Filmmaker Robert Greene's career making documentaries began with a paper he wrote on Rebel Without a Cause in Tom Wallis' Intro to Film class at NC State. Until that paper, Greene thought movies were not capable of being deep, truthful investigations into the soul.
The way Tom was talking about these movies, there was no way a movie was meant to be that deep, says Greene, a 2000 CHASS graduate. But an analysis of the James Dean classic convinced him that movies could have depth. It convinced me, he says, movies could be.
And now, some 15 years later, Greene and 4th Row Films, the production company he's involved with along with two other partners, have made seven films. Greene serves as director and/or editor on the projects. His passion for documentaries comes by default and an eye for honest portrayals of real people.
I wrote some screenplays that sucked, he says. Writing a screenplay and dialogue, I'd rather be waterboarded. I think I cared about real stories in a way.
4th Row currently has three movies in theaters across the U.S. All In: The Poker Movie, a journey into the poker subculture, premiered last Friday at Cinema Village in New York City and will be available on video on demand April 24. Fake It So Real, a look at the big dreams of independent professional wrestlers in small-town North Carolina, is ending a run on the West Coast. And Kati with an I, an intimate look at at Greene's teenage half-sister in Alabama who is about to graduate high school, is opening in Seattle.
Greene likes showing the essence of truth in these films, putting people front-and-center along with their hopes, dreams and faults. My films are very loving to the subjects, he says. I'm very protective of them as people.
Chris Moneymaker, a mere nobody who hit it big by winning millions in the 2003 World Series of Poker's main event, is one of those subjects in All In. Moneymaker is kind of the soul of the movie, Greene says. He says, 'I was a fat, drunk, degenerate gambler.' He figured he could take his gambling problem and use it as a skill. He transformed himself.
The Moneymakers of poker or the professional wrestlers of the rural South interest Greene because of their passion, and sometimes obsessiveness, to turn nothing into something.
You can make films about people who are passionate about things, he says. They take their art, their things so seriously. When they talk about poker or cards, they're really talking about life. It's like an American dream.
By Chris Saunders.
This article first appeared in the NC State Alumni Association's Red and White for Life blog.
NC State has numerous traditions and annual events, and next week welcomes an old favorite with new and exciting features. COM Week 2012 will be held March 26 – 30 and will feature a variety of workshops, lectures, networking events, and panel discussions.
One of the most anticipated events this year is a lecture by Dr. Tarla Rai Peterson from Texas A & M University. She will discuss the nature of public forums where citizens can participate in dialogue and debate about environmental policy, says Dr. Jessica Jameson of the Department of Communication. She is specifically going to argue that our desire for consensus might actually be harmful. This lecture will kickoff COM Week on Monday, March 26 in Caldwell Lounge beginning at 1:30 pm.
The departmentis also excited to welcome back Communication alumna Shelley S. Kelly, president and CEO of Kelly MarCom. On Tuesday, Kelly will talk about the research and development that goes into transforming an organizational brand, says Jameson. This should be a really interesting presentation because her organization just unveiled a complete rebranding of Kelly MarCom, and she will describe this process and experience.
Students will also be especially interested to hear from Larry Yon on Tuesday as he discusses how to do personal branding when interviewing for a job. Following Yon's talk, students are encouraged to visit the Career Expo that will feature more than 30 representatives from a variety of organizations.
Wrapping up the week on Friday will be a networking event for faculty and students in Winston 201 beginning at 3:00pm. Students are invited to drop by, have a snack, and talk with faculty about their research and jobs.
Jameson encourages students to take full advantage of COM Week. The primary goals of COM Week arethe same as since it began in 1985 to provide enrichment for students and engagement in the discipline outside the classroom. We want to showcase the Department of Communication and all the opportunities it offers students.
By Lauren Williams, CHASS Communication Intern
During the early 20th century, millions of southern blacks moved north to escape the violent racism of the Jim Crow South and to find employment in urban centers. They transplanted not only themselves but also their culture; in the midst of this tumultuous demographic transition emerged a new social institution, the storefront sanctified church.
Deidre Crumbley, associate professor of Africana Studies at NC State University, has written Saved and Sanctified: The Rise of a Storefront Church in Great Migration Philadelphia" (2012, University Press of Florida) "to illuminates the crucial role particular churches played in the spiritual life of the African American community during and after the Great Migration."
