Department of Anthropology News

First UT Students in Unique Human Rights Program

From Syria to Sudan, crimes against humanity are committed around the globe. For the first time in UT history, students will be learning how to help families deal with these atrocities and bring justice to war criminals. The Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights Program launches this fall. In the program, students will train in various areas of human rights and earn a graduate certificate or concentration in DDHR.

News Sentinel: Despite exhaustive efforts, some bodies never get identified

The Knoxville News Sentinel featured the involvement of the Department of Anthropology in NamUs (www.namus.gov). NamUs is the first national resource center for cases of missing persons and unidentified bodies. It allows anyone to cross-check descriptions of a missing person with information about unidentified bodies.

CNN, Reuters, NBC News, and Chicago Tribune: Ancient Tennessee cave paintings show deep thinking by natives

The work of anthropology professor Jan Simek has been featured in multiple news outlets, including CNN. Simek and colleagues from the University of the South, the US Geological Survey, and Mississippi State University spent about a decade and a half documenting rock art of the Cumberland Plateau, which slices across Tennessee between Chattanooga and Nashville. They found common themes, colors, and depictions across the ninety-four sites, fifty of them underground.

Professor Finds Prehistoric Rock Art Connected; Maps Cosmological Belief

It is likely some of the most widespread and oldest art in the United States. Pieces of rock art dot the Appalachian Mountains, and research by anthropology professor Jan Simek, president emeritus of the UT system, finds each engraving or drawing is strategically placed to reveal a cosmological puzzle. The research led by Simek, is published in this month’s edition of the journal Antiquity.

Discovery News: Cave Art Shows Prehistoric Southern Living

Discovery News featured the work of Jan Simek, president emeritus and a distinguished professor of science in the Department of Anthropology, which is published in this month’s edition of Antiquity. Simek’s research finds that the oldest and most widespread collection of prehistoric cave and rock art in the United States has been found in and around Tennessee. The art provides intriguing clues about what life was like for Native American societies more than 6,000 years ago.

Human Rights Week to Feature Talk by Kofele-Kale

The UT Amnesty International chapter will celebrate its third annual Human Rights Week March 11 through 20 with speakers on issues ranging from due process rights in foreign lands to reproduction rights to prisoners wrongly sentenced on death row. The week will kick off with a lecture by Ndiva Kofele-Kale at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 11, in the University Center Ballroom. A former UT faculty member, Kofele-Kale is now a professor of public international law at Southern Methodist University. Kofele-Kale, who was born in Cameroon, is leading the defense team representing Marafa Hamidou Yaya, former Secretary General of the Presidency of Cameroon.