Social Sciences Brown Bag

Please join us for the Social Sciences Brown Bag as Jennifer Rachels, EEP PhD student, presents "Human Terrain Systems"
From 2005-2014, the US Army poured millions of dollars into a program called Human Terrain System (HTS).  HTS was created to train social scientists to advise Commanders about cultural aspects of the battlefield; and Commanders loved it.  
It was also controversial: the American Anthropological Association raised grave ethical concerns.  Some researchers died while serving in Afghanistan; and financial accountability was in short supply.  However, just as the Army’s cultural understanding capabilities disappeared after Vietnam, the concept is again fading among competing military priorities.  A blogging community formed to protest the program eventually formed the foundation of an online network of social scientists that is influential to this day, and includes the bloggers at the well-regarded Savage Minds (now called anthro{dendum}).
Jennifer Rachels is a PhD student in Environmental and Energy Policy at MTU, but from 2007-2008 she was part of an HTS service team at Georgia Tech. Later, she served in the Army as an enlisted aide to leadership of the 130th Engineer Brigade in Afghanistan, where she again worked in cultural issues in the military context.  This talk will address what the successes and failures of HTS looked like from the inside.

Tuesday, February 19 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Academic Office Building (AOB), 201
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

Event Type

Academics, Lectures/Seminars

Target Audience

Students, Faculty/Staff, General Public

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