The book focuses on a Philadelphia church that was started above a horse stable, was founded by a woman born 16 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and is still active today. The Church, as it is known to its members, offers a unique perspective on an under-studied aspect of African American religious institutions.
Through historical and ethnographic research, Crumbley provides a perspective on women and their leadership roles, examines the loose or nonexistent relationship these Pentecostal churches have with existing denominations, and dispels common prejudices about those who attend storefront churches. She includes personal vignettes from her own experience as a member, along with life stories of founding members and offers new insights into the importance of grassroots religion and community-based houses of worship.
Africana Studies is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Studies Program.
At a time when many families are adjusting to soldiers returning from combat, significant job layoffs, foreclosures on home mortgages, high rates of crime, and interpersonal violence, there is an increased demand for social workers. NC State's Department of Social Work has increased enrollment in its undergraduate and graduate programs to meet that demand. We are preparing the next generation of practitioners to help people deal with the aftermath of trauma.
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event that may leave the individual with intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares. This trauma may result from events such as combat; crime; an accident or natural disaster; and neglect, violence or abuse in one's own home or community. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Long-term reactions include unpredictable emotions, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. They may even begin to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma, and have anxiety that they didn't have before. The feeling can be so intense that the person's life is disrupted. Social workers can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.
Why is it important to understand these issues?
Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Social workers are mental health providers who can provide psychosocial intervention and help educate people about trauma and the normal responses to extreme stressors.
To assist a loved one who may have experienced trauma it is important to:
- Recognize and understand the factors involved in psychosocial adjustment following extreme disruptive events.
- Encourage them to seek comprehensive mental health services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
- Help them to communicate the experience/ Talk about it.
- Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance their ability to cope with excessive stress.
- Establish or reestablish routines such as eating meals at regular times and following an exercise program.
- Avoid major life decisions such as switching careers or jobs, if possible, and other activities that tend to be highly stressful.
On March 21, 2012, the NC State Department of Social Work's annual spring symposium will focus on trauma. Healing in Broken Places will address trauma experienced by five of the populations most impacted in our region. These include veterans, Latino immigrants and those affected by addiction/alcohol and drug dependency, incarceration, domestic violence and sexual assault. The keynote speaker will be Lynn Sanford, a renowned trauma specialist from Simmons College in Boston.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Karen Bullock, associate department head in NC State's Department of Social Work, which is hosting a symposium on trauma for social workers and those in related fields. This post first appeared in NC State's research blog, The Abstract.
Meghan O'Sullivan, the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School, will present the John W. Pope Lecture at North Carolina State University. Her talk is titled Making Sense of the New Middle East: The Dynamics and Their Implications for US Interests.
The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in 232-A Withers Hall, on the NC State University main campus. The event is free and open to the public.
O'Sullivan's expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, decision making in foreign policy, nation-building, counterinsurgency, and the Middle East. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of this tenure. She spent two years in Iraq, most recently in the fall of 2008 to help conclude the security agreement and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq.
Prior to this, O'Sullivan was senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia in the NSC; political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator and deputy director for governance in Baghdad; chief advisor to the presidential envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process; and a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Her publications include Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism (2003). Dr. O'Sullivan is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, and a strategic advisor to John Hess, the Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation, an American independent oil and gas company. She is also a foreign affairs columnist for Bloomberg View, a director on the board of TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization bringing business solutions to help alleviate poverty, as well as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Aspen Strategy Group. She is also an advisor to Mitt Romney, a 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. president.
O'Sullivan has been awarded the Defense Department's highest honor for civilians, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, and three times been awarded the State Department's Superior Honor Award. In 2008, Esquire Magazine named her one of the most influential people of the century.
She holds a doctorate in Politics and a master's in Economics from Oxford University and a B.A. from Georgetown University.
The John W. Pope Lecture Series is hosted by North Carolina State University's College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Poole College of Management to encourage dialogue on topics of political and economic interest. This lecture series is supported by a grant from the John W. Pope Foundation.
The lecture series is part of a program funded by a grant from the John W. Pope Foundation to support education and research in public policy and economics in the two colleges at NC State.
