From the desk of Co-Editors: Dr. Amy Michael and Dr. Sara WithersThe 2020-2021 academic year was a challenging one—mask-wearing, social and physical distancing, hybrid courses, online classrooms and Zoom meetings. Traditional forms of learning and research were reimagined, and faculty and students learned to be flexible with the design and implementation of classwork and research projects. The submissions in this edition of Spectrum, however, showcase the resiliency and creativeness of our students as they negotiated this pandemic year, the continued excellence in our students’ scholarship, as well as their ongoing commitment to engaging with both academic and real-world ideas and problems as students of anthropology. We are excited to note that the six sections in this edition of Spectrum are wide-ranging and reflect the diversity of the courses we offer, as well as the variety of topics and ideas our students grapple with. The work you see here was produced in many different levels of the department’s course offerings—from introductory-level surveys to upper-level capstones. In addition, multiple sub-fields of the discipline are represented in this issue, including projects and research in cultural anthropology, forensic anthropology, Native American and Indigenous studies, applied anthropology, and archaeology. Impressively, the submissions also clearly convey the ways in which these student scholars draw on and utilize multiple forms of media to communicate their ideas and perspectives to their readers—through written essays, original artwork, website creation, Story Mapping, and films.
Section 1: NAIS 400: Native American and Indigenous StudiesWith his multi-media project, N’dakinna: Our Homeland...Still--Additional Examples of Abenaki Presence in New Hampshire, Michael Harris examines the continued presence and survival of Abenaki place names—and culture—in New Hampshire. Drawing on his Geography background, Harris created an ArcGIS Story Map to emphasize the close connection between place, landscapes, and historic and present-day indigenous communities and peoples in New Hampshire.
Section 2: ANTH 550: Forensic AnthropologyOlivia Jackman and Lauren Hunter explore the West Mesa Murders in Albuquerque, NM in their comprehensive website. Incorporating the themes learned in their forensic anthropology course, Jackman and Hunter lay out the facts about forensic identification of these marginalized victims. The perpetrator has yet to be apprehended, so these students make use of the reach of the internet to raise awareness. Dan Magelinski created original artwork that explores the recovery and analysis of unidentified remains recovered in 2004. Through oil paint on canvas, Magelinski highlighted the identifying features of the individual as well as the recovery scene and context clues. In his pieces, the themes of the class (specifically those focused on identification) come through: skeletal trauma, search and recovery, individualizing clothing, and forensic analysis.
Section 3: ANTH 611: History of Anthropological TheoryDrawing on a selection of materialist theorists, in her paper, Structure versus Agency Through a Materialist Lens, Alyssa Moreau explores the power of social and structural forces to determine individual agency and choice. In questioning our cultural assumptions about individual agency, Moreau sheds light on the way in which a deeper understanding of this relationship between structure and agency might lead to a more empathetic understanding of people’s situations.
Section 4: ANTH 650: Anthropology of Migration and Human MovementIn her paper, Intent and Impact: How State and International Policy Affects Internaly Displaced Peoples in African Countries, Kyana Burgess examines the various ways in which national and international programs and policies regarding Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in two countries in Africa—Somalia and Ethiopia. In addition to thinking critically about what has worked (or not) in these two locations, Burgess also begins to consider future ways forward in dealing with IDPs on a regional scale.
Section 5: ANTH 797: Archaeology of Power and IdentityMorgan Martin, in her paper, Materializing and Embodying Sex and Gender: Interpreting Gender and Sex Variance in Iron Age Pre-Roman and Roman Britain Mortuary Contexts, wields a Feminist lens to critically examine the ways in which material and osteological remains are analyzed in regards to assumptions about sex and gender. Martin argues that researchers must be aware of—and move beyond—binary assumptions about sex and gender variance when looking at the archaeological and bioarchaeological records from pre-Roman and Roman burial sites in Britain. Shannon McKelvey, with Embodying Power and Agency in Ancient Egypt: Manifestations of the Self and Society through Artifacts and Religious Beliefs, discusses the power of embodiment and object agency in ancient Egypt. In particular, McKelvey focuses mummification, healing statues and false door architectural structures in tombs to explore how they influenced and reflect ancient Egyptian practices and cultural understandings surrounding bodies, ideas about the self, and one's place within the broader social system. In Moving Toward Ethical Treatment of African American Heritage, Kailey Parker examines the treatment of African and African American Heritage sites like unmarked and historical burial grounds to critique best practices of archaeology when handling African American Heritage. In this entry, case studies involving the relationships between descendent communities and archaeologists at the New York African Burial Ground are drawn upon to discuss the history of discrimination and racialization of African and African Americans, as well as steps taken in the present to establish ethical practices.
Section 6: Spotlight on SVICAs a semester-long project in the Spring of 2021, students in ANTH 612: Applied Anthropology developed submissions for UNH’s Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) contest, which encourages students to design novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions to society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. For this Applied Anthropology project, partners chose a problem within the UNH community, researched the background and details of the issue, as well as the perspectives of relevant stakeholders, and then proposed a solution that met the needs of the people involved. While the official UNH contest takes place in the fall, at the end of the semester, groups produced a 3-minute film (check back for links to the films!) and a brief summary (below) that “pitched” their idea to a panel of outside judges.
Alyssa Moreau and Oriah Milne—Be Green, Wildcats!
Morgan Martin and Hunter Madore—UNH Recycling Revolution
Zachary Loesch and Jodi Bezanson—Mask Up, Harm Down!
Darrik Bellefeuille and Hannah McCoy—Discord: A Modern Voice Service for a Modern Problem
Madeline Bronson and Michael Lindsey—Plant Power at the University of New Hampshire
Structure Versus Agency Through a Materialist Lens
Discord: A Modern Voice Service for a Modern Problem
Darrik Bellefeuille and Hannah McCoy