Laura Bathurst: Secretary-Treasurer 2011-2012

Laura Bathurst

Laura Bathurst

University of the Pacific

Secretary-Treasurer 2011-2012

From Laura Bathurst‘s webpage:

My aim is to foster in my students a habit of curiosity coupled with rigorous analytical thinking and a driving thirst for wide-ranging knowledge, and then to arm them with multiple frameworks that help them understand our increasingly complex and interconnected world. It’s important to me that students understand the relevance of course material to their everyday lives, and I try to reach every student in each of my classes. Integrated into my course design is attention to learning as an incremental process, learning styles, and cognitive styles to better “meet the students where they are,” an essential characteristic of superior teaching. I regularly seek student feedback through formal and informal channels to make sure I understand the students’ experiences of my classes. I incorporate emerging technologies, as appropriate, to enhance learning, and encourage students to understand what kinds of learning are facilitated and what kinds are inhibited by different approaches, as I support them in becoming “life-long learners.” At Pacific, I teach several distinct kinds of courses, anthropology courses (currently Cultural Anthropology and Language and Culture), intercultural courses (Cross Cultural Training I, Cross Cultural Training II), and interdisciplinary courses (currently Contemporary World Issues).

I have conducted research in Bolivia, Spain, and the US. My research is centered around two topics: 1) the social construction of identity and 2) the pedagogy of cultural difference. In Bolivia, I examined how the identities of indigenous Tacana living in the Amazon basin of Bolivia were affected by international development aid that was designated to be specifically for indigenous people, documenting key shifts in the definitions of Tacananess related to the global movement of money, ideas, people, and things. I also analyzed the importance of gift-giving among the Tacana, exploring the ways in which key aspects of the material, social, and moral domains of Tacana life were mutually reinforcing and the fundamental role their system of gift-giving played in the reproduction of normative behaviors and values among themselves and in structuring their encounters with outsiders. My current research is centered on understanding the historical development and contemporary practice of differing approaches to teaching about cultural difference. I am particularly interested in the different goals, assumptions, techniques, and outcomes of pedagogies typical of anthropology and intercultural communication, with special attention to those working with students who study abroad.

Laura Bathurst institutional webpage:

SALSA Leadership