Quality interaction with undergraduate students is a key component of the Pope Lecture Series, says Dr. Andy Taylor, professor of Political Science at NC State. Dr. O'Sullivan will offer a public lecture, but will also meet with our students.
Driving and parking directions: Withers Hall is located at 101 Lampe Drive on NC State's north campus, between Ricks and Daniels Halls. Parking is available in the North Hall Parking Lot on Hillsborough Street, along Hillsborough Street, or in the Cates Avenue Parking Deck beside Reynolds Coliseum.
James Otis Terry Jr. (Communication '96) says his parents taught him he didn't need to swear to make his point. So, when he began to write music in 1995, Terry took that message to heart.
Terry, who is known as J.O.T. to his fans, has been pursuing his passion for music while also championing family values since graduating from NC State. Terry, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., incorporates clean lyrics into his music that promote the acceptance of others' individuality.
As a rap artist, Terry provides a clean alternative to offer another opinion on the widespread use of vulgarity in rap music.
Terry's musical exploration started when he worked as a disc jockey in high school and at NC State. Terry says he has always felt need to disassemble stereotypes.
I DJ'ed parties for fraternities and sororities, Terry says. When I DJ'ed for the black fraternities, I played rap, but when I DJ'ed at the white fraternities, I played rock. People were surprised I would do both.
After retiring the turntables, Terry began a new venture — music production. He started his own record label, J.O.T. Records, to release his music.
I wanted that creative freedom to put out music the way I wanted and how I wanted it to sound, Terry says. This choice also allowed him the freedom to incorporate Spanish lyrics into his music as well. By creating a bilingual album, he hoped to bring the Spanish community into his fan base and pay tribute to his Spanish-speaking peers.
Full control brought full responsibility, though. I had to wear multiple hats — I had to be a pro at everything — promotions, street team, recorder, producer and musician, he says.
Eight albums and four CD singles later, Terry has mastered the art.
- Jeannene Lang
This article first appeared in Red and White for Life, the NC State Alumni Association blog.
We no longer enter the Internet. Instead, we carry it with us. We experience it as we move through physical spaces. Mobile phones, GPS receivers, and radio-frequency identification (or RFID) tags are just a few of the location-aware mobile technologies that mediate our interaction with networked spaces and influence how we move in these spaces.
Mobility has always been critical for the creation of social networks and to the development of connections to places. For the last several years, researchers in a variety of disciplines have been looking at how varying levels and speeds of mobility impact our technological, social and cultural developments in everything from transportation and mobile communication to border control, intelligent infrastructure, and surveillance.
More and more, our physical location determines the types of information with which we interact, the way we move through physical spaces, and the people and things we find around us. These new kinds of networked interactions are becoming part of our everyday social practices, from social networks and location-based services to location-based mobile games and social mapping.
As we engage with these practices, our thinking about our own identities, our sense of privacy, our notions of place and space, our civic and political participation, our policy making, and our everyday consumption all shift and change.
From March 16 - 18, 2012, NC State University is hosting Local and Mobile, a joint international conference of the Pan-American Mobilities Network and the Cosmobilities Network, and the third annual research symposium of the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media (CRDM) program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Some 100 scholars from 16 countries will gather to address the intersection of mobility and location as well as these related topics:
- Mobile communication and location awareness in everyday life practices;
- New urban spatialities developed with mobile gaming and locative social media;
- Privacy and surveillance issues as they relate to mobile and location-based social networks;
- Identity and spatial construction through locative media art and embodied performance;
- Civic engagement and political participation through mobile social media, new mapping practices and location-aware technologies;
- Borders, surveillance, and securitization with ubiquitous and mobile technologies;
- Aeromobilities, air travel, and aerial vision;
- Alternative mobilities and slow movements;
- Planning, policy and design for future mobilities and location-based services;
- Tourism, imaginary travel, and virtual travel;
- Transitions toward sustainable mobilities; and
- New methodologies for mobilities research.
Mobility studies are interdisciplinary by nature. Disciplines represented at the Local and Mobile conference include anthropology, architecture and design, civil and environmental engineering, communication, criminology, cultural studies, geography, media and visual arts, politics and international relations, public policy, sociology, theater and performance studies, tourism research, transport research, and urban studies, among others.
