Friday, September 9, 2022
Speaker: Mareike Janiak, New York University
Title: Exploring two sides of the mammalian digestome: Host enzymes and gut microbes
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Mareike Janiak is broadly interested in the ways that animals adapt to the specific demands of their ecological niches. For this, she combines genomic information with dietary data or behavioral observations to understand the genetic and/or behavioral changes that allow a species to survive in its environment.
pdf Flyer DiFiore rev 2 24 (1.21 MB)

Thursday, September 22, 2022
Speaker: Anirruddhan Vasudevan, Princeton University
Title: Talk of Wonder: Religion, Sociality, and Moral Astonishment among Thirunangai Transwomen in Southern India
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: AB 4052 (west wing, 4th floor)
Sponsored by South Asian Studies Program and Anthropology Department's Critical Interventions in Theory and Ethnography (CITE)

Anirruddhan Vasudevan is currently a postdoc at Princeton University.  He has an area focus on Tamil Nadu and Mother-Goddess worship among the Thirunangai transgender women.

Friday, September 23, 2022
Speaker: Tom Gillespie, Emory University
Title: A One Health Approach to Understanding and Mitigating Pathogenic Threats to Wild Primates
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Thomas Gillespie is an ecologist and epidemiologist recognized for his integrative approach to the conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of emerging infectious diseases. He is currently a professor at Emory University.

Friday, October 14, 2022
Speaker: Christopher von Rueden, University of Richmond
Title: Unmaking egalitarianism: comparing sources of political change in an Amazonian society
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Chris von Rueden is an anthropologist and assistant professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond. He studies status hierarchy and collective action in small-scale societies, in particular the Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of lowland Bolivia.

Wednesday, November 2, 3, 4, 2022
4th Lembersky Conference on Human Evolutionary Studies: From the Genome to the General Assembly: Cooperation and Conflict Across Domains
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)
To register and for more information visit:
or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

speaker arpana inman flyerThursday, November 3, 2022
Speaker: Arpana Inman, Professor and Dean GSAPP (Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology), Rutgers
Title: Shades of Otherness. Perspectives on South Asians in the US (discussion)
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: AB 6051 (West Building)






Friday, November 18, 2022
Speaker: Rebecca Stumpf, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Title: Insights into Microbial Diversity and Disease Transmission among Wild Primates of Africa
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001

Rebecca Stumpf is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with appointments in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, the Institute for Global Studies, the Center for African Studies, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Study, and the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine. She has studied wild chimpanzees in East and West Africa for over 20 years and founded and directs the Kanyanchu River Chimpanzee Project and Research Collaborative in Western Uganda. Her research focuses on primates in natural environments to examine comparative behavior and biology, sexual selection, microbial ecology and host-microbial interactions, disease transmission, antimicrobial resistance, and conservation.

  pdf flyer (208 KB)

Friday, December 2, 2022
Speaker: Siobhán M. Mattison, University of New Mexico
Title: A behavioral ecology view on the gender-health paradox
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Co-sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Siobhán M. Mattison is an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at the University of New Mexico and a rotator at the National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on explaining health and welfare in light of variation in human kinship and social structure norms. She conducts fieldwork with the Mosuo (Na) of Southwest China and among the Melanesian Ni-Vanuatu. She received her doctoral degree in biocultural anthropology from the University of Washington and trained as a postdoctoral fellow in anthropology and demography at Stanford University.

  pdf flyer (496 KB)

Friday, December 9, 2022
Speaker: Sander van der Leeuw, Arizona State University
Title: The evolution of information processing, categorization and the illusion of control
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: To be held online; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the Zoom link
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

An archaeologist and historian, Prof. Sander van der Leeuw has been specializing in the long-term interactions between humans and their environments. He is a pioneer in the application of the Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approach to socio-environmental challenges, technology and innovation.

Friday, January 20, 2023
Speaker: Marie Soressi, Leiden University, Netherlands
Title: Neandertal Legacy: Searching for the impact of indigenous populations on Homo sapiens populations circa 40 kya in Europe
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: virtual; for ZOOM link contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.N
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)
This talk will be rescheduled for next year.

