Outstanding Undergraduate Work 2020/21
Every year, our undergraduate students work on a variety of supervised research projects in courses at all levels. Normally, this would include work in “community engaged learning& projects, field-courses, and labs, as well as other hands-on & experiences of anthropology in action. Although we've had to adapt in 2020-21, our commitment to having students learn by doing has never been stronger. Check out some of what our students have been up to this year below.
In Anthropology 1027: Introduction to Linguistics, Dr. Olga Kharytonava offered students the chance to learn about the patterns, structures and processes of change of human languages by guiding them through projects in which they had to imagine and construct languages, and then develop teaching materials to go along with them. You may never have the chance to speak or write Nuuko- Torontonian Creole or Sairupanese, but just think of what the students behind these new languages have learned by inventing them.
In Anthropology 2252: Language in Canada, Dr. Karen Pennesi asked students to think differently about language issues in the news and their own experiences with language in Canada. This project enabled students to apply the key concepts they were learning in the course to familiar topics, and then challenged them to communicate the resulting findings and insights to a lay audience through short podcast episodes like this one by Sydney Dawson and Autobiographical Blog Posts like this one by Sapphire Victoria Mendonca.
In two courses, Anthropology 2278: Anthropology of Race, Ethnicity and Identity and Anthropology 2290: Cultures of Health, Illness, Disability and Healing, Dr. Pam Block encouraged students to deepen their understanding of key issues of our times by applying an anthropological perspective to topics including Black Lives Matter, the Covid-19 Pandemic, and Accessibility, and then invited them to communicate what they had learned to others (students, teachers and the public at large) through, for example, an online guide to talking about race and white privilege developed by Jenna Holmes and an interactive lesson on genomics and eugenics created by Afifa Bhatti, Owen Hill-Ring, Mandy Li and Keertana Mohan.
We also offer advanced undergraduate students who are considering postgraduate studies the opportunity to participate in graduate seminars and research projects that will give them a sense of where further studies in Anthropology might take them. In one recent offering of Anthropology 4426: Mortuary Archaeology, for example, a group of six advanced undergraduate students (Casey Boettinger, Teegan Muggridge, Nicole Phillips, Lauren Poeta, David Seston and Isabella Vesely) worked with a team of MA and PhD students (Laura Atkinson, Cameron Beason and Émy Roberge) on a project supervised by Dr. Andrew Nelson and Ed Eastaugh to map and analyse a Potter's Field; (sometimes referred to as a pauper's graveyard or indigent cemetery) at Woodland Cemetery in London, Ontario. In addition to providing these students with hands-on experience in archaeological methods, remote-sensing, and archival research, the project has resulted in the publication of an e-book on which these students are co-authors.