More information can be found at the conference website.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Adriana de Souza e Silva, associate professor in NC State's Department of Communication, who is chairing an international conference, Local and Mobile, for researchers and students of mobility studies.
Editor's Note: Mark Kurlansky is the best-selling author of Cod, Salt, The Big Oyster and other books focused on the story (and history) of food. He is the winner of the James Beard Award for food writing and the Bon Appetit Food Writer of the Year, among other awards. Kurlansky is the keynote speaker at the Food and History: From Theory To Practice conference, being held at NC State May 4-5. Kurlansky's talk will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on May 4 in Withers Hall, Room 232. The talk is free and open to the public.
The Abstract: You've written about cod, salt, oysters and frozen food - among much else. While researching those subjects did you make any discoveries that were particularly surprising?
Mark Kurlansky: It is surprising how quickly valued commodities become entrenched in cultures. You would think this would be a process that evolves over centuries but it can happen over decades.
TA: Have you found any cooking or food preservation techniques that are universal, across cultures?
MK: Many cooking techniques are universal. Almost everyone boils and grills. Preservation is different. Probably the most universal is drying. Salt would be universal, but there have been cultures with not enough salt to rely on it. So the Vikings just wind-dried fish. And smoking and burying are both techniques of salt-preserving with less salt.
TA: How has our view of food in the United States changed over the past 100 years?
MK: Really it is our view of industry and with it our view of corporations that has changed. A century ago we thought that industry was going to make everything, including food, wonderful. It was going to produce incredible quantities of food, make all food available everywhere and end hunger. It has failed to end hunger. And while it has made food widely available, the quality of that food has declined and the quality of life for food producers and food producing communities has also declined. And so the magic word to replace modern industry is artisanal. Almost everything is being marketed as hand crafted. While we used to celebrate food being brought in from long distances'—California carrots and Florida grapefruits, today the celebrated word is local. Both mentalities have their pitfalls.
TA: How can understanding the history of food inform our understanding of the current food landscape?
MK: History is a study of delusions, fantasies, and false hopes. It makes it invaluable to study because it teaches us to doubt ourselves.
TA: In regard to food, what are the biggest challenges we'll have to tackle in the next fifty years?
MK: The biggest problem is a rapidly expanded world population. The problem is not just how to produce food in safe, healthy, environmentally sound and sustainable ways but how to produce inexpensive food that is safe, healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound.
TA: Food can sometimes be the subject of political debate. Is there a particular food issue that you expect to become politically contentious in the next 20 years? If so, why?
MK: It all stems from this growing need for inexpensive food. This will lead to a major fight over fish farming which can produce large quantities of high protein food but damages the health of the ocean, wild fish populations and may not even produce healthy food in some cases. Rather than one side arguing that it is worth the downside and the other side arguing that it should be stopped, there needs to be an effort to learn how to do it better. The same is true of genetically modified foods, which hold potential to produce large quantities of food without using chemical fertilizers. People who oppose them have no suggestions for how to improve the process because there has not been enough research to understand if it is harmful in the first place.
by Matt Shipman. This article first appeared in NC State University's research blog, The Abstract.
Life has been something of a whirlwind for David Merritt (Political Science '94) since the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Merritt, a former linebacker at NC State, is an assistant coach for the Giants, with responsibility for the defensive secondary. So it was his guys - the cornerbacks and safeties - who were on the line when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tossed a last-ditch Hail Mary pass into the end zone as the final seconds of the game ticked away. When the ball hit the ground, incomplete, and the Giants' victory was assured, Merritt hugged one of the other coaches working with him in the press box and then made his way to the field to find his wife, Yolanda Merritt (Communication '94), and their children.
It was Merritt's second Super Bowl championship with the Giants, both of them against the Patriots. Merritt said the latest one was the sweetest because of how the Giants rallied from a 7-7 record to win the final two games of the regular season just to get into the playoffs.
We got healthy at the right time, Merritt says. And the guys started trusting one another. They were determined not to lose the games. Sometimes it may not be your ability. It may be that you were more persistent than the other guy.
