Paper Abstracts


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NADEAU, Kathleen (CSUSB) (Embodying the Past in the Present) Liberation Theology and Indigenous Spiritualities’ Cyclical Notion of Time: Fighting against Environmental Degradation and Climate Change in the Philippines. Sacred cyclical conceptions of time espoused in liberation theologies-and indigenous spiritualities embody the earth as the ground and foundation of our material existence. They persist in opposition to profit-driven industrial schemes that extract resources from the environment. A brief explanation on climate change in the Philippines suggests that rekindling a love for “earth houses,” to use a term coined by Egyptian architect, Hassan Fathy (1900-1989), still offers a key to house the poor, heal and give new life to the natural environment and address the impact of climate change and related natural and human-made disasters. (TH-06)

NAYLOR, Ryan (Penn State U) Tourism, Livelihood, and Identity: Negotiation in Southeast Alaska. Southeast Alaska is experiencing 1.5 million tourists annually. In Petersburg, the fishing livelihoods and place-based identities that once precluded tourism now foster its growth through processes that objectify this working community. In this ethnographic research, data gathered from semi-structured key informant interviews, participant observation, and archival sources sought an idiographic and temporal understanding of how tourism is unfolding in the region. Despite concern about tourism-related loss of authenticity in this “town built by fish,” residents of both indigenous and European heritage acknowledge the emergence of tourism as increasing livelihood resilience in the face of instability in the fishing sector. (W-102) 

NAZAREA, Virginia (UGA) Roots-back-to-Roots: Imagining What’s Already There. Science and the larger society tend to want to start from a clean slate since introductions and interventions are more tractable and, thus, attributable. In “farmer-back-to-farmer,” Robert Rhoades demonstrated that appropriate agricultural technology is best generated starting from what farmers already know. In “development with identity,” he stressed the importance peoples’ perspectives in determining the course development projects should take. How can people displaced in time and space re-member their place? Using examples from our ethnographic fieldwork, I propose that a Deleuzian refrain may be key, a return to territory premised on the persistence and transcendence of seeds. (W-06) 

NEISS, Kassandra (Village Exchange Ctr) Applied Work as Equitable Work: Professional Development of an Applied Anthropologist beyond the Academy. This paper discusses applied anthropology outside of an academy and a personal journey of applied work with an MA in Cultural Anthropology. Since leaving the university, I have engaged in research with nonprofits, advocated for equitable community participation, and maintained engagement with my research field site. Guided by CRT, TribalCrit, and non-western methodologies, I explore the shortcomings of academic research and discuss how my current practice outside the academy allows a more equitable approach to research. I draw on my academic and employment experience to consider opportunities for applied anthropologists outside academia. (TH-08) 

NEISS, Kassandra (Village Exchange Ctr) Using Contact, Contention, and Commonality to Create Multicultural and Multi-faith Shared-Space. This paper discusses the ways in which a community center located in a repurposed church is interpreted by the multicultural user base, how contention and divergent experiences aid in the construction of shared-space, and the place of commonality in a multicultural setting. US churches are struggling to keep their doors open with between 3,500 and 12,000 closed each year and even more faced with hard decisions about the future of the institutions. One church in Aurora, Colorado confronted this challenge by repurposing their building as a community center for immigrants and refugees, a growing demographic in the city. (S-03)

NELSON, Donald and SEIGERMAN, Cydney (UGA), FINAN, Timothy (U Arizona) The Making of a Drought: Politics, Infrastructure and Going Without. Culturally agreed upon drought events reference the collective imagination of a population. These universalizing designations homogenize experience and elevate the importance of variation of the “natural” abundance of water. However, vulnerability is socially mitigated and water and social power intimately related. We disarticulate the dominant narrative of the 2012-2017 Brazilian drought to explore the ways in which infrastructure, political structures, social power, and water itself are implicated in the definition and experience of drought. The uneven topography of the “Worst Drought in 100 Years” highlights the hybrid nature of humans, water, and drought. (F-11) 

NELSON, Katie (Inver Hills CC) Writing Books With Students: The Inclusive Praxis of Open Access Publishing of Student Authored Ethnographic Narrative. This presentation explores a pedagogical practice in which students conduct ethnographic research, write life history interviews and then publish them as Open Educational Resources. Rather than treat these as “throw away assignments,” students are able to preserve their work and make it available to future students. The benefits are multiple: Students become the knowledge makers, breaking up traditional academic authority. Students learn ethnographic methods, ethical principles, and how social constructs of race, ethnicity, gender etc. change throughout the course of a person’s life. Students also explore open access publishing and become part of a movement to disrupt traditional for-profit profit publishing which perpetuates knowledge inequality. (S-35) 

NIELSEN, Kate (BYU) The Rainforest as a Means for Cultural Survival in Amazonian Ecuador. Ecuadorian Quichua-speaking people are deeply connected to the rainforest. It is their subsistence, culture, caretaker, and responsibility. The intimacy and depth of their connection with the land rivals a familial relationship. Despite this, Quichua peoples are denied the autonomy to decide the future of their land. Their constitution guarantees the right of indigenous peoples to reject oil drilling. This enumerated right is being traded for the financial security of a country that systematically oppresses and discriminates against them. This paper will explore the necessity of honoring this right in order to preserve the environment and indigenous cultures and languages. (F-06)​​​​​​​ 

