CHPA Faculty Activities

MSU Archaeologist and Anthropology Students engage in Research Project on Chinookan People of Coastal Washington State

Liz Field School

During July and August, Dr. Elizabeth Sobel (ANT) spent six weeks conducting anthropological field work at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, located on the southern coast of Washington State. This field work is part of a project funded by an MSU Faculty Research Grant. The research component of her project explores the cultural continuity and change among the Chinookan people, a Native American cultural group, of Washington and Oregon. A management component provides information critical for the US Fish and Wildlife to effectively protect cultural sites on Willapa Refuge. The outreach component involves documenting and synthesizing information about cultural heritage for the Chinook Indian Tribe and Shoalwater Tribe. The work conducted this summer included archaeological field survey, oral history interviews, and archival research. Liz was assisted by two students – Chris Cotter and Travis Scheele - both Anthropology majors. Throughout the project, Liz and her students worked closely with members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chinook Indian Nation. Liz is currently analyzing the data collected in summer 2007, and plans to conduct additional fieldwork relating to this project in 2008.

History Professor gives presentation on the importance of the Border in U.S.-Mexican Relations

US-MexicoAs part of the academic presentations presented during Hispanic Heritage month, on September 26, 2007, Dr. John F. Chuchiak (HST) presented a public presentation in the parliamentary room of the Plaster Student Union entitled "¿UnFriendly Neighbors? U.S.-Mexican Relations in Historical Perspective: Understanding the Differences of Proximity.” Chuchiak’s talk focused on a current issue of central importance to both the U.S. and Mexico: the Border. The border between the United States and Mexico represents the greatest division between the standards of living that exists between two neighboring countries. His presentation chronicled the historical background of U.S.-Mexican relations and it concluded that although U.S.-Mexican relations have been largely negatively characterized by border disputes, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration, a new era of U.S.-Mexican relations is only now beginning. What was once a relationship easily dominated by the United States is now developing into a bilateral relationship of increasing importance to both nations.

Anthropology Professor attends faculty development summer seminar in Japan

Meadows JapanDr. William C. Meadows (ANT) attended a CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchange) Seminar this summer from June 23 through July 1 in Tokyo, Japan. The seminar was held at International Christian University and Sophia University and focused on contemporary and pop culture of Japan. Seminar lectures included topics on Japanese literature, Japanese Manga and animation, the Meiji Period (1868-1914), ethnic and racial issues in Japan and Okinawa, and Japanese archaeology. The seminar also included visits to the Great Buddha at Kamakura, the Tokyo National Museum, the Ginza shopping district, the Tokyo Kabuki Theater, and Harajuku. Meadows remained in Japan after the seminar to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Osaka area and to visit archaeological sites and museums. Data gained from the seminar and his fieldwork will be incorporated into a new class (ANT-330) entitled "Peoples and Cultures of Japan", which he will offer in fall 2008.

History Professor Gives Presentation to start off Celebrations for LGBT Month Celebrations


Dr. Holly Baggett (HST) gave a talk for LGBT month Oct. 8 on “An Analysis of Oral Histories from the Ozarks and Lesbian Gay Archives.” (OLGA) The Archives was established in 2003 and are housed in Special Collections of the Meyer Library. As of this date some 45 oral histories from area. LGBT individuals discuss coming of age in the Ozarks, as well as their religious social and political beliefs. Small town and rural America is considered the cutting edge of LGBT studies. Professor Baggett also gave a talk on the Ozarks archives at the National Oral History Association meeting in Oakland in October.

Dr. William Wedenoja and MSU's Anthropology Club Continue to Provide Financial Assistance to the Bluefields School in Jamaica

For the past five years, the MSU's Anthropology Club has been providing financial assistance to the Bluefields Basic School in Jamaica. The Basic School is a pre-school, enrolling 3-5 year old children, and is operated by the Bluefields Peoples Community Association. This project was started by MSU graduate Stephanie Finley (2005), who went to Jamaica with Dr. William Wedenoja (ANT) in 2003. The proceeds of club's fund-raising events have gone to pay the lease on the land for the school, scholarships for students, and the renovation of the school's kitchen. Last spring, the Club raised $800 from a book and bake sale and this past summer Dr. Wedenoja had the pleasure of handing a check from the Club to Joy Baker, principal of the school. The School is currently in the process of adding electricity, lights, and outlets to all three buildings, thanks from another $2000 contribution from One World Relief, a nonprofit organization started by anthropology major Jason Shepard.

Bluefields SchoolIn the photograph to the left, anthropology student Kara Pagel and Dr. William Wedenoja present the check to Joy Baker and to the basic school students.






Religious Studies Professor attends the 11th International Congress for Luther Research in Brazil


Dr. Austra Reinis (REL) presented a paper, “Preaching and Lutheran Confessionalization: The Sermons of Aegidius Hunnius (1550-1603),” at the 11th International Congress for Luther Research held in Canoas, Brazil, July 22-27, 2007. The congress in Brazil was the first to be held in South America. Topics covered in seminars included “Care for the Poor and Ill in Civil and Ecclesiastical Orders of the Reformation,” and “Reception of Luther in Third World Contexts.” An excursion into the countryside offered the opportunity to visit a museum showcasing German Lutheran immigration into Brazil, which began in the early nineteenth century. After the conference Dr. Reinis toured religions sites in Argentina, including the San Ignacio Miní Jesuit mission founded in the 17th century and the Cathedral of the Virgin of Lujan, Argentina’s patron saint. Photographs and impressions gathered from these visits have enriched Dr. Reinis’ courses in Fall 2007: REL 100 Introduction to Religion and REL 340 Christianity.