College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Deborah E. Moon, M.A.

Senior Lecturer

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Research in Progress

I am interested in the construction and ritual use of public spaces as memorialization sites of death.  My particular area of focus explores the roadside descansos of South Texas, where personal material culture is placed and ritually engaged to commemorate a person at the roadway site of her or his death.  More recently, my interest considers the tensions and intersections between traditionally crafted materials and the emergence of commercially appropriated memorial objects manufactured for descanso sites.  The tensions between the individual and the commercial expose the potential de-personalization of descanso memorialization and influence how constructors engage, process, and view the site of death.

Degrees

M.A., University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008

Teaching

I teach upper- and lower-level undergraduate courses.  My courses include four-field, linguistic, and cultural anthropology as well as topical courses in ritual and symbol; folklore and folklife; sex, gender, and sexuality; Indians of the Great Plains; and ceremonial practices of Native North Americans.  I also advise undergraduate students as the Undergraduate Advisor of Record.

Luca Pozzi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: luca.pozzi@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7558

Office: Main Building 3.456

Research in Progress

My research centers on primate biodiversity and conservation. The rapid environmental and climatic changes induced by human activity are the primary factors responsible for the decline of biodiversity in recent decades. As most forest-dwelling animals, primates are particularly susceptible to this change, and the number of species under threat or critically endangered is constantly increasing. A better understanding of the drivers that shaped biodiversity in the past can provide critical information to interpret and predict how wild populations may respond to present and future changes.

The main goals of my work are to 1) document primate biodiversity, 2) explore the dynamics of diversification, such as the ecological and evolutionary driving factors that shape diversification in time and space, and 3) understand how primates respond to human-induced environmental and climatic change. To address these questions I use a multidisciplinary approach that draws from phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics, comparative methods, biogeography, and behavioral ecology.

Degrees

Ph.D., New York University, 2013

Teaching

My commitment as a teacher is to bring the interdisciplinary approach I use in my own research to the class. I develop curricula and pedagogical practices that draw from multiple fields within and outside science. This approach allows me to stimulate students’ curiosity and make science more approachable. In all my classes, I promote the development of scientific thinking through active problem-solving.

As an evolutionary anthropologist and as a teacher I have three main learning goals for these students: 1) to cultivate a genuine interest in science and to develop an understanding of the scientific method; 2) to understand fundamentals of biology and to confront common misconceptions in anthropology and evolutionary biology; and 3) to reduce “science anxiety” and to relate biology concepts to their lives and fields of study. Whether in small classes or large, all of my pedagogical strategies are dedicated to engage the students in discussions about the debates and controversies animating the field of anthropology and evolutionary biology, and to stimulate a life-time curiosity about science.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and PhD students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: primate conservation and population genetics; phylogenetics and comparative methods; species boundaries in cryptic species; habitat fragmentation and 
primates responses to human-induced environmental change. Current areas of focus are sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. 

Recent Publications

2016 – Pozzi L. The role of forest expansion and contraction in species diversification among galagos (Primates: Galagidae). Journal of Biogeography, 43: 1930–1941

2015 – Pozzi L, Nekaris KAI, Perkin A, Bearder SK, Pimley ER, Schulze H, Streicher U, Nadler T, Kitchener A, Zischler H, Zinner D, Roos C. Remarkable ancient divergences amongst neglected Lorisiform primates. Zoological Journal of Linnean Society, 175: 661-674

2014 – Pozzi L, Disotell TR, Masters JC. A multilocus phylogeny reveals deep lineages within African galagids (Primates: Galagidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14:72.

2014 – Pozzi L, Hodgson JA, Burrell AS, Sterner KN, Raaum RL, Disotell TR. Primate phylogenetic relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 75: 165-183.

2014 – Pozzi L, Bergey CM, Burrell AS. The use (and misuse) of phylogenetic trees in comparative behavioral analyses. International Journal of Primatology, 35: 32-54.

Additional Information

Learn more at http://www.lucapozzi.me/

Patrick Gallagher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: patrick.gallagher@utsa.edu

Office: MH 4.03.26

Research in Progress

My research examines the cultural politics of nature and environmental conservation. It is a research agenda animated by classically anthropological concerns with the relationship between nature and culture, and how these categories come to be made and enforced in social life. I further the anthropological practice of reading across perceived cultural domains to consider how the production of nature is inextricably linked to other cultural modes of difference and categorization such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. More specifically, I am interested in how nature comes to be produced through the symbolic and material practices of the sciences of ecology and economics and how these practices come to naturalize economic and social geographies that are the outcomes of deeply uneven social and political histories. My recent work has addressed these questions through ethnographic research in coastal Belize concerned with how scientists and citizens developed tools for articulating and representing the value of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Degrees

PhD, Stanford University, 2015

Teaching

Successful work in anthropology requires learning to hear the voices of others—to seek out and interpret narratives that offer diverse alternatives for making meaning in the world. As a teacher, I provide students with the methods to engage in this anthropological tradition, and we begin to use and understand these methods through our most basic classroom practices. My pedagogy then is intimately linked to my approach to research in anthropology. It emphasizes careful, empathic listening; the development of a theoretical toolkit for meaningful interpretation; and a commitment to the craft and practice of writing for the broad sharing of ideas. In my classroom we work to develop the capacity to listen to others and to communicate in a way so that others will then listen—not just as a mere social nicety, but also as a fundamental anthropological method and as a tangible commitment to supporting diverse ideas.

