Tag: anthropology

Katie Uram ’16 receives Fulbright Award for research in China

A senior honors thesis has helped Katherine Uram earn a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to China for anthropology research.

Head shot of Katie Uram
Katie Uram ’16

She is the 16th Lawrence student since 2010 to receive a Fulbright Student Program award, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Beginning later this year, Uram, a 2016 Lawrence University graduate, will spend 10 months at China’s Guizhou Normal University, continuing research she started as a student that became her Senior Experience, “Evolving Patterns: Conflicting Perceptions of Cultural Preservation and the State of Batik’s Cultural Inheritance Among Women Artisans in Guizhou, China.”

Her Fulbright project will focus on Miao women and the preservation of their batik handicrafts in a rapidly changing cultural climate of modern China. Batik is a Chinese traditional folk handicraft for fabric printing and dyeing.

“Throughout my Fulbright project, I will be talking to these artisans about how they view their cultural identity, how their perceptions intertwine with their craft-making and how they see the future of their craft,” said Uram, a native of Naperville, Ill.

With a long-standing interest in different cultures, Uram began studying Chinese in high school. Her senior year, her family hosted an exchange student from Shanghai.

“Katie was a one-of-a-kind Lawrence student and I have no doubt she will be a one-on-a-kind Fulbright scholar.”
Carla Daughtry, associate professor of anthropology

“It was awesome when I went to China after high school for the first time to see her, visit her family and share the Chinese culture with the people,” said Uram. She has since made three more trips to China, one on a study-abroad program as a Lawrence junior and two more in 2015, one for summer research and a second as part of Lawrence’s Sustainable China Program trip in December.

Carla Daughtry, associate professor of anthropology, who served as advisor on her Senior Experience project, said Uram’s “interdisciplinary knowledge of China, stellar language skills and in-country experience and connections” made Uram a natural for a Fulbright proposal.

“Katie was a one-of-a-kind Lawrence student and I have no doubt she will be a one-on-a-kind Fulbright scholar, forging strong bi-national relations between the United States and China, and making valuable contributions to Chinese and East Asian Studies and anthropological understandings of the complex effects of globalization on ethnic Chinese handicrafts,” said Daughtry.

While Daughtry may not have had any doubts about Uram’s Fulbright prospects, the news caught Uram a bit off-guard.

“I was sitting in the car with my brother when I got an email notification on my phone,” said Uram, who is still hoping to receive a Critical Language Enhancement Award she applied for through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for additional language study in China. “I was, of course, overjoyed and then terrified and super excited all at the same time.”

Uram is among more than 1,900 Fulbright program recipients who will conduct research, teach English or provide expertise abroad during the 2017-2018 academic year. Fulbright awards are based on academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Anthropologist Part of $1M NSF-Funded Research Project on Responses to Natural Disasters

Lawrence University anthropologist Peter Peregrine will join a team of Yale University researchers on a project designed to better understand how cultures facing regular but unpredictable natural disasters develop resilient strategies.

Peter-Peregrine_newsblog
Professor of Anthropology Peter Peregrine

Supported by a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the four-year project begins this fall. It will be worldwide in scope and encompass contemporary countries, traditional societies of the recent past and ancient societies in prehistory.

The grant also will provide funding for 2-4 Lawrence students per year to work as research assistants with Peregrine, whose role in the project will focus on ancient societies.

With scientists predicting greater impacts of extreme climate events (droughts, floods), such “hazards” are more likely to create serious social consequences, including famine, displacement and increased violence.

The project will explore how human societies with varying livelihoods and vulnerabilities have responded to and invented solutions to natural hazards and resulting disasters both past and the present. Among the questions the research will look are: how often do events have to occur for humans to plan for them?; do unpredictable hazards lead to different cultural transformations than do more predictable hazards?; and under what conditions are contingency plans overwhelmed in the face of natural hazards that are more severe or more frequent than normal?

“If we’re going to find solutions to lessen the consequences of extreme events, we need to understand the methods humans have developed over decades, centuries or millennia,” said Peregrine. “We assume most societies that have survived for long periods of time did so by employing some resilient solutions, particularly when these types of natural hazards were recurrent.

“This project also will provide valuable opportunities for some of our students to gain hands-on training in interdisciplinary comparative research,” Peregrine added.

An archaeologist specializing in the evolution of complex societies, Peregrine joined the Lawrence faculty in 1995. He was elected in 2011 a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, which recognizes “meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications,” becoming just the second Lawrence faculty member elected an AAAS Fellow.

He is a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute, an accomplished group of scholars that includes a Nobel Laureate, numerous National Academy members and two Pulitzer Prize winning authors.

The author of numerous books and scholarly articles, Peregrine was a 2012 recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which honors a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.