The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

A living history

Left to right: skulls of Homo rudolfensis, dated from 1.8 - 1.4 million years ago, and Homo habilis, dated from 2.4 - 1.8 million years ago, presented at the Anthropology Expo in the Student Center Sept. 24. Photo by ||Greg Wiesner|| [email protected]

The myths of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones were dispelled, Irish was spoken, and participants learned what tales the dead can tell.

The annual Anthropology Exposition held Sept. 24 in the Student Center at City College exhibited a variety of research fields and job opportunities from area colleges, and one of the highlight’s was City College anthropology professor William Doonan’s keynote address on Irish language.

“I’m interested in Irish culture and came to hear the speaker,” said Robin Aurelius, a former City College business instructor who attended with his wife and friends.

Throughout the evening the crowd quietly took in the exhibition as they waited for Doonan to take the podium.

Approximately 150 people heard Doonan’s speech on “Policy, Prestige and Language Revitalization: How the Irish are Saving Irish.”

Doonan spoke on his experiences while on sabbatical during the past spring semester in Ireland researching indigenous Irish language.

“Most people think the Irish simply speak English, but there are still 72,000 people speaking indigenous Irish,” Doonan said. “The Irish people are very interested in linguistic revitalization.”

The expo has been held annually for the past 10 years and was started by the late City College anthropology professor David Abrams, Doonan and Lindell said.
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“The purpose of the event is to expand interest in anthropology and to invite the community to learn more about it. Anthropology is the study of cultures throughout time.” — William Doonan, professor of anthropology

Also on display was an exhibit featuring primitive musical instruments. Among the items on display: “Sampe,” a string instrument carved from a log that originally used intestines for strings and an “Ipu Heke,” a gourd drum from Hawaii.

“People interested in music may never have seen other culture’s instruments,” said Pam Lindell, City College anthropology professor and department chair.

Each year, the four colleges in the Los Rios Community College District present exhibits and rotate hosting the event. Also attending were the Sacramento Anthropological Society, the California Society for Archaeology and Far Western Anthropological Research Group, a cultural resource management company from Davis.

“Students are able to see the different types of jobs available,” Lindell said. “[For example] any time a new building site is planned, excavation is done to see if any archaeology, like Native American culture, is present.”

Lindsay Hartman, a member of the Far Western Anthropological Research Group, explained that her company performs archaeological surveys of proposed construction sites and “anything over 50 years old is considered to have historic importance.”

Anthropology has 10 sub fields including linguistic anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology and cultural anthropology, Doonan said.

“The purpose of the event is to expand interest in anthropology and to invite the community to learn more about it,” Doonan said. “Anthropology is the study of cultures throughout time.”

“I enjoy coming here, what I’ve gotten from anthropology is learning to see things from other points of view and from the culture of others,” said Ryan Uselmann, a City College biology major.

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