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Faculty Research

Department of Sociology/Anthropology

 

George Bey

George Bey is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Millsaps and also serves as the Associate Dean of Sciences. He teaches a broad range of archaeology and anthropology courses, from the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt to American Popular Culture. His area of research interest is Mesoamerican Archaeology, the analysis of prehistoric pottery and the evolution of complex societies, such as the Maya and Toltecs.

Since 1984 he has directed field projects in the Yucatan, first at the Maya site of Ek Balam and since 2000 at the site of Kiuic. Kiuic sits amidst a 4000 acre biocultural reserve created with the support of Millsaps College, offering students unique opportunities to study Maya archaeology, as well as the flora and fauna of the tropical forests of Yucatan. Learn more about Dr. Bey's research and publications by checking out his curriculum vitae and if you have any questions email him at  beygj@millsaps.edu.

 

Ming Tsui

Ming Tsui (Ph.D. 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook) is an associate professor of sociology and the chairperson of the Sociology/Anthropology Department. Her research focuses on marriage and the family, gender, education, and employment in China. Her works have been published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, Gender & Society, Sociological Spectrum, and Asian Thoughts and Society. Some of her recent course offerings are: Introduction to Sociology, Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory, Class, Gender and Race, Social Linguistics,  Sociology of Marriage and the Family, Asians in America, Chinese Culture and Society, Sociology of the Global Economy, and Introduction to Women's Studies. 

Dr. Tsui describes her current research projects:

"At this time, I have two research projects: one is a comparative study of the mathematics achievements of the Chinese and American 8th graders. Based on data from the National Education Longitudinal Study: 1988-94 and data from my own 1999 Survey of the 8th graders in Wuhan, China, I will explore the relationship among students' mathematical performance, their family income, and the educational expectations of their parents in these two countries.

"The second project is about girls in mathematics and science. In my previous research, I have found that among the children of the one-child generation in Chinese cities, there is no gender difference in mathematical performance among 5th and 8th graders. For this project, I want to see if the only girls continue to perform equally well as their male counterparts at college entrance examinations."

 

Julian Murchison

Julian Murchison, a native Louisianan, came to Millsaps following graduate work at the University of Michigan and nearly two full years of ethnographic research in southern Tanzania.  As a cultural anthropologist, Julian specializes in the study of religion, healing, and African cultures.  His primary research concerns the interrelationships between traditional healing, biomedicine, and Christianity in Tanzania.  Julian has offered a number of different courses in the department, including Religion, Society, and Culture, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology of Food and Eating, and Crosscultural Human Sexuality.  In a moment of linguistic confusion, Julian named his dog "Cat." Cat is often the subject of class lectures and discussions. If you want to find out more about Julian's research, classes he teaches, or the department in general, feel free to email him at murchjm@millsaps.edu.
 
Dr. Murchison describes his current research projects:

"My general research interests concern the intersections of religion and healing in East Africa. From a theoretical perspective, I am most interested in how illness experiences constitute particularly dense points of cultural production and how these experiences reflect and shape other culturally salient experiences.

"My primary research site is a town in southern Tanzania that has grown in the last hundred years in tandem with a Roman Catholic mission station founded by Benedictine missionaries. The Roman Catholic institutions in the town and the surrounding area are powerful social, cultural, and economic forces. The mission hospital in Peramiho is perhaps the most well-staffed and well-equipped hospital in the southern half of the country and consequently is one of these influential institutions. In spite of the hospital's influence, however, a large number of traditional healers also operate in the surrounding area.

"Doing research both at the hospital and with traditional healers and their patients, I have been able to collect and analyze numerous experiences and perspectives on illness and treatment. This research has allowed me to explore the classification of illnesses into categories of human and Godly illnesses; the significance of powerful symbols like the x-ray and divination tools; local senses of place; and a variety of other important topics. I have recently been writing a lot about the way that HIV/AIDS fits into and affects these other dimensions of health and illness in the region. For an example, see my chapter in the new book Borders and Healers from Indiana University Press.

"Building on these research experiences, I have also developed a new research interest in the negotation of tradition and modernity in an urban law firm in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I have presented a couple of conference papers on this topic, and I have found the opportunity to pursue similar theoretical issues in a different ethnographic setting very exciting and fruitful."

 

Louwanda Evans

Professor of Sociology Dr. Louwanda Evans' current research recently culminated in the release of her book, Cabin Pressure: African American Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Emotional Labor. It is released as part of a series entitled Perspectives on a Multiracial America. This work looks closely at the world of racialized interactions in a working environment, particularly as it pertains to African Americans in the commercial airline business and the effects such stress can have on the recipients of these interactions.

Dr. Evans conducted much of her research from interviews, and drew off of her own experiences working in the airline industry as a flight attendant.

 

Véronique Bélisle

Dr. Bélisle's current work takes place in and around the capital of the Inka Empire, Cusco. Complex societies, or societies with evidence of inherited social inequalities and groups exercising control over others, are a particular area of interest for Dr. Bélisle. Recently she has been doing archaeological survey and excavation in Cusco, specifically at a site called Ak'awillay.

The Wari state, who expanded to this area before the emergence of the Inka Empire, built large installations that led many scholars to conclude that the Wari were a controlling force in the area. Dr. Bélisle's current research seeks to discover what this may have meant for the smaller groups of local inhabitants. Excavations of smaller local villages like that at which Dr. Bélisle conducts her research offer scholars a chance to look at the issue of Wari control and influence from a complementary perspective. Rather than focusing on the large Wari sites to infer the extent of control the Wari had, Dr. Bélisle's team takes a bottom-up approach to evaluate how the inhabitants of Ak'awillay were affected by Wari presence in the region. At this time, data suggest little Wari impact on local communities.