I teach courses and mentor students in cultural anthropology, environmental anthropology, science and technology studies, political anthropology and the anthropology of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.

Recent Publications

2014 – Gallagher, Patrick and Danielle DiNovelli-Lang. “Nature and Knowledge—Contemporary Ecologies of Value.” Environment and Society. Vol. 5.

2012 – Broadbent, Eben N., Angélica M. Almeyda Zambrano, Rodolfo Dirzo, William H. Durham, Laura Driscoll, Patrick Gallagher, Rosalyn Salters, Jared Schultz, Angélica Colmenares, Shannon G. Randololph. “The effect of land use change and ecotourism on biodiversity: A case study of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, from 1985-2008. Landscape Ecology. 27(5): 731-744.

Jason Yaeger, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: jason.yaeger@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7966

Office: MH 4.03.38B

Research in Progress

I am an anthropological archaeologist who studies Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations, particularly the Maya and Inka. My research interests include the organization of ancient households and communities, urbanism, landscapes and environments, the relationship between climate change and culture change, material culture and identity, ethnohistory, the politics of archaeological research, and Maya epigraphy and iconography.

Much of my research has sought to understand the organization of Classic Maya rural communities and the practices, institutions, and constructs that linked rural householders into extra-community socio-political entities. I have surveyed the countryside in Belize's Mopan River valley, mapped hundreds of houses and agricultural terraces, and excavated several rural houses in detail. My investigations also have taken me to the larger centers like Xunantunich, where I excavated monumental temples and palaces. My current research project focuses on documenting the changing relationships between Xunantunich and the rival center of Buenavista and understanding how competition between these two polities impacted the people who lived in the intervening countryside.

I have directed two other projects recenty that addressed broadly similar questions but in different contexts. The multi-disciplinary San Pedro Maya Project combined archival research, oral histories, and archaeological investigations to understand how Maya immigrants from Mexico were incorporated into colonial British Honduras in the 19th century. The Tiwanaku Inka Settlement Program examined how the Inka Empire reconfigured sacred space at the ancient city of Tiwanaku to fit their religion and world view and to legitimize their dominion over their provinces.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2000

Teaching

I enjoy teaching, and I use a variety of media and methods to teach students what we know about the past, how we know it, and how it can help us understand ourselves and the world around us. My research strengthens my teaching, as I bring to the classroom the most recent interpretations and data from my research, as well as first-hand accounts of fieldwork and the process of interpreting archaeological data. I teach a variety of courses, from large introductory lecture courses, to small graduate and undergraduate seminars, and a summer archaeological field school in Belize. These include introductory courses on archaeology and more advanced courses on Maya and Mesoamerican civilizations, ancient complex societieis, indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, and the ethnohistory and historical archaeology of New Spain.

Recent Publications

2010 - Classic Maya Provincial Politics: Xunantunich and Its Hinterlands, edited by Lisa J. LeCount and Jason Yaeger. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

2010 - The San Pedro Maya and the British Colonial Enterprise in British Honduras: 'We may have a perfectly harmless and well affected inhabitant turned into a designing and troublesome neighbor'. Minette C. Church, Jason Yaeger, and Jennifer Doman. In The Archaeology of 'Backsliders, Rebels, and Idolaters': Reconsidering Indigenous Resistance to Spanish Colonialism, edited by Matthem Liebmann and Melissa S. Murcphy. School of Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe.

2009 - Complex Ecologies: Human and Animal Responses to Ancient Landscape change in Central Belize. Jason Yaeger and Carolyn Freiwald. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 6:82-91.

2008 - The Collapse of Maya Civilization: Assessing the Interaction of Culture, Climate, and Environment. Jason Yaeger and David Hodell. In El Niño, Catastrophism, and Culture Change in Ancient America, edited by Daniel H. Sandweiss and Jeffrey Quilter, pp. 197-251. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC.

2000 - The Archaeology of Communities: A New World Perspective, edited by Marcelo A. Canuto and Jason Yaeger. Routledge Press, London.

Laura Jane Levi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: laura.levi@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5709

Office: MH 4.02.76

Research in Progress

My research explores place making among the ancient Maya. Place making involves a culling of the environment, a crafting of objects, and a bringing together of things and people in the world. It is fundamentally a material process, one that is on-going and generative. The focus of my research is the community. Ancient Maya communities spanned markedly different kinds of physical environments and they also possessed different kinds of leaders and different kinds of families. Yet, in my work, people’s ties to family, land, and leadership have proven to be the three fundamental constants in Maya place making.

For several field seasons, my students and I have been investigating these themes at the site of Wari Camp in northwestern Belize. Wari Camp is a large site at the eastern margins of the Programme for Belize conservation area. Early work developed an understanding of basic organizational units within the ancient community (households, neighborhoods, and wards) and their environmental associations. Recently, we have directed our attention to one ward, in particular – the Northern Satellite – where we have found a concentration of ritual features including intercardinally-aligned eastern shrine groups and pathway markers. The ward, itself, was connected to site center by a road engineered within a massive drainage system. 

