Archaeological Fingerprinting and Fremont Figurines: Reuniting the Iconic Pilling Collection. Advances in Archaeological Practice: A Journal of the Society for American Archaeology 1(1):3-12.

Yarborough, M., K. Edwards, P. Espinoza, G. Geller, A. Sarwal, R. Sharp, & P. Spicer (2013). Relationships hold the key to trustworthy and productive translational science: Recommendations for expanding community engagement in biomedical research. Clinical and Translational Science 6(4):310-313. PMID: 23919367

Laura R. Brunson, Lowell W. Busenitz, David A. Sabatini, and Paul Spicer (2013). In pursuit of sustainable water solutions in emerging regions. Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development 3(4):489-499.

Gilman, P. A., and T. Stone (2013). The Role of Ritual Variability in Social Negotiations of Early Communities: Great Kiva Homogeneity and Heterogeneity in the Mogollon Region of the North American Southwest. American Antiquity 78:607-623.

Guedes J., Carrasco D., Flad R., Fosse E., Herzfeld M., Lamberg-Karlovsky K., Lewis C., Liebmann M., Meadow R., Patterson N., Price M., Reiches M., Richardson S., Shattuck-Heidorn H., Ur J., Urton G.,Warinner C. (2013). Is poverty in our genes? A reply to Ashraf and Galor. Current Anthropology 54(1): 71-79.

Sovereign Screens coverDowell, K. L. (2013). Sovereign Screens. Aboriginal Media on the Canadian West Coast. University of Nebraska Press.

O'Neill, S. (2013). The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Encyclopedia of Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pitblado BL, Cannon MB, Neff H, Dehler CM, and Nelson ST. (2013). LA-ICP-MS analysis of quartzite from the Upper Gunnison Basin, Colorado. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(4):2196-2216.

Randall, Asa R. (2013). The chronology and history of Mount Taylor period (ca. 7400-4600 Cal B.P.) shell sites on the Middle St. Johns River, Florida. Southeastern Archaeology 32(2):193-217. Link to article pdf

Bessire, L. (2013). Towards an Anthropology of Actually Existing Alterity in the Gran Chaco. Occasional Papers of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Paper Number 48.

Molinari, Kiley (2013). Adapt and Adopt: Apsáalooke (Crow) Beadwork and Regalia from the Nineteenth Century to Today. Journal of Northwest Anthropology 47(2):203-213. (This paper won the student paper prize at the 66th Annual Northwest Anthropological Conference held in Portland, Oregon in 2013.)

Bessire, L. and D. Fisher (2013). The Anthropology of Radio Fields. Annual Review of Anthropology 42(1):363-378.

Native American Placenames coverWilliam Bright, edited with an Introduction by Alice Anderton and Sean O’Neill. (2013). Native American Placenames of the Southwest: A Handbook for Travelers. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Morgan, Juliet L. (2013). ‘Handling’ Verbs in Plains Apache: Modal and Aspectual Stem Variations. Working Papers in Athabaskan (Dene) Languages 2012. Alaska Native Language Center Working Papers, 11:56-74.

Carlson K., and Bement L. (2013). Organization of bison hunting at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition on the Plains of North America. Quaternary International 297(0):93-99.

O'Neill, S. (2013). Translating Poetry and Song in Indigenous Societies: Ethnic Aesthetic Performances in Multilingual and Multicultural Settings. Journal of Folklore Research, Special Triple, Ethnopoetics, Narrative Inequality, and Voice: The Legacy of Dell Hymes, edited by Paul V. Kroskrity and Anthony K. Webster, 50(1-3):217-250.

Warinner C., Robles García N., and Tuross N. (2013). Maize, beans and the floral isotopic diversity of highland Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(2):868-873.

Minnis, Paul E. (2013) Utilitarian Archaeology: Mining the Past for the Future. In Archaeology and Sustainability, edited by S. Chiu and C-H Tsang, pp. 55-65. Center for Archaeological Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Ross book cover

Jervis, L. L., and Sconzert-Hall, W. (2013). Native Elders. In J. I. Ross' (Ed.), American Indians at Risk (307-322). ABC-CLIO.

Morgan, Juliet L. (2012). Background and Motivation of Students Studying a Native American Language. Working Papers in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, 1:27-49.

Blanchard, Jessica. "Evaluation of TSET-Funded Programs" $28,962.00, Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Levine, M. N., and Lucha Martínez de Luna (2013) Museum Salvage: A Case Study of Mesoamerican Artifacts in Museum Collections and on the Antiquities Market. Journal of Field Archaeology 38(3):264-276.

Jervis, L. L. "American Indian and Alaska Native Perspectives on Dementia." Webinar #3 (July 24, 2013): Diverse Populations, Health Disparities and Dementia.

Beals, J., Belcourt-Dittloff, A., Garroutte, E., Croy, C., Jervis, L. L., Whitesell, N., Mitchell, C. M., Manson, S. M., and the AI-SUPERPFP Team. (2013). Trauma and Conditional Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Two American Indian Reservation Communities. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 48(6):895-905.

Jervis, L. L., Fickenscher, A., Beals, J., and the Shielding American Indian Project Team. (2013). Assessment of elder mistreatment in two American Indian samples: Psychometric characteristics of the HS-EAST and the Native Elder Life-Financial Exploitation and Neglect Measure. Journal of Applied Gerontology. 10.1177/0733464812470748.

