Friday, February 27, 2009


The authors of this blog seek to create a dialogue about anthropology and science education with the community in Birmingham, Alabama and beyond.

Navala Village, Fiji (photo by S. Jones).

The goal of ANTHRO-TEACH is to enhance science education in anthropology at all levels of learning and in all four subfields of anthropology (cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and biological anthropology). The three key aims are:
1. To develop curriculum enhancement materials, hands-on research opportunities, and other extra-curricular educational opportunities in anthropology in both formal and informal science education settings
2. To promote interaction and collaboration among GK-12 students and teachers; university students and faculty; and informal science educators and the general public.
3. To increase recruitment of future anthropologists from GK-12 settings; make research experiences for university students more relevant for 21st century careers; and to improve communication of anthropological research to the general public.


NSF-REU Interdisciplinary Summer Field School in Fiji
The ANTHRO-TEACH project directors were awarded a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation REU program “Research Experiences for Undergraduates. ” Full expenses and a stipend are paid for 18 students to participate in hands-on research in archaeology (year one, 2009) and cultural anthropology (year two, 2010) in the Lau Island Group, Fiji.

ANTHRO-TEACH / TAP (Tapping Academic Potential) Collaboration
The collaboration involves anthropology science education presentations to Birmingham city school high school students involved in TAP (Tapping Academic Potential). The aim of TAP is to offer a variety of programs to improve the college readiness of Birmingham city high school students.

TEACHING ANTHROPOLOGY: Developing Scholar-Teachers and Student-Scientists
Teaching Anthropology is a project to be taught as an undergraduate course, “Senior Seminar and Practicuum in Anthropology,” (ANTH 500), beginning Fall 2009. The course is designed for students to synthesize and apply knowledge used in previous anthropology courses and to provide research-driven experiences in public and academic communication and outreach.

The ANTHRO-TEACH Cross-Cultural Food and Film Discussion Series
The film series involves a faculty intro lecture on the culture and critical anthropological themes addressed in the film followed by a faculty-led moderated discussion after the film screening. The series is designed to be university anthropology student enrichment, but will be open to all interested students. Refreshments will be foods representative of the culture.

Collaboration with the Tannehill Slave Quarters Project
Jack Bergstresser, head archeologist at Tannehill State Park has offered opportunities for students and faculty to participate in excavations of Antebellum slave quarters on site. The ANTHRO-TEACH program directors are involved in development of a team-taught course to be offered during UAB’s May miniterm, “The Anthropology of Slavery.” UAB students are also being mentored in ethnohistory projects related to the Slave Quarter’s Project.

The ANTHRO-TEACH Alabama Native American Project
The Alabama Native American project provides student research opportunities related to prehistory, ethnohistory, and contemporary Alabama Native Americans. A particular focus is hands-on research with the Josselyn archaeological collection, housed in UAB’s anthropology department with consists of over 100,000 artifacts including stone tools, pottery, ornaments, and arrowheads from excavations at 100 sites from all of Alabama’s counties.

The Titusville African American Cemetery Project
The ANTHRO-TEACH faculty are currently consulting on the ethnohistory and archaeology of a recently discovered early 1900s African American cemetery in the Titusville community. We are developing plans for a collaborative project with Titusville high school student/UAB undergraduate students to delineate, map, and preserve the cemetery.

ANTHRO-TEACH Advisory Board

Carolyn Conley, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of History
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Shawanda R. Thomas, Ph.D.
Project Director, TAP (Tapping Academic Potential)
Birmingham City Schools

Marilyn J. Kurata, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Core Curriculum Enhancement
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Jack Bergstresser, Ph.D.
Director of the Alabama Historic Iron Works Museum
Director of the Tannehill Slave Quarters Archaeology Project
Tannehill Historical State Park, Alabama

Michael Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair Department of Anthropology
University of Alabama

Bruce Wheatley, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mark LaGory, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Nikolaos Zahariadis, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Government
Director, International Studies
University of Alabama at Birmingham

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