Case Western Reserve University





















Anthropology Spotlight Lecture Series featured

John F. Sherry

This year’s Spotlight Lecture Series was held on March 5th and featured John F. Sherry Jr., Raymond W. & Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Marketing and Department Chair, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business.
Sherry joined the Notre Dame Marketing faculty in 2005 as the Herrick Professor of Marketing and Chairman of the Department. For the two previous decades, he was a member of the Marketing Department at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Sherry is an anthropologist who studies the sociocultural and symbolic dimensions of consumption, and the cultural ecology of marketing. He is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association as well as the Society for Applied Anthropology, and past President of the Association for Consumer Research. Sherry’s work appears in numerous journals, book chapters, professional manuals, and proceedings. He has edited Contemporary Marketing and Consumer Behavior: An Anthropological Sourcebook, as well as Servicescapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets. He is co-editor of Advances in Consumer Research, Volume 19: Proceedings of the 1991 Conference; Time, Space and the Market; Retroscapes Rising; Consumer Culture Theory and Explorations in Consumer Culture Theory.

His lecture, titled “Understanding Emplaced Brandscapes: Ethnographic Insights from American Girl,” was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Jonathan Plimpton, Managing Director, International Business Management, Inc. and a 1970 graduate of Anthropology at Western Reserve College.


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Dr. Janet McGrath Receives 2014 ADVANCE Opportunity Award

Dr. Janet McGrath was one of ten selected Case Western Reserve University faculty members to receive the 2014 ADVANCE Opportunity Award. The awards are part of ACES+, the continuation of the Academic Careers in Engineering & Sciences program. It will support Dr. McGrath’s conference and travel expenses to an executive training course on global health diplomacy at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.



Dr. Goldstein’s Tibetan Oral History Archive Project (TOHAP) goes online

The archive project is the outgrowth of a series of research projects funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, during which Dr. Goldstein and his research assistants collected interviews documenting the social and political history of modern Tibet. Today, these oral history interviews with accompanying written transcripts (translated into English) are being compiled into a digital archive known as the Tibetan Oral History Archive Project (TOHAP). The first installment of interviews went online utilizing 100% cloud computing resources at this semester with the help of the CWRU Information Technology Services (ITS).

Snapshot screen of TOHAP website home page               




Dr. Goldstein receives a 2014 Freedman Fellows Program award

Dr. Goldstein received a 2014 Freedman Fellows Program award for digital scholarship. The award is given to full-time faculty whose current scholarly research involves the use of digital tools and processes with clearly articulated project outcomes. Dr. Goldstein will use the funds to check for and correct syntax errors in the main corpus of TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)-encoded data in the Tibetan Oral History Archive Project (TOHAP) mentioned above. The award will also allow Dr. Goldstein to prepare his unique archive of Chinese government documents for online publication.

TEI is an important standard set of guidelines for the complex encoding of machine-readable texts in digital format in the humanities and social sciences that is used to publish texts online for internet research, presentation, and teaching. Using XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), the TEI-encoded data can be manipulated in a wide variety of ways. This manipulation can include reordering, isolation of specific words or phrases, aggregation of all segments spoken by a particular individual, or other search-type functions useful for researchers. In other words, once the materials are marked up with TEI, it can be “played with.”



Outstanding examples of strength of the faculty in our department

In addition to faculty who conduct cutting-edge research they are also outstanding examples of strength in teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students. Congratulations to the following faculty for being nominated for the awards below.

Drs. Katia Almeida, Eileen Anderson-Fye, Gabriella Celeste, and Janet McGrath were nominated for the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This award is presented annually to two faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Dr. Vanessa Hildebrand was nominated for the J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring. This award recognizes the positive impact Case Western Reserve University faculty and staff have on the lives of students.

Dr. Vanessa Hildebrand was also nominated for both the John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Teaching and the John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Mentoring. These awards are presented to four full-time faculty members who make exemplary contributions to the education and development of graduate students at Case Western Reserve University. Two awards are given for outstanding mentors and two for those who excel in the teaching of graduate students.

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Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye co-hosts School for Advanced Research Seminar

Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye co-hosted a School for Advanced Research seminar this past March titled "Obesity, Upward Mobility, and Symbolic Body Capital in a Rapidly Changing World." Recent PhD graduate Stephanie McClure was an invited participant. Dr. Anderson-Fye built off of her National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER project on global obesity stigma to plan the seminar with Alexandra Brewis (Arizona State University) and the two are currently co-editing a book resulting from the seminar.



American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting

Faculty, graduate students, and alumni came together at the 2014 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting held in Chicago, Illinois this past November. There was a tremendous turnout from chairing and organizing roundtable panels to presenting and discussing.

