Anthropology Department Colloquium Series

During the academic year, the department organizes a variety of colloquium events, for which it typically brings in outside speakers. All events are open to anyone who wants to attend and include beverages and snacks. These events are an excellent opportunity to be inspired by what others are doing, learn about the state of the anthropology, and interact with influential researchers from across the world. The following colloquia events will count toward your Anthropology Certificate requirements, unless otherwise stated. To receive email announcements with up to date details regarding the colloquium series and department events, please sign up here.

View Past Colloquium Series


Spring 2020 Schedule:

April 1, 2020
Via Zoom

Grad: Publishing Workshop by Professor Tom Boellstorff


April 2, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm

Cancelled. This event will be moved to a later date.

Frank Cancian photo show with Obeydah Darwish

April 6, 2020
Via Zoom

Grad: Virtual "Brown Bag" with Prof. Justin Richland **All are Welcome!**

 Divided Jurisdictions
Monday, April 6, noon (Zoom details to be provided later)
Justin Richland, Department of Anthropology, UC Irvine

In this fractious sociopolitical moment in the U.S., questions of what we know, how we know it, and who is "in the know" have been thrown into radical doubt. I say radical doubt because in the rapid slide from "science skepticism" to "misinformation campaigns," what only a few years ago was characterized as a crisis of information now threatens crises of representative democracy and the rule of law. Along the way, established principles of good governance, once assumed to be immutable, were revealed to be "mere" norms whose force and authority depended on the coordination and cooperation of actors who, whatever their differences, at least ostensibly understood their political fortunes to be tied up in the (re)production of certain foundational norms of U.S. constituionalism. What exactly is the relationship between knowledge, normativity and authority in the U.S. today? And what might an ethnographic investigation of their interactional accomplishment, and the particular brand of humanistic empiricism it affords, suggest about how we got into these crises, and what it might take to get out?

April 7, 2020
Via Zoom

Engaging Research Re-Design (Valerie Olson and Kris Peterson)

(Zoom link to be announced closer to the date)

This workshop offers you tools to stay connected to, or to productively disconnect from, your research project. Our department wants you to feel empowered, supported, and provisioned as you adjust to changing research ecosystems. We provide: ways to continuously re-conceptualize your research topic or object of study, engage with interlocutors and data sources in appropriate and compassionate ways, make research ethics decisions, and take care of yourself as a researcher in a rapidly dis/re-organizing field. Let's also try to have fun and stay attuned to each other as research partners.

April 8, 2020
Via Zoom
April 10, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm

Cancelled **To be rescheduled at a later date***Sylvia Yanagisako and Lisa Rofel, lunch venue

April 13, 2020
12:00 pm
Via Zoom

Teaching Together: Supporting Faculty and TA Collaboration in Large Classes
Angela Jenks and Katie Cox, Department of Anthropology, UC Irvine

Large lecture classes often rely on graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) to lead discussion sections, grade assignments, and provide targeted feedback to undergraduates. However, common challenges in the working relationship between instructors and TAs frustrate faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students alike. This presentation shares recommendations developed in the Teaching Together Learning Community, a year-long learning community in the UCI School of Social Sciences designed to improve large undergraduate classes by strengthening collaboration between faculty and graduate TAs. Specific tools for improving faculty-TA communication, supporting graduate student pedagogical professional development, and engaging in a collaborative course design process will be shared.

April 16, 2020 (on Hold)

Benjamin Dix (Illuminations)

 April 40, 2020 (Monday)
via Zoom

Virtual Brown Bag Discussion with Keith Murphy

I'm currently working on a project about graphic language. You can read the semi-official description on my website, but what I want to do for this brown bag meeting is talk a little bit about how the project has shifted and matured over the last couple of years. I'll show and discuss some of the particular tools I'm using as I do fieldwork and write, and some of the ponderable objects that have drawn me in directions I hadn't conceived when I first proposed the project. So think about it as part "research presentation," part "how I work," and part "lessons from the field."

April 22, 2020 (Wednesday)
Noon - 12:50pm
via Zoom

Ethnography in a Time of Pandemic: A Virtual Brown Bag Workshop
Eleana Kim and Tom Boellstorff, moderators


The global nature of the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to affect every community on the planet. Just as COVID-19 is transforming societies around the world, our fieldsites and how we do ethnography will likely change in fundamental ways. If you are preparing to do fieldwork, your research design and goals may have to adapt to changing circumstances and uncertain timelines. If you are in the field (and possibly had to leave your fieldsite), your project changed around you in real time. If you are writing your dissertation, you may be concerned about how the cultural contexts of your fieldwork will be affected by the pandemic. In this workshop, we will discuss how COVID-19 has affected your research plans and goals, and collaboratively brainstorm strategies for tracking changes in your fieldsites and identifying other spaces, scales, and relations for ethnographic investigation.

April 23, 2020

**Event Cancelled** We hope to reschedule at a later date**Theater-maker

Debra Spitulnik Valdi is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory College of Arts and Sciences

May 4, 2020
via Zoom

Cash, credit, or TP?

Bill Maurer

Monday, May 4, noon–1pm

In this virtual brown bag, I will talk about repurposing existing research strategies to study emerging economies during a pandemic, as well as the sorts of questions from reporters, policymakers, and activists I have been fielding.

Suggested reading: "The Use of Money to Maintain Connection and Toilet Paper," Anthropology News, April 9, 2020 (

May 7, 2020 Moved to later date

 Sikh Studies Lecture

Please note this event is being moved to a later date, possibly Fall 2020. We will update everyone when we have further information. Thank you for your understanding.

May 18, 2020 
12:00 noon
Zoom Mtg

Jeff Mantz, the head of the Cultural Anthropology program at the NSF, will do a Zoom event for our grad students about responding to the COVID crisis with regard to research.



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