Posts Tagged ‘Anthropology’

Anthropology roundup: “Tons of newly published open anthropology…

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2014 at 10:27

Introduction to Anthropology, Culture by Islamic Thinkers

Iran Book News Agency

Mohammad Heidaypour and Mahmoud Azimi Rasta have jointly compiled a new book in assessment of the views by Islamic and Iranian thinkers onanthropology and culture. IBNA: Arranged in three major parts, the book delves into the nature, generalities

When it rains it pours. In the past two days it seems like I’ve been deluged with quality open access anthropology. Perhaps open access is not the right word, since some of them have pretty traditional copyright on them, but the important thing is that they are all free to read, and all deserve to be read. Where to begin?

Anthropologist Manduhai Buyandelger wins the 2013 Levitan Prize in the Humanities

Manduhai Buyandelger, an MIT associate professor of anthropology

Office of the Dean | MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Associate Professor of Anthropology Manduhai Buyandelger has been awarded the James A. (1945) and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities, a $25,000 research grant that will support her ethnographic study of parliamentary elections in Mongolia, with specific emphasis on the experience of female candidates.

My dissertation has recently become available in electronic format.  If you are interested in how immigration impacts understanding, production, and expression of cultural identity, you should have a look.  Here is a summary:

State’s forensic anthropologist uses bones, science to tell a dead person’s story

Bangor Daily News

Marcella Sorg, forensic anthropologist for the Maine medical examiner’s office, does forensic skeletal investigations using science to make determinations about a person’s identity or cause of death — sometimes dating back decades — and whether the

 Anthropology, not politics, rules in Egypt
The Daily Star
This is why I suspect that what we witness these days in Egypt cannot be analyzed by using political criteria, but rather requires the tools of theanthropologist. There is no real political or ideology involved here. There is mainly biology driving

Social anthropologist Gerald Berreman dies at age 83
UC Berkeley
Gerald D. Berreman, a University of California, Berkeley, emeritus professor of anthropology who was widely recognized for championing socially responsible anthropology and for his work on social inequality in India, died at an elderly care home in El

November’s AAA meetings are a distant memory after a season of holidays, finals, grading, and course preparation for round two of the academic year. Before they slip away completely, I wanted to share some thoughts about assigning 30 anthropology seniors the task of writing a brief ethnography based on time spent at the AAA annual meetings. That’s right- a small contingent of undergraduate ethnographers was among you. They may have handed you your conference program at registration, sat next to you in a session, or been at the next table at Kitty O’Shea’s or Starbucks. So think back, while you were busy conferencing you were being observed, perhaps were engaged in casual conversation, and certainly were studied thoughtfully by students in a senior capstone seminar trying to learn what it really means to be an anthropologist in 2013.

The Anthropology Of Walking

NPR (blog)

Catching up on my journal reading over Christmas break, I came across a study by an international team of anthropologists which points to a fascinating pattern in how humans move across the landscape. Whether foraging for food in Tanzania or walking

A Conversation With: Anthropologist Mukulika Banerjee
New York Times (blog)
“Voting in elections is considered sacrosanct by a large majority of Indians,” Mukulika Banerjee writes in the introduction to her new book, “Why India Votes.” That observation forms the backbone of theanthropology professor’s work, an ethnographic


In order to kick off the first Savage Minds/anthropologies issue about student debt, let’s start with a short survey.  Following on the heels of Karen Kelsky’s recent survey about PhD debt,

Anthropological New Year’s Resolutions


All day today has felt like Sunday, but really its Wednesday. I can’t say that New Year’s Day or making resolutions is a big thing for me. I think the last resolution I made was a few years ago. I said I would go to a play at the community theater that is one block away from my house and I never went. Still haven’t been!

Anthropologist known for work on inequality in India dies

Business Standard

Eminent social anthropologist Gerald D Berreman, widely recognised for championing socially- responsible anthropology and for his pioneering work on social inequality in India, has died. He was 83. Emeritus professor of anthropology at the University

Key Trends – Zeitgeist and Anthropology


Based on the ATCA 5000 poll of key distinguished members in more than 150 countries around the world — carried out by the mi2g Intelligence Unit in London — we present to you the uncensored collective consciousness in regard to what are perceived to .