Specific Research Problems: 1) Ritual Process. We have begun systematic exploration of the ritual features in Wari Camp’s Northern Satellite. We suspect that the eastern shrine groups there were home to prominent families of ritual practitioners and the intercardinal alignments probably marked out processional pathways. 2) Institutional Action. We continue to study sources of household variation and the basic functioning of Wari Camp’s neighborhoods and wards. We are especially interested in the roles played by households, neighborhoods, and wards in provisioning both local and exotic resources. 3) Economies of Movement. Wari Camp spanned a vast, ecologically diverse territory consisting of flat riverine floodplains, steep escarpment terraces, and heavily dissected escarpment uplands. We now have evidence for intensive agrarian regimes within the floodplains and down the escarpment terraces. We also are amassing evidence for other kinds of productive activities. The ability to bring labor to sites of production and products to sites of consumption would have been of critical importance to community leaders and community members, alike. We therefore have inaugurated a multi-scalar study of the material, experiential, and cognized dimensions of movement at Wari Camp.

Degrees

Ph.D. The University of Arizona, 1993

Teaching

My teaching stresses the importance of linking data and theory, and the central role played by material culture in social process. Trained as a four-field anthropologist, my undergraduate anthropology courses span three of the discipline’s subfields. At the graduate level, I teach two required courses (History, Method, and Theory of Archaeology and Ecological Anthropology) and several electives (including Landscape and Settlement and The Archaeology of Household and Residence).

Prospective students: Wari Camp offers many productive avenues of research for new students. In addition to a variety of different kinds of artifact analyses, students can find suitable thesis and dissertation topics in field studies of terrain modifications, agrarian technologies, household economies, and ritual practices (to name just a few possibilities). 

Recent Publications

2003 - "Space and the limits to community." In Perspectives on Ancient Maya Rural Complexity, edited by G. Iannone and S. Connell, pp. 82-93. The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles.

2002 - An institutional perspective on prehispanic Maya residential variation: settlement and community at San Estevan, Belize. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 21:120-141.

Robert J. Hard, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: robert.hard@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7409

Office: MH 4.04.32

Research in Progress

I think some of the most important questions in anthropology revolve around the adoption and spread of farming, as the development of a plant producing economy is fundamental to many later cultural changes. I pursue related issues in Northern Mexico, the American Southwest, and Texas, which contain a diversity of ecological settings and archaeological records of past hunter-gatherer and early farming societies. Our work in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico documented rapid and early adoption of farming in the form of a hilltop defensive settlement known as Cerro Juanaqueña. In contrast, on the Texas Coastal Plain, our stable isotope studies have demonstrated a long record of hunter-gatherer adaptations involving the intensive use of aquatic resources. Currently, we are working in southern Chihuahua attempting to understand the adoption of farming in this little known region that lies near northern boundary of Mesoamerica.

Find more at Dr. Hard's website.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1986

Teaching

My teaching at the freshman and sophomore levels gives students the opportunity to alter their view of the world through the use of an anthropological lens, particularly in Introduction to Anthropology (Ant 1013). In Introduction to Archaeology (Ant 2043) we examine the methods and insights gained from studying long-term changes in ancient societies. At the junior and senior level students are exposed to the details of the archaeological records of North America (Ant 3263) and the American Southwest and Northwest Mexico (Ant 4423). At the graduate level, I want students to meet the multitude of challenges to enable them to design and conduct their own archaeological research.

Recent Publications

2008 - Exploring Texas Archaeology with a Model of Intensification. Amber L. Johnson and Robert J. Hard. Plains Anthropologist 53:205:137-153.

2008 - "The Emergence of Maize Farming in Northwestern Mexico." Robert J. Hard, Karen R. Adams, John R. Roney, Kari M. Schmidt and Gayle J. Fritz. In Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology, second edition, edited by Elizabeth J. Reitz, C. Margaret Scarry and Sylvia J. Scudder, pp. 315-333. Springer, New York.

2007 - "Cerros de Trincheras in Northwestern Chihuahua: The Arguments for Defense." Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. In Trincheras Sites in Time, Space and Society, edited by Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, and M. Elisa Villalpando, pp 11-52. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

1998 - A Massive Terraced Village Complex in Chihuahua, Mexico, 3000 Years Before Present. Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney,. Science. Vol 279:1661-1664.

Jamon A. Halvaksz, II, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: jamon.halvaksz@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5872

Office: MH 4.03.24

Research in Progress

As an environmental anthropologist, I am especially interested in locations of development and change where competing values of nature and resource management practices are at play. My long-term fieldwork among the Biangai of Papua New Guinea, for example, has focused on mining, conservation, and agricultural strategies. This context affords me the opportunity to both engage theoretical debates within anthropology and the social sciences as well as address issues of great importance for the lives of the people with whom I work. More recently, I have begun a multi-year project examining agricultural changes as a gloss for the sorts of transformations that industrial mining has on land and labor relations. But I am also in the early stages of developing research that extends out from my initial studies both regionally to a wider Pacific and topically to other sites of resource management in South Texas.

