Local anthropological society showcased at expo

Students gather at The Sacramento History Museum’s table to learn about Sacramento’s past at the Anthropology Expo at Cosumnes River College on Oct. 27.

The annual Anthropology Expo was hosted by Cosumnes River College this year and featured different venues from Sacramento that presented many aspects of the world of anthropology.

Anthropology professors Shannon Mills, Amanda Paskey and Anastasia Panagakos were in charge of this event which encouraged students to appreciate and become more aware of why we, as a society, need anthropology.

“It’s one of those disciplines that students and people should learn more about because it teaches us not only how to engage with human beings, but to appreciate how we can learn from different cultures,” Pasky said.

Students presented presentations and informational tables that were hosted by local colleges, universities, anthropology clubs, museums and businesses.

Participants of the expo included: the Sacramento Anthropological Society Department, Sacramento City Anthropological Club, Davis: Far Western Anthropological Research Group Inc., UC Merced Anthropology, Sacramento History Museum, CRC Archaeological Working Lab, American River College Anthropology Department, UC Davis Anthropology and CRC Hmong Language Department.

These participants had interactive tables that provided a variety of perspectives and viewpoints of what anthropology is and all of it’s different fields.

Panagakos said that the expo was mainly for students to gain a better understanding of anthropology and encourage them to learn more about it.

The CRC Hmong Language Department and the Sacramento History Museum were new this year, and students were enjoying the history that both had to offer.

“I definitely enjoyed both booths, but the Sacramento History Museum, they were very informative for us to have a better knowledge about our city, and to how it became the city that we have today,” said Lazaro Perez, 24, a business major.

The expo had a special guest speaker as they had invited renowned American-Canadian linguist, Dr. K. David Harrison, for the first-time ever to speak to students about preserving languages.

Harrison said the expo was like nothing he’d ever seen before and was astonished by the dedication of the students and faculty to put it on.

“It’s the value and appreciation from students, and the exposure about archeology is a wonderful thing to learn,” said Harrison. “It’s an opportunity to discover new languages.”

Harrison is an associate provost and professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, and is the director of research at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. He has worked on the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages in India, Russia, Micronesia and elsewhere.

The topic of Harrison’s speech was “Endangered Languages” and it was about how the world’s 7,000+ languages are in drastic decline, and many will vanish before they can be recorded or documented.

“In order to save and preserve these languages we must get this message out and spread the word,” Harrison said. “Language and diversity is valuable and should be appreciated and preserved.”