Troping the Enemy: Culture, Metaphor Programs, and Notional Publics of National Security

By Robert Albro

American University

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) – established in 2006 in the spirit of the Pentagon’s DARPA to sponsor research for groundbreaking technologies to support an “overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries” – is a little-known US agency that social and behavioral scientists (especially sociocultural anthropologists) should pay more attention to. This is because IARPA is notably social scientific in orientation and has been developing concepts in specific ways for use by the intelligence community (IC) that US anthropology in particular is significantly historically responsible for introducing to the social sciences, if in different ways, most obviously: culture, its coherence and the extent of cultural consensus, its relationship to society and to human agency.

Cybersecurity Algorithms, Techniques Being Developed ThroughAnthropology …

The Almagest

Experts in anthropology and cybersecurity at Kansas State University are examining the unspoken knowledge shared by cybersecurity analysts as a way to develop new automated tools that help analysts strengthen their cyberdefenses. Xinming “Simon” Ou

Lexical distance between European languages

Using data from linguistics research by Kostiantyn Tyshchenko, Teresa Elms clustered European languages in this network graph. If you look closely, you might wonder why English is considered a Germanic language. Elms explains:


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Anthropology roundup: “Lawrence of Arabia as anthropologist…”Anthropologists Respond to Gender-Citation Disparity

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2013 at 21:13

Cover of "Lawrence of Arabia (Single Disc... Cover via Amazon

Lawrence of Arabia as anthropologist

To be honest, I was surprised how much attention Peter O’Toole’s recent passing received. We all knew he was famous, but we also learned this week how deeply he was loved. Many people loved him because he had that one thing that is so hard to find in the entertainment industry today: charisma. But anthropologists loved him for something else: Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence of Arabia is central to anthropology, and ought to be more even more central than it is. It is about fieldwork, intimacy, impersonation, and colonialism. It puts on display the complexity, ambivalence, and often ugliness that comes with anthropological fieldwork

Anthropology, Empathy and the Other Regarding Emotions


Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger LINDSAY A BELL

In the last few weeks, social work scholar turned pop-psychology web superstar BrenéBrown came out with a short animated video summarizing much of her writing on empathy. It opens by drawing a distinction between empathy and sympathy.


Back in 2011 I wrote a post here called “Wasting away again in grantlandia.” That one was written when I was right smack in the middle of the joys of grant writing. I think by that point I had revised my proposal about 1000 times and my eyes were just about to go on strike. My brain was having a hard time with basic sentences. I was fried. Ah, those were the days.

Anthropologists Respond to Gender-Citation Disparity

On December 11, the Chronicle of Higher Ed article “New Data Show Articles by Women Cited Less Frequently” by Megan O’Neil, caused anthropologists, Virginia Dominguez, Matthew Gutmann and Catherina Lutz, to look introspectively at the discipline of anthropology. In the article, O’Neil notes “Research papers and peer-reviewed articles written principally by women are cited less frequently than those whose dominant authors are men, compounding the underrepresentation of women in scholarly publishing, according to a new study.”

Republican Anthropology

Bucks County Courier Times (blog)

Years ago, in a graduate class, I challenged my students to try to imagine what the first words might have been as our first tribes dealt with the evolution of language. “Ma” was frequent, even “Da”. “Uh Uh”, said a friend. The first word was “Run


Neandertals could talk


PLoS ONE 8(12): e82261. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082261


Micro-Biomechanics of the Kebara 2 Hyoid and Its Implications for Speech in Neanderthals


Ruggero D’Anastasio et al.


The description of a Neanderthal hyoid from Kebara Cave (Israel) in 1989 fuelled scientific debate on the evolution of speech and complex language. Gross anatomy of the Kebara 2 hyoid differs little from that of modern humans. However, whether Homo neanderthalensis could use speech or complex language remains controversial.


Sex and the Siberian Neanderthal: Incest and inter-species action

The first anthropologists relied on skull shapes and bone lengths of fossils to identify ancestors in the hominin family tree. Recently though, geneticists have bulked up their toolset, and have identified new species from material taken from mere …

Neanderthal bone shows inter-breeding

50 shades of caves: Neanderthals were swingers

Neanderthals’ History Of Incest: DNA Shows Evidence Of Early Human …


Can Anthropologists Communicate?

