Department of Sociology & Anthropology

507 Chafee Building, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston, RI 02881

401.874.2587 (ph); 401.874.2588 (f)

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News and Notes


Professor Jill Doerner to sit on RI Governor’s Gun Safety Working Group

Professor Doerner will be one of the approximately 40 members that will meet to discuss and develop recommendations to counteract the gun violence epidemic. Issues to be considered include identifying loopholes in the background check system and reporting processes, preparing for and preventing mass shooting events, and addressing domestic violence, suicide, and mental health.

URI anthropologists explore “unnatural disaster” in Puerto Rico

Professors Hilda Lloréns and Carlos Garcia-Quijano (and colleagues) argue that Hurricane Maria was an “unnatural disaster” for Puerto Rico. Prof. Lloréns was also interviewed for a story on the role of energy colonialism in the unnatural disaster (futurism.com).  

URI Anthropologists awarded an NSF Rapid Response Research Grant

Hilda Lloréns and Carlos Garcia-Quijano, in collaboration with David Griffith and Cynthia Grace-McCaskey from East Carolina University, have been awarded a National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research Grant to study the “The Political and Moral Economies of Recovery from Hurricane Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Juvenile Justice Immersion J-Term Course

Prof. Van Wyk’s new course is a one-of-a-kind experience that profoundly augments students’ academic experiences at the University of Rhode Island. In the words of one student, “It is so easy to get caught up in our own worlds without taking into consideration the worlds of those around us.”

Prof. Holly Dunsworth featured as a URI “Big Thinker”

Do animals know that sex makes babies? Read more about Prof. Dunsworth’s recent research on this topic!

Professor Holly Dunsworth has article published in The Washington Post

Human evolution has a public relations problem. That isn’t just because some people are skeptical of science in general or because creationists reject the notion of evolution. As it is often studied and taught, human evolution can be male-biased and Eurocentric, even reeking of sexism and racism.

Origins: Life, the Universe and Everything – Featuring Jane Goodall

The 2017 Honors Colloquium, “Origins: Life, the Universe and Everything,” will examine some of the following questions: “Where did we come from? How did the universe begin and intelligent, rational beings arise? And how did we develop a mind that can ask these big questions?” Professor Holly Dunsworth serves as one of the coordinators of the Colloquium.

URI Speedstorming Event for Aging

Sociology professor Melanie Brasher was part of a winning team at the URI Speedstorming event on Aging held in May. Speedstorming combines elements of brainstorming and speed dating, with the goal of developing innovative ideas to address complex issues.

Todd Costello (Anthropology ’17) to teach in Italy

Todd Costello, has received an internship through the SITE Program (Study Intercultural Training Experience), which places recent college graduates in Italian high schools. He will be assistant-teaching science courses at the Liceo Racchetti Da Vinci school in Crema, Italy next year.

Alexia Williams (Sociology ’17) Awarded Fulbright

Congratulations to graduating senior, Alexia Williams, who has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant! She will travel to Spain to teach English to elementary grade students next Fall.

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