Welcome New Professors!
Dr. Marianne Brasil is a biological anthropologist who studies skeletal evolution and variation in humans and monkeys. Her research spans work in the field, museum, and lab to investigate human origins. She is thrilled to be joining the vibrant faculty in the Anthropology Department at Western in the fall of this year, and is excited to work with Western students and welcome them into her lab!
Dr. Natalie Baloy is a cultural anthropologist and new faculty member in the WWU Department of Anthropology. Natalie earned her PhD at the University of British Columbia, where she studied urban settler colonialism in Vancouver, BC. Prior to joining the department, Natalie completed a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and worked as the Associate Director of Canada House Programs at WWU (the Border Policy Research Institute, the Center for Canadian-American Studies, and the Salish Sea Institute).
Dr. Mariangela Mihai is a sociocultural and visual anthropologist and filmmaker whose work builds on decolonial, intersectional feminists, and sensory ethnographic methods to understand Christian Indigenous resistance on the India-Bangladesh-Myanmar borderlands. She served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Media and Film, in the Culture and Politics Program (CULP) at Georgetown, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on questions of power and inequality, globally. Her interdisciplinary and multimodal research, transnational teaching and activism, and long-term commitment to engaged pedagogy and public scholarship have led her to this position, as an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at WWU.
Dr. Jerald Ek (Jerry) is an archaeologist with research interests in community-based participatory research, indigenizing archaeology, human-environmental interactions, and political economy. After spending most of his career focusing on the Maya Lowlands region of Mesoamerica, he has shifted focus to the Salish Sea region.
Dr. Brooke Bocast is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Anthropology for 2023-2024. While at Western Washington, Brooke will be developing her next book project about the politics of sentiment and semiotics of resistance among diaspora activists in Uganda’s National Unity Platform/People Power Freedom Movement.
Students receive awards and recognition at the annual Anthropology Scholars Week Conference
2023 Outstanding Student Research Award recipients:
Lily Berver “Gender and Repression in Argentina’s Last Dictatorship”
Luke Heinen “Art Against Tyranny: Ukraine’s Resistance of Occupation Through Cultural Expression”
Payton Hyatt & Laila Kleven “Unsettling the Settler Teacher: An Indigenized Inquiry into American Public Education.”
In 2022-2023, students participated in the following conferences: Unsettling Landscapes Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Seattle WA; Renewal 76th Annual Northwest Anthropology Conference in Spokane WA; and the Society for American Archaeology Conference in Portland, OR.
Professor Monson traveled to multiple conferences in 2023, including the recent American Association of Biological Anthropology meetings in Reno, NV to present her paper:
ANTH 476 Borderlands
In this experiential bioregional course that includes local field trips, students examine histories, politics, and lived experiences of the land and marine borders of the Salish Sea and across the continent. Students compare and contrast our region's border stories with borderlands around the world. Professor Natalie Baloy
ANTH 470 is designed to expose students to the workings and issues of museums through "hands-on" experience, readings, and written work.
The x̌ʷiq̓ʷix̌ʷalqʷuʔ (Blue Water) Archaeological Project is a community-based participatory research program designed to reorient archaeological practice to address the concerns of indigenous communities and promote greater inclusiveness in perspectives, accessibility, and representation in our field. Professor Jerry Ek serves as a co-director with three colleagues from the Stillaguamish Tribe's Cultural Department. The formation of this project involved the reorientation of the WWU Archaeological Field School as an Indigenous-led program centered on local knowledge, tribal research priorities, capacity building, and promotion of unmitigated Indigenous sovereignty over intellectual property. The first season of this new partnership was an unmitigated success, and we will build on the foundation created this summer in 2023 and beyond.
2022 Peter Miterko & Sean Bruna. Reframing sense of community with photovoice: perspectives from residents of a permanent supportive housing program who have experienced chronic homelessness, Journal of Community Practice
Articles featuring Monson's research:
2022 Jerald Ek. The inflection points in formative Maya history: the view from the Champotón, Campeche, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica
2022 Sobocinski, KL, CD Harvell, NJK Baloy, G Broadhurst, MN Dethier, A Flower, and J Delaney. Urban Seas as Hotspots of Stress in the Anthropocene Ocean: The Salish Sea Example. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 10(1).