What do anthropology labs look like? How do researchers in anthropology spend their lab time? What artifacts will you find there and how can you interact with them? The Colloquium and Intellectual Community Committee and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign organized a special event to answer these and many more questions about anthropology in Illinois and its people on December 5, 2019.
About twenty engaged visitors participated in Open Labs day, an activity designed to to break down some of the barriers between the four sub fields of anthropology— linguistic , socio- cultural, biological, and archaeological. This event featured research in the latter two sub-fields. Finding their way through Davenport Hall’s historic twisty corridors, with the help of a special map and strategically placed signs, participants in the event visited four labs headed by our faculty, including Drs Clancy, Polk and Lucero, and a special zoo-archaeology exhibit by Kate Bishop. They learned about the challenges, the protocols, and the joy of anthropological research.
After concluding the visits, a robust discussion followed, as everyone reconvened for coffee and conversation. Thank you to all who participated, and to the Colloquium and Intellectual Community Committee -especially Professor Jane Desmond and anthropology graduate student Jeongsu Shin -for bringing it together and making it possible. A follow-up to Open Labs is planned for next year and we cannot wait!