A journal editor’s comments anger biologists within the discipline — renewing debate about whether some subfields are more favored than others

Media at the AAAs: Toward Greater Accessibility



Many contingent faculty have noted that the AAAs are very expensive, and therefore exclude those who cannot afford to go—a fairly large number of anthropologists. At the Chicago meetings, I spoke to a few members of the AAA governance on this issue. They said that the AAA aims to increase accessibility broadly defined. This is no bad thing considering the meetings are inaccessible in a variety of ways to a variety of people, which problems anthropologists rehash every year (for example, unaffordable to adjuncts or hard to navigate for anthropologists with disabilities). The focus, in increasing accessibility, is on media and technology.

Whither the Future of Anthropology in Education?

TC Columbia University

All of which made the College the logical venue, in mid-October, for a two-day conference titled “The Future of Anthropology and Education” – a future that currently seems very much in question. “Anthropology is disappearing as a focus in many

What is anthropology?

Coldwater Daily Reporter

While everyone I talked to through throughout my college career had at least a vague understanding of what history is and what being an historian entails, most had no idea what anthropology is. So what exactly isanthropology? Some people reading this

Belizean Anthropologist Speaks

Huffington Post

Joe Awe is a Belizean activist, entrepreneur, anthropologist, mayanist, tourism lecturer at a local junior college, and also one of Belize’s top tour guides. I met with him over coffee last week to talk about the future of Belize and I insisted that he


Cultural anthropologist of 2013: Dame Anne Salmond

eFollowing our annual tradition, anthropologworks herby names the cultural anthropologist most “in the news” in the previous year. I launched this feature in January 2011 by naming Paul Farmerthe cultural anthropologist of the decade, and I identified the “Paul Farmer Effect” in which increasing numbers of students seek to combine medical anthropology and health/medicine studies.

2011 was another easy call: David Graeber, for his writings and activism related to the Occupy Movement. How can it be that the Occupy Movement was that long ago…


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Anthropology roundup: “Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods…

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2013 at 09:41


Cybersecurity algorithms, techniques being developed through anthropology methods


This article is a repost from Newswise and is written by Kansas State University’s Greg Tammen.

Experts in anthropology and cybersecurity at Kansas State University are examining the unspoken knowledge shared by cybersecurity analysts as a way to develop new automated tools that help analysts strengthen their cyberdefenses.

Twitter: Anthropology’s most useful tool


Twitter: Anthropology’s most useful tool Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, left, co-founder Biz Stone, center, and Amir Movafaghi, right, Twitter’s Director of Treasury and Strategic Finance, applaud as shares begin trading in their IPO, on the floor of the


Weaving Communities

Luciana Martins, Director, Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies,Birkbeck College, London

The completion in September of a four-year AHRC-funded research project into Andean textiles,Weaving Communities, creates a unique and innovative resource for archaeologists,

Read James Scott’s review of Jared Diamond


James Scott’s work drives me nuts, but there is no doubt about it: his review of Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday is one of the best is one of the best that has been written, and deserves a wide audience.


Cynthia Fowler, An Anthropologist Back to School

Today’s guest blog post is by Cynthia (Cissy) Fowler. Dr. Fowler is an Associate Professor at Wofford College, Secretary of the Society of Ethnobiology, and co-Editor of Ethnobiology Letters.  She conducts transdisciplinary research on society and nature. In her fieldwork in Eastern Indonesia’s dry monsoonal tropics, she studies the materialization of fire — fire as a creative expression of social relations and ecological perceptions.

WCAA Webinar: “Language and anthropological knowledge”


The Committee on World Anthropologies of the American Anthropological Association announces a web-based seminar from the World Council of Anthropology Associations, “Language and anthropological knowledge”, through 15 October.

Digital archiving of records of anthropology


Nick Thieberger, University of Melbourne

The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (SAC) ran this conference (August 6/7 2009) on digital archiving of records of anthropological research in Thailand ( The centre director, Dr. Paritta Koanantakool, talked of various initiatives to provide access to research outputs in Thailand, including the database on ethnic groups in Southeast Asia ( SAC is a resource centre with a library and museum in Bangkok that is now seeking to build a digital repository ( for research material, as discussed in the presentation by Thanwadee Sookprasert and Sittisak Rungcharoensuksri. DART – the Digital Archive of Research on Thailand is a collaboration between the University of Washington, SAC, and the Thai Institute for Population and Social Research. The project aims to archive multimodal research collections using a standard metadata system and to make existing collections discoverable by entering metadata even if the collection is not housed in the archive. It also aims to provide a portal for searching across various institutions with significant Thai collections.

