Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology Blog

Dr. Bill Meadows Speaks to Acoma Nation of New Mexico


On November 9, 2014, Dr. William C. Meadows spoke at a Veteran’s Recognition Dinner at Acoma Community Center for the Pueblo of Acoma Pueblo, a native American nation located one hour west of Albuquerque in New Mexico. A special part of the event was the recognition of the late Sgt. Paul R. Histia who was in a “radio net” of Native American Code Talkers, made up of individuals from several tribes, in the Army Air Corps, V Bomb Command, during World War II. Histia and other Native Americans used their native languages to conduct bombing raids throughout New Guinea and the Philippines. Part of Dr. Meadow’s research focuses on Native American Code Talkers from over 30 tribes that have used their native language in the United States Military during World Wars I and II. As part of the Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008, which Meadow’s research and testimony helped to pass, Histia was recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal in 2013.




meadows1, fall 2014


pueblo-of-acoma-tribe-code-talkers-bronze-medal-art-movie-poster-prints meadows2, fall 2014







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Information Sessions on Summer Trip to Jamaica

Anthropology and History will jointly offer a summer (May) two-week Study Away adventure to Jamaica, focusing on the history and culture of the island. Two information sessions on this trip are scheduled for next week: Wednesday November 19 10:10-11:00 am in Strong 250 and Thursday November 20 2:00-2:50 pm in Strong 404. For more information please contact Dr. Wedenoja or Dr. Abidogun.



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Reflections on History Museum Internship

flavin fall 2014 internship picture
Amanda Flavin at her History Museum on the Square internship

Amanda Flavin, a senior in the anthropology program with a museum studies minor, envisions a future that includes working for the Field Museum in Chicago. In the meantime, she is archiving collections, verifying the inventory lists of the current collections to the corresponding catalog card, and helping put together and exhibit that will open in late November, as part of her current internship with the History Museum on the Square, Springfield, Missouri, for her minor. She recently worked on the museum’s annual fundraisers. The first was held in September to unveil the new Fox Theater sign, and the second was The Haunted Tours in October. She credits anthropology professor, Dr. Elizabeth Sobel, for putting her in touch with the museum.

“I couldn’t be happier that I got this opportunity to work with Joan Hampton-Porter, and the staff at the museum. This internship has already helped me narrow down my interests to exhibit set up, and object conservation,” says Amanda. She hopes the experience she has gained from this internship will help her get another internship in the spring of 2015 that will further her skills in museum work.

The History Museum on the Square has two upcoming exhibits: Windows at the Fox and Then and Now: Downtown for Christmas. Both exhibits open in November.Amanda will graduate in May, and hopes to take a year or two off before she pursues a Master’s degree.

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Archaeology presentation

Florice Pearce will give a presentation on her master’s research “A Study of the Plentiful Ivy Site and Other Selected Upland Sites in Southern Missouri” at the monthly meeting of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society, Wednesday, November 5, at 7:00 pm at the University’s Center for Archaeological Research, 622 S. Kimbrough. For more information please call the Center at 836-5363. The public is invited.

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A Summary of Rick Roger’s Practicum, Presented in Fall 2014

My research expands the current body of knowledge of what life was like for prehistoric people living in the Ozarks Province as it concerns subsistence practices between the Middle Archaic and Terminal Prehistoric periods 6700 to 400 Radio Carbon Years Before Present (RCYBP). The primary data for my research is an archaeofaunal assemblage excavated from Skull Cave (Ray 2011) located in Lawrence County, Missouri. I used archaeofaunal data from test excavations at Skull Cave (23LA1310) and compared it to archaeofaunal samples from five other sheltered sites in the southwestern Ozarks to make comparisons between prehistoric people that lived at Skull Cave to groups of other prehistoric people living in the Ozarks Province. Specifically, this research seeks to understand the variation of archaeofaunal material found at sheltered sites in southwest Missouri. This study addressed the following research questions:

• How many spRogers Skull Caveecies are represented in the Skull Cave sample?
• Which species are most prevalent in the sample, and what does this tell us about the people that occupied Skull Cave?
• Are there temporal trends in species diversity among sheltered sites located in the Ozarks?

Based on the available sample of faunal data, I suggest that the faunal remains from Skull Cave are the result of hunter-gatherers  practicing a localized foraging strategy designed to target deer populations as a staple food resource and smaller game as buffer  resources. The Late Archaic period (4500 to 3000 RCYBP) in southwest Missouri saw a return to climatic conditions favoring the  previous forest/prairie environment. With this climatic shift, there would have been more “edge areas” that provided deer and other  ungulates with the niche spaces they require to survive.




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Cherokee Stickball

The Cherokee Nighthawks stickball team from Tahlequah, Oklahoma will be demonstrating the Native game of stickball Monday, November 3, at 3pm on the lawn north of Strong Hall.