Friday, January 20, 2023
Speaker: Krystal Smalls, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Title: Matter(ing) and Meaning: The Raciosemiotics of Contemporary Black Diaspora in Digital and Analog Life
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001

Krystal Smalls is a linguistic anthropologist (BS from Cornell; PhD from UPenn), with several ongoing ethnographic projects spanning several African diasporic field sites - from Liberia and Moravia to Philadelphia and the Gulla/Geechee communities of South Carolina.  Her research foci include education and social media, body and identity politics, urban studies, global migrations, raciolinguistic ideologies and anti-black linguistic practices.

  pdf flyer (151 KB)

Friday, January 27, 2023
Speaker: Tony Goldberg, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Title:  Tragic natural experiments: insights into human evolution from infectious diseases of primates
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Tony Goldberg is a professor of epidemiology with training in the biological, medical and social sciences.  His research and teaching focus on the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease, combining field and laboratory studies to understand how pathogens in dynamic ecosystems are transmitted among hosts, across complex landscapes and over time.

Monday, January 30, 2023
Speaker: Damien Stankiewicz, Temple University
Title: Adjacent Discourse: On Talking and Not Talking about Politics in a Far-Right Town in France
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: RAB-001

Damien Stankiewicz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University. His research examines national identity and nationalism in Western Europe, principally France. As a visual anthropologist and anthropologist of media, his research focuses especially on the role that mass media play in (re)configurations of belonging and “culture.”

Friday, February 17, 2023
Speaker: Thibaud Gruber, University of Geneva
Title: An affective, behavioral and cognitive story of the evolution of communication and culture in humans
          and other great apes

Time: 3:30 PM
Location: RAB:001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)
  pdf flyer (2.22 MB) Speaker's Abstract: The studies of the evolution of language and culture are intertwined. Often, the same mechanisms – including the usual suspects such as imitation – are argued to be at the heart of the evolution of both. In addition, in the last decades, research on social learning in non-humans vs humans has largely focused on behavioral and cognitive processes, while research on non-human vs human communication has often opposed cognitive processes to emotional ones. These two approaches sometimes fall in the pitfall of looking for the one characteristic that makes us unique amongst other animals. In this talk, I want to focus on the commonalities between animal and human social learning, with the goal to braid together literature from social learning, affective development, and the evolution of communication. 

Friday, February 24, 2023
Speaker: Anthony Di Fiori, University of California, Davis
Title: Comparative Mating Systems of Atelin Primates
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Anthony Di Fiori conducts long-term behavioral and ecological field research on several species in the primate community of Amazonian Ecuador to investigate the ways in which ecological conditions (such as the abundance and distribution of food resources) and the strategies of conspecifics together shape primate behavior and social relationships and ultimately determine the kinds of societies we see primates living in.
pdf Flyer DiFiore rev 2 24
(1.21 MB)

Friday, March 3, 2023
Invited Speaker: Christine Chalifoux, University of Michigan
Title:  Contentious Kinship: Ethnicity and Motherhood in a Kampala Orphanage
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001

This talk foregrounds the experiences of ethnic minority migrant workers in Uganda who relocated to the capital city of Kampala in search of employment. For the workers at Furaha Babies' Home, an orphanage and the setting in which this talk takes place, the proliferation of stereotypes about virtually every ethnic group forces discerning relationships. These stereotypes bear the weight of Uganda's postcolonial history, and at Furaha, they affect the kin relations that are forged between the workers and the children for whom they are paid to care. Despite the cosmopolitanism of the city and the orphanage, ideas about the immutability of ethnicity persist. Yet, bonds of kinship are forged between members of competing groups, transcending seemingly insurmountable boundaries. Introducing the concept of "contentious kinship", this talk argues that kin bonds forged in precarious, austere circumstances give life meaning for the underclass of Kampala.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Speaker:  John Rowan, University at Albany
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

John Rowan is a biological anthropologist specializing in the ecology and evolution of mammalian faunas, terrestrial ecosystems, and early hominins in the African fossil record. His work primarily focuses on the relationships between climatic, environmental, and ecological changes through time.

Friday, March 31, 2023
Speaker: Patricia Wright, Stony Brook University
Title: Saving Rainforest in Madagascar: a long term integrated approach
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Patricia Chapple Wright is an American primatologist, anthropologist, and conservationist. Wright is best known for her extensive study of social and family interactions of wild lemurs in Madagascar. She established the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments at Stony Brook University.

Friday, April 7, 2023
Speaker: Mary Shenk, Penn State University
Title: Market Integration and Transitions in Fertility, Marriage, and Kinship Systems
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

Mary Shenk is a biocultural anthropologist, human behavioral ecologist, and anthropological demographer with interests in marriage, family, kinship, parental investment, fertility, mortality, and inequality. She has conducted field research on the economics of marriage and parental investment in urban South India, the causes of rapid fertility decline in rural Bangladesh, and the effects of market integration on wealth, social networks, and health in rural Bangladesh.