Katia Almeida presented “Teaching Cultures of Latin America: A Cross-Cultural Journey as Anthropologist and Native.”

Cynthia Beall presented “Fertility Variation and Child Survivorship Among Post-Reproductive Tibetan Women Residing at High Altitude in Nepal.”

Alanna Cooper presented “Authenticity and Identity: The Scholar and the Self.”

Atwood Gaines was a discussant on a roundtable entitled “Reflecting on America, Continued: A Potpourri of Papers on U.S. Culture.”

Janet McGrath was chair and a presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “HIV Infection and AIDS Risk: Past, Current and Future Engagements.”

Janet McGrath and Margaret Winchester


Charlotte Haney (PhD, CWRU 2013) was an organizer and presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Future Publics, Current Engagements: How Current Undergraduate Anthropology Programs’ Recruitment and Retention Strategies are Shaping the Future of the Discipline.”

Michele Hanks was chair, organizer and presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Experts, Expertise, and the Public.” She presented “The Evidence of Paranormal Expertise: Technological Ownership and Public Understandings of Science.”

Lihong Shi was chair, organizer and presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Raising “Little Emperors”: Parental Aspirations and Child rearing Challenges in China.” She presented “Raising One Successful Child: Reproductive Choice and Child rearing Strategies in Rural Northeast China.”

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sarah Miller-Fellows, Stephanie McClure, Nadia El-Shaarawi, Kelley Kampman, Kristi Ninnemann, Aura Newlin

Margaret Winchester (PhD, CWRU 2011) presented “Respatializing the State: Ugandan Decentralization and Women’s Help Seeking.”

Brad Casucci presented “When Elephants Fight It Is the Grass That Suffers”: Control, Common Sense, Cleanliness and Corruption in Maassailand, Kenya.”



Michelle Osborn and James Pfeiffer


Vanessa Hildebrand was chair, organizer and presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Roundtable Outlaws, Quasi-Citizens, and Folk Devils: Emerging Publics Engaging the State.” She presented “Morality, Justice and Biomedical Obstetrics: Views from a Rural Indonesian Clinic.”

Jill Korbin was a presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Methods that Matter: Mixed Methods Research in Anthropology.”

Bridget Haas (MS, CWRU 2003) presented “Trauma Narratives and the Adjudication of Deservingness in the U.S. Political Asylum Process.”

Eileen Anderson-Fye was chair and presenter on a roundtable panel entitled “Global Fat Stigma: Ethnographic Perspectives from Belize, Jamaica, and Nepal.” She presented “What Ethnography Has To Contribute to the Global Study of Fat Stigma.” She was also a discussant on a roundtable panel entitled “Researcher-Practitioner Collaborations in Projects Concerning Children and Youth-Organized by ACYIG."

Sarah Rubin presented “Both Here and There: Meaning and Modes of Motherhood for Xhosa Women in an Urban South African Township.”


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sarah Rubin, Rachel Chapman, 

Eileen Anderson-Fye


Hillary Melchiors, Stacey McKenna, Aura Newlin, Ruth Magtanong, Kate Masley, and Allison Schlosser were all presenters on a roundtable entitled “Engaging Participants and Researchers in a Shrinking Ethnographic World: Challenges and Changes for the Modern Anthropologist.”

Nadia El-Shaawari (PhD, CWRU 2011) was an organizer on a roundtable panel entitled “Moral Economies of Health-Related ‘Deservingness’.” She also presented “The Indeterminacy of the Elsewhere: Iraqi Refugees, Third-Country Resettlement, and the Aid Encounter.”


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Margaret Winchester, Jonathan Metcalfe, Hillary Melchiors, Allison Schlosser


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Allison Schlosser, Michelle Osborn, Margaret Winchester, Kristi Ninnemann, Hillary Melchiors

Stephanie McClure (PhD, CWRU 2013) presented “Who’s a Player? Narrative Templates of Competitive Physicality Among African American Adolescent Females.” She was also a discussant on Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye’s roundtable panel entitled “Global Fat Stigma: Ethnographic Perspectives from Belize, Jamaica, and Nepal.”

Arundhati Bharati presented “Embodiment and Body Image in a Nepali Monastery.”

Yunzhu Chen presented “Risk and Protective Factors for Fat Stigma in Belize, Jamaica, and Nepal.”

Maureen Floriano presented “Multiple Non-Competing Body Ideals: the Case of Belize.”

Sarah Miller-Fellows presented “Social Identity, Biological Citizenship, and Reproduction Among the Amish.”

Global Fat Stigma Team



FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Yunzhu Chen, Arundhati Bharati, Maureen Floriano, Eileen Anderson-Fye, Stephanie McClure



Ariel Cascio

Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez

Ariel Cascio presented and chaired a panel at the 2014 Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March. The panel was aimed to build theoretical and methodological groundwork for the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary study of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


Her paper entitled “This is the Italian variant on TEACCH”: Italian Adaptation of a North Carolina Autism Service Model” presented Italian professionals’ reflections on Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communications-Handicapped Children (TEACCH) and its influence on their work.


Ariel received the Baker Nord Graduate Research Grant to help support dissertation costs. She also received an Arts & Sciences Fellowship for participation in an interdisciplinary Dissertation Seminar during the coming fall semester.

Brad Casucci and Ariel Cascio at the SfAA conference

Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez received the College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship which supports the transition from course work to writing the dissertation through financial support and participation in an interdisciplinary seminar during the fall 2014 semester. She also received the Richard A. Zdanis Research Fellowship Award which provides financial support for completing work on the dissertation. Her dissertation, "Growing-up and Communal Violence: The Well-Being of Children in Salvadoran Schools," examines the well-being of children ages eight to eleven in two public schools in El Salvador by exploring the school as a site where violence is both enacted and protected against.

Michelle Nebergall

The Utah State University Museum of Anthropology featured Michelle Nebergall in their Anthropology Lecture Series. These are a series of public lectures that feature prominent anthropologists from around the nation. Michelle gave her lecture this past February on “Youth Wellbeing in a South African Township.” The presentation drew on Michelle’s ethnographic study of youth living in a peri-urban township outside of Cape Town and the challenges youth face protecting their health and wellbeing in the context of multiple, interconnected threats.


During her time there, she was able to visit one of Dr. Maggie Zraly’s anthropology classes and meet with her students. Maggie, a 2008 CWRU alumni, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Utah State University.

Brad Casucci


Brad Casucci presented “Isupati Inkerra? How Are the Children?: Conflict, Tension and Growth in Kenya” at the 2014 Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March.


Sarah Rubin

Sarah Rubin is a recipient of the Graduate Dean’s Instructional Excellence Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. The award is given to graduate students who have been nominated by their departments as an individual who demonstrates outstanding achievement in instruction. Sarah also co-published an article in Ethos with Maggie Zraly and Donatilla Mukamana this past November entitled “Motherhood and Resilience among Rwandan Genocide-Rape Survivors.”

Allison Schlosser

Allison Schlosser is one of the inaugural recipients of the Graduate Social Justice Fellowship from the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University for her research titled "Belonging and Experience: An Ethnographic Study of Addiction Treatment in the Post-Welfare United States." The fellowship supports Allison's dissertation research on how clients experience publically-funded addiction treatment in Ohio. Allison's work combines anthropological research with a social justice orientation by ethnographically examining how addiction treatment influences clients' socio-political inclusion and how they experience and actively respond to marginalization, with the goal of providing information on lived experiences of treatment to inform public policy.


Allison has also been awarded the Ruth Barber Moon Award from the School of Graduate Studies. This award is given to graduate students who have demonstrated academic promise and leadership abilities.

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Jing Wang

Jing Wang received the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship in support for part of her dissertation research which is about investigating how globalization impacts intergenerational relationships and the status of the elderly in different family systems. The fellowship will enable her to hire personal tutors for Tibetan language, and travel and stay in Tibet for an extended period of time to experience and learn about Tibetan culture and conduct her dissertation research.

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Yan Zhang

Yan Zhang received two awards: a Graduate Social Justice Fellowship from the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University for her research titled “Family Care Arrangement and Elder Mistreatment for Dementia Patients in China” and the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship for her research titled "Caring for a Person with Dementia: Emerging Forms of Caregiving, Old-Age Support, and Family Relations in China." She will conduct fieldwork during the summer in a community in Shanghai where she had previously worked as a program manager for a non-governmental organization (NGO) on community care for the elderly.


She will explore the ways in which caregiving for elderly patients with dementia are negotiated among family members, the experience of caregiving, and the contributing factors to elderly mistreatment and abuse. She will explore the challenges, arrangements, and strategies of caregiving for a dementia person, with particular focus on the questions: How are caregiving responsibilities negotiated among family members? How does a family member perceive their filial obligations for a parent with dementia or conjugal love for a spouse with dementia? What do the caregivers think about the help and support from the community, especially the institutional care for the elderly? By engaging in these questions, she will examine the impact of an emerging dementia pandemic and the new forms of caregiving arrangements necessitated on family relations and old-age support in urban China. 



Graduate Discourse (GD) continues CWRU’s tradition of being a body of unity and support for anthropology graduate students. This spring, GD events included a mixer with the Anthropology Student Association, a works-in-progress presentation, and monthly meetings to discuss issues relevant to graduate student life.  The following students served in these capacities for the spring semester: Raakhee Patel, Administrative/Advocacy Chair; Rebekah Kramer, Social Chair/Librarian; Ariel Cascio, Journal Chair; Carolyn Smith, Professional Development Chair; Julia Balacko, Graduate Student Senator.


