ALUMNI > Ennis Barbery Smith (ANT) – Heritage Preservation & Tourism

Ennis Barbery Smith (BA Anthropology, 2011) is working as an administrator with Maryland Heritage Areas Program to promote economic development through heritage tourism.  Smith helps museums, parks, and other cultural institutions in Maryland get funding for their heritage tourism projects. As an applied cultural anthropologist, she has longstanding interests in heritage tourism, indigenous cultural landscapes, museums, and program evaluation. Previously, she has served as Assistant Director of the Greenbelt Museum (Maryland) between August 2016 and July 2017.  She also served as Executive Director at the Museum of Chincoteague Island (Virginia) for the two years prior.  Learn more or catch up with Smith via her LinkedIn page.

ALUMNI > Tyler Ball (ANT) – Nautical Archaeology

Tyler Ball (BA Anthropology, 2013) is completing a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies/Nautical Archaeology at East Carolina University and is now at the end of of 10-week internship with the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  Ball is proud to have accomplished what he set out to do by completing 9 shipwreck nominations for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The majority of the shipwreck nominations sank in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II.  He asserts that each nomination is more than a shipwreck site, but also a story of our past deserving to be told, remembered, and preserved for future generations to experience. Producing nominations for the NRHP is important, because if nobody is willing to tell the story, it could be lost forever.  You can learn more through Ball’s blog post at the BOEM.  Learn about or catch up with him on his LinkedIn page.

>EVENT: Benjamin Bush Lecture

Benjamin Busch will deliver a multimedia lecture on how our sense of service has changed in the new century. As America transitions from manufacturing to an economy increasingly defined by service and consumption, laborers are struggling to hold their place as contributors to national production. As wealth consolidates in the one percent, few can work enough to sustain a family or rely on employment to deliver them to retirement with benefits. The nation has also been in ideological contest with religion, fighting a global ghost in its war on terror. The military, often a last resort employer in regions where other career options are thinning or gone, has also lost much of its long appeal as a way to “serve the country.”

This lecture will examine the changing relationship of Americans to patriotism, citizenship, and service. It asks what we work for, how our labors define us, how unemployment harms our identity and how military service is perceived by politics, college and home

>EVENT: Screening of Heroin(e)

The Society in collaboration with the Psychology Department and Women’s Studies will be a screening the Netflix documentary Heroin(e) on Monday, October 2 at 7:00 in the Shawkey Dining Room. The three women featured in the film, Necia Freeman, Patricia Keller, and Jan Radar, will be present to answer questions afterwards. This event is free and open to the community, and donations to the Backpack and Brown Bag Ministry will be collected. Many thanks to our department for co-sponsoring and making snacks available.

>EVENTS: Dr. Susie Crate “Storying Climate Change”

This year’s Graduate Humanities Program Major Scholar seminar is with renowned anthropologist, Dr. Susie Crate, and is titled “Storying Climate Change.”

Dr. Crate is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. More about her and the documentary that tracks some of her work in Sibera and elsewhere is posted on our website @

Several events are scheduled around Dr. Crate’s campus visit in October:

Thursday, October 12, 7 PM: Public screening of “The Anthropologist,” with Co-Director Seth Kramer.  Marshall University, Huntington, Smith Hall 154.  Sponsored by the WV Humanities Council and MU Film Studies Program.

Thursday, October 26, 4 PM: Public screening of “The Anthropologist,” with Dr. Susan Crate. West Virginia State University, Institute, Erickson Alumni Center. Co-sponsored with the WVSU Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Check out the documentary on Crate’s research, “The Anthropologist,” here.

See the trailer, here.  And see what the New York Times, the LA Times, and IndieWire have to say.

Major Scholar Seminar: “Storying Climate Change.” More information is here.

Friday, October 27, 4 PM: Public lecture, Dr. Susan Crate, “Storying Climate Change: On the Importance of Local Perspectives.” John Marshall Dining Room, MU Student Center. Co-sponsored with the College of Liberal Arts and the MU Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Susie Crate Poster PDF

>EVENT: Research Seminar in Health (Riner)

This will be the final Research Seminar in Health for the 2017-2018 academic year.  The ongoing seminar has been an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to come together to learn and share ideas around current research into human health and disease from a variety of different disciplines.

This seminar will feature Dr. Robin Conley Riner (Anthropology) who will be presenting her current research project (in progress).  Riner’s presentation is titled “Veterans’ Stories of Combat: The Narrative Structures of Moral Injury.”

Moral injury has emerged recently as a diagnostic construct to account for the so-called “soul wounds” many veterans struggle with after deployment. Defined as a disruption in one’s expectations about just and ethical behavior, moral injury is for many a more fitting model for veterans’ experiences than other frequently used diagnoses, such as PTS. Probing this and similar constructs such as “moral breakdown” and “moral disengagement,” this presentation examines how veterans construct themselves as moral persons within the stories they tell about their combat experiences.

>EVENT: You Are What You Eat

Dr. Brian A. Hoey (Sociology & Anthropology) together with students in his course “Culture and Environment” (ANT & SOC 466 and 566) are having a community event to demonstrate how cultural ecology provides us with a holistic vision of varied relationships over time and space that human populations have had with their environments.  The course itself is designed to examine symbolic and structural dimensions of struggles over defining, organizing, and controlling the natural environment from a biocultural perspective.

The event, titled “You Are What You Eat,” is intended to provide literal food for thought. In a nutshell, if you will, we have taken an anthropological approach, specifically that of cultural ecology, to examine human subsistence strategies.  That is to say, adaptations that are represented in subsistence practices of hunting and gathering, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture so as to better understand the relationship between culture and environment.  When you get down to it, much of this relationship is forged out of particular traditions for procuring the food that sustains us.

At this lunchtime event, we’ll be presenting information that helps people appreciate the varied dimensions and impacts of these different subsistence strategies.  This will include tasty samples of food that represent these practices.  We’re partnering with MU Sustainability and others to bring additional information and useful resources for attendees on ways that they can put to good use what they’ve learned.

DOWNLOAD FLYER: You Are What You Eat

>EVENT: Addiction Studies

Explore the new, interdisciplinary Addiction Studies minor (that includes contributions from our department) with a lecture series on Substance Misuse, the War on Drugs, and Recovery.