Department of Anthropology Seminar Series

The Department of Anthropology Seminar Series showcases the research of faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars as well as providing an opportunity for thematic workshops, roundtables, film screenings, and other events. The series aims to foster an intellectual community where students and faculty in anthropology and related disciplines can come together to discuss contemporary issues and debates in the field. Events in the series will take place every Friday during the fall and winter semesters from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm unless otherwise noted in the schedule below.

Winter 2017 Seminar Schedule:


Dr. Sharryn Kasmir presents:

"Ethnography and Theory: Reflections on Fieldwork in an Auto Factory and a UAW Local" 

Friday, March 3, 2017, at 3:00 pm, room QC-4028

During Dr. Kasmir's fieldwork at the Saturn automobile plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee in 1998-99, a dissident union caucus delivered a stunning defeat to the entrenched leadership of their UAW local. At the time, Saturn was GM’s model plant, boasting the farthest reaching regime of labor-management cooperation in the U.S. The caucus’ victory was a protest against labor-management cooperation, and it was a referendum on the history of “competitive localism” that created Saturn and made UAW Local 1853 a different, isolated union local. The Saturn brand was terminated during GM’s bankruptcy reorganization in 2009, yet its impact on the everyday lives and futures of US autoworkers endures. In this talk, Dr. Kasmir reflects on Saturn’s legacy, particularly the consolidation of competitive localism within the UAW, and she considers the political implications of that protracted and uneven process. 

Winter 2016 Seminar Schedule:


Sandrine Jean presents "Between Mobility and Attachment of Mobile Workers in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Alberta"
Friday, January 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm in room QC-4028.


Friday, February 5, 2016 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm in the Great Hall, Queen's College
The Anthropology Seminar Series will be participating in Carnaval, co-hosted by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Research Group, and the Anthropology, Folklore, and German Societies. Costumes are optional, but there will be best costume prizes, along with food, music, dance, drinks, and a dress-up photo booth.

Technology for Fieldwork and Beyond
Friday, February 12 at 3:00 pm in room QC-4001
What kinds of equipment and technologies have ethnographers used for fieldwork, analysis and writing? What technologies have worked and failed for ethnographers? In what cases have using technologies become necessary? When are they problematic? What challenges are involved in using particular technologies for fieldwork? An informal roundtable discussion about the (im)practicalities of using different technologies for ethnographic fieldwork, analysis, and writing, from digital recorders to smartphones to virtual communities.

Movie Night with MAS: "The Hole Truth" (79 Mins.)
Thursday, February 18 at 7:00 pm in room QC-4028
For World Anthropology Day, the Anthropology Seminar Series will be joining the Memorial Anthropology Society for a screening of NFB Documentary "The Hole Story." Using striking images, rare archival footage and interviews, The Hole Story analyzes company profits and the impact of mining on the environment and workers’ health in Canada's mining industry. (79 min, The screening will be followed by a short discussion. All are welcome!


Anthropology for Tomorrow: Proposed MA Research
Friday, March 4 at 3:00 pm in room QC-4028
All are welcomed to a roundtable discussion featuring the proposed thesis-based and major research papers of the 2015-2016 MA candidates in Anthropology: Emmy Cauz, Andrew Fitzgerald, Susannah Franklin, and Ian Hennessey. Students' areas of interest range from voluntary tourism in Central America, the challenge to breast feeding posed by food insecurity among segments of Aboriginal populations in Canada, citizenship in France from the perspective of married couples who have their spouse immigrate from Algeria, and the appealing tropes of Icelandic nature-based tourism. In this seminar anthropology enthusiasts will have the opportunity to approach the delicious, entertaining, and sometimes controversial notion of “culture” from a range of perspectives. In spite of the range of topics, the first year anthropology masters students hope to make explicit the influence of economics, history, politics, religion, gender, race, and class on the slippery road we navigate when we bundle relationships in that box we refer to as “culture.”

Jaro Stacul: History into Rubble: The Politics of Demolition in Post-Socialist Poland
Friday, March 11 at 3:00 PM in room QC-4028
In recent years social scientists have increasingly drawn attention to the significant role that materials play in political life. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk, on the Baltic Sea, this seminar examines the discourses surrounding the proposed redevelopment of the shipyard that was the birthplace of Solidarity, the mass social that contested the legitimacy of the Socialist state in the 1980s. At the heart of the project lies a paradox: when it will come to completion and what form it will actually take still remain open questions. The paper argues that although the production of new built environments is central to the politics of the post-Socialist state, in fact the existence of such environments is bound up with the production and circulation of information.


Diane Royal: An Ethnographic Study of Bell Island Ferry Commuting
Friday, April 15 at 3:00 pm in room QC-4028
This presentation is a preliminary post-fieldwork report about research on the household and community-level impacts of commuting from and to Bell Island for work. Bell Island is a ferry-reliant island community located in Conception Bay, within close proximity to the St. John’s area. Once a centre of industrial employment in the province, Bell Island experienced rapid depopulation following the 1966 final closure of its last operating iron ore mine. Approximately one-fourth of the current population of just under 2,800 are registered commuters, regularly utilizing the Bell Island Ferry to access their places of employment. In addition, all island residents must commute to access medical and other basic services on the Newfoundland mainland. This research takes a feminist political economy approach to work mobilities by paying equal attention to waged employment and unwaged reproductive labour within households of commuting workers as well as the broader Bell Island community. Situated within a larger study of the Bell Island ferry, this research is part of the On the Move Partnership exploring employment-related geographical mobility in Canada.