Catherine L. Besteman
Professor of Anthropology

Anthropology 298

Exhibiting the Culture & History of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu Community

Goldfarb Center

This course covered Somali Bantu ethnography, issues involved in representing culture, visual anthropology research methods and theory and museum theory.  Students were required to do extensive reading on these topics during the first six weeks of the course.  The remainder of the semester the students focused on working with members of the Somali Bantu community, workshopping ideas, editing and constructing the online and physical exhibits.

Project Goals

The goal of this course was to create an online exhibit of Somali Bantu culture and history,  a portion of which was also installed at the Blue Marble Gallery in downtown Waterville and in the Colby Museum of Art.  Somali Bantus are a minority group in Somalia who were targeted by militias in Somalia’s civil war during the 1990s.  Thousands fled Somalia for refugee camps in Kenya, where they lived for over a decade.  In 1999, the US granted Somali Bantus P2 status as persecuted minorities and agreed to accept about 12,000 refugees for permanent resettlement. After their resettlement in the US, several hundred Somali Bantus moved to Lewiston, Maine. Many of the families in Lewiston come from the middle Jubba valley of Somalia, where Professor Besteman lived and conducted anthropological fieldwork in 1987-8. The exhibits was created collaboratively with involvement from many in the Colby community.  The Lewiston community was eager and thankful to have an archive of photos and audiotapes publicly available and used as a resource to educate others about their history and experience.

Project Description

Material collected for this online exhibit includes:

  • Historic photographs
  • Audio interviews
  • Music and poetry recorded in Somalia in 1987-8
  • Photographs of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu community
  • Artifacts from Somalia
  • Documentary films of Somali Bantu residents
  • Ethnographic text
  • Curricular materials for use in local schools
  • Maps and 1988 census forms from the middle Jubba Valley
  • Oral histories collected from members of the Somali Bantu community

Somali Bantu Website


Several staff members at Colby assisted with this project:

Lauren Lessing, Mirken Curator of Education, Colby Museum of Art
Marty Kelly, Visual Resources Librarian, Miller Library
Jason Parkhill, Director, Academic Information Technology Services
Tracy Carrick, Director, Colby Writers’ Center
Ruth Jacobs, Office of Communications

Philip Nyhus
Associate Professor
Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies 212:

Introduction to GIS & Remote Sensing

This course is a comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing digital image processing.  Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation and global positioning systems.  Current issues and applications of GIS are discussed with emphasis on environmental topics.  Students undertake independent GIS research projects. Topics may relate to Maine, or have a national or international scope.

Project Goal

Students will develop a series of maps highlighting the unique human and natural resources of Maine.

James Fleming
Science, Technology & Society

 ST 112   Science, Technology, and Society

This course provided students with an introduction to the interactions of science, technology and society and serves as a gateway to further study in STS at Colby.

Learning Outcomes: This course is writing intensive, and taught with the support of Academic ITS and the Writer’s Center.  You will be a better writer at the end of the semester.  One objective of the course is to develop sensitivity to and an awareness of the pervasive influences of science and technology on our lives and in the world around us.  A second objective is to introduce disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of these influences, specifically by studying the history and social dimensions of particular issues, their scientific and technical aspects, and by debating the often-controversial ethical choices they present us.  A third objective is to develop skills in discussion, analysis, research, writing, and presentation in this interdisciplinary field.


Lectures, readings, discussion, weekly blog post “think pieces,” four critical essays, two poster presentations, and several extra credit guest speakers.  Students will engage in extensive revisions of their written work and will learn how to share their ideas using WordPress and in poster sessions.  Your input, through regular attendance, active discussion, and group participation, is crucial to making the course work.

Blogs and Essays

In your writing, you should focus on a particular topic, ask critical questions, present a clear theme or thesis, marshal supporting evidence and opinions, and provide clear and reasoned answers to your questions.  We will  be discussing three writing strategies: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos, all of which should find expression in your work.  Papers must be thoroughly documented using any major style. Your papers must demonstrate your engagement with a topic and represent your own opinions and conclusions, not just repeat those of others.  You will have the opportunity to revise each of these essays.  Here are some practical points:

• Give your blog or paper a snappy title.

• State the thesis in the first paragraph.

• Develop a thematic argument with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

• Develop your argument and give an example or two if appropriate.

• Focus on completed paragraph formation.

• Avoid generalities and avoid trying to accomplish too much in the space allotted.

• Develop your ability to express yourself verbally and in print.

• End with a strong, memorable conclusion.

• Spell-check, grammar-check, and idea-check your paper.

• Read your paper aloud to a friend and discuss it, then revise it before handing it in.

• The writing tutor reads and comments on your first draft.

• The professor reads and comments on your final draft, which is posted on the weblog.

• Be proud of your language skills: Clear thinking and clear writing go hand-in-hand.


A shortcut is an icon that be “clicked” to open an application or folder without having to “go find it” on your computer. The instructions below are for running an application, but the process is the same for opening a folder or a file.
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By default, the Dock sits at the bottom of the Mac display. The Dock was introduced in OS X and contains shortcuts to applications. As you move the cursor along the Dock, the icons will be magnified. You can relocate the Dock to the sides and you can set it to “autohide”. The size of the icons in the dock, and the amount of magnification when an icon is highlighted can also be adjusted.
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#1 Color Coding

Setting certain types of appointments in your calendar to a different color from your default calendar color can help organize and highlight specific events.

To set a single event to a different color:

  1. Double click on the event to open it
    Create a new event and “Edit Details”
  2. Under the even details tab, you will see the “Event color” selections.
    Click on the color you want and the event will be changed to that color in your calendar.

#2 Fifteen Minute Event Duration

 You can now set your default meeting time to as slow as 50 monutes.

To do this:

  1. Click on the Gear icon in the top right of the calendar screen and select “Calendar settings”
  2. Change the default meeting time to 15

#3 Appointment Slots

Sometimes it is convenient to reserve a period of time on your calendar that you allow others to schedule into…Student conferences for example.

To do this:

  1. Click on your calendar where you want to reserve time
  2. Click on “Appointment slots” at the top of the event dialog box

  3. The default duration of a slot is 30 minutes…but you can change that
  4. Click on the 30 opposite “Offer as slots of:”, a selection list will drop down – you can select another value here

  5. Click on “Edit details
  6. From this screen you designate what period of time to reserve

  7. This reservation is for 15 minutes slots from 8AM to 10AM on June 17
  8. Click “Save”. It will look like this on your calendar:

Stymied about how to get a PDF file you have created to automatically open at 100%? Got a file from a colleague that opens at 65% every time no matter what you do?

If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro Here is the fix:

  • Open the PDF file
  • Click on File > Properties
  • Click on the down arrow next to “Magnification”
  • Select the % value you want
  • Click OK
  • Click on File > Close
  • When asked, click on “Yes” you want to save changes

The document will now open in your selected % view