In partnership with the ConfluenCenter, The Southwest Center, and Tucson Meet Yourself, Dr. Maribel Alvarez (Associate Professor of Anthropology; Associate Research Social Scientist, Southwest Center) is leading a seven-day Ethnographic Fieldschool in Banamichi, Sonora this week. The focus of the Fieldschool is the expressive culture of rural life in Sonora—food, folk occupational technologies, crafts, farming, and the history of Northern Mexico. Dr. James Griffith and Ph.D. Candidate in English Rhetoric Regina Kelly are joining Dr. Alvarez as faculty, as well as Mexican anthropologists Ernesto Camou Healy and Emma Paulina Perez. The Fieldschool was offered to adult learners in the wider Tucson community; a total of twelve participants signed up. Among the participants are a professor of education at UA South, a staff member in Conservation from the Arizona State Museum, faculty in anthropology from Pima Community College, and staff from the Dean’s office in Social and Behavioral Science. The school’s curriculum includes demonstrations and hands-on activities learned from local artisans and tradition bearers combined with lectures and seminars on ethnographic note-taking, folkloristics, and key words for the study of expressive culture such as “beauty,” “tradition,” and “community.”
In a quick field-report from Sonora this week, Dr. Alvarez said: “As we have learned from archaeologists for the last 100 years or more, this region is rich with cultural resources that are fitting for teaching in a field school format; the socio-cultural dimensions of the region offer similar opportunities for inquiry and teaching in ethnographic methods and cross-cultural research. We are excited to offer this opportunity to the public at large, hoping that it helps us get more people interested in anthropology and how much our discipline has to offer for understanding the human condition.”
1. Field laborer at La Martina ranch in Banamichi demonstrates techniques of flood irrigation on summer bean crops.
2. Ramona Ochoa of Las Delicias demonstrates Sonoran technique for sugar-roasting coffee beans.