The 33rd Annual Sociology and Anthropology Senior Symposium took place Jan 28 and 29, featuring a keynote address from Wheaton alumna Dr. Anne Galvin ’93. The talk, entitled “Dynamic Social Worlds: A Reflection on Human Relationships and Social Scientific Research in Jamaica,” marked the end of the symposium.
The tradition of the symposium is to spotlight the research of the anthropology and sociology departments’ graduating seniors, since all majors are required to write a senior thesis. This provides an opportunity for seniors to share the results of their capstone studies.
Since graduating from Wheaton, Dr. Galvin has earned her master and doctoral degrees from the New School for Social Research. She is now an Associate Professor at St. John’s University and the editor-in-chief of the NEAA Bulletin, a peer reviewed publication of the Northeastern Anthropological Association. Additionally, she has written articles for several anthropological journals. Dr. Galvin recently published a book about her research in Jamaica, “Sounds of the Citizens: Dancehall and Community in Jamaica”, which served as the basis for her talk.
The lecture began at 6:45 pm in the Faculty/Staff Dining Room following a dinner on the last night of the symposium. The talk was free and open to the public. As the title of her book indicates, Dr. Galvin’s research focused on the dancehall and its influence in Jamaica. Not only is it a popular form of entertainment for Jamaicans, she claims, it also influences the entire community, for better or for worse. The dancehall industry is allied with community development efforts – an alliance that is especially important with the declining role the state plays in supporting communities. However, it also creates tension between those directly involved in the industry and those within the neighborhoods. Through the tumultuous patterns of the dancehall industry, individual Jamaicans find their own paths of employment, social identity and sexual mores.
To conduct the research for this book, Dr. Galvin spent a year and a half in Jamaica partaking in fieldwork for her Ph.D. Dr. Galvin’s book, published by Vanderbilt University, is a culmination of the work she performed while living in Jamaica.