Find more at Dr. Halvaksz's website.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2005

Teaching

My teaching interests focus on various aspects of environmental anthropology including ecological anthropology, political ecology, human-animal relations, science and technology studies, as well as more general course work on the history and practice of ethnographic research. Teaching is also about mentoring students through the complexity of degree requirements and fostering intellectual interests. I am certainly interested in advising students with similar interests at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Prospective graduate students should feel free to contact me with any questions prior to submitting their applications.

Recent Publications

2013 - Halvaksz, Jamon. "Mining the Forest: Epical and Novelesque Boundaries along the Upper Bulolo" In Uncomfortable Bedfellows?: Exploring the Contradictory Natures of the Ecotourism/Extraction Nexus. N. Davidov and B. Buscher (eds). Routledge. 

2013 - Halvaksz, Jamon. The Taste of Public Places: Terroir in Papua New Guinea’s emerging nation. Anthropological Forum 23(2):142-157

2010 - Halvaksz, Jamon. The Photographic Assemblage: Duration, History and Photography in Papua New Guinea. Anthropology and History 21(4):411-429.

2008 - Halvaksz, Jamon. Whose Closure?: Appearances, Temporality and Mineral Extraction along the Upper Bulolo River, Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 14: 21-37

2007 - Halvaksz, Jamon. Cannabis and Fantasies of Development: Revaluing Relations through Land in Rural Papua New Guinea. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 18(1): 56-71.

Daniel J. Gelo, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: daniel.gelo@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-4075

Office: MH 4.01.23

Research in Progress

My research concerns the way that humans express their thoughts, feelings, and values through various cultural activities, including ritual, myth, social organization, music, dance, dress, and language, especially the nomenclature and classification of animals, plants, and landscape. These interests unfold in a program of study addressing cultural documentation, cultural stasis and change, and identity maintenance among American Indians. My research program uses the theories, methods, and techniques of cognitive anthropology, structural and symbolic analysis, discourse analysis, linguistics, ethnomusicology, visual anthropology, and ethnohistory. Since 1982 I have been conducting ethnographic fieldwork and archival research with the Comanches, a Plains Indian society living in southwest Oklahoma. I have also done fieldwork in four Texas Indian communities: the Tiguas of Ysleta, the Alabama-Coushattas in Polk County, the Kickapoos of Eagle Pass and Nacimiento, Coahuila, and urban Indians of Dallas and San Antonio. Current research projects include an extended study of Comanche religious ideology, translation and annotation of nineteenth-century Comanche lexicons, and analysis of some newly-discovered photographs from Fort Sill, Indian Territory and Fort Griffin, Texas circa 1870.

Degrees

Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1986

Teaching

I enjoy teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in general and cultural anthropology. I have also taught in the UTSA Honors and American Studies programs, and supervised several honors and master’s theses. Courses include Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Topics in American Studies: Indians of Texas, Ritual and Symbol, Indians of the Great Plains, Anthropology of American Culture, Folklore and Folklife, The Fieldwork Experience, Ethnographic Film, and Paradigms of Americanist Anthropology.

Recent Publications

in press           Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier. Daniel J. Gelo and Christopher J. Wickham. Texas A&M University Press.

in press           “Two Episodes in Texas Indian History Reconsidered.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly.
 
2013                “A Metal Arrowhead from Coryell County, Texas.” Plains Anthropologist 58:79-95.
 
2009                Daniel J. Gelo and Lawrence T. Jones III, “Photographic Evidence for Southern Plains Armor.” Visual Anthropology Review 25:49-65.

K. Jill Fleuriet, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: jill.fleuriet@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5721

Office: MH 4.03.22

Research in Progress

I am a cultural, medical anthropologist with expertise in the qualitative analysis of health and health care inequalities in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Broadly, I consider health, health care and illness from political economic and feminist perspectives. I am particularly interested in the production of health and health care inequalities within the context of transnationalism, biomedical hegemony, and identity. Originally from Harlingen, Texas, I have two primary research areas of interest: 1) reproductive health and health care among immigrant women from Mexico and Hispanic women living in the borderlands of South Texas; and 2) applied projects on Hispanic health disparities in San Antonio and the Texas-Mexico border. My applied work in reproductive health and health care is interdisciplinary with sociology, and I collaborate with community organizations on programming to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Rebecca Galema (U Denver), Nikky Greer (Temple U), and Sallie Han (SUNY - Oneonta), and I are conducting web-based research on carework/giving experiences among academic anthropologists as part of our larger Carework in the Academy initiative in the American Anthropological Association. Finally, my current, long term ethnographic project in the borderlands of South Texas considers how ideas of place shape leaders' initiatives to promote community health and well-being. 

Find more at Dr. Fleuriet's website.

