Elon shines at the 67th Annual SfAA Conference in Tampa

Three Elon professors from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and two students presented their research at the 67th Annual Conference of the Society for Applied Anthropology held in Tampa, Florida on March 28-31. The conference theme was Global Insecurities, Global Solutions, and Applied Anthropology in the 21st Century. Drs. Bolin, Peloquin, and Jones and Lindsay Westerfield (’07) participated in a panel entitled International Education: Distinguishing Study Abroad from Tourism, that was organized by Prof. Jones. Prof. Jones also served as a discussant in a panel entitled Student Ethnic and Racial Identity in the Study Abroad Experience. Robin Newton (’07) also presented her documentary film, The Struggles of Female Workers in Brazil, at the conference. Abstracts of their well-received presentations are attached.

Anne Bolin is a full professor of Anthropology. Lisa Marie Peloquin is an assistant professor of Sociology. Drs. Bolin and Peloquin are co-leaders of the Aboriginal Australia study abroad course offered by the department each Winter term. Kim Jones is an assistant professor of anthropology and co-leads a Winter term program (2007, 2008) entitled Brazil in the Third Millennium and will be leading a Service-Learning Abroad Summer Program entitled Social Development in Brazil (2008).

Lindsay Westerfield (’07) is an International Studies/ Spanish major. Lindsay’s work was supported through the Honor’s Fellows Program. She is one of the students in the first class of Honor’s students, who will be graduating this semester. Her mentor is Kim Jones (Anthropology)

Robin Newton (’07) is a Broadcast Communications major. The research she presented was supported through a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) award through the Undergraduate Research Office in 2006. Her mentor is Kim Jones (Anthropology).

Interesting Elon Connections:

The subject of this year’s common reading, Paul Farmer (Harvard U/ Partners in Health), presented a paper entitled Landmine Boy: Medicine and Public Health in Violent Times at the conference on Thursday afternoon panel focusing on Global Health in a Time of Violence.

Cassandra White, Assistant professor of Anthropology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who presented with the Elon professors and one of the students during the International Education panel, visited Elon last semester as a panelist on the Medical Anthropology in the Age of Paul Farmer panel held in Whitley auditorium on October 2, 2006.

Society for Applied Anthropology 67th Annual Meeting
Hyatt Regency Tampa
March 27-31, 2007

Session: Saturday, March 31, 10:00- 11:45 a.m.

Panel Title: International Education: Distinguishing Study Abroad from Tourism

Panel co-sponsored by SUNTA (The Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology)

Panel Abstract:
JONES, Kimberly Marie (Elon University). What are the similarities and
differences between learning about cultures through tourism and study
abroad? How can goals such as maintaining academic content, improving
cultural awareness, and providing opportunities for personal growth be
met while managing the experience of being guests in a hosting
community? What experiential or otherwise engaged pedagogies enrich
student learning in traveling programs? What needs to be done before
and after experiential learning “in the field” to assure adequate
preparation and reflection? A panel of study abroad faculty and
students will respond to these questions based on their original
research and personal experiences of study abroad.

Key words: study abroad, tourism, experiential learning

Paper Abstracts:

PELOQUIN, Lisa Marie (Elon University) and BOLIN, Anne (Elon
University), Spearchuckers in Seersuckers: The Nexus of Tourism and
International Studies.

The social realities of higher education are increasingly penetrated by
the logic and culture of capitalist accumulation. Participants within
study abroad programs simultaneously enact performances of
“scholar-consumers” of knowledge and “tourist consumers” of experience.
In contrast to the vision of university life as a secular space devoted
to the “free” exchange of ideas and production of knowledge, study
abroad initiatives provide a powerful aperature to explore the
complexities of teaching and learning within commodified fields of
information, culture and subjectivity. In this paper, the authors
evaluate how student learning within Aboriginal Australian-owned
educational programs problematizes their grasp of nature/culture,
self/other and international studies/tourism.

WHITE, Cassandra (Georgia State University), When is a gringo not a
tourist in the favela?: Dilemmas of study abroad in urban Brazil.

JONES, Kimberly Marie (Elon University), Experiential Pedagogies in Study Abroad.

Can study abroad to developing nations help North American students
conceptualize issues related to development and socio-economic
stratification in the global context? To assess the effect of study
abroad in the developing world with and without service, students were
asked to respond, before and after two abroad courses, to five
questions designed to probe their awareness of development issues and
their sense of global responsibility. Mixed method analyses of before
and after student responses were used to assess student learning. The
learning experiences in two diverse programs, without service (Brazil)
and with service (Guatemala), are compared.

WESTERFIELD, Lindsay (Elon University), Cross-cultural knowledge of
university students in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Central North
Carolina .

How do experiences with other cultures affect the stereotypes and
cross-cultural knowledge of today’s university students? This
comparative study, conducted at Elon University and Universidad
Torcuato di Tella, analyzes participants’ travel, language, social, and
academic experiences to reveal patterns in their beliefs about the
other country and its culture. Ten recorded and transcribed interviews
and one hundred surveys from each location were analyzed and
contextualized in the literature from similar studies in the United
States and Argentina. Finally, this information is used to highlight
experiences that might facilitate the growth of positive relations
between cultures.

Session: Saturday, March 31, 3:30-5:20 p.m.

NEWTON, Robin (Elon U) The Struggles of Female Workers in Brazil
During the summer of 2005, a bi-national team of researchers conducted
an ethnographic study of women workers in a public university hospital
in the interior of Brazil. Through an inductive analysis of filmed
interviews with five female hospital workers, the following themes
emerged: working mothers face enormous challenges in balancing their
household and workplace responsibilities, males and females have
different work roles in the hospital, and women are considered to be
particularly well-suited for work in healthcare. The film documents
this collaborative project, reveals the everyday struggles of women
workers, and presents recommendations for improving work conditions for
female employees.

Other Panel Title:
Student Ethnic and Racial Identity in the Study Abroad Experience

CHAIR: WHITE, Cassandra (Georgia State) Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology.
Discussant: JONES, Kimberly Marie (Elon U)
North American university and college study abroad programs are
attracting an increasingly diverse population of students. Many study
abroad offices are actively engaged in recruiting students from
traditionally underrepresented groups. Panelists will address the ways
in which ethnic background, racial identity, andphenotype of study
abroad participants may play a part in the decision to study abroad,
the choice of study abroad programs, the experiences of
students during the foreign study experience. Original research and
personal experiences of study abroad students and program directors
will be highlighted in this panel.