News & Events


Student Advising: Wednesday March 15th and Thursday March 16th

Please note that advising with respect to majors, joint majors, advanced majors, joint advanced majors, honours, and honours with subsidiary degree programs in Anthropology will be available on from 3:30 to 4:30 pm with Susan Vincent and Terry Beaulieu. Other times are possible by appointment. Advising will take place in JBB 335E.

Students are very welcome to come by and find out what in involved in the different options, and also what they might lead to.


Pecha Kucha




The Department of Anthropology has inaugurated  a bench commemorating recipients of the Clare Fawcett Graduating Prize, named in honour of our fabulous colleague who is, alas, retiring this year. Clare has left an indelible mark on StFX, having made crucial contributions to the founding of several programs (Women’s and Gender Studies, Development Studies, Anthropology, and the Social Justice Colloquium) and inspired students with her innovative and exciting teaching.

We celebrated her career, and also the successful completion of their honours theses by students Emily Henry, Mia Kelly and Adele Martel.





ANTH 492: Museums Class Curate Exhibit on the Everyday Material Life of StFX Students

As part of the course requirements for ANTH 492: Museums, taught by Dr. Meghann Jack, students collaboratively curated a small exhibit on StFX student life in partnership with Dr. Andrea Terry at the StFX Art Gallery. The exhibit, Campus Culture: A Material Reflection on Student Life is currently on display in the Mulroney Hall atrium and features objects indicative of the StFX student experience, from a package of Mr. Noodles to treasured comfort objects reminding students of home. 




ANTH 492: Museums Students Take Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Museum of Industry

In April, students in ANTH 492: Museums visited the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, NS. In addition to touring the exhibits, students went behind the scenes to learn more about collections management and storage practices with curator Erika Wilson. Thanks to the Museum of Industry staff for such an engaging learning opportunity! 



Jane Award




Anthropology Honours Thesis



Anthropology Thesis Presentation
by Aidan Wallace

Friday April 9th at 2:15 PM
Join us in the Bloomfield Council Chambers or on Zoom using the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting






Wednesday 25 November at 2:15, there will be a presentation by Aidan Wallace of an honours proposal on “The Role of Libraries in Overcoming Digital Divides in Rural Communities”. Join us in person at the Bloomfield Council Chambers or online with Microsoft Teams. Please contact for the online link if you wish to join. 



Why do we wear the clothes we wear? What kind of house do we want? How do we shop? Why do we collect things? Why do we build monuments or tear them down, and who gets to decide? How do we mark the resting place of our loved ones? Explore these questions and more this Winter semester in the special topics course ANTH 299: Material Culture.


 Congratulations to Dr. L. Jane McMillan on winning the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly WritingSponsored by Marquis Book Printing

Truth and Conviction:  Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mik’kmaw Quest for Justice by L. Jane McMillan (UBC Press)

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, sponsored by Marquis Book Printing
Presented for the first time in 2013 by the Atlantic Book Awards Society, this award recognizes literary achievement in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The $1,000 prize is awarded each year to the author(s) of a published book determined to have had (or likely to have) a significant literary, social and academic impact leading to a deeper understanding of society.

For more information on the Atlantic Book Awards 2020, please click here

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, Mr. Gerald Gloade (see information below) will visit StFX.  In the evening, Mr. Gloade will give a talk about Mi'kmaw astronomy.  The talk will be at 7:00 pm and will be held in Schwartz 156.

Gerald Gloade is an artist and educator who is currently the Program Development Officer for the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre. Gerald started his career working as a graphic designer for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources’ Communications and Education Branch more than 25 years ago. The focus of his work with the Province moved from forestry education and graphic art to sharing his culture and history in the landscape and environment of Mi'kma'ki with audiences of all ages. As an artist, educator and Mi'kmaw storyteller, Gerald guides the development of visitor and educational programs for the centre. His stories and interpretations of the Kluskap legends in particular have captured many audiences. Gerald is a key member of the curatorial group, growing our understandings of collections, places, people, practices and events for the future Centre. Gerald was brought up and lives in the community of Millbrook with his wife Natalie and their two sons, Gerald D. and Kyle.