Degrees

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2003

Teaching

At the undergraduate level, I teach across levels, including Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, The Field Experience, Medical Anthropology, Applied Anthropology, and Death & Dying. In the Summer of 2017, Dr. Michael Muehlenbein and I will offer a multi-sited research and service learning course on health and the environment in San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and Guadalajara, Mexico. At the graduate level, I teach Medical Anthropology, Theory in Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of the Body, and Teaching Anthropology. I advise students conducting research in medical anthropology, immigration, and identity, social justice and community-based movements in South Texas.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and doctoral students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: U.S-Mexico borderlands, northern Mexico, and the South Texas region; gender, carework/giving, and reproduction; well-being; health inequalities; chronic illness; aging; and applied medical anthropology.

Current students:

PhD: Milena Melo
MA: Victoria Benavidez, Amanda Gagliano, Timothy Gutierrez, May Mzayek, Jess Reid

Recent Publications

Cantu, Adelita G. and  K. Jill Fleuriet
In review. “Making the Ordinary More Extraordinary:” Exploring Creativity as a Health Promotion Practice Among Older Adults in a Community-Based Professionally-Taught Arts Program.
 
Fleuriet, K. Jill and Heide Castañeda
In review. A Risky Place? Media and the Health Landscape in the (In)secure U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. 
 
Corona, Itzel, Romo, Harriet, and K. Jill Fleuriet 
In review. Mothering Experiences of Immigrant Women in Detention Centers in the United States.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and T. S. Sunil
2016. Stress, Pregnancy, and Motherhood: Implications for Birth Weights in the Borderlands of Texas. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(3) http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/maq.12324

Melo, Milena and K. Jill Fleuriet
2016.  “Who Has the Right to Health Care and Why? Immigration, Health Care Policy, and Incorporation.” In Mexican Migration to the United States: Perspectives From Both Sides of the Border, Eds. H. Romo & O. Mongollon-Lopez. Austin: University of Texas Press. Chapter 8.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and T. S. Sunil
2015.  Reproductive Habitus, Psychosocial Health, and Birth Weight Variation in Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Women in South Texas. Social Science & Medicine 138:102-109.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and T. S. Sunil
2015.  Social Status, Mental and Psychosocial Health, and Birth Weight Differences in Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Women. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 17(6):1781-90.

Laura Eichelberger, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: laura.eichelberger@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5722

Office: MH 4.04.50

Research in Progress

I combine critical medical anthropology and political ecology perspectives and use ethnographic and epidemiologic methods to connect problems related to economic and environmental sustainability to specific health outcomes at different life stages and historical time periods. Through these lenses, I examine the interplay between health, power, and socio-environmental changes over time. Throughout, I am interested in how people make sense of experiences of structural vulnerability and health disparities through political, economic, and cultural frameworks.

My current research examines the political ecology of water insecurity and related health outcomes, and efforts to address health disparities in Native American/Alaska Native communities. I am continuing my research on water insecurity, energy issues, and the politics of sustainability in Arctic Alaska amid the increasing effects of climate change. I am also engaged in research that combines qualitative and epidemiologic data to examine issues around structural vulnerability, cancer, and the environment.

Degrees

Ph.D., U of Arizona, 2011
MPH, Johns Hopkins U, 2012

Recent Publications

2014 - Eichelberger, L. Spoiling and Sustainability: Technology, Water Insecurity, and Visibility in Arctic Alaska. Medical Anthropology.

2012 - Eichelberger, L. Sustainability and the Politics of Calculation: Technologies of “Safe Water,” Subject-making, and Domination. Journal of Political Ecology 19, pp.145-161.

2010 - Eichelberger, L. Living in Utility Scarcity: Energy and Water Insecurity in Northwest Alaska. American Journal of Public Health 100(6), pp. 1010-1018.

2007 - Eichelberger, L. SARS and New York’s Chinatown: The politics of risk and blame during an epidemic of fear. Social Science and Medicine 65(6), pp. 1284-1295.

Carolyn Ehardt, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: carolyn.ehardt@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5243

Office hours: MH 4.04.38

Research in Progress

In 1994, I began long-term conservation ecology research in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, which continues to the present in collaboration with my former doctoral students. The early work involved survey research to establish baseline distribution and abundance information for the various primates, larger mammals, and birds in the relict forests of these mountains – part of one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots.’ Subsequent research has focused on the Endangered Sanje mangabey Cercocebus sanjei, including the first ecological data for this endemic primate derived from study of an habituated group in Mwanihana Forest of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. In 2004, this research led to ‘discovery’ of the first new African diurnal monkey species to be made known to science in the last 20 years (the kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji). My most current funded research has been the collection of genetic and vocalization data for mangabey species in Africa to begin to decipher the debated taxonomic relationships among the various threatened taxa, and to examine population genetics and ecology of the disjunct Tanzanian subpopulations of the Sanje mangabey.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1980

Teaching

My teaching spans a range of topics in biological anthropology, with course offerings across the various levels of the curriculum. In addition to introductory courses, I offer specialized courses at the undergraduate level in Conservation of Primates in Global Perspective, Primate Ecology, Ecology and Evolution of Human Diseases, and Human Adaptability. At the graduate level, I have offered seminars such as Conservation of Primates and Other Threatened Species, as well as Human Population Ecology.

Prospective students: I currently am working with two doctoral students who are completing their dissertations.  At present, I am not seeking new graduate students for whom I would serve as major professor, although I will continue to serve as a member of committees for students in primate ecology or disease ecology.

