Kathleen Lowrey, PhD University of Chicago, MA University of Chicago, BSc University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Area of Study / Keywords
Lowland South American anthropology; Gran Chaco; ethnohistory; shamanism; disability; vulnerability; care work; radical feminism
I coordinated the fall 2020 launch of the Canadian chapter of the Women's Declaration International, about which you can learn more here. I gave a talk for the WDI international webinar in November 2020, which you can watch here. In March 2021, I was a WDI panelist at the United Nations Convention on the Status of Women NGO virtual forum; you can watch the entire panel, including my portion, here. The University of Alberta has reacted punitively to my outspoken criticisms of trans activism and gender ideology.
My 2020 book, Shamanism and Vulnerability on the North and South American Great Plains, addresses the fact that Indigenous shamanism in the Americas has often been treated as a technology predicated on predatory masculine power rather than as a relational practice predicated on the shared vulnerability of women, men, families and communities. I am currently at work on a new book that asks why the anthropology of women has over the past several decades systematically been replaced by putatively feminist anthropologies of everything but women: genders, bodies, species, and ontologies. As a part of this project I have begun collaborating with radical feminist scholars doing skeptical work on AI, robotics, and the substitution of human relations with technological objects.
Anthropology 101 Introduction to Anthropology
Anthropology 207 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
Anthropology 235 Anthropology of Disability
Anthropology 286 Indigenous South America
Anthropology 324 Economic Anthropology
Anthropology 332 Anthropology of Science
Anthropology 350 Kinship and Social Organization
Anthropology 420 / 520 Anthropology and the Twentieth Century
Anthropology 487 / 587 Anthropology of Women
The Undergraduate Association of the University of Alberta, along with my colleague Dr. Kisha Supernant, have widely circulated a defamatory open letter about me which you can find here. My response is as follows:
As to my "denying the continuous existence of a Blackfoot cultural identity that has existed for thousands of years", I urged an honors student who was using literature written about contemporary Blackfoot cultural practices to interpret archaeological data from around 1,000 years ago to be more cautious and nuanced in directly applying contemporary inferences to the past. Just as it would be inappropriate to directly infer from contemporary settlement and subsistence patterns in France the settlement practices and subsistence practices of people living on that same territory in the year 1020, it is similarly inappropriate to do so when interpreting the Indigenous Canadian past. It is vitally important not to treat Indigenous cultures ahistorically, as if they were static and unchanging across hundreds (let alone thousands) of years. This is a basic tenet of anthropological and archaeological knowledge.
As to my "trivializing the lived experience of a Venezuelan student", in this instance the student in question was writing about the experience of Venezuelan immigrants to Canada who work specifically in the oil industry, a community he characterizes as a "cerebral exodus" from Venezuela and to which his family belongs. In an early draft of the thesis the student was using literature about the very recent experience of Venezuelan refugees in Brazil and Colombia and the discrimination they face there to interpret the experience of Venezuelan petroleum engineers who left Venezuela 10 or more years ago to come to work in Alberta. I pointed out that recent Venezuelan refugees in Brazil and Colombia are overwhelmingly poor and non-white and face a very different situation to that of the relatively affluent, mostly white Venezuelan immigrants to Alberta focused on in his study, though both groups undoubtedly face discrimination. Again, I urged that a more nuanced contextualization of the literature cited was necessary in the context of the thesis.
Introduction to past and present anthropological approaches through the study of human diversity.
Consult the Department and/or the schedule of classes for the specific topics offered. Variable content course which may be repeated if topic(s) vary.
Anthropological approaches to kinship systems and other concepts of social organization, emphasizing non-western societies. Offered in alternate years.
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Consult the Department and/or the University timetable for the specific topics offered.