Since that win, Merritt says there has been little time to catch his breath. The coaches were given 10 days off, but Merritt was back at work on Tuesday. He was getting ready to return to Indianapolis this week for the college scouting combine and has already been assigned a list of free-agent players to study and grade. Our next season started today at 7:30 a.m., he says.
But Merritt took some time on Tuesday to talk about the Super Bowl and his career in coaching. Merritt got into coaching, first at the college level, after playing in the NFL for a few years. He says that two of his coaches at NC State, defensive coordinator Buddy Green '76 and linebackers coach Ken Pettus, served as role models when he became a coach.
I really liked the fact that Dick Sheridan and his staff treated us like men, Merritt says. At the same time, they were like father figures to us. You have to reach these young men with more than x's and o's.
Merritt worked his way up to the NFL, initially as a coach for the New York Jets. After three years there, he joined the Giants in 2004. Merritt says there is little difference in his approach to coaching college players and professionals.
The teaching I was doing back then is the same teaching I'm doing today in the pros, he says. You have to start from ground one.
Merritt spent most of his years coaching linebacker, a position he was familiar with from his playing days. But in 2006, Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin approached him about coaching the team's defensive backs and safeties. I had always told my wife I would never coach defensive backs, Merritt says. I don't want anyone to see me when I screw these players up.
Merritt told Coughlin that he wasn't familiar with defensive backs, but Coughlin was persistent. He said, 'I know a good coach when I see one,' Merritt recalls. That was it. From that point on, I started finding every defensive back coach I knew, and conducted my own interviews. I learned as much as I could from film study and from talking to former NFL players.
The Giants appreciate Merritt's ability to get the most of his players, whether they be long-time stars or rookie free agents simply trying to land a spot on the roster. I make sure that I teach them the basics, he says. Once you teach them the fundamentals, you can make a free agent or a high-draft pick look like he's been playing for years.
Merrill says the Giants approached the Super Bowl much like they would any other game. But he acknowledged being nervous about preparing his defensive backs to go up against Tom Brady and his talented receivers and tight ends. He says he still gets nervous watching tape of the game, even knowing the final result.
It's a nerve-wracking challenge, he says. You look at Tom Brady and you know what he can do with a football in his hands. He understands coverages and he can get the ball out of his hand.
But Merritt told his players before the game that the only player who could defeat them in the Super Bowl was themselves. You guys are prepared, you know what you're doing, so I expect you to go out and execute, he says he told them.
And as for that Hail Mary? Merritt says they practice defending that play every week during the season, but that one of his players made a mistake by not blocking out Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was almost able to grab the ball before it hit the ground. But Merritt says he can use video of that when his players return in the fall.
It's a tremendous learning tool, he says, one that I will probably use for the rest of my career.
By Bill Krueger. This post originally appeared in the NC State Alumni Association's Red and White for Life blog.
Think fighting wildfires is just a job for forest rangers armed with water? Think again. Research in communication practices is improving the ways in which wildfires are handled.
On the front lines of this research is Dr. Branda Nowell, associate professor in the Department of Public Administration. Nowell, in collaboration with Dr. Toddi Steelman from NC State's College of Natural Resources, leads a research team dubbed the Fire Chasers who have been researching wildfires since 2008. The team's goal is to better understand how to make communities more resilient to wildfires and other such disasters.
Nowell's particular area of research centers around organizational networks and inter-agency communication and coordination.
Her specialization has led her to work in many contexts including domestic violence, public health, community development, and disaster response.
It is in the latter area where Nowell sees a great need for research. Disaster response is such a rich context to study, says Nowell. In order for the response to be effective, it generally requires many different organizations and agencies to come together very quickly into a coordinated system for meeting community needs and often under very challenging conditions.
So why choose to focus on wildfires? Wildfires are one of the most commonly occurring disasters in the United States, says Nowell. Historical fire management practices and increasing development pressures in wildland areas have led to an increase in the severity and complexity of wildfires.
Such complex disasters require complex research. Nowell's background in community and organizational psychology makes her an important member of the Fire Chasers team. However, she is quick to point out the variety of expertise needed in the team's work. Working in this area often requires tapping into insights from an array of disciplines including psychology, communication, sociology, public management, public policy, system science, and organizational science to understand these settings, explains Nowell. As scholars, it has been fun and challenging to think about disaster response dynamics from so many different perspectives.