CANCELED Friday, April 14, 2023
Speaker: Serah Shani, PhD., Mercy College
Title: Cooperation as capital: The unsettled moral practices and reciprocities among Maasai parents and their children in a changing world
Time: noon
Location: BIO-302
Sponsored by  Cooperation Across Domains Working Group, Center for Cultural Analysis

Friday, April 14, 2023
Guest speaker: Katrina Yezzi-Woodley
Title: Building Community Relationships to Create Engaging Educational Programming for K-12 Students
Time: At LUNCHTIME (no longer 3:30 pm)
Sponsored by: Graduate Student Equity and Inclusion Committee
  pdf flyer (429 KB)

UPDATE AS OF 4/13/23
Because we believe that Dr. Yezzi-Woodley's message of connecting with local communities and K-12 students is in line with the values of the strike, we have decided to hold her talk as an impromptu teach-in during lunchtime at the College Avenue picket line! We hope that you will still consider joining us to meet Dr. Yezzi-Woodley and hear about her story of engaging with her local community as a university scholar. 

 Dr. Katrina Yezzi-Woodley is an NSF SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellow and the President of Science and Social Studies Adventures (SASSAk12), an educational nonprofit that connects K-12 students and educators with active researchers. During her tenure as a graduate student, Dr. Yezzi-Woodley wanted to introduce a classroom of students at a local Minnesota middle school to archaeology and paleoanthropology. To do this, she teamed up with educators and other graduate students to create hands-on learning materials that were presented to approximately 600 sixth grade students. Over the next couple years, the program grew and each year graduate students worked with over 1,000 K-12 students. These efforts culminated in the establishment of SASSAk12. With the onset of COVID-19, the landscape changed and SASSAk12 had to adapt its approach. Please join Dr. Yezzi-Woodley as she shares the history of SASSAk12, her experience working on community-engaged projects within the sphere of K-12 education, and the lessons she has learned along the way which focus on building relationships, creating engaging programs for students, and how to effectively communicate with the public. 
For a Zoom link please reach out to Becca DeCamp, Kyra Johnson, Luna Wang, or Mahsun Oti
Because of the planning that has been involved by the speaker and the Graduate E&I committee, this talk will continue as planned even if there is a concurrent strike. If there is a concurrent strike, the E&I members have a prepared statement and will provide links to the appropriate strike funds.

Thursday, April 20, 2023
Speaker: Sharika Thiranagama, Stanford University
Title: Nationalism and Collapse in Sri Lanka
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Co-sponsored by South Asian Studies Program (SASP)

CANCELED SINCE SPEAKER IS SICK - Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Speaker:  Maira Hayat, Princeton for 2022-23; Notre Dame
Title: God and Government
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Ruth Adams Building third floor lobby, Douglass
Sponsored by: AGSA


Bureaucracies allocate and distribute welfare, and are concrete instantiations of social contracts. And yet bureaucracies tend to feature in political and social theory as sites of structural violence, patriarchy, sovereign excess, or foils to ethical enterprise. Tracing the specific, surprising, and sophisticated ways in which God participates in everyday bureaucratic practice in an Irrigation Department in Pakistan, this talk argues for the unique importance of studying bureaucracy as a site of ethical laboring. What are the situated tensions characterizing bureaucratic rationale, and how are these negotiated with menacing or favorable consequences for citizens? More than a willful transgression of normative bureaucratic neutrality, do invocations of God in bureaucratic practice offer a lexicon of work? Addressing these questions, the talk provides insight not only into the nature of governance and possibilities for social justice, but also the governance of nature. A focus on an Irrigation bureaucracy in Pakistan’s Punjab province enables appreciation of the urgency of the stakes of ethical labor: the province is home to one of the world’s largest irrigation networks, managed by a vast bureaucracy; the country’s economy is predominantly agricultural, with agriculture being the primary source of employment; and the flow and blockage of water determines who can grow how much, to eat, subsist, or sell. The talk draws from a larger book project, titled, Duties of Water: Bureaucratic Labor and the Postcolonial Promise.

 Maira Hayat talk

Friday, TBD
Speaker: Joao Zilhao, University of Barcelona
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: RAB-001
Sponsored by Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)