Expanding the Top Ten Ways for Anthropologists to Make a Difference


Last month’s The Top Ten Ways for Anthropologists to Make a Difference outlined how people’s work can have real-world impact. The idea was to get people’s attention and provide them with ideas about what to do. It worked. The Top Ten Ways became a popular post and provoked good discussion.


Conference Chic, or, How to Dress Like an Anthropologist


By Carole McGranahan with Kate Fischer, Rachel Fleming, Willi Lempert, and Marnie Thomson

Wondering what to wear to the AAAs? We’ve got you covered. For women: throw a few scarves in your suitcase, a suitable range of black clothes, a kick-ass pair of shoes or boots, and some anthropological “flair,” and you should be good to go. Men need to pack their nice jeans, a good buttoned shirt, and the pièce de résistance: a stylish jacket. Unless you’re an archaeologist. Then all you need are jeans.


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Anthro roundup: The History of the Personality of Anthropology……….

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2013 at 15:10

The History of the Personality of Anthropology

This week’s SMOPS is an edited version of Kroeber’s “A History of the Personality of Anthropology,” a piece which Kroeber wrote very late in his life. In it, Kroeber lays down his vision of anthropology’s unique outlook. In one striking passage, he describes anthropology as a ‘changeling’ discipline. Changelings are, in European folklore, elf or fairy children who are brought up by human parents who are unaware of their child’s true nature. The child of natural science on the one hand and the humanities on the other, Kroeber sees anthropology as ill at ease in its adopted home of the social science.


History and Anthropology History and Anthropology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Popular Anthropology: Buttering Up Humanity

Today’s guest blog post is by Erin B. Taylor (ICS-UL) of PopAnth.

Some years ago, when I was working at The University of Sydney, a colleague of mine stopped me in the corridor to complain. “Nobody listens to anthropologists,” she lamented, “We have so many interesting things to say about the world, but people don’t pay any attention.”

The Fieldwork Playlist: A Research Soundtrack

Inter-disciplinary conference exploring the place of music in the making of research.

Music is evocative of meaning and memories tied to people, places and particular events, powerfully bringing them into the present, yet its role in the making of research pathways is rarely foregrounded. This inter-disciplinary conference hosted by the Goldsmiths Anthropology Department compiles a ‘Fieldwork Playlist’ to explore the place of music in the research process, across the social sciences.… Continue Reading

Making public anthropology: putting it all together

Erin Taylor recently posted this thread over at the Open Anthropology Cooperative:

It’s long been my belief that anthropologists can increase their public visibility and engagement by working together, especially cross-promoting each other’s work. The PopAnth website has been using social media (Twitter, Facebook,Google Plus, LinkedIn) to bring attention to articles written by anthropologists in newspapers, on blogs, in books, and so on.

Guest lecture to cover the anthropological side of zombies

Oklahoma Daily

Zombies and anthropology will come together Friday in a lecture sponsored through the Anthropology Graduate Student Association. Shaawano Chad Uran, Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington, will be presenting on his ..


Remembering the founder of RIC Anthropology

The Anchor

Rhode Island College suffered a great blow to its community last Monday, when emeritus Anthropology professor, Lawrence Lindquist passed away due to multiple complications from an illness. Lindquist was known for both founding and acting as chair to .

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“Clickthrough Anthropology Blogs… An anthropology roundup…

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2013 at 19:08



Clickthrough Anthropology Blogs – October 2013

I keep all the Anthropology Blogs 2013 in a big Feedlysubscription. Got behind and scrolled through over 400 articles in the last few weeks. These are the things that caught my interest, recent anthropology blog-posts that seemed worth a clickthrough. I’ve tried to do some rough groupings around themes of race and racism, classic anthropology revivals, evolution, literacy, the state, and thoughts on government shutdown. I was also pleased to see some great posts from anthropology blogs recently added to the list. For more anthropology, check out the anthropology blogs for yourself!

