Elon students and professors had a strong showing at the Southern Anthropology Society Meetings in Wilmington, NC this past weekend, leading two panels during the two-day conference.
The first panel was chaired by anthropology professor Kim Jones, titled “Social Inclusion in Southern Places: Applied Anthropology in North Carolina and Brazil.” In addition to Jones’ talk on collaboration between Elon and community partners in Brazil, the panel featured three Elon students. Elon College Fellow Lauren Tilly discussed her work on “Developing Culturally Sensitive Assessments for New Immigrant Students in North Carolina.” Elon College Fellow Angela Ramer presented her research on “The Occaneechi Eagles: Learning to Walk in Two Worlds.” And Honors Fellow Julia Roberts shared the results of her study on “Social Inclusion and On-site HIV Testing in a Brazilian Public Hospital.” Roberts’ paper was awarded Honorable Mention for the SAS 2009 Student Paper Competition, and she will be receiving a book prize.
The second panel was chaired by sociology professor Lisa Peloquin, titled “Prospectors to Collaborators: Rethinking Ethnography, Undergraduate Research and the South.” Elon students Michael Sadler, Clementine Wall and Kirsten Rhodes reflected on the challenges of collaboration in and out of the field, exploring the complexities of establishing rapport, portraying people in documentary photography, and negotiating power dynamics among an undergraduate research team. Elon professors offered brief remarks to frame the panel. Dr. Peloquin situated the presentations within the context of theory, practice and discourse, anthropology professor Tom Mould discussed institutional collaboration, and School of Education professor Bird Stasz introduced the field project and the community of Cowee.
The work conducted by Sadler, Wall, Rhodes and Stasz represents the achievements of the first multi-year, interdisciplinary, collaborative research project supported by PERCS: Elon’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies. The project, led by Bird Stasz, explores the cultural heritage of Cowee North Carolina located in the heart of the Little Tennessee River Valley. For the past seven months, students and faculty have worked with quilters, documented the stories of elders, participated in the preservation of a community general store, and practiced ethnophotograhy.