Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology Blog

Exhibit on Human Origins to be at Library Center May 9-June 2.

The Library Center is hosting a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian entitled “Exploring Human Origins: What Does it Mean to be Human?” from May 9-June 2. Dr. Richard Potts, a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian, will give a lecture on Monday, May 9 from 7-9 pm in the Library Center auditorium. Dr. Suzanne Walker-Pacheco from Missouri State and Dr. Erin Kenny from Drury will be leading discussions on subsequent days. See the attached story for a link to events.


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Osage Sites and Archaeology

Larry Grantham from the Missouri Department of Transportation will give a presentation entitled “Osage Sites and Archaeology: Cultural Change in the 17th-19th Centuries,” which will trace the Osage from “first contact” until 1825 when they left Missouri, at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, May 4, at the Center for Archaeological Research, 622 S. Kimbrough. The presentation is part of the monthly meeting of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society, but the public is invited.

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Student Anthropology Conference Thursday

The 18th Annual Student Anthropology Conference STAC will be held Thursday, April 14, beginning at 3:30 pm in Strong Hall 001. Students will be giving presentations on their research projects. Come out and support your friends peers, and fellow anthropology enthusiasts! Snacks and refreshments will be provided between sessions.

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Community Development in Bluefields, Jamaica

On Monday, April 11, at 5 pm in Strong Hall 407, Mr. Wolde Kristos, head of the Bluefields Peoples Community Association in Bluefields, Jamaica, will give a talk on his collaboration with Missouri State faculty and students on projects in his community, which include computer literacy, preschool education, tourism, archaeology, and marine ecology. A reception will follow. Sponsored by the Anthropology Club. The public is invited.

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Secrets of Kennewick Man

Dr. Owsley will also be giving a presentation at the annual spring meeting of the Missouri Archaeological Society in Springfield, Saturday, April 2, at 7:45 pm in the Maui Ballroom at the Ramada Plaza Hotel/Oasis Convention Center on 2546 N. Glenstone Ave. The title of this talk is “Secrets of Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” discovered in Washington State in 1996. Please RSVP to MAS at MAS@missouristate.edu or 417/836-3773 so they will know how may chairs to set up.

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Cannibalism in Jamestown

Dr. Douglas Owsley, noted forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Museum, will present a lecture on analysis of seventeenth-century skeletal remains from the historical settlement of Jamestown on Friday, April 1, at 7:00 pm in Carrington Hall room 208 on the Missouri State campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Refugees and Terrorism

The Anthropology Club is sponsoring a panel discussion on Refugees and Terrorism on Monday, February 29, from 5-6 pm in Strong Hall 407. Everyone is invited! Sarah Roither, a student who recently wrote a paper on refugees, will discuss her research, and Katie Webb, the leader of a local refugee resettlement group, will share her experiences.

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Racism in America: A Review by Tyler Golden


After the talk by Dr. Juanita Simmons on Tuesday night (February 9, 2016) titled, “Racism in America: Is it Better or Worse”, I was reminded of two things; first, symbols and language in society can have a powerful impact on people. A symbolic interactionist would say that reality is socially constructed through the use of symbols and language. These symbols and language give meaning and value to objects and people within society. In turn, meanings and values influence our interpretations of the world around us.

Dr. Simmons points out that our society has had many negative symbols related to the African-American community: from a time when African Americans were depicted as monkey-like humans with tails, and black-face minstrels, to the present day image of the prison population and police brutality. Modern symbols, she argues, continue to send the same message about African Americans. Second, I am reminded that we, as a community, need to reach out to individuals so that they no longer feel isolated by discrimination; we need to stand up against people who speak ill of the African American community in everyday life. The difference now lies with the younger generation, whose all-inclusive and integrated social relationships, (e.g. roommates, family, friends, children, etc.), can defy negative stereotypes.

I really liked Dr. Simmons’ acronym: SMILE (Stories Mend Intermingling Lives Everywhere). Maybe it’s time to utilize symbols to create a new inclusive community!

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