Responses to ‘the superorganic’

Last week, I posted the first Savage Minds Occasioal Paper (hereafter, “SMOP”) featuring Alfred Kroeber’s article “The Superorganic”. This week I bring you the second occasional paper, “Responses to ‘the superorganic’”, which features Sapir and Goldenweiser’s response to Kroeber. You can find it here:

Savage Minds Occasional Paper #2: Responses to “The Superorganic”: Texts by Alexander Goldenweiser and Edward Sapir. Edited and with an introduction by Alex Golub
Building Cyberinfrastructure Capacity for the Social Sciences

Today’s guest blog post is by Dr. Emilio Moran. Dr. Moran is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Indiana University and Visiting Hannah Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University.
emilio-moran_profileThe United States and the world are changing rapidly.  These new conditions challenge the ability of the social, behavioral and economic sciences to understand what is happening at a national scale and in people’s daily local lives.

Inconsistent values: some thoughts about money

Here is another post I rescued from the Savage Minds server meltdown fiasco…

Money is pretty strange, especially the more you really think about it.  What makes people willing to hand over things like DVDs, steaks, and churros in exchange for a piece of paper with ridiculous little pictures and numbers all over it?  Why would anyone trade a delicious arrachera taco, say, for a grubby little piece of metal with an eagle stamped into it?  Why do sane people accept these transactions as reasonable, let alone desirable?  Well, there are of course a lot of reasons behind these kinds of decisions, including everything from the political power of states to a kind of trust that exists within a community of users.  One question that always gets me thinking is this: what exactly upholds the value of money?  State power?  Trust?  The symbolic meanings  that people attach to money?  Habit?  A big global conspiracy?  All of the above!?!*


King of the Jungle: Anthropology professor publishes book on grief in the …

The Flat Hat

The anthropologist in the romantic public imagination is a khaki-clad character strongly resembling Indiana Jones who explores “exotic cultures” in remote locations across the globe. In today’s world, however, the anthropologist might instead be found

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US gov shutdown roundup… “The Anthropologist’s Guide to the Government Shutdown…

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2013 at 22:54

US shutdown: a radical Republican triumph

Repeated gerrymandering means most Republicans represent safe seats and their main political rivals come from within their own party

Is the government shut down? Quartz will tell you (and drive a little traffic in the process)

The shutdown of the federal government will be unfortunate for a lot of people, but for journalists, it’s also a chance to get people’s attention. For example, check out The Boston Globe’s print strategy for today:

Chinese Netizens on U.S. Government Shutdown: We Want One of Our Own

This is a guest post from Liz Carter, a senior contributor to FP‘s Tea Leaf Nation. 

As the U.S. federal government hurtles into shutdown mode, many in the United States have responded with anger or shame; here at FP, for instance, Gordon Adams comparesthe congressional bickering that gave rise to the shutdown to Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.

US gov shutdown may mean some kids with cancer won’t be treated; CDC’s outbreak detection programs also halted

NIH Clinical Center


Gov shutdown affects transparency, too, as FOIA requests reportedly grind to a halt

Government transparency also takes a hit during the insane federal shutdown in the United States. “Several functions dedicated to providing information to the American public have been declared ‘non-essential‘ and are suspended during the lapse in appropriations,” including the processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, and the National Labor Relations Board. The Office of Government Information Services, the FOIA ombudsman, has ceased all activities.

Obama slams Republicans for ‘ideological crusade’ on shutdown

U.S. President Obama slammed Republicans for shutting down the government as part of an ‘ideological crusade’ designed to kill his signature health care law

’90s Flashback: What We Listened to and Watched During the Last Government Shutdown

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the last time the U.S. federal government shutdown, this’ll help — a guide to the top TV, movies and music of the period.

The Anthropologist’s Guide to the Government Shutdown

Is the government shutdown affecting anthropologists? Absolutely.

Many anthropologists work for federal agencies like the the Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These agencies, as well as others, rely on members of our discipline to study, research and provide perspective on how  agency policy affects US citizens in real time. Unfortunately, with the shutdown, many of their activities may be considered “non-essential” and they will be furloughed. Alternatively, they may be considered “essential” and asked to work without pay.


