Lessons That Can’t Be Taught: Applying Anthropology in Honduras and Beyond


This is an abstract from the "I Love Sherds and Parasites: A Festschrift in Honor of Pat Urban and Ed Schortman" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

After participating in the Kenyon-Honduras Program as a volunteer in the spring of 2004, I decided to apply to Master’s programs in anthropology, and I used the word "applied" to describe my experience in Honduras. Pat gently pointed out that their research was not technically "applied archaeology," since that suggested public outreach and education. Though she was obviously correct, what I could not yet articulate was how living and working in a rural hamlet in northwestern Honduras had illustrated to me in sharp relief the social context of archaeological fieldwork. In Cofradia and Pueblo Nuevo, daily interactions with workmen, children, shopkeepers, bus drivers, and cooks taught students to treat people, regardless of background, with empathy and respect. For this honorary session, we will show more clearly how Pat and Ed’s program instilled the principles of public engagement in their students, who have gone on to conduct applied work in archaeology, cultural anthropology, museum studies, public history, and in places beyond academia. By encouraging identity formation in their mentoring, Pat and Ed gave students the profound opportunity to develop a sense of their relationship to the world by living and working closely with people in Honduras.

Cite this Record

Lessons That Can’t Be Taught: Applying Anthropology in Honduras and Beyond. Claire Novotny, Anna Novotny, Leigh Anne Ellison. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451964)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24842