NOONAN, Emily (U Louisville) The Traumatized Child: Neuro-Psychological Research and Its Uses in Child Advocacy. In this paper, I explore how research and knowledge about the “child brain” is used in two arenas: international adoption advocacy and U.S. immigration practice. Both are political projects: to encourage support for international adoption and to protest the separation of migrant children from their parents. Combining science—neurological images, outcomes data from research on abandoned children—with empathetic narratives about children, advocates marshal support for persuasion and policy-making. Juxtaposing these processes—adoption and immigration—we see how the bio-psycho-developmental figure of “the child” operates in discourse about childhood, kinship, and citizenship. (T-124)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

NOONAN, Emily, WEINGARTNER, Laura, and COMBS, Ryan (U Louisville) Perspectives of Transgender/Gender Minority Standardized Patients in Medical Education. Medical schools rely on standardized patients (SPs) (individuals trained enact patient scenarios) to teach students clinical skills. To address the clinical skills gap that students have in treating transgender and other gender minority patients (TGM), the University of Louisville School of Medicine hired TGM SPs to enact scenarios that integrated gender-affirming care. We conducted focus groups of TGM SPs (n=10) to understand their experiences with this process. Participants’ insights highlight the value of engaging with community members to improve medical care, the benefits of SPs drawing on their own lived experiences, and the importance of considering the relationship between identity and “authenticity” in SP encounters. (TH-35)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

NORDIN, Andreas (U Gothenburg) The Connection between Counterintuitive Religious Dream Content, Social Use and Religiosity: Report from a Case Study in a Hindu-Nepalese Context. Dreaming is a common human experience and is a cultural theme that appears in folk traditions and dream incubation rituals. Religious dreams and dream beliefs often contain representations of interacting supernatural agents who have access to information that may be of strategic importance to humans. Dreaming has rarely been an object of theoretical reflection in cognitive anthropology or the cognitive science of religion. This presentation reports from a case study in a Hindu-Nepalese context about counterintuitive content in religious dreaming and relates this topic to the reported social use of dreaming and its correlation to religiosity among the informants. (F-01)

NORMAN, Karma (NOAA NWFSC), SPIER, Cameron (NOAA SWFSC), RIDINGS, Corey and DREXLER, Michael (Ocean Conservancy), MARCUM, Jennifer (WA Dept of Labor & Industries) Using Health Survey Data to Assess the Wellbeing of Fishermen and Fishing Communities. Anthropologists and marine managers are interested in the wellbeing fishing communities adjacent to the marine ecosystems of the U.S. West Coast. Collaborative efforts on measures of wellbeing for marine socio-ecological systems have pointed to health as a wellbeing “domain” within which wellbeing measures may be developed through new or extant data collections. Our research makes novel use of an annual health survey to analyze fishermen’s wellbeing for Washington state. We report on our initial analyses here, and point to the ways in which these data and analyses inform ecosystem-based management in the face of climate-oriented changes in oceans and fisheries. (W-97)​​​​​​​ 

NORRIS, Susan and LORUP, Carole (Immaculata U) Immersive Global Service Learning and the Development of Cultural Competence: Student Perceptions of a Transformative Process. The development of cultural competence in nursing students is a process that integrates transcultural principles with teaching students to engage in respectful, reciprocal, and responsive interactions. Culturally competent nurses play a critical role in reducing disparities, advocating for the vulnerable, and improving outcomes. This qualitative study examined the effect of anthropologically focused immersive service learning programs on student’s self-perceived awareness, knowledge, encounters, desire and confidence with cross-cultural practice. Participants described the transformative nature of their experiences and the process of becoming culturally competent. Immersive programs are an effective tool for teaching respect for diversity in the classroom. (W-98)

NOUVET, Elysee, KADER KONDE, Mandy, KOUYATE, Sekou, BAH-SOW, Oumou, DIALLO, Alpha, PRINGLE, John, HUNT, MatthewSCHWARTZ, Lisa, CHENIER, Ani, MUYEMBE, Jean-Jacquest, and MUNDAY, Felicien (U W Ontario) Transforming Participant-Research Power Relations in Clinical Trials?: Reflections on a Toolbox Developed With and For Limited Literacy Adults in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The “Ebola Research Toolbox” involves developing a series of images, videos, and conversation starters in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo that aim to support limited literacy adults in navigating invitations to participate in clinical trials during and between epidemics. This is a Canadian government-funded project that emerged out of one Guinean survivor association’s request to the anthropologist co-lead in 2016. This presentation: 1) details and describes the ethical and practical advantages and challenges of the participatory process used to develop this “toolbox”; 2) shares examples of visual tools developed for the toolbox. (F-98)​​​​​​​ 

NYSSA, ZoeWHITMAN, MadissonLINDSAY, Ian, and BRILLER, Sherylyn (Purdue U) Applied Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS): What Can These Fields Learn from Each Other? Established in the wake of the technological disruptions and moral dilemmas posed by WWII, Science and Technology Studies (STS) questions the very distinction of “pure” and “applied.” Yet despite the ascendance of anthropological approaches in STS and the growth of career-oriented STS programs, there are few points of intersection between STS and applied anthropology. What can these two fields learn from each other? We report on 1) a comprehensive review of over 120 STS programs in the US and abroad, 2) a survey of literature around teaching professional practice. Based on these, we offer concrete suggestions for applied-STS partnership. (F-135)

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