MAIN FOCUS: Row over Obamacare paralyses US | 02/10/2013

The government and administration in the US have been largely paralysed since Tuesday because their financing can no longer be guaranteed. The right wing of the Republican party had blocked the new budget in protest at the upcoming healthcare reform. Some commentators criticise the fact that a radical group is endangering economic recovery in the US and therefore the whole world for ideological reasons. Others call on both sides to take a softer stance.

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Anthropology roundup: “Anthropology Blogs Update…

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2013 at 10:40


Image representing Intel as depicted in CrunchBase Image via CrunchBase

Intel’s Anthropologist Genevieve Bell Questions the Smart Watch

Genevieve Bell, director of Intel’s user experience research, says companies building wearable computers haven’t figured out why people might want them.


Anthropology: Growth and Relevance, Not Popularity

Anthropologists can suffer from Jared Diamond envy. Here in the United States we bemoan when Diamond’s latest book rises on the bestseller list. While he might deliver anthropology-lite to the masses, he’s not even an anthropologist! goes the lament. It’s not even good anthropology, others add. Undergrads could take it apart.

Academic Deans, The NSA and Censorship

Jay Rosen has written a fascinating article in the Guardian today about Johns Hopkin’s response to this blog post by Professor Matthew Green.

The short version of the story is that Green wrote a blog post about the NSA and cryptography on September 5th. Last Monday, Green received a takedown request from the dean of the engineering school claiming that his blog post contained “classified” information and that his use of the NSA logo was a violation of some kind. In response, Green took to twitter and made public some behind the scenes machinations which led to the takedown request. Happily, as of now, Green’s original post has been restored and his dean sent him this note of apology.

Peter K. New Student Paper Prize

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) announces an annual student research competition in the applied social and behavioral sciences. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of $2000 and travel funds to attend the annual meetings of the SfAA.


Forgetting Gabriel Tarde

(This guest post comes from Matt Watson, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech University. He’s developing these ideas in a book manuscript titled Reading Latour’s Cosmopolitics: Ontology, Ecology, Love. Descriptions of his research and publications are available Feel free to send thoughts, corrections, objections, specific compliments, or notes (love or ransom) to -R )

Statement by AAU Executive Committee on Support for the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Following is a newly released statement by the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities on the importance of the federal investment in research in the social and behavioral sciences. The Association of American Universities is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian research universities organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate and professional education, undergraduate education, and public service in research universities.


Anthro in the news 9/16/13

• Battle for Ground Zero

Boston’s NPR reported on the political and emotional struggles over what the site of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City should represent.


: Additions, Revisions, New Blogs

It’s been too long since I’ve updated the big Anthropology Blogs 2013 list. Below are the additions, revisions, and new blogs, all added or revised back to the big list. Please let me know what I’m missing or got wrong! Also see the Anthropology Blogosphere 2013 post for a summary or grouping of anthropology blogs.

Creativity, Intellectual Freedom & the Field School

Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Sara Perry.

I have spent a significant portion of the past 1.5 years designing and implementing a series of new courses for archaeology and heritage undergraduate and graduate students at my university. By far the most challenging of these experiences has been the creation of a nine-week field school for first-year undergrads enrolled on our BA in Heritage Studies—a programme intended to mirror the standard field school that archaeology-specific undergrads are obliged to complete. This topic is an interesting one for me not because of the difficulty of launching and directing such a course. Indeed, anyone who has led a multi-collaborator fieldwork project will be intimately familiar with the many logistical, conceptual, economic, emotional, physical and related challenges—although locating frank reflections upon these challenges is not necessarily an easy feat (but see Colleen Morgan’s blog posts on Archaeological Field Schools & Management Styles and Creature Comforts & Happiness in the Field; also, if you have institutional access, see Harold Mytum’s 2012Global Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools).


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Anthro roundup: Dr. Nancy Scheper-Hughes Named First AAA Public Policy Award Winner…

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2013 at 19:58

English: I work for University of California P... English: I work for University of California Press, the publishing partner for AnthroSource (whose logo this is). For more information on us, you can go to (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Nancy Scheper-Hughes Named First AAA Public Policy Award Winner

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is pleased to announce that its Committee on Public Policy has selected medical anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes as the first recipient of the new Anthropology in Public Policy Award. Dr. Scheper- Hughes is a nationally-recognized expert on several important health issues, including hunger, illness and organ trafficking.