Current students: 

PhD: Emily Lloyd, Guillaume Pages

Recent Publications

Ehardt, Carolyn L., Fernández, David., and Gráinne McCabe. 2016. Sanje Mangabey Cercocebus sanjei Mittermeier, 1986.  In: All the World’s Primates, Noel Rowe and Marc Myers, eds., Pogonias Press, NY., pp. 456-457.

McCabe, G.M., D. Fernández and C.L. Ehardt. 2013. Ecology of reproduction in Sanje mangabeys: Dietary strategies and energy balance during the high fruit period.  American  Journal of Primatology 75: 1196-1208.

Ehardt, C.L. and T.M. Butynski. 2013. The Sanje Mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei). In: The Mammals of Africa, Vol. 2, T. Butynski, J. Kingdon and J. Kalina, eds., Bloomsbury Publishing, London; pp. 177-180.

Jones, T., C.L. Ehardt, T.M. Butynski, T.R.B. Davenport, N.E. Mpunga, S.J. Machaga, and D.W. De Luca. 2005. The highland mangabey Lophocebus kipunji: A new species of African monkey. Science 308: 1161-1164.

Michael Cepek, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: michael.cepek@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5700

Office: MH 4.03.34

Research in Progress

My research explores the relationship between environmental change, cultural difference, and political power at the margins of global orders. In my studies with indigenous Cofán people in the lowland forests, Andean foothills, and capital city of Ecuador, I investigate cultural and environmental politics from the perspective of longstanding concerns in social theory and emerging debates in South American ethnology. In my current project, I am producing an ethnographic account of the oil-related transformation of Cofán lands, which lie at the epicenter of Ecuador’s petroleum industry. In all of my work, I employ an immersed ethnographic standpoint to develop new perspectives on the forces that trouble us, whether ecological disasters, specters of cultural loss, or enduring constraints on human agency. I use this viewpoint to contribute to broader discussions in environmental anthropology, political economy, science and technology studies, conservation policy and practice, and collaborative filmmaking and activism with indigenous peoples and other subaltern groups.

In addition, I am a fellow in the program for Science Action for Conservation & Community at the Field Museum of Natural History, and I work as Book Review Editor for Environment and Society: Advances in Research, a publication affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University. I am also a board member of the Cofán Survival Fund, a non-profit organization that supports Cofán-directed conservation and sustainable development initiatives in Amazonian Ecuador.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2006

Teaching

My teaching interests grow out of my long-term anthropological experience as informed by both classical and contemporary theory. I firmly believe that cultural analysis and ethnographic methods are essential tools for understanding humanity in the 21st century. I teach courses organized by topic (indigenous peoples and politics; environment, culture, and conservation; the oil industry; shamanism and cosmology), approach (environmental, political, and economic anthropology; political economy; phenomenology; the history of social and cultural theory), and area (lowland South America; Andean South America; contemporary Latin America). I also enjoy teaching introductory anthropology, and I consider myself to be an enthusiastic spokesperson for the discipline.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and doctoral students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: Latin America; oil and other extractive industries; indigenous peoples and politics; community-based conservation; contamination and pollution; and the theoretical and methodological approaches associated with phenomenology, political economy, and classical holistic ethnography.

Recent Publications

In press - Cepek, Michael L. Life in Oil: Cofán Survival in the Petroleum Fields of Amazonia. Austin: University of Texas Press.

2017 - Cepek, Michael L. (with Bear Guerra). "Not Fade Away: An Indigenous Amazonian People Stand Strong despite the Forces that Have Despoiled Their Homeland." Pacific Standard 30(2):1, 42–49.

2016 - Cepek, Michael L. "There Might Be Blood: Oil, Humility, and the Cosmopolitics of a Cofán Petro-Being." American Ethnologist 43(4):623–635.

2015 - Cepek, Michael L. "Ungrateful Predators: Capture and the Creation of Cofán Violence." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21(3):542–560.

2014 - Oil & Water. Documentary film by Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith. Seattle: Stir It Up Productions. (Credits: Academic Advisor, Additional Camera, Cofán Translator, Provider of Archival Materials).

2014 - Cepek, Michael L. "A White Face for the Cofán Nation?: Randy Borman and the Ambivalence of Indigeneity." In Performing Indigeneity: Global Histories and Contemporary Experiences. Laura Graham and Glenn Penny, eds. Pp. 83-109. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

2013 - Cepek, Michael L. "Indigenous Difference: Rethinking Particularity in the Anthropology of Amazonia." Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 18(2):359-370.

2012 - Cepek, Michael L. A Future for Amazonia: Randy Borman and Cofán Environmental Politics. Austin: University of Texas Press.

2012 - Cepek, Michael L. "The Loss of Oil: Constituting Disaster in Amazonian Ecuador." Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 17(3):393-412.

2012 - Cepek, Michael L. "Strange Powers: Conservation, Science, and Transparency in an Indigenous Political Project." Anthropology Today 28(4):14-17.

2011 - Cepek, Michael L. "Foucault in the Forest: Questioning Environmentality in Amazonia." American Ethnologist 38(3):501-515.

