It has been more than two years now that we have been living in a pandemic. In this newsletter, we share some of the remarkable work GSU Anthropology faculty, students, and alumni have accomplished during that time. Several faculty members have published books or been promoted. Others have embarked on new field projects, following careful procedures for international travel or implementing creative solutions for research across distances. Our students and faculty alike have won teaching and research awards as well as grant funding. In response to pandemic challenges, they have persevered in creating new ways for us to come together: from the Piedmont Park M.A. hooding ceremony spearheaded by graduate student, Melissa McCarthy, last May 2021 to the outdoor “Friendsgiving” potluck organized by current M.A. student Cassie Eng in November and to the many moments in which faculty have pivoted their classes from one modality to another.
My first two years as Chair have coincided with all of that, and one of my goals has been to build on that productivity and community by creating intentional connections between Anthropology at Georgia State University and like-minded programs elsewhere in the U.S. – anthropology departments with commitments to public anthropology, museum anthropology, and four-field anthropology; with both strong research and strong teaching missions; situated in major urban centers and serving diverse student bodies. Virtual speakers have joined us from American University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Illinois Chicago, and we look forward to continuing to build these partnerships in various ways, providing expanded intellectual networks for our students and amplifying the Department’s own programmatic accomplishments.
Finally, our community is growing. Archaeologist Joshua Kwoka joined us as Lecturer in the fall of 2020. We ran a search for a new Assistant Professor with specializations in race and digital methods, and we hope to renew that search this year. Lynda Bourne joined us as Anthropology’s new administrative staff member in July 2021. And just last week, we moved into a renovated suite in Sparks Hall. This growth and renewal are welcome, and in a moment when so many within and beyond our immediate communities have suffered great losses, we are mindful of our continuing mission to help illuminate dynamics of social difference, inequality, and injustice – as well as potential paths of transformation.