Thursday, September 24, 6:30 to 7:30
Price: $10 for members, $12 for non-members
In conjunction with the Falmouth Art Center’s Masks Mandatory!: An Exhibit & Fundraiser Featuring Masks on Display, Dr. Sandy Faiman-Silva will give a talk on the history and meaning of masks.
Masks are permeated with cultural meaning, traditionally and even today with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As cultural property, masks are worn for religious and secular purposes, in celebations and ritual observances related to Mother Earth, supernatural power, rites of passage, and at many other ritual occasions around the world. We will explore indigenous cultural practices related to masks, their meanings, and content of mask traditions in various cultures globally to learn about these richly diverse cultural beliefs and practices.
About Sandra Faiman-Silva, Ph.D:
Sandra Faiman-Silva, who has lived in Falmouth since 1984, retired in 2014 as a Professor of Anthropology at Bridgewater State University (MA) where she taught for more than thirty years. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Boston University (1984), MA in American Studies, University of Minnesota (1975), and a B.A. in Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1968). Her areas of expertise include Native North America, Latin America, political economy, gender, folklore, ethnicity, and Women’s Studies. A community and campus activist and scholar, her first book, Choctaws at the Crossroads: the Political Economy of Class and Culture in the Oklahoma Timber Region (U Nebraska Press 1997, Bison Ed. 2000), was an extension of her passion for social justice and her interest in Native American communities. Choctaws at the Crossroads was named a finalist in 1997 for the C. Wright Mills Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She also published The Courage to Connect: Sexuality, Citizenship and Community in Provincetown (U Illinois Press 2004), which furthers her critical social analytical perspective in a comprehensive study of the coming together of Portuguese ethnics and LGBTQs in the land’s end community of Provincetown, MA.
She was awarded BSU’s Distinguished Faculty Lifetime Research Award in 2009. She also received the University’s Jordan D. Fiore Prize in World Justice in 1997 and the Class of 1950 Distinguished Faculty Research Award in 2003. She has published papers in several scholarly journals, including the Anthropology and Education Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal and the Journal of Forest History; and has presented papers at scholarly conferences in the United States and internationally. She enjoys her pottery classes, photography, and her delightful grandchildren, Amelia and Isabella.