The Fire Chasers' research sends them outside the classroom and lab into the thick of unfolding disasters. Their research has taken them from the east coast to the west as they observe incident management teams in action on multiple fires at sites in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. I really enjoy being out in the field, says Nowell, adding that the highlights of their trips include getting to observe some of the best incident management teams in the nation in action, getting to talk to community members and agency officials involved, learning about the challenges these individuals have experienced during the response, and seeing what works and what doesn't work.
Through their fieldwork, observations, and research, the Fire Chasers team has become a valuable resource for local communities and federal incident response teams. At the end of the data collection, we provide reports and presentations to each field site and incident management team about what we learned, in addition to our more academically oriented publications, in order to quickly get research findings out to those who might be able to use them, says Nowell. We have ongoing conversations with the officials involved who let us know the next set of questions where they would appreciate our input. We anticipate many of the lessons from the project will be useful to others who deal with large-scale disasters.
By Lauren Williams, CHASS communication intern
Law enforcement officials who are tasked with identifying a body based on partial skeletal remains have a new tool at their disposal. A new paper by researchers Sheena Harris (MA, Anthropology '09) and Associate Professor of Anthropology Troy Case details how to determine the biological sex of skeletal remains based solely on measurements of the seven tarsal bones in the feet.
Tarsals are fairly dense bones, and can be more durable than other bones - such as the pelvis - that are used to determine biological sex, says Case. Also, the tarsal bones are often enclosed in shoes, which further protects them from damage. That's particularly useful in a forensic context. The tarsals are the seven bones that make up the ankle, heel and rear part of the arch in a human foot.
Researchers looked at the tarsal bones of 160 men and women of modern European-American descent, taking length, breadth and height measurements for each bone, with the exception of the calcaneus. For the calcaneus, or heel bone, researchers measured only its length.
Previous studies had shown that the talus - or ankle bone - and calcaneus can be fairly good indicators of biological sex. However, little research had been done on the other tarsal bones, which are significantly smaller.
The researchers found that the tarsal bones of the right foot are generally more reliable indicators for determining biological sex. For example, the length of the talus on the right foot correctly determined biological sex 90 percent of the time.
However, a single measurement can be misleading. For example, a woman may be particularly tall, or a man particularly short. So the researchers looked at combinations of measurements from multiple bones, which allow them to measure the relative size of the bones to each other.
For example, researchers found that looking at the height of the talus along with the length of the third cuneiform bone - in the center of the foot - allowed them to determine the biological sex of a skeleton with 93.6 percent accuracy.
While the research has clear forensic science applications, it may also help researchers studying ancient populations. We evaluated remains of modern European-Americans, so our findings are not directly applicable to ancient populations, Case says. However, it does tell us which tarsal bones are most indicative of biological sex. So, if you have a large number of skeletons, and some of them can be sexed based on skull or pelvis measurements, you could use the information we've provided on tarsals to create equations for sexing the other skeletal remains in that group based solely on tarsal measurements.
The paper, Sexual Dimorphism in the Tarsal Bones: Implications for Sex Determination, will appear in the March issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Lead author of the paper is Sheena Harris, a former master's student at NC State.
Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.
Sexual Dimorphism in the Tarsal Bones: Implications for Sex Determination
Authors: Sheena M. Harris and D. Troy Case, North Carolina State University
Published: March 2012, Journal of Forensic Sciences
Abstract: An accurate determination of sex is essential in the identification of human remains in a forensic context. Measurements of some of the tarsals have been shown to be sexually dimorphic by previous researchers. The purpose of the present study is to determine which dimensions of the seven tarsals demonstrate the greatest sexual dimorphism and therefore have the most potential for accurate sex determination. Eighteen measurements of length, width, and height were obtained from the tarsals of 160 European-American males and females from the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection. These measurements were made using a mini-osteometric board. Logistic regression analyses were performed to create equations for sex discrimination. All measurements showed significant sexual dimorphism, with the talus, cuboid, and cuneiform I producing allocation accuracies of between 88 and 92%. Combinations of measurements provided better accuracy (88.1-93.6%) than individual measurements (80.0-88.0%).
This news release was published by NC State University News Services.