Paper Abstracts


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O’BRIEN, Mike (TAMUSA) Competing Interests and the Growth of Universities. It is interesting how being an anthropologist or psychologist gives you certain perspectives into how universities are run—perspectives that those outside the behavioral sciences might not possess or even appreciate. One perspective has to do with administrators, who in many cases have given up on their careers in the laboratory and classroom, either because they were not very good at research and teaching and found administration less demanding or they found it more rewarding—intellectually or monetarily. Still others do it for the prospect of a rich legacy. Regardless, universities pay dearly when administrators make decisions that they are ill-prepared to make. (F-14) 

OGILVIE, Kristen (U Alaska) Applying Program Evaluation Principles: Engaged Scholarship in Curriculum Design and Academic Assessment. Curriculum design in baccalaureate anthropology and other disciplinary programs alike is often less purposeful and more the result of cumulative changes over generations of faculty and administration. The resulting program structures and processes lose cohesiveness and consequently challenge meaningful assessment efforts. Opportunities exist, however, to redesign programs with thoughtful, engaged curricula that resonate with newer standards of academic assessment focusing on student learning. Detailing the process, we undertook in our department to develop a student-focused baccalaureate curriculum and accompanying academic assessment process, I highlight the application of program evaluation principles to curriculum design and academic assessment in higher education. (TH-134) 

OLADOKUN-DYBOWSKI, Daniel (Isa’s Garden LLC) Bringing a Community Together: Agents of Change Creating Culture in a Gardening Community. I demonstrate in this paper both applied anthropology and social work is necessary to unite a divided community. Optimal foraging (Winterhalder, 1981a), practice (Bourdieu, 1990), and empowerment theories (Pernell, 1985; Breton, 2004) are used to socially organize and positively impact the lives of the interested participants. Where modern politics creates polemics, gardening transcends division. Isa’s Garden LLC is a grassroots effort to lift up families who choose to share organic, pesticide-free, healthy food to break down barriers, by sharing free healthy food. By using the virtual community garden as a field of practice to implement empowerment theory, people ‘learn+grow+propagate+proliferate+and share.’ (F-35) 

OLAYIWOLA, Olubukola (USF) Vulnerability and Economic Violence in Everyday Lives of Women Borrowers: An Ethnographic Account from Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. Gender-based violence takes on multiple dimensions, and its impacts touch on every aspect of our lives. This paper presents issues of economic violence experienced by women borrowers in Ibadan. Microcredit schemes fashioned after the Grameen Bank Model are widely acclaimed for their potential for empowering the poor through access to credit based on social collateral. However, borrowers refer to MFB loans as “owo komulelanta,” a term which translates as “resting the breast on a hot kerosene lantern,” a plain critique of the stringent conditions of loan repayment. My fieldwork experience suggests evident economic violence in the process of loan repayment. (W-05)

OLIVEIRA, Bernardo (CUNY) Allow Me To Speak Louder Than My Scars. In this paper, I have chosen the auto-ethnographic method to narrate a life-changing post-surgery process, compiling a range of emotions, impressions, poems, and documents collected over the last two years of significant recovery. In doing so, I attempt to expand the discussion and challenge the medical model notion of a ‘cured/fixed’ body, even the ableist idea of a ‘normal/active’ body. This paper aims to answer questions like ‘what does it mean to be a disabled body in recovery?’ ‘How should the disabled body be represented?’ And before someone can ask, ‘What happened to you?’ I will answer, controlling the narrative about me by giving a patient-process perspective. (F-132)

OLSON, Ernest (Wells Coll) Cars, Conspiracies, and American Culture. Cars—and their various components—have been the focus of numerous conspiracy theories that allegedly reveal the secret workings of the American automobile industry and the federal government. The anthropological perspective—with its ethnographic insights on secrecy, secret societies, and hidden culture—has proven to be crucial for understanding such conspiracies, especially as found in contexts of colonialism, industrialization, and globalization; therefore, from a critical anthropological perspective, this paper examines conspiracy theories—connected in various ways to the automobile manufacturing, reuse, and recycling industries—that engage in narratives generally suspicious of the auto industry, the federal government, and scientific viewpoints concerning climate change. (S-06) 

ORBANN, Carolyn (U Missouri) Extending Accessibility Standards beyond the Classroom: Experiences in Faculty-led International Experiential Learning. In this presentation, I will discuss my experiences organizing and leading short-term study abroad programs from a large state university. In the past five years, I’ve learned a great deal about supporting students from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a wide variety of abilities who embark on study abroad. I will share some of these experiences and reflect on how my own training as an anthropologist has prepared me for these challenges. Additionally, I will share some of my work assessing the effectiveness of our short-term programming and creating a handbook for host families who may receive American students. (TH-132) 

ORTEGA, Cynthia (CO State U) Exploring Learned Models of Sex and Pregnancy among Adolescent Youth in Ecuador. Attempting to bridge the gap of understanding between adolescent pregnancy and adolescent understandings of sexuality, this paper explores two aspects of a preliminary model of sexuality among Ecuadorian youth. The native typology of “cuidate,” an umbrella term for the risks and possible outcomes of engaging in sexual intercourse, circulates among older generations as well as adolescents. Older generations teach young mothers how to “learn to love their child,” yet some young mothers continue to express detachment from their pregnancy or their child. Participants demonstrate a model of sexuality that is interconnected with ideas about motherhood, marriage, and gender roles. (W-75)

ORTIZ, GregorioCRAWFORD, Brian, and JACKA, Jerry (UC Boulder) Slow Violence and Fast Capitalism in Colorado’s Mineral Belt. Mountain towns across Colorado, once important mining districts in the 19th century, are now key sites for recreational tourism. Hidden from view, however, are the processes of slow violence, like mining waste pollution and livelihood abjection. The economic transition from extraction to tourism in the last few decades is characterized by fast capitalism - attempts to rapidly replace lost incomes through lower paying, less prestigious work. This paper examines these processes at three Superfund sites in Colorado that attempt to glorify 19th century mining livelihoods through tourism, while obfuscating the various violences that resource extraction, and its demise, precipitates. (TH-36) 

OTHS, Kathryn (U Alabama) Health and Medical Resilience in the Face of Climate Change in the Northern Peruvian Andes. The highland hamlet of Chugurpampa in northern Peru has undergone dramatic environmental and cultural change in recent decades, largely due to increased mobility and climate change that have resulted in a mass exodus to coastal cities. An ongoing restudy reveals that people who remain are adapting as best they can, though health problems such as the metabolic syndrome have emerged as a primary threat. Furthermore, people are farmers first and healers on the side. Thus, with farming increasingly unpredictable, local healing traditions are increasingly difficult to maintain. Despite this, resourcefulness is evident in their responses to these novel challenges. (F-31) 

OWENS, Angela (NMSU) Borderland Latinx Caregivers: Developing Agency in the Special Education Process. How do low-income Latinx caregivers on the U.S-Mexico border navigate the complexities of special education law, so that their children who have the hidden disability of dyslexia can receive the services they need? Drawing from interview data collected with caregivers, I explore the process of caregivers coming to understand both what dyslexia is and how their children can be identified through the public school system in Texas. Framing this study with critical disability and intersectionality theory, I analyze how caregivers come to assert the power available to them through the special education law, both nationally and at the state level. (W-44)

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