See more information by following this link:


Department of Anthropology Field Trip - October 2019

On October 5 students in Anthropology 492, Museums: Culture and Heritage on Display visited Sherbrooke Village. After touring the site, the students participated in a Service Learning project to reorganize a collections storage area.

(L) to (R): Chris MacKenzie, Edward MacDonald, Diane Scott, Sherbrooke Village Blacksmith Kyle Strongman, Dr. Meghann Jack, Katharina Klemann, Emily Scott, Melissa Quintero Lazo.




Learning Lodge - Honoring Indigenous Women at STFX, 2019

Left to Right: StFX Grad Devann Sylvester, StFX Grad Kashya Young, Mikmaw Lawyer Jennifer Cox, NS Native Womens Association Karen Brenard and Mr. Shane Brenard. 
Favela Digital in the classroom: "Anthropology of Technology."
Favela Digital was one of the books used in the class "Anthropology of Technology" taught by Dr. Christina Holmes at St. Francis Xavier University. Dr. Holmes guided the students through the process of developing a research question and design, submitting a Research Ethics Board application, completing the research and writing up the results.


Archive of events


Department of Anthropology once again sponsors film in the Antigonish Film Festival

The Destruction of Memory

Sat Oct 28, 9:30 - 10:50

Cineplex Theatre


Eight StFX students awarded prestigious Irving Research Mentorship Awards (June 1, 2017)

Alison Armstrong of New Westminster, BC, says the Irving Mentorship Award is funding her internship this summer at the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association where she is conducting research on sexual violence policies in Nova Scotia.

Ms. Armstrong just graduated from StFX with a joint major in anthropology and women's and gender studies. She will return next year to complete an honours in anthropology with a subsidiary in women's and gender studies. She is supervised by Dr. Clare Fawcett.

“I am exploring how provincial policies have shifted due to changes in government and in response to cases of sexual violence that have been publicized in the media, and therefore gained public attention. This research is extremely important in drawing attention to the patterns and power dynamics reflected in the development and implementation of sexual violence policies, and showing where there are gaps in service provision to those most in need,” she says.

Ms. Armstrong says her findings can be of practical use to service providers across the province addressing sexual violence, and that she is honoured to have the opportunity to research in this field and hopefully will make a real impact.

For the complete article, click here

Anthropology Graduates, 2016

Anthropology of Tourism (Anth 310) students hard at work building trails at the Keppoch Mountain for course-based service learning

2015 Nova Scotia Museums Public Archaeology Day at the  McCulloch House, Pictou

Dr Mikael Haller, Meghann Livingston (2015 Honours Anthropology) and Chris Greencorn (History, StFX) assisting with the 2015 Nova Scotia Museums Public Archaeology Day at the McCulloch House in Pictou, NS

Anthropology 492: Special Topics in Anthropology

Evolution of Human Diet 

Offered in Fall 2015 by Dr. Michael Gregg

This Course investigates key issues in anthropology on the subjects of food and culture. We will begin by looking at the evolution of human subsistence practices - from simple nomadic hunter-gatherer bands to increasingly complex and sedentary food-producing societies. We will then examine the impact of agricultural industrialization on human populations, and consequences for social, political and economic structures in different regions of the world. Our discussions will include research on: a diverse range of cultures and peoples; dietary choices and human health; cultural prohibitions and culinary prefernces; globalization, commodization and unequal access to food resources; sustainable agricultural practices, biodiversity and food security.

Scheduled for GH/HG Block.


 Anthropology Honours Students Present

 at Student Research Day, March 2015


Anthropology Honours students present at Student Research Day: Meghann Livingston - Mortuary Patterns and Attitudes Towards Death and Dying in Nova Scotia: An Analysis of the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, Pictou county; and Kathleen Forward - Investigating Household Activities at Site 174 and the Nature of Social Hierarchy in the Parita Valley, Central Region of Panama. 