M. Kathryn Brown, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: kathryn.brown@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-6761

Office: MH 4.03.32

Research in Progress

My principal research focus is one of anthropology’s fundamental topics, the origins of complex societies. Because I am interested in the rise of complexity as a general phenomenon, I value cross-cultural comparisons. As my primary case study and focus of fieldwork, however, I examine the Maya Civilization of Central America. I have conducted research for over a katun in the Maya Lowlands, especially in the Belize River Valley and Northern Belize. There, I have traced the development of social inequalities in early Maya communities. More recently, I have become interested in these processes at a regional scale, examining how early communities were placed across the ancient landscape and how they interacted through trade, competition, and warfare. Through these interactions, hierarchical structures came to bind these communities into more complex polities that formed the basis for the Maya states of the Classic period. These questions are the focus of my current fieldwork project, the Mopan Valley Preclassic Project, which examines the Preclassic components of sites in the Upper Belize River Valley including Nohoch Ek and Xunantunich to understand both the roles of public architecture and ritual activities in sanctifying an emerging hierarchical social order, and how the interactions between competing communities shaped the development of complex polities.

Most of my research has focused on the Preclassic Maya, but I have a strong interest in Texas archaeology as well. I have directed eleven seasons of fieldwork in Texas, conducted as archaeological field schools. These projects investigated both historic and prehistoric sites, and the data collected have been relevant to several important topics in Texas prehistory and history, including prehistoric mobility patterns and the establishment of pioneer settlements in Texas.

Degrees

Ph.D., Southern Methodist University, 2003

Teaching

I believe that an effective teacher must be enthusiastic about the subject matter and enjoy teaching. In all of the courses I teach, I emphasize the relevance of learning about past cultures in order to understand better the cultural and physical diversity in the modern world. I stress a four-field approach to anthropology and encourage the students to think critically and analytically about the subject matter. I try to create a dynamic and interactive classroom that serves as a comfortable environment conducive to learning. I have taught a number of courses in anthropology, including Introduction of Archaeology, North American Archaeology, Mesoamerican Archaeology (both undergraduate and graduate level), Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology, Method and Theory (graduate level), as well as Texas Archaeological Field School and Belize Archaeological Field School.

Recent Publications

2011 - Brown M. K. Postclassic Veneration at Xunantunich, Belize. Mexicon XXXIII:126-131.

2008 - Stanton T, Brown M. K., and Pagliaro J. Garbage of the Gods: Refuse Disposal, Termination Deposits, and Violent Conflict among the Ancient Maya. Latin American Antiquity Vol. 19, no.3:227- 247.

2008 - Brown M. K., and Garber, J. Establishing and Re-using Sacred Space: A Diachronic Perspective from Blackman Eddy, Belize. In Ruins of the Past: The Use and Perception of Abandoned Structures in the Maya Lowlands, edited by Travis W. Stanton and Aline Magnoni, pp. 147-170. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

2008 - Brown M. K. Establishing Hierarchies in the Middle Preclassic Belize River Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology Vol. 5, pp. 175-183. National Institute of Culture and History, Belmopan, Belize.

2003 - Brown M. K., and Stanton T. (Editors) Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. AltaMira Press, California.

Thad Bartlett, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: thad.bartlett@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5712

Office: MH 4.02.56

Research in Progress

My primary research interest is in the behavioral ecology of living primates. Behavioral ecology focuses on how individuals adapt to constraints imposed by physical and social environments. To be successful in an evolutionary sense, animals have to cope, minimally, with three problems: finding food, avoiding predators, and finding reproductive partners. Solutions to these problems will differ under differing ecological conditions and one goal of primatology is to document patterns of response across species in order to better understand the principles that guide primate adaptation and evolution. Under the umbrella of primate behavioral ecology I have focused in particular on the role of food availability in shaping primate behavior and social structure. My exploration of this topic has taken two very different tracks, first, through the study of foraging behavior and resource competition in wild primates and, second, through controlled studies of maternal undernutrition and progeny outcomes in captive baboons. Most recently, I have begun to focus on the applied dimensions of primate ecology. I am currently working with colleagues in Thailand and Malaysia to document gibbon density and distribution in human modified landscapes.

Degrees

Ph.D., Washington University, 1999

Teaching

I have taught broadly in Anthropology, including cultural anthropology and archaeology. I currently teach undergraduate and graduate courses in human origins, human nature, and primate behavior and ecology.

 

Current graduate students:

Lou Griffin

Amanda Ellwanger

Nicholas Ellwanger

Martha Lyke 

Recent Publications

2016 - Bartlett TQ, Light LEO and Brockelman WY. Long-term home range use in white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Khao Yai National Park. American Journal of Primatology. 78(2):192-203. 

2015 - Fei H, Ma C, Bartlett TQ, Dai R, Xiao W and Fan P. Feeding postures of cao vit gibbon (Nomascus nasutus) living in a low canopy karst forest. International Journal of Primatology 36(5):1036-1054.

2015 - Fan PF, Bartlett TQ, Fei HL, Ma CY and Zhang W. Understanding stable bi-female grouping in gibbons: Feeding competition and reproductive success. Frontiers in Zoology 12:5. 

