Fiona Jensen-Hitch

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20182019 Forum on Stuff

Fiona Jensen-Hitch

Chair, Executive Board, Wolf Undergraduate Humanities Forum

Anthropology, English

CAS, 2019

Fiona is a junior from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is studying Anthropology and English (with a concentration in Creative Writing), and minoring in Archaeological Science. On campus shecan usually be found at the Penn Museum, a wonderful building where she spends far too much time. She is also involved in creative and artistic pursuits, being the current President of Penn Dance Company and Producer for VDay UPenn. Her present academic interests largely lie in the interdisciplinary application of anthropology, creative writing, and dance to the relationship between humans and their environment. She is currently working on her anthropology senior thesis research (and WHF project), which navigates and connects bioarchaeology, museum excavation and collection processes, and archival material. 

Politics, identity, and ethics in ancient and contemporary Israel: an integrated approach to a bioarchaeological collection

The Penn Museum contains a set of unstudied skeletal remains from a site called Gibeon, located near the modern Palestinian village, al-Jib; I intend to analyze these remains over the next year and a half. My first goal is to use an anthropological lens to discuss how contemporary politics in the Middle East are undeniably connected to interpretations of the past, through identity formation, religion, nationalism, and ethnicity. Second, I wish to explore the collection of the bones and subsequent history within the Penn Museum; why they were brought here and why they were never analyzed or catalogued. I also aim to understand how human remains come to be considered and treated as “stuff,” and the implications that has on how they are used.