From the Chair — Spring 2015

Janelle Taylor headshot
Janelle Taylor

This year as cherry blossoms give way to spring greenery, and graduating seniors order their caps and gowns, UW Anthropology faculty, staff, and graduate students are busy packing up books, files, collections, equipment, and belongings to move to Condon Hall, where the department will be temporarily housed while Denny Hall undergoes a thorough remodel.

The prospect of moving prompts reflections on the work and the lives that have unfolded in this place over many years. This issue ofAnthropoLog features some stories of Denny Hall over the long years that it has been home to generations of UW anthropologists.

We also acknowledge with pride and admiration the accomplishments of UW anthropology faculty who have helped bring the department and the discipline to where they are today, and who are actively engaged in steering anthropology into the future. With warm gratitude, tinged with sadness at their departure, we congratulate longtime faculty Dr. Donna Leonetti and Dr. Miriam Kahn on their retirements. And we extend sincere congratulations to Dr. Peter Lape and Dr. James Pfeiffer, both of whom were recently promoted to full Professor; to Dr. Benjamin Marwick on his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure; and to Dr. Holly M. Barker on her promotion to Senior Lecturer. How fortunate we are to count among our faculty such excellent scholars, teachers, and leaders!

With great anticipation, we also look forward to the new faculty who will be joining the Department of Anthropology (in our new Condon Hall digs) this fall. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Radhika Govindrajan, a sociocultural anthropologist who conducts ethnographic research in India’s Central Himalayas, exploring the everyday relations and intimacies between humans and the animals they raise, care for, sacrifice, and sell. Dr. Govindrajan will contribute new strengths in environmental anthropology, long a special focus of our department, as well as South Asian regional studies, Hindu/Muslim relations, and other topics. Her future plans include research on the politics of belonging and identity in the Central Himalayas. We anticipate additional new faculty joining us as well; two searches are currently underway for sociocultural anthropologists with expertise in, respectively, indigeneity in the Americas, and Buddhist Mainland Southeast Asia. As of this writing, those two searches have not yet reached their conclusions, but I look forward to sharing news of these faculty hires soon.

This year as every year, the heart and soul of the Department of Anthropology are the students who each year grant us the privilege of joining with them in our common quest to create and share anthropological insights into human life, in all its wonders, its terrors, and its endless variety. Moving an entire program to a new building is (fortunately!) a rare event — but being moved by anthropology is the kind of ordinary miracle that happens every day.

Janelle Taylor Signature 
Janelle Taylor


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