2011 - Bartlett TQ. The Hylobatidae: small apes of Asia. In: Primates in Perspective 2nd Edition, CJ Campbell, A Fuentes, KC MacKinnon, RM Stumpf and SK Bearder (eds). Oxford University Press, pp. 300-312.

2009 - Bartlett, Thad Q. The Gibbons of Khao Yai: Seasonal Variation in Behavior and Ecology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

2009 - Bartlett, Thad Q. Seasonal Home Range Use and Defendability in White-Handed Gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. In The Gibbons: New Perspectives on Small Ape Socioecology and Population Biology. Edited by Lappan, S. M., Whittaker, D. and Geissmann, T. Pp. 265-275. Berlin: Springer.

2003 - Bartlett, Thad Q. Intragroup and Intergroup Social Interactions in Hylobates lar. International Journal of Primatology 24(2): 239-259.

Sonia Alconini, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: sonia.alconini@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-4411

Office: MH 4.03.28

Research in Progress

Imperial frontiers were dynamic and vibrant zones of interaction, exchange, and confrontation, where the power of the empire was constantly challenged, asserted and negotiated. I have been working in different segments of the ancient Inka frontier, in order to understand wider processes of accommodation, rebellion and ethnogenesis. I strongly advocate that the study of ancient frontiers provides a unique opportunity to understand the basis of imperial power, and the ways in which empires affirmed their territorial presence. Perhaps more importantly, it allows us to appreciate the agency and reactions of frontier and indigenous communities. 

My research combines regional-scale settlement dynamics with household and communal archaeology, in order to reconstruct the complex nature of ancient states and empires. I have worked for several years in the eastern Inka frontier, but also in the Tiwanaku heartland and its provinces. Currently, I am conducting research in the Kallawaya region, located to the east of the Titicaca basin.

See my website at: https://soniaalconini.wordpress.com/

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2002

Teaching

My teaching philosophy emphasizes helping students to become independent, inquisitive lifelong learners. This entails developing undergraduate and graduate courses that promote education as an active and dynamic process. I also emphasize critical thinking and experiential learning, as an avenue to apply a set of theories and methods to real-life situations. 

I teach at the undergraduate level a set of courses including Introduction to Archaeology, South American Archaeology, Museum Studies in Anthropology, Research Methods in Anthropology and Death and Dying. At the graduate level some course that I teach comprise Statistical Applications to Archaeology, Geographic Information Systems, the Archaeology of Frontier and Boundaries, and seminars on Andean Archaeology.

Current students:

PhD: Lynn Kim, Matthew Warren, Adam Birge, Kevin Daiber, Jose Barragan, Daniel Nicholson
MA: Brooke Salzman, Alesia Hoyle

Recent Publications

Books

2016    The Southeastern Inka Imperial Frontier: Warfare, Boundaries and Frontier Interaction. University Press of Florida. 

2016    Entre la Vertiente Tropical y los Valles: Sociedades Regionales e Interacción Prehispánicas en los Andes Centro-Sur. Plural Editorial. 

2015    En el Corazón de América del Sur: Arqueología de las Tierras Bajas de Bolivia y Zonas Limítrofes, Volumen 3. Edited by Sonia Alconini and Carla Jaimes. Biblioteca del Museo de Historia-Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno (UAGRM), Santa Cruz.

2010    Distant Provinces in the Inka Empire: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Inka Imperialism. Edited by Michael Malpass and Sonia Alconini. University of Iowa Press, Iowa.

2008    El Inkario en los Valles del Sur Andino Boliviano: Los Yamparas entre la arqueología y etnohistoria. Edited by Sonia Alconini. BAR International Series No. 1868, South American Archaeology Series, Oxford. 

1995    Rito, Símbolo e Historia en la Pirámide de Akapana, Tiwanaku: un Análisis de Cerámica Ceremonial Prehispánica. Editorial Acción, La Paz-Bolivia.

 

Relevant articles

2015    Head extraction, inter-regional exchange, and political strategies of control in the Kallawaya territory of Bolivia during the late Formative to Tiwanaku period transition (AD 500-800). Latin American Antiquity, 26(1):30-48. Co-authored with Sara K. Becker. 

2013    Alfarería Inka Estatal y Provincial: Producción y Distribución del Estilo Cerámico Inka Taraco Polícromo en el Centro Artesanal de Milliraya y la Región Kallawaya. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena. Volume 45, No. 2: 277-292. 

2010    Alliances and Local Prestige: Yampara Households and Communal Evolution in the Southeastern Inka Peripheries. In Distant Provinces in the Inka Empire: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Inka Imperialism. Edited by Michael Malpass and Sonia Alconini. University of Iowa Press, Iowa. 

2008    Dis-embedded Centers and Architecture of Power in the Fringes of the Inka Empire: New Perspectives on Territorial and Hegemonic Strategies of Domination. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 27:63-81.

2004    The Southeastern Inka Frontier against the Chiriguanos: Structure and Dynamics of the Inka Imperial Borderlands. Latin American Antiquity 15(4):389-418

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