Come, Learn, and Play!

Sponsored by the Missouri Native American Heritage Month Program and the Missouri Native American Student Association (AISA).

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Peace Corps is Coming to Missouri State

Peace Corps seeks applicants to fill assignments around the world. As a volunteer, you will make a difference in the lives of others by helping a community in need and gain valuable cross-cultural skills that will make you a better citizen of the world.

Career Fair Info Table Tuesday, October 21, 10am — 2pm, PSU Ballroom

Info Table in Strong Hall atrium, Friday, October 24, 10am-2pm

Info Session Friday October 24, 10am-2pm, Strong 205

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Reflections on MAAAS by Ashley Riley*

I had the pleasure of attending the 20th anniversary conference of the Mid-American Alliance for African Studies (MAAAS) this weekend with Dr. Margaret Buckner. Professors Jamaine Abidogun and Bukola Oyeniyi from the Department of History were also in attendance. This two-day conference was held at the University of Kansas and was sponsored by the Kansas African Studies Center. It drew Africanists from throughout the Midwest, from as far away as Texas, Michigan, and Indiana. MAAAS is the only organization that promotes African studies in the region and has members from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. As Applied Anthropology is interdisciplinary, I found it particularly interesting to hear presentations by a scholars from a variety of different fields.

Dr. Buckner’s presentation, “An Instance of African Modernity: Manjako Age Sets Make History,” focused on the changing Manjako age sets in Guinea Bissau. Dr. Oyeniyi presented a biography of Ade-Ajayi, a Nigerian historian, highlighting his contributions to the study of African history. Dr. Abidogun chaired a panel discussion with eight visiting scholars from the Nigeria Public Affairs Program (in collaboration with Missouri State) on “The Role of Extended Family in Faising Children with Special Needs: Implications for Community-Based Rehabilitation in Africa.” She also presented a portion of her Fulbright research entitled “Strengthening Gender Research to Improve Girls’ and Women’s Education in Nigeria.”


* Ashley Riley is a graduate student in the applied anthropology graduate program and Missouri State University

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Cool, Adaptive Reuse in San Francisco: Reflections on the 2014 American Sociological Association Meetings, Part II by Lyle Foster*


Saturday afternoon offered a great opportunity to explore San Francisco beyond the convention hotel and downtown corridor. I met a friend and promptly pronounced that I wanted to walk San Francisco, to see and explore the sights of the great American city. After some brisk walking, we came across one of the coolest neighborhoods of our urban tour: Hayes Valley. Many people will recall that an earthquake, dubbed “Loma Prieta”, impacted this area San Francisco in 1989. The elevated Central Freeway section of U. S. 101 was damaged and eventually demolished.

It is interesting to observe how neighborhoods rebuild after catastrophic events. Hayes Valley is an area that made careful and deliberate decisions with regard to rebuilding the community. While much of the area is trendy with boutiques, bars and restaurants, there are other parts of the region that have been redeveloped in a different way altogether.
The picture included with this blog post shows a portion of the “Proxy Project”, built as a temporary placeholder on vacant lots owned by the city, on Octavia Street, which represents the innovative reuse of existing materials. A successful example of a collection of food trucks and converted shipping containers with a common seating area yields a great neighborhood hangout.

Most of us are familiar with the transformation of shipping containers into interesting structures. In Hayes Valley a strategic corner has become the location for an ice cream shop, coffee bar, bike shop and German beer garden.

The lower costs of these objects are perfect for new restaurant and retail concepts. San Francisco Bay is a major port, so shipping containers are readily available, and reasonably priced, making them more affordable than the traditional construction methods for commercial buildings. The containers are outfitted with electricity and plumbing– and sliding doors lock the spaces up tight at night.

The earthquake and resulting devastation might have resulted in this neighborhood’s demise, or its rebirth. It is pretty clear what happened: a rebirth, utilizing new ways of thinking about urban life. Since my visit, I’ve researched this concept in depth. I wonder if this might work in the Queen City. It certainly works well in the city on the Bay!

* Lyle Foster is an instructor of sociology and has shared his recent experiences at the American Sociological Association meetings in San Francisco, California in August.

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Archaeology talk

The October meeting of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society will be held on Wednesday, October 1st at 7:00 pm at the Center for Archaeological Research located at 622 S. Kimbrough.
Rick Rogers (Masters candidate in the Applied Anthropology Program at MSU) will discuss the findings of his study of faunal remains from Skull Cave in Lawrence County and other sheltered sites in the western Ozarks. The title of his talk is “From the Eyes of Skull Cave: A Study of Archaeofaunal Species Diversity among Sheltered Sites in the Ozarks Province.”

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