Anthropology

Neurobiologist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky has spent his professional life attempting to understand the underpinnings and science behind human behavior, studying wild baboon populations as well as the complex workings of the human brain. The professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" recipient is the author of several books on various aspects of behavior -- and his latest, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worse," seems like a summation of his knowledge on the subject.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Prof. Paige West of Barnard College in Columbia University. She's an anthropologist who's been researching the Pacific Island country of Papua New Guinea for more than two decades.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Joseph Opala, an American historian who's known for his research on the so-called "Gullah Connection," i.e., the long historical thread linking the West African nation of Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Opala, an Oklahoma native, first learned of the Gullah people while serving in the Peace Corps, just after college; by now, he has spent more than four decades making historical discoveries about these people, their language, their culture, their lineage, and so forth.

On this edition of ST, we get an update on the Kravis Discovery Center at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. Located in the museum’s lower level, the Center recently underwent an extensive renovation in order to create a more interactive, more tech-driven -- and thus more "21st century" -- experience. Our guest is Dr. Bob Pickering, a Professor of Anthropology here at TU as well as a Senior Curator at Gilcrease.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a new exhibit at the Gilcrease Museum, "Chocolate: The Exhibition," which will be on view through January 8th. Our guest is Gary Feinman, the MacArthur Curator of Mesoamerican, Central American, and East Asian Anthropology at The Field Museum in Chicago; he's one of the curators of this interesting show, which was actually created over a decade ago.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Dr. Bob Pickering, a Professor of Anthropology in the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences here at TU. Dr. Pickering is also the curator for a new exhibit at Gilcrease Museum; "West Mexico: Ritual and Identity" will be on view through November 6th. It's a show that, per the Gilcrease website, "will feature a spectacular selection of ceramic figures and vessels from the Gilcrease collection, augmented by items from public and private collections....

(Please note: This show first aired last November.) Our guest on this edition of ST is Gaia Vince, a British journalist and broadcaster specializing in science and the environment. She's been the editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature, and the online editor of New Scientist, and she joins us to discuss her latest book: "Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made." The so-called Anthropocene -- or the Age of Man -- has brought, of course, widespread and dramatic change to the face of the earth.

Our guest on ST is cultural anthropologist Christina E. Burke, who is the Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa.

Why do some societies thrive while others fail? What makes certain societies more vengeful, more violent, or more war-driven than others? And what can we who live in the world's modern societies learn from those who dwell in -- or have dwelled in -- the world's traditional societies? Such are the questions we explore on this edition of StudioTulsa.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Miriam Belmaker, an assistant professor of anthropology here at the University of Tulsa as well as a paleoanthropologist who studies the remains of small rodent species to determine environmental effects on human dwelling places and communities -- and on humanity's ancient ancestors. In doing so, she studies how changes in the climate over the past two million years may have affected human development and evolution.