By its most basic definition, anthropology is the study of humans. Anthropological research incorporates everything from the earliest human ancestors to present-day pop culture, and seeks a better understanding of people through the objects, places, relationships, and ideas that we produce.
Got Anthropology? is a speaker series developed to bring anthropology to a wider audience. Each event is intended to present a Big Question, as well as the many smaller questions that anthropologists use to better understand humans and societies. These larger concepts and questions are presented by a diverse lineup of graduate students primarily from the Department of Anthropology, who draw on their own research and experiences to make complicated topics more accessible to the Toronto community. Our goal is to stimulate conversation and debate through great ideas, while breaking down barriers between academia and the public by providing a friendly atmosphere for communication.
Meet the Team
Sarah O’Sullivan is a 5th year PhD candidate in socio-cultural medical anthropology. She has been conducting research on HIV in northern Uganda since 2011 and has recently returned from 16 months of fieldwork there. Her research is about understanding HIV stigma in post-conflict northern Uganda and how development ideology is changing what it means to be a “good” HIV-positive person. As the director, Sarah is responsible for organizing the series along with the help of our wonderful team of volunteers! She is most excited to help bring anthropological issues—that is, human issues—to the public in an engaging and interesting way.
Nicholas’ doctoral research concerns labour activism and witchcraft narratives in a non-Black township in eastern South Africa. He studies changing ideologies about race by looking at how translations of African witchcraft beliefs into “Coloured” (a local racial category referring to those of mixed race ancestry) church communities is revealing new minoritarian anxieties about belonging in the post-apartheid state.
Lynda is a first year PhD student in linguistic anthropology, and ethnic and pluralism studies. She is interested in unequal representation within local politics. In recent decades, immigrants have clustered heavily in cities, yet integration policies have not caught up. Even after having obtained citizenship rights, immigrants disproportionately do not vote in municipal elections. Within the context of Toronto, where almost half of the residents are immigrants, and a municipal election cycle, Lynda’s research will focus on how immigrants claim or are impeded from claiming democratic rights in their new city, and how rights-claiming actions, or absence thereof, contribute to self-perceptions of social integration or isolation.
Fernando is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto. His research is situated in Madagascar, where he works with endangered lemur species to provide a better understanding of factors that threaten them with extinction with the goal of aiding future conservation in the island.
Celeste is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, and a first-year volunteer with Got Anthro? Her research looks at aging, disability, and care among LGBTQ older adults in Canada. She’s also been part of various research projects in the areas of health and aging, including on retirement, palliative care, and end of life care planning.
Samuel is a second-year M.Sc. student in the Department of Anthropology and second-year volunteer with Got Anthro? Samuel is in the Evo-Anthropology program and studies primate behaviour and communication. His research centres on understanding the social life and evolution of primates through the study of vocal communication. He is currently working on cataloging the vocal repertoire displayed by the Rwenzori Angolan colobus at Nabugabo, Uganda.
Hannah is a second year Ph.D. student in socio-cultural anthropology and the collaborative program in sexual diversity studies. Working with young adults labelled as intellectually disabled, Hannah’s research focuses on the disproportionate levels of sexual violence experienced by women with disabilities, the regulation of their intimate and sexual lives by families and service providers, and the limits of the consent model for solving the problem of sexual violence for people labelled as intellectually disabled. Hannah is committed to developing and contributing to the emerging field of disability anthropology, all while considering anthropological questions of personhood, value, ethics, and care.
John is a second-year M.Sc. student in the Archaeology program at the Department of Anthropology. John’s research focuses on clarifying human adaptations and resilience to challenges such as climate change in the past. He is examining archaeological animal remains from southern Africa for what they can tell us about strategies of food acquisition and processing, dietary practices, and ecology.