Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology Blog

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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Dr. “Katie” Hoegeman Shares about Her Research on Women Clergy


Dr. Katie Hoegeman shared about her research on women who become head clergy in religious dominations that ordain women at the College of Humanities and Public Affairs Faculty Forum on Thursday, September 18. A key finding was that between 2006 and 2012, for women who made it to a head pastor position, the were just as likely as men to be senior pastors, at congregations with other ministry staff. However, she also found that women tended to head smaller congregations than men and were less likely to lead suburban churches. Liberal and white-mainline (e.g., Episcopal) churches are also more likely to have female leaders than conservative churches. Dr. Hoegeman’s research highlights the innovative and progressive work being conducted by faculty and students in the Department of sociology and anthropology. If you are interested in her work, you can contact her at choegeman@missouristate.edu.

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New Study Away Opportunities

We should take some time to congratulate two of our faculty members who recently had their proposals accepted by the Study Away Programs office at Missouri State University. Dr. Wedenoja will be leading one entitled Reggae Island: The History and Culture of Jamaica, West Indies. The travel component of this program will be May 24 to June 6, 2015. Dr. Wedenoja has been working in Jamaica since the early 1970s and has led many student trips there. Dr. Worman is the director of a second study away program entitled Valles Caldera National Preserve Archaeology Field School. The travel component will be June 8 – July 10, 2015. This program will emphasize the challenges and opportunities associated with conducting archaeological research on public land.

Together, these programs represent at least two of the four fields of anthropology – cultural anthropology and archaeology – though they will likely touch on all four fields in one way or another. If you know of anyone who may be interested in these programs, contact Dr. Wedenoja at BillWedenoja@MissouiState.edu or Dr. Worman at FScottWorman@MissouriState.edu. Dr. Worman will also be joined by Dr. Wedenoja in leading the Bluefields Archaeology Field School in Jamaica from December 27, 2014 to January 10, 2015. Students will conduct archaeological research at historical and prehistoric sites in Bluefields with the goal of helping the local community build a program of heritage resources tourism

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Artifact Identification Day

The September meeting of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society will be held on Wednesday, September 3rd at 7:00 pm at the Center for Archaeological Research located at 622 S. Kimbrough. Our meeting will consist of an “Artifact Identification Day.” Individuals are encouraged to bring any unidentified prehistoric and historic artifacts to the meeting for identification as to artifact type and possible age.

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Making a Difference in the Springfield Community


Neighbor for neighbor BLOG, 8_15_14 --Robberson 047 (2) GROUP Volunteers

Dr. Mike Stout, Associate Professor of Sociology in the department of sociology and anthropology, organized the Neighbor for Neighbor tables and the community development survey at the Robberson and Weller Neighborhood Night Out events on Friday, August 22nd, sponsored by the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the City of Springfield.

Prior to the event, Dr. Stout held a training session on conducting  face-to face surveys at Missouri State University in the CASL department, after which the participants, including sociology students, faculty and staff,  were sent to the neighborhoods.  The survey’s focus was to determine each neighborhood’s need for community development projects such as the creation of green space whether in the form of a park or playground, the need for a community center, as well as the residents’ willingness to participate in the planning and implementation of the projects. Residents were also given the opportunity to provide ideas for additional areas of community improvement.  Approximately 50 surveys were completed at each event

Sociology Program Coordinator, John Harms, and Professor Tim Knapp were available at the information table for the Neighbor for Neighbor Program at each site to anyone who completed the survey and wanted additional information about the program.



Neighbor for neighbor BLOG, 8_25_14, Robberson 022 COOK OUT

The Neighbor for Neighbor table and survey were just a part of the Neighborhood Night Out event. Other activities open to residents and their children included informational booths, the Springfield-Greene County mobile library, tours of a fire truck and an ambulance, sidewalk games, and a cookout.  It was an opportunity to connect with neighbors, and friends—old, and new.

Neighbor for neighbor BLOG, 8_25_14--Robberson 037 (3) FACEPAINTING

Programs like this one are designed to help communities that are struggling to find ways of working together to achieve their goals and develop social capital. This program reflects the department’s goal of public outreach and building community.


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American Indian Studies

The first meeting of the American Indian Student Association for the 2014-2015 year will be held on Wednesday, September 3rd @ 5:30 pm in Strong 458 (Sociology & Anthropology Department Conference Room). We will be electing officers and making plans for future meetings.

In the past, the American Indian Student Association has been an informal gathering of like-minded people who want to promote American Indian culture, history, and leadership at Missouri State University. The focus has been largely on the PowWow for the past several years.

This year will mark the beginning of a new era. Regular meetings will be held, and events will be planned evenly throughout the year, instead of focusing all our efforts on Native American Heritage Month in November.

We’re planning field trips, guest speakers, games, and community involvement activities. Come join the fun!

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