Anthropology Newsletters


Economies and Beyond

After a long career dedicated to teaching and research in sociocultural anthropology, Professor Stephen Gudeman has retired. A symposium will be held to honor his career November 20, but until then, we reflect on his anthropological journey. Gudeman’s symposium also kicks off celebrations for “100 Years of Minnesota Anthropology.”


Negotiating Bilingual Space

When do bilingual people switch between one language to another? In her honors thesis, senior Courtney Fields seeks to uncover how Latino and white American restaurant workers negotiate speaking Spanish and English. Her research, coursework, and personal experience has led her to discover how English persists as dominant over Spanish, even in a nation that claims no “official” language.

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Digging Deeper: New Methods Give Archaeology a New Edge

Anthropologists know that modern humans and Neanderthals were similar enough species that they saw each other as mating partners: they interbred when they met approximately 50,000 years ago, and Neanderthal DNA survives in many of us today. Yet, big questions remain about how “human” Neanderthals were: Did they make art and music? Did they make clothing and shelters? Did they have language? Even seemingly more mundane questions, such as how they used stone tools, remain.


Translating Transnational Health


Mai See Thao combines academic and community health research through her work with Hmong-American communities in the Twin Cities areas and Hmong in the diaspora. In her doctoral work, she explores how Hmong-Americans make sense of their chronic illnesses. When she’s not working on her doctoral research, Mai See works to connect other’s shared illness experiences through her community based action research.


The Conspiracy Within


PhD candidate Murat Altun’s research examines how humans act suspicious through ritual. “My ethnographic research maps the ways in which "rituals of suspicion" take their forms. I am particularly interested in conspiracy theories in Turkey, where the allure of popular conspiracy theoricism has recently expanded into government politics.”


Paving the Way Towards Preservation


Professor Kat Hayes specializes in archaeology and her research covers issues relating to settler colonialism in North America. Her interests have led her to focus on both history and archaeology, memory, and heritage studies. As a convener of the Institute for Advanced Studies Heritage Collaborative, Kat has made strides towards developing a new, interdisciplinary graduate program that can prepare the next generation of archaeologists and heritage professionals for an interdisciplinary and community-based field.