SUNY Potsdam Anthropology Department to Host Anthropalooza on Nov. 10

SUNY Potsdam's Department of Anthropology Offers Festival Featuring Atlatl Battle, Film Screenings, Smelting Demos and More

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POTSDAM, NY (11/02/2018) SUNY Potsdam's Department of Anthropology will host a day-long celebration of human history, culture and creativity with its first-ever Anthropalooza event, on Saturday, Nov. 10.

"We are excited to use Anthropalooza as a new way of sharing and showcasing the exciting and creative work that SUNY Potsdam's anthropology and archaeology students and faculty are engaged in," said department Chair Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron, an associate professor of anthropology. "The events will be hands-on or reflect the result of hands-on research projects that shed light on people and cultures of the past and the present. What better way to engage the campus and the community at large, than over popcorn at the movies, or while having fun with ancient tool technology!"

All Anthropalooza events are free, and the public is invited to attend.

The festival will feature a copper smelting demonstration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Lehman Park. SUNY Potsdam will welcome master copper smelter Fergus Pardis Milton to demonstrate historic methods throughout the day.

There will be an Atlatl Battle from noon to 3 p.m., also in Lehman Park. Students from the anthropology departments at SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University, Canton, will compete using the ancient dart-throwing tool.

A reception will be held in the Charles T. Weaver Anthropology Museum, located in MacVicar Hall, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The Weaver Museum hosts exhibits created by SUNY Potsdam student curators and serves as a teaching museum for students in the College's museum studies minor. The museum's latest exhibition, "Living with Art," is inspired by the collection of The Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam.

Anthropalooza will close out with a digital anthropology film festival, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., in the Knowles Hall Multi-Purpose Room. This event will showcase short films made by SUNY Potsdam anthropology and archaeology students and faculty.

The ethnographic short films will focus on a range of topics, from the meaning and symbolism of tattoos, to the relationship between music students and their instruments, to the use of park and recreational spaces by community members, ethnic food options and food-consumption practices among students, and the experiences of commuter students. There will also be vlogs from students studying experimental archaeology, showing their experiences working on ancient cooking, brewing, cordage and toolmaking techniques.

Light refreshments will be served at each event. There will also be a photo contest during Anthropalooza, encouraging participants to check in at each event with a photo, to be entered to win a special prize.

The mission of SUNY Potsdam's Department of Anthropology is to provide students with knowledge of the five fields of anthropology and to give them practical experience in communities so that they can approach the world professionally and anthropologically. The College's archaeological studies program offers students a chance to gain hands-on field experience working alongside experienced faculty as undergraduates. Past field school projects have included work in the North Country and the Adirondacks, and as far away as South Africa. To learn more, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit