UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
May 22, 2017
12:00pm to 1:30pm
Haines 352 Reading Room
Rowan Hong


Most evolutionary ecological outcomes are highly sensitive to the nature of migration. The when, where, and how of migration are fundamental to evolutionary questions that anthropologists and others have tackled, though with varying levels of analytical rigor. In worst cases, migration is merely acknowledged as the elephant in the room. How can we do better! In this talk I discuss theoretical and empirical approaches that help us more rigorously explore the patterns of migration and measure its impact in prehistory and the present. I take examples from my theoretical work on the Ideal Despotic Distribution, ethnic markers, and the evolution of essentialism. I also discuss my empirical work on settlement patterns in the Pacific, and ongoing ethnographic work in Tonga and the Tongan diaspora. Throughout I advocate the balanced use of mathematical theory and empirical rigor as the way forward.

The BEC Speaker Series hosts presentations by renowned scholars from across the social, behavioral, and biological sciences whose work sheds light on human evolution, including issues of cultural transmission, behavioral ecology, affect, cognition, and health.