Science Pub: Family, Community and Distance – Research in Bolivia and India
Feb 4th, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St
Free Admission – $5.00 suggested donation (all donations support the Palouse Discovery Science Center)

Sip your favorite brew, while you learn a thing or two! Science Pub is an opportunity to enjoy learning about science in an informal atmosphere; no scientific background necessary! Just bring your curiosity and a thirst to learn.

Topics and presenters are arranged by the Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) and WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador (EFA) Program. All Donations support PDSC. Click here for more information.

This month’s speakers:

Join Anne Pisor and Io Palmer on February 4th at Paradise Creek Brewery for their pub talk “Family, Community and Distance – Research in Bolivia and India” Pisor and Palmer’s research stems from a singular question- Why and how do people build community? Through the movement of goods-fabric, food or communication, materials are used to build and maintain community.

Data from across the sciences suggest that humans are really flexible in our attitudes towards people from other places – these attitudes can range from aggressive to tolerant and everything in between. When and why do we build long-distance relationships? Pisor’s theoretical work suggests that long-distance family and friends can help when times get rough locally, or when something is only available where they live. Since 2010 she has collaborated with three populations of horticulturalists (slash-and-burn farmers) in the Bolivian Amazon. Though things are rough locally – their production is being negatively affected by floods, droughts, and windstorms, consequences of climate change – they are able to manage most of these effects in their communities. However, long-distance relationships are important for accessing things, both material and immaterial, from the city. During this talk Pisor will walk through who these long-distance relationships are with, how they are maintained, and why they matter in 2020.

Io Palmer’s research project titled Created Consumed and Scrubbed, addresses this question of community via the materiality of material. How do fabrics move through Indian societies. High end, finely woven and embedded silks and wool and cheap cotton tourist fabrics, move and create community and a language. Weddings are a multi million dollar business in India. Often lasting for days and planned to the smallest detail. Women come together to visit local fabric shops touching and desiring the abundance of hand and machine made material. Equally important to Palmer’s research are the tourist shops dotted along the western coast of southern India. Structures are built along the sea and display dresses, pants and shirts often made of fabrics woven and printed in India. Within these spaces tourists can purchase a memory. Another facet of Palmer’s research is in the space of the dhobi ghat- the open air laundries of India. A slowly disappearing part of this country, these dhobi ghats are entire communities of generational washer families who launder clothing from homes and industries throughout India. All these spaces weave together in a unique way to develop community through labor and commodity.

Dr. Ann Pisor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Pisor is an evolutionary and cultural anthropologist interested in why people have such far-flung social relationships – relationships that cross community, ethnic, religious, and even national boundaries – and the role these relationships play in managing fisheries and coping with climate change. She collaborates with three populations of horticulturalists living in the Bolivian Amazon, where she’s been working since 2010.

Pisor directs the Human Sociality Lab at WSU, focused on the evolution, form, and function of human social organization. Her most recent papers are in Behavioral Ecology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Evolution & Human Behavior, and Psychological Science, and her most recent grant is from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). She came to WSU from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in 2018.

Io Palmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at WSU. Palmer was born on Hydra – a motor-less Greek island off the coast of the Peleponesse. The first seven years of her life were spent amongst the donkeys, the fishes, the clear blue Mediterranean sea and the jazz music her parents listened to.

Through depictions of cleaning products, laborer’s garments and various other industrial and domestic forms, Palmer’s artworks explore the complex issues of class, capitalism and societal excess. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Io uses a variety of processes and materials including fabric, wood and sound.

Palmer has been featured in several national and international exhibitions of note. Some include the Dakar-International Arts Biennial, Dakar, Senegal; Working History, Reed College, Portland, OR; Hair Follies, Concordia University, Montreal and Rush Gallery, New York City, NY. Solo exhibitions include York College, CUNY, Jamaica, NY; Deluge Contemporary, Victoria, BC; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR and a two person exhibition at the Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City, MD. She has participated in several artist residencies including the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India; the Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM and the Ucross Foundation, Clermont WY. Io received an Idaho Commission on the Arts grant, 2014. And most recently was awarded a Fulbright Nehru Research Grant to India, 2018-2019. Io holds and MFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.