CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELD SCHOOL
SUMMER 2004
Dr. Jayne Howell, Director
 
 
 

Dr. Howell and CSULB students during an excursionto Ixtlán de Juárez in the Sierra Juárez, June 2004.
 
 
 


Report  J. Howell's Oaxaca Page
2005 Flyer
Description
Maps
Photos
Student Activities



LOCATION

The field school is based in the provincial capital, Oaxaca de Juárez.
Field excursions to outlying villages and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec last from 4 hours to 3 days.
 
 


COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Ethnographic Field School to Oaxaca is a 3-week, 6 unit course held in Oaxaca, Mexico during the first 3 weeks of June.  The course in centered in the provincial capital Oaxaca City (population 400,000), and includes excursions to rural communities and other cities in the state.

Lectures on methodology, local history, ethnic and gender relations, politics, religion, economics begin as soon as students arrive.  Students learn and apply four primary methods, (systematic observation and recording of one's surroundings in journals and field notes, physical and social maps to record notes, developing and conducting surveys and formal interviews).

Dr. Howell works with students to analyze and interpret data collected for demographic (ethnicity, age, sex) and economic (education, employment, income level) factors) patterns.  Graded assignments including a final reflective paper and fieldnotes are required at the end of the course.

Because social interactions between relatives are at the heart of ethnographic inquiry, students interact with Oaxacan families throughout their stay.  They participate in educational tours of local cultural and historic sites to better understand the complexities of Mexican culture and Oaxacan identity.  Visits to craft-producing and agricultural villages provide an opportunity to see the impacts of globalization in Oaxaca.

In light of annual migration of thousands of Oaxqueños to California annually, students spend one day at a Zapotec-speaking junior high school, where they help with English lessons and answer students' questions about life in the United States.  This final activity allows students to participate in the local custom of guelaguetza (reciprocal exchange) to acknowledge Oaxaca’s hospitality.


ENROLLMENT

Enrollment in this advanced skills course is by instructor permission only.  Students should have at least an overall “B” (3.0) minimum GPA, junior status, and demonstrate a commitment active participation in this course.  All interested students must meet with Dr. Howell personally to discuss their background in anthropology and career goals.  Those selected for the program must sign a conduct code agreement.  Spanish proficiency is recommended by not required.

Recruitment will continue throughout the Spring 2005 semester.  Mandatory pre-travel orientation meetings will be held in early May.



Lodging: A bed and breakfast 1.5 miles from the Zócalo (central plaza) serves as our base.
 

Lectures are held on an outdoor terrace with a view of the Guelaguetza stadium.


 



THE CENTRAL VALLEY

OAXACA CITY:
Everyday sites around the provincial capital:

Educational tours of the Ethnobotanical Garden at the  Centro Cultural del ex-convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
 

MONTE ALBAN, MITLA and YAGUL: Pre-Columbian Oaxaca



 

CUILAPAM: History, Religion and Politics
 





TLACOLULA: The Sunday Market
 

VILLA DÍAZ ORDÁZ:  Rhytms of Rural Life



LEARNING ACTIVITIES

A Mole Cooking Class



ARRAZOLA: Artisan Workshop
Students visited the wdcarving studio of master craftsman Cato Carillo in Arrazola.  After Cato demonstrated carving with a machete, he and his wife Lety demonstrated how to smooth, sand and paint alebrijes.


THE SIERRA JUÁREZ

GUELATAO: Oaxacan History
 

 Ixtán de Juarez: Past and Present
 


THE ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC
Parts of this section are still under contruction.

We spent 3 days living with a family in Asuncion Ixtaltepec, in the district of Juchitán.
To deal with the heat and humidity, students

began drinking lots of fluids before we left (photo at Oaxaca City bus station) ...
bought fans at the Juchitán market...
and enjoyed the break at the Ojo del Agua water hole in Cd. Ixtepec
Visiting the isolated archaeological site Guiengola proved impossible, but we were able to enjoy spectacular views:

Despit the heat, students also learned first hand about legendary Tehuana textiles:
 


HEADING HOME
After three weeks it was time to say goodbye to Oaxaca



For more information, please refer to J. Howell's Web site athttp://www.csulb.edu/~jhowell/oaxaca/
For photos of students enjoying Oaxaca, please follow this link. http://www.csulb.edu/~jhowell/randomshots.html