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Center for Applied Anthropology

Field School Benefits

Beyond the general benefits of study abroad (see What Statistics Show about Study Abroad Students, Studying Abroad Can Help You Stand Out from Peers, and Recent Research on the Benefits of Study Abroad), the Ethnographic Field School in Belize aims to specifically benefit student participants in several ways.

Ethnographic Field Methods Training

While in Belize, students will be primarily engaged in guided applied ethnographic fieldwork. Students will learn about the local culture by doing participant-observation and conducting ethnographic interviews in a community-based research project. Students will learn research ethics, unobtrusive observation, participant observation, field note writing and coding, ethnographic and life history interviewing, ethnolinguistic data collection, community mapping, rapid assessment procedures, qualitative data analysis, and other ethnographic methods in addition to basic ethnographic writing.

Community Service

The ethnographic field school, as part of the CfAA, is partnering with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer's Association, National Institute of Culture and History, Progressive Sugar Cane Producer's Association, and Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute in Orange Walk Town, Belize. Among other things, our partners are interested in our contribution in understanding the household economy and agricultural knowledge of sugar cane farmers in the Orange Walk District village communities. Our partners will use our results and recommendations to develop and conduct workshops for farmers on agricultural techniques, economics, health, and other community development topics.

Scholarly Writing and Presentation Experience

Each spring, students will be encouraged to present our findings in a scholarly panel at the Society for Applied Anthropology/Society for Anthropological Sciences annual spring meetings. NKU students will be encouraged to present their findings at NKU's spring Celebration of Student Research and Creativity. Students who wish to learn additional ethnographic analysis methods or prepare a short ethnography for publication may arrange independent studies with the director, Douglas Hume.

Scholarly presentations and publications may be cited in resumes for job applications as well as curriculum vitaes for application for graduate programs. The following are the publications and presentations that have resulted from previous field seasons:

Publications

Hume, Douglas W., Lydia Alvarez, Julia Arzu, Abigail Burbank, Christian Cansino, Miranda Kaplan, Musseit M’Bareck, Jordan Myers, Madalyn Roberts, Edward Stephens, and Christy Valdez. 2021. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (Summer 2019).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.34166.11842. [Cite, Download]
Hume, Douglas W., Karin Floyd-Glutz, Autumn Gilbert, Rachael Haupt, Fantasia Mejia, Laura Oprisch, Adriane Pontecorvo, and Andrea Shiverdecker. 2019. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (June 2018 Season).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.10244.24964. [Cite, Download]
Murrell, Laura Bronte, and Douglas W. Hume. 2018. “A Comparison of Farmers’ Perceived Impacts on the Environment in Belize and Kentucky.” Contemporary Journal of Anthropology and Sociology 8 (1): 19–33. [Cite, Download]
Hume, Douglas W., Kourtney Zigelmier, Allison Cate, Anna Cloud, Tessa Forwalt, Emily Fox, Laura Bronte Murrell, et al. 2018. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (June 2016 Season).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.18632.85760. [Cite, Download]
Hume, Douglas W., Clara Maxine Bone, Hannah Grace Howard, Charlee Hutchinson, Stefan Kienzle, Marguerite Kinne, Samantha Louise Krieger, et al. 2016. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (June 2015 Season).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.21988.30087. [Cite, Download]
Hume, Douglas W., Colin Bindas, Stephanie Feltner, Gabriella Locke, Ian Takaoka, Nicholas Thaxton, Jade Michel Underland, and Gina Yoon. 2015. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (June 2014 Season).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.24504.88320. [Cite, Download]
Zach, Stephanie, and Douglas W. Hume. 2014. “Changing Mortuary Rites: An Ethnohistory of 19th Century and Contemporary Religion in Northern Belize.” Contemporary Journal of Anthropology and Sociology 4 (2): 149–61. [Cite, Download]
Hume, Douglas W., Adelle Bricking, Rosa Christophel, Jesse Hendricks, Sofia Javed, Gabrielle Locke, Lydia Schuldt, Evan Steelman, Nicholas Thaxton, and Stephanie Zach. 2014. “Report of the Ethnographic Field School in Belize (June 2013 Season).” Highland Heights: Center for Applied Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.21149.44001. [Cite, Download]

