Comparative Borderlands in Anthropology and History

Short Seminar

June 7–8, 2013

Comparative Borderlands in Anthropology and HistoryComparative Borderlands in Anthropology and HistoryShort Seminar Co-chaired by James F. Brooks, President and CEO, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM; Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Stuart Smith, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, June 7–8, 2013, Photograph by Jessica S. CalzadaComparative Borderlands in Anthropology and HistoryShort Seminar Co-chaired by James F. Brooks, President and CEO, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM; Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Stuart Smith, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, June 7–8, 2013, Photograph by Jessica S. Calzada

This innovative partnership involved collaboration between the Anthropology and History departments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and SAR. Over the course of the 2012-13 academic year, five doctoral students from anthropology and five from history worked closely with the department chairs, archaeologist Stuart Smith and historian Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, and SAR president James F. Brooks, to develop in-depth research papers in particular areas of borderland studies.

The field of borderland studies has burst onto the scholarly stage in both history and anthropology. Borderlands may be defined as zones of political, cultural, social, economic, and technological interactions of various peoples and societies. In many borderland areas, state power is weak or heavily contested, leading to the creation of new political, legal, and cultural norms. Part of the fascination with borderlands is that they have existed across time and space, ranging from Greek/Persian interaction of ancient Anatolia to the Roman/Germanic Borderlands of Central Europe to the Southwest Borderlands of North America, which involved indigenous peoples, Europeans and Euro-Americans, and African Americans. Borderlands research is inherently interdisciplinary; it often involves the methods of historians and anthropologists, as well as sociological theoretical frameworks.

The collaboration culminated in a two-day short seminar at SAR, in which the participants discussed their final projects and the publication venues to which they intended to submit their final work. With topics ranging from the ancient Egyptian-Nubian borderlands during the Middle Kingdom to Medieval France and nineteenth-century Burma, the research displayed the depth and range available to studies in the area, and contributed substantially to the students’ preparedness for careers in the academy.

James F. Brooks, Chair President and CEO, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM
Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, Chair Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
Stuart Smith, Chair Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jessika Akmenkalns Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara Identities Reimagined: Intersections of Practice and Consumption in the Nubian-Egyptian Borderlands
David Baillargeon Graduate Student, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara The Hairy Frontier: The Construction of Boundaries in Colonial Burma, 1795-1830
Paul Barba Graduate Student, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara Bearing Civilization, Facing the Wild: Peter Pitchlynn and the Navigation of Choctaw-Anglo-American Narrativity
Matthew E. Biwer Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara Consuming Colonialism and Food: Considering the Role of Chicha on the Wari Frontier at the Site of Cerro Baul in the Upper Moquegua Valley, Peru (600–1000 CE)
Abby Dowling Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara “Over the Hedge”: Contesting Parks during the Great Famine and the Revolt of the Allies of Artois, 1314–1319
Greg Goalwin Graduate Student, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara Religion, Nationalism, and Boundary Formation in the 1923 Greco-Turkish Population Exchange
Hanni Jalil Graduate Student, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara Cultivating Healthy Peasants: Liberal Imaginings and National Politics in 1930s Colombia
Craig Smith Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara Post-Collapse Regeneration and Ethnogenesis on an Ancient Andean Frontier
Jackson B. Warkentin Graduate Student, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara “Savage Kindness”: Torture, Adoption and the Political Theater of Seventeenth-century Iroquois Captivity

Follow us: