Division of Social Sciences

The official blog for the Division of Social Sciences at Brandeis University

Waste Land Screening

Posted by musegade on April 7th, 2014

On March 27, Latin American and Latino Studies, Environmental Studies, and Fine Arts UDRs hosted a documentary screening of Waste Land. Students came together from all disciplines to watch the film while eating South American food.

The film is about Vik Muniz, a famous Brazilian artist who currently lives in the United States. Muniz traveled to the world’s largest landfill near Rio de Janeiro to speak with catadores, or people who pick up recyclable material from the landfill for work.


Muniz took photographs of the catadores, then worked with the catadores to make artwork in the shape of the portraits with recyclable materials. After selling photographs of the artwork, all of the money went to the catadores. With the money, they bought equipment and a truck and built a learning center and a library so that people could learn about recycling.


The movie focused on the lives of the catadores and how they were moved by the experiences of creating art from recyclable materials then seeing their portraits become famous.

The screening was followed by a discussion about the lives of the catadores, recycling, and artwork. Overall, it was a meaningful film that brought students of many different disciplines together.


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Accepted Students Day

Posted by musegade on April 7th, 2014

Accepted Students Day, the main recruitment day for the upcoming Class of 2018, was held this past Sunday, April 6th. By the time the Academic Fair opened, students flocked to the Environmental Studies booth where the UDRs, Esther Mann and Adam Krebs, stood. There was a line of eager students and parents in front of the booth for the two hours that the fair was held. The parents’  most common question was, “Tell me about the major” while the students asked, “Can I double major?” Most people were most interested in the experiential learning opportunities, the ratio of science and social science courses, and internships, yet they also asked about faculty, research opportunities, specific focuses in the major, study abroad opportunities, clubs and ways to get evolved, and future job options. Overall, the students were extremely excited to start learning Environmental Studies at Brandeis this upcoming fall.

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Putting Your Degree to Work: The Intersection between HSSP* and the Health Professions

Posted by musegade on April 5th, 2014

Interested in a career in health?

Not sure how to put your degree to work?

You might want to come to Heller 163 on Thursday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. to…

Putting Your Degree to Work: The Intersection between HSSP* and

the Health Professions

This event will explore how Brandeis HSSP majors can and have put their knowledge and skills to work in professional settings, including internships and careers. We will have 5 speakers, both HSSP alumni and not, with a variety of experiences within the health professions. The speakers will discuss how majors can make the most of their degree beyond Brandeis with an emphasis on practical tips for professional development.

Date: Thursday, April 10 | Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m. | Location: Heller 163

Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.

Please RSVP to Andy Hart (andrew.robert.hart@gmail.com)

For additional information about the panelists, please download the PDF here.

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PAX Dinner on April 10!

Posted by musegade on April 4th, 2014


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Get Academic Credit for your Summer Internship

Posted by musegade on April 4th, 2014

If you are interested in interning at an organization  this summer dedicated to social justice, social policy, social research, or social service, contact Melissa Stimell NOW at stimell@brandeis.edu for information on how to receive academic credit.

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Brandeis NOW Features Nail Salon Study

Posted by musegade on April 4th, 2014

Students in the Environmental Health and Justice Program, taught by Professor Laura Goldin as a part of the Justice Brandeis Semester program, went out to the field to study Volatile Organic Compound Levels (VOCs) in nail salons. They found that many out of the 15 salons they visited had higher than acceptable levels, and gave advice on measures that could be used to lower these levels. You can read more about the study here.


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Intro to World Music Video Conference with Peru!

Posted by musegade on March 27th, 2014


On Thursday, April 10th, from 2:00-3:20, Intro to World Musics will be piloting a special video conferencing call to Peru.  Two indigenous musicians from the Q’eros community (located in the Vilcanota range of the Peruvian Andes) will be joining the class.  Dr. Holly Wissler, an American ethnomusicologist who has lived in Cusco for the last twenty years, will introduce them and moderate.  All are invited to drop by and both experience this very special tradition while seeing this exciting technology in action.  Video conferencing (with BlueJeans as the technology) is a global portal for Brandeis – in this case, we have a chance to hear and speak with some very special musicians that cannot come to campus in person.  

“The Q’ eros  (with a current population of less than 3,000), more than most indigenous communities in Peru, have maintained cultural traditions surviving from the pre-Hispanic era. Ranging from agricultural to medical to spiritual, these customs reflect the community’s Andean belief system and its close connection to the Earth and surrounding mountains. The community’s practice of these traditions has earned it the distinction of being the last existing Incan Ayllu.”  (From  http://www.qeros.net/ ) Music, threaded throughout their everyday existence, is an essential cultural and social expression for the Q’eros that has historical and contemporary significance.

This exciting event will take place in Slosberg 212 on Thursday, April 10th, from 2:00-3:20 p.m. Please stop by and enjoy!

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How We Define the Street: Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria

Posted by musegade on March 12th, 2014

Anthropology professor Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria just recently published an article, How We Define the Street in the Indian Express, one of India’s major national newspapers. In the article Anjaria discusses the new street vendors’ law in India. See the full article here.

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Brandeis Senior Dan Leisman presents at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in May

Posted by musegade on March 7th, 2014

Brandeis senior Dan Leisman will be traveling to Vancouver this May to present at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting. Leisman will discuss his clinical research study on 24 hour blood pressure variability (BPV) in children. (BPV is the degree of variation in a person’s blood pressure over the course of a day.)

Explaining a bit about his study Leisman writes:

“In the study children with primary and secondary hypertension underwent 24 hour blood pressure monitoring and echocardiography, from which we could calculate measures of BPV for the 24 hour, daytime, and night-time periods and look for evidence of heart damage or strain. We had a few interesting findings. First, body mass index and age were independent predictors of BPV.  Second, while there were no significant differences in overall or wake period variability secondary or primary groups, diastolic variability during the sleep period was significantly greater in the secondary group. Since secondary hypertension specifically tends to be more associated with nocturnal hypertension and diastolic hypertension, we believe this finding warrants further investigation. Last, contrary to expectations and to the substantial adult literature, we found no association between increased BPV and indicators of cardiovascular damage overall and in either group. So BPV may not hold the same clinical relevance in children that it does in adults. We think this could stem from the nature of cardiovascular illness in children, specifically, their shorter exposure to vascular strain. The possibility that variability increases as children get older and unhealthier is also consistent with this, and is supported by our findings concerning age and body mass index.”

The Pediatric Academic Society meeting is the largest international conference for pediatric clinical research and child health, and for more information about the event please see their website.

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For Social Emergencies “We Are 9-1-1”: How Journalists Perform the State in an Argentine Border Town

Posted by musegade on March 3rd, 2014

Recent Anthropology Ph.D. graduate, Ieva Jusionyte, recently published her article, For Social Emergencies “We Are 9-1-1”: How Journalists Perform the State in an Argentine Border Town, in the journal Anthropological Quarterly. For access to the article please see Project MUSE

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