Anthropology Department Begins Biweekly Symposia

On Monday, September 10, the Anthropology Department hosted its first installment of its biweekly roundtable symposium series. Through these regular group discussions, the department hopes to both highlight the work of students within the Anthropology Department and to bring in voices from other institutions to present and discuss their work.

The meetings, however, are more than just theory and practice — they are meant to foster a sense of community within the Anthropology Department as well. While the events themselves normally run from 4:30–6:00 p.m. or 5:00–6:30 p.m., the space of Eliot 103 will be open before and after for students inside and outside the department to chat with each other and the faculty. Each event will also feature refreshments and drinks.

Monday’s “Welcome Back Gathering” was an event intended to highlight the ethnographic work that students conducted all across the world this summer. Students used resources and funds provided by the Anthropology Department to fund trips to Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and they were able to present their work at the symposium. Topics of inquiry included an exploration of Latin American street art, an analysis of neoliberal hegemony in Central America, and a broad examination of traditional music education in Zimbabwe. Students presented their research and passed around artifacts while the other attendees munched on vegetable samosas and hummus.

The event also showcased the third volume of Radicle, Reed’s very own peer-reviewed anthropology journal. Reed students, including those outside of the department, are welcome to submit their work to the journal, which is published annually at the beginning of each academic year. Topics from this year’s edition include urban renovation in Mexico City, clashes between pollution and purity in the Ganga River, and medical treatment (and mistreatment) of intersexuality. Full PDFs of each paper, along with details surrounding submission criteria and copyright, can be found on, the Radicle website.

The next installment of the symposium series will be Monday, September 24. The department is bringing in Federico Pérez, an anthropologist who focuses on the urban landscapes of Latin America. He will be discussing urban renewal in Bogotá, Colombia, and how violence and governmental corruption play in to the development of new urban spaces. As always, the event is open to the entire Reed community, and students from outside the Anthropology Department are encouraged to come and enjoy the refreshments and discussions.

Aside from hosting guest speakers, the department will also be holding a Senior Seminar in late October, allowing anthropology seniors to present and discuss their thesis work. A full schedule of each symposium this semester, with detailed descriptions of speakers and topics, is available on both the and the Reed Anthropology Department website.


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