Presentations

  • Submitted, Hume, Douglas W., Rebbecca Eder, Chantal Kifunga, and Joshua Stephenson. "Sugar Cane Farming Community Development During COVID: Findings of the 2021 Ethnographic Field School in Belize." Roundtable at the Society for Anthropological Sciences Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, March 22-26, 2022.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Julia Arzu, Jordan Myers, and Jack Stephens. "Sugar Cane Farming Community Development: Findings of the 2019 Ethnographic Field School in Belize." Paper presented at the Society for Anthropological Sciences Spring Online Meeting, March 21, 2020.
  • Haupt, Rachel, Karin Floyd, Autumn Gilbert, and Fantasia Majia. "Ethnographic Research on Child Labor in Northern Belize." Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 9, 2019.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Autumn Gilbert, and Fantasia Mejia. "Research from the 2018 Ethnographic Field School in Belize: Sugar Cane Farming Knowledge and Community Development." Roundtable at the Anthropologists & Sociologists of Kentucky Annual Meeting, Campbellsville University, KY, April 6, 2019.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Karin Floyd-Glutz, Autumn Gilbert, Rachael Haupt, Fantasia Mejia, Laura Oprisch, Adriane Pontecorvo, and Andrea Shiverdecker. "Community Development and Sugar Cane Farming Knowledge: Findings of the 2018 Ethnographic Field School in Belize, Parts I & II." Roundtable at the Society for Anthropological Sciences Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, March 19-23, 2019.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Sage Boyers, Anna Cloud, Allison Cate, Emily Fox, Laura (Bronte) Murrell, Cailey Radcliffe, Emily Stephen, Samuel Velasquez, and Kourtney Zigelmier. "Perceptions of Child Labor among Sugar Cane Farmers in Northern Belize." Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, April 5, 2018.
  • Hume, Douglas W, Anna Cloud, Allison Cate, Emily Fox, Kristi Haik, Laura (Bronte) Murrell, Cailey Radcliffe, Emily Stephen, David Thompson, Samuel Velasquez, and Kourtney Zigelmier. "Sugar Cane Farming Folk Knowledge: Findings from the Ethnographic Field School in Orange Walk District Belize, June 2016." Roundtable at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky Annual Meeting, Western Kentucky University, KY, April 22, 2017.
  • Hume, Douglas W., and Emily Fox. "Cultural Models of Nature among Farmers in Belize and Northern Kentucky: Preliminary Research Findings." Presentation at the Society for Anthropological Sciences Annual Meeting, Sante Fe, NM, March 31, 2017.
  • Fox, Emily. "Gender Roles Among Sugar Cane Farming Communities in Northern Belize: Preliminary Research Findings." Poster presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, December 1, 2017.
  • Zigelmier, Kourtney, Emily Fox, Laura (Bronte) Murrell, and Cailey Radcliffe. "Attribute and Network Analyses of Sugar Cane Varieties Among Northern Belize Farmers." Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 11, 2017.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Hannah Howard, Stefan Kienzle, and Marguerite Kinne. "Schemas of Sugar Cane Farming Folk Knowledge: Findings from the Ethnographic Field School in Belize, June 2015." Roundtable at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky Annual Meeting, Jefferson Community and Technical College, KY, April 23, 2016.
  • Fox, Emily. "Gender Among Sugarcane Farmers in Northern Belize." Paper presented at the Conference of Honors, Northern Kentucky University, NKU, November 17, 2016.
  • Ragland, Kaitlyn. "Sugar Cane Varieties and a Changing Industry in Northern Belize." Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 12, 2016.
  • Yoon, Gina, Nicholas Thaxton, Gabriella Locke, Stephanie Feltner, and Colin Bindas. "Cultural Models of Sugar Cane Farming Folk Knowledge: Findings from the Ethnographic Field School in Belize, June 2014." Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 15, 2015.
  • Locke, Gabriella, and Nicholas Thaxton. "Two Students’ Un-Belizable Experience: Community-based Research within Sugar Cane Farming Communities in Northern Belize." Paper presented at Community Connections, Northern Kentucky University, KY, March 26, 2015.
  • Locke, Gabriella, and Nicholas Thaxton. "Two Students’ Un-Belizable Experience: Community-based Research within Sugar Cane Farming Communities in Northern Belize." Paper presented at the Six@Six: Student Series, Northern Kentucky University, Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center, KY, March 16, 2015.
  • Kienzle, Stefan, and Douglas W. Hume. "Sugar Cane Farming Knowledge in Northern Belize: Attribute Analyses of Qualitative Ethnographic Interview Data." Poster presented at the Kentucky Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Northern Kentucky University, November 13-4, 2015.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Colin Bindas, Nicholas Thaxton, Jade Michel Underland, and Gina Yoon. "Narratives and Cultural Models of Sugar Cane Farming Folk Knowledge: Findings from the Ethnographic Field School in Belize, June 2014." Paper presented at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky 4Annual Meeting, Centre College, KY, April 18, 2015.
  • Hume, Douglas W., Jessica Boggs, Adelle Bricking, Rosa Christophel, Jesse Hendricks, Gabrielle Locke, Evan Steelman, Nicholas Thaxton, and Stephanie Zach. "Cultural Sketches of Peasant Sugar Cane Farmers: Findings from the Ethnographic Field School in Belize, June 2013." Paper presented at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky Annual Meeting, Centre College, KY, April 5, 2014.
  • Bailey, Brittney, Colin Bindas, Jamie Carroll, Brittany High, Kaden Pendleton-Deramus, Allison Perrin, Cari Polly, Ruby Wright, and Gina Yoon. "Obstacles to Completing an Undergraduate Degree at Northern Kentucky University." Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 16, 2014.
  • Bricking, Adelle, Gabriella Locke, Nicholas Thaxton, and Stephanie Zach. "Sugar Cane Farming Community Ethnography in Northern Belize: You’d Better Belize-it!" Poster presented at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Northern Kentucky University, KY, April 16, 2014.
  • Zach, Stephanie. "Changing the Afterlife: an Analysis of Changing Mortuary Rites in 19th Century Belize." Paper presented at the Conference of Honors, Northern Kentucky University, KY, November 20, 2013.