Woranso-Mille Project Paleoanthropology Field Research

Undergraduate anthropology major, Adriana Thompson, worked in Ethiopia this spring on the paleoanthropology project of Professor Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. She plans to use some of the data collected this field season for her capstone project.

“When I found out I was going to Ethiopia, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I was excited and terrified simultaneously. The first day in Ethiopia, I began working in the museum lab and thus, it was the start of my nine-week adventure. I started with attempting to piece together a fossil skull as I struggled to learn vertebrate osteology. For example, being able to distinguish bovid post-crania from suid post-crania and so on. After two weeks of lab work and osteological study, we headed out to the field. There, I bonded with the field crew while washing, bagging and searching for fossils. In regards to the search, we mostly surveyed. Surveying for fossils consisted of walking around for hours, head down and eyes peeled. Every fossil found had to be cataloged. This meant identifying to the genus, what the bone was, what side it was from (if applicable), and taking note of the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. “
“If Dr. Haile-Selassie called for a surface scrape, it meant we were all crawling about on hands and knees, collecting every piece of bone on the surface and removing all other rocks. If he called for a pick, it meant we were raking up the sediment of the scraped area, putting it through a sieve and picking through what remained to find bone. If we found a crumbling in situ bone, it meant it was time to break out the plaster casting. While everyday in the field seemed the same, each day also brought new surprises and discoveries. I was never quite sure what to expect. At the end of the five-week field season, we headed back to the city, and I was back in the lab. However, this time I was prepping, sorting, and labeling fossils as well as gluing them together. When all this was done, I assisted in the hand over of the fossils to the museum, and then it was back to CWRU for me.”


Outstanding Achievement Awards in Anthropology

Congratulations to the following graduating seniors for their outstanding achievements in anthropology. Heidi Wagner and Alexander Shappie for winning the Ruth and Newbell Niles Puckett Award. Sarah Zavaleta and Alexandria Drake for winning the Callender Memorial Award. Nimish Mital and Sharif Sabe for winning the Jonathan F. Plimpton Award. Lawrence Monocello for receiving the James Dysart Magee Award.

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Shannon Groll

Alexander Shappie

Shannon Groll won second place in Social Sciences at the Intersections: SOURCE Symposium and Poster Session for her poster “Permission to Be Fat? Tacit Societal Approval to Resist Fat Stigma in Belize and Jamaica."

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Alexander Shappie will be moving to Norfolk, Virginia in August to begin work on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Virginia Consortium.

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In an effort to connect the Anthropology Department at CWRU, the Anthropology Student Association (ASA) was created to bring together undergraduate students in anthropology. ASA is a community centered around discussion and intellectual curiosity in which students have the opportunity to explore educational, cultural, and service opportunities in Cleveland, and share their passion for anthropology with the campus community. The Anthropological Student Association, in partnership with Newman Catholic Ministries, hosted a Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Sale in February. They sold a variety of Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolates, and jewelry and all proceeds went to support the Partners in Health, the East Cleveland Meal Program, and the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America. This organization also works closely with Lambda Alpha, the National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology, to provide resources to undergraduates in the department.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Christie Ellis, Hannah Low, and Maggie Kuhl at the Fair Trade Valentine's Day Sale



Marisa Abbe

Marisa Abbe (CWRU 2010) recently accepted a position as Director of the Emergency Department (ED) Research at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas. She continues to be a Research Scientist in the Injury Prevention Service conducting research on the traumas that bring children to the hospital as well as how to prevent them. Children’s is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, the fifth largest pediatric hospital in the nation, and has the second busiest pediatric ED in the nation.

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Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer Shaw (CWRU 2013) published an article this past December in the American Journal of Public Health entitled “Risk, Reward and the Double-Edged Sword: Perspectives on Pharmacogenetic Research and Clinical Testing among Alaska Native People.” The article was co-written with colleagues from Southcentral Foundation and the University of Washington.

Christopher Dole

Christopher Dole (CWRU 2002) is now Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Amherst College. He recently completed research on a project concerned with humanitarian psychiatry and the long-term social and psychological effects of catastrophe in Turkey.

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Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth Olson (CWRU 2009) published Indigenous Knowledge and Development: Livelihoods, Health Experiences and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve with Lexington Books in February. The book provides an ethnographic account of a group of indigenous people living in a natural protected area in west central Mexico.

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Colleen Walsh

Colleen Walsh (CWRU 2011) accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the School of Health Sciences in the College of Sciences and Health Professions at Cleveland State University.

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