Oxford Handbook coverP. Spicer and M. Sarche (2012). Poverty and possibility in the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native Children. The Oxford Handbook of Poverty and Child Development. (pp.480-488) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

P. Spicer, T. LaFromboise, C. Markstrom, M. Niles, A. West, K. Fehringer, L. Grayson, and M. Sarche (2012). Toward an applied developmental science for native children, adolescents, and families. Child Development Perspectives 6(1), 49-54.

C. M. Lewis, A. Obregon-Tito, R. Y. Tito, M. W. Foster, and P. G. Spicer (2012). The Human Microbiome Project: Lessons from human genomics. Trends in Microbiology, 20, 1-4 PMID: 22112388

Kosher Feijoada coverKlein, M. (2012). Kosher Feijoada and Other Paradoxes of Jewish Life in São Paulo. University Press of Florida.

Blanchard, Jessica. "Determination of Oklahoma American Indian Preferred Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Strategies, Perceived Barriers, Facilitators, and Motivators." $3,988.00, Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Blanchard, Jessica. "Longitudinal Evaluation of the Governor's Executive Order - A Qualitative Study of Process Implementation and Impact." $24,334.00, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center.

Latin American Antiquity coverWarinner C., Robles García N., Spores R., Tuross N. (2012). Disease, demography, and diet in early colonial New Spain: Investigation of a 16th century Mixtec epidemic cemetery at Teposcolula Yucundaa. 2012. Latin American Antiquity 23(4):467-489. (Article image used for the issue cover art.)

Bessire, L. (2012). The Politics of Isolation: Refused Relation as an Emerging Regime of Indigenous Biolegitimacy. Comparative Studies in Society and History 54 (3):1-32.

Novins, D. K.,  M. L. Boyd, D. T. Brotherton, A. Fickenscher, L. Moore, and P. Spicer (2012). Walking On: Celebrating the journeys of Native American adolescents with substance use problems on the winding road to healing. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 44 (2):153-159 PMID: 22880543

Radio Fields coverBessire, L. and D. Fisher. (2012). Radio Fields. Anthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century. NYU Press.

Pitblado B. (2011). A Tale of Two Migrations: Reconciling Recent Biological and Archaeological Evidence for the Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas. Journal of Archaeological Research 19(4):327-375.

Blanton, Ryan. (2011). Chronotopic Landscapes of Environmental Racism. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, “Racializing Discourses,” Special Edition, H.P. Dick and K. Wirtz eds. 21(S1) E76-E93.

Department and Anthropology-related Events Calendar

The Anthropology Graduate Student Association (AGSA) maintains this calendar of department and anthropology-related events. Click on the events for more information. If you have any events that you'd like for AGSA to add (conferences, speakers, etc.), please email the AGSA web master, Yue Dong

Older news . . .

April 2014: Professor Sean O'Neill was invited to join an international team that is examining the works of Franz Boas.

February 2014: OU Research Associate and incoming faculty member (Fall 2014) Dr. Tina Warinner's research on the ancient oral microbiome was highlighted in a Scientific American podcast. There's a short summary here.

February 2014: Congratulations to PhD student KC Carlson, who was just awarded an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant for her study of Paleoindian Large Game hunting programs!

February 2014: The department is very sad to report the passing of Ms. Margaret Mauldin. Ms. Mauldin taught Creek language and culture in our Native American Language program for many years. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

January 2014: We are delighted to welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Christina Warinner, who will join our department this fall. Dr. Warinner's research uses archaeogenetics and paleoproteomics to investigate the ways in which humans have co-evolved with environments, diets, and pathogens. This allows us to better understand health and disease. She explains one application of this in her 2012 TED talk on tracking ancient diseases using dental plaque. Also check out her January 2013 interview with the OU Daily.

September 2013: The department sends a warm welcome to Freddie Lewis, who joined our Native American Language faculty this fall. Mr. Lewis is teaching Choctaw.

September 2013: OU Anthropology graduate Dr. Elsbeth Dowd talks to NewsOK.com about Spiro artifacts on display at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

August 2013: The department extends a warm welcome to Dr. Jessica Blanchard. Dr. Blanchard joins us as a visiting lecturer for the coming year. She will also be taking over some undergraduate advising duties. Her research areas include Native North American ethnography, Health Disparities and Cancer Control, CBPR, Native Christianity, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Ethics in Applied Research, and Tribal Health Policy.

July 2013: The department is excited to welcome Dr. Robert Dreibelbis to our faculty! Dr. Dreibelbis, who trained at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is focused on international health issues, particularly social and behavioral interventions related to environmental health and development, and water and sanitation resources. His research sites have included Peru, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Jointly appointed between the Department of Anthropology and the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, Dr. Dreibelbis also holds a position with the OU WaTER Center. We look forward to his contributions to the department!

July 2013: Congratulations to Dr. Karl Rambo for being appointed as the new director of the Oklahoma Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program (OSLEP)! Dr. Rambo will continue to teach in the department, but because of his new duties will no longer be our undergraduate adviser. We wish Dr. Rambo the best of luck with this new and exciting position!

2012-13: Professor Lucas Bessire was one of only eight faculty in anthropology at all levels to be selected for a 2012-2013 Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship from Wenner Gren. That same year, he was the second faculty member in OU's history in any discipline to earn a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study (Mary-Jo Nye in 1981 was the other; the IAS, of course, is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading research institutions).

2012: Congratulations to Dr. Cecil Lewis for winning the Kinney-Sugg Outstanding Professor Award! The award recognizes instructors who are model teachers, recognized for dedication, effectiveness, and the ability to inspire students to high levels of achievement.