 Broch Collective receives research funding from StFX’s Centre  for Regional Studies

A recently established research group at StFX that aims to explore an often neglected aspect of regional heritage has been given a major boost from StFX’s Centre for Regional Studies. 

The Broch Collective, formed earlier this year, aims to shed light on the socio-cultural dimensions of death and dying among nineteenth-century Scots in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to its research, the collective draws on the expertise of Dr. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, Department of History, Dr. Brenda Appleby, Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Dan MacInnes, Department of Sociology, Dr. Mikael Haller, Chair of Anthropology, Dr. Michael Linkletter, Chair of Celtic Studies, Shamus MacDonald, Department of Celtic Studies, and Susan Cameron, Special Collections Librarian at the Father Brewer Celtic Collection. 

The goals of the collective are a good match for those of the Centre for Regional Studies, which promotes research related to the social, political, economic, cultural and historical dimensions of life in Atlantic Canada.

Financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded centre, in the form of a $5,000 grant, will allow the Broch Collective to organize and host a research conference in June 2014.

Designed to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research networks within Nova Scotia, the symposium will bring together key stakeholders in order to explore how cemeteries can be used to study cultural value systems, individual and group identities, settlement patterns, economic prosperity, and commemoration behavior. The conference will also feature workshops on cemetery preservation and protection as well as twenty-first century restoration technologies.

This work is intended to foster local, national and international collaboration and provide opportunities for student participation and employment.


Anthropology professor, Dr. Mikael Haller, to collaborate on research project: Understanding life and death among immigrant Scots leads StFX scholars to form Broch Collective

L-r: Susan Cameron, Dan MacInnes, Mikael Haller, Brenda Appleby and Shamus MacDonald. Missing from the photo are Laurie Stanley-Blackwell and Michael Linkletter.

The topic of death and dying tends to make most people squeamish. At StFX, however, a diverse team of researchers, the recently-formed Broch Collective, are keen to tackle this taboo subject to better understand how Nova Scotia’s immigrant Scots perceived and experienced life and death.

The Broch Collective combines the expertise of a broad and rich mix of scholars sharing an interest in the beliefs, attitudes, and practices relating to death among Nova Scotia’s immigrant Scots.

“The Broch Collective is much more than a union of kindred spirits sharing a fascination with lichen-covered old tombstones. Its primary goal is to explore the socio-cultural dimensions of death and dying among Nova Scotia’s and Prince Edward Island’s immigrant Scots in an interdisciplinary context,” says research group co-founder Dr. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, of StFX’s Department of History.

The research cluster also includes Dr. Brenda Appleby, Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Dan MacInnes, Department of Sociology, Dr. Mikael Haller, Chair of Anthropology, Dr. Michael Linkletter, Chair of Celtic Studies, Shamus MacDonald, Department of Celtic Studies, and Susan Cameron, Special Collections Librarian of the Father Brewer Celtic Collection at StFX. 

The collective first started meeting on a regular basis in July 2013. In the initial meetings, with supportive advice from StFX Research Grants Office director John D. Blackwell, they identified their core research strengths and objectives. 

Since then, they have established contacts with research groups with similar interests in Canada, England, and Scotland.  

The name “Broch,” a term used for Iron Age stone structures in early Scotland, symbolizes the underlying collaborative principles of the group. In the original “Broch,” it was the individual stones which gave strength to overall structure. The unique meshing of expertise epitomized by StFX’s Broch Collective paves the way for an expansive line of inquiry into early Maritime cemeteries as important cultural landscapes, the group members say.  

Drs. Stanley-Blackwell and Appleby provided the original impetus behind the formation of the collective.  For the past year, with Centre of Regional Studies funding, they have been studying the cemeteries of the immigrant Scots in Pictou and Antigonish Counties as repositories of ethnicity, set against the broader significance of group identity within commemoration behavior. 

The first result of their collaboration, “Romancing the Stone: Female Figure Monuments in late Nineteenth-century Nova Scotian Cemeteries,” is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of Markers

Shamus MacDonald, a PhD candidate in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University, has an ongoing interest in the customs and beliefs associated with death in Gaelic Nova Scotia. His personal and professional fieldwork in Nova Scotia, Scotland, Nunavut and Newfoundland make him a welcome addition to the collective.
Librarian Susan Cameron brings to the research cluster her understanding of local history and Scottish Gaelic language resources as well as her invaluable skills as an information professional, with knowledge in navigating the resources and the use of collaborative tools. For Ms. Cameron, exploring cemeteries in Strathglass, Scotland was one of the highlights of her sabbatical three years ago.

With a widely-acknowledged expertise in mortuary archaeology, Dr. Haller also contributes a unique skillset to the group. He has done extensive archaeological investigation in Panama and during the summer of 2010, he supervised a team of student researchers at Halifax’s Old Burying Ground, an historic cemetery dating back to 1749.

Best known for his work on the Antigonish Movement, Dr. MacInnes is highly regarded as a scholar of Atlantic Canada. His knowledge of the role played by the Roman Catholic Highland Scots in Nova Scotia’s history is particularly relevant to the research objectives of the Broch Collective. 

So too is Dr. Linkletter’s wide-ranging familiarity with the language, literature, history, and folklore of the Gaels in Maritime Canada. This breadth of knowledge is reflected in his recent publication, Parting, Prophecy, Poetry: Rev. Duncan Blair (1815-1893), co-edited and co-translated with John Alick MacPherson.


Department of Anthropology Sponsors Film in Antigonish International Film Festival

We Still Live Here  (56 min)
Saturday, Oct 19  2:35 to 3:30 pm @ Capitol Theatre, Antigonish
Director: Anne Makepeace
Celebrated every Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, and then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag Tribes of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are now saying loud and clear, and in their Native tongue, "Âs Nutayuneân," (We Still Live Here).  Jessie Little Doe Baird, their celebrated linguist, uncovered hundreds of documents written in Wampanoag and led her to a Master’s in Linguistics at MIT.  Her efforts culminated in an unprecedented feat of language reclamation by her people. Jessie’s daughter Mae is the first Native speaker of Wampanoag in a century.
Inspiration Award, Full Frame; Moving Mountains Prize, Telluride Mountain Films

Further information at


Atlantic Film Festival


Honours Student Thesis Presentations, April 2013

The Department of Anthropology hosted its year-end Honours Student Thesis Presentations and Meet & Greet social on Friday, April 12, 2013 from 2:30-4:30pm at the People's Place Community Room at the Antigonish Public Library.  Presenters pictured above (left to right) are Julia Brenan, Siobhan Carlson and Janelle Young.


Convocation 2012


Pictured left to right: Skye Larlee (BA Major in Anthropology), Dr. Clare Fawcett, Adam Nicholson, (BA Joint Major, Development Studies and Anthropology)


March 2012

The Department of Anthropology celebrated the launch of Dr. Susan Vincent's " Dimensions Dimensions of Development: History, Community, and Change in Allpachico, Peru" on March 29, 2012.  News article for this event available here.


January 2010

Dr. Jane McMillan, CRC in Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities in the Department of Anthropology, was quoted in the Globe and Mail on December 27 in a story about the continued inadequate treatment of First Nations people by the Canadian justice system. In the story by Kirk Makin, Dr. McMillan indicates that the promise of the Canadian Supreme Court decision on Gladue has not been fulfilled. There are still not sufficient resources to provide native offenders with the programs they need, and court officials do not yet understand the cultural context in which Aboriginal people live. See for the details.


September 2009

Anthropology has been granted department status!
In 2006 the new Anthropology program was launched at StFX, setting out honours, advanced major, and major degree structures with all courses in the discipline. Since then we have seen student interest grow as we have developed patterns of courses around the themes of development, First Nations, and archaeology, while maintaining a more flexible general anthropology option. In September 2009 StFX President Sean Riley announced that we had been given department status, allowing our administrative structure the same autonomy as our academic program. This is great cause for celebration! Join us in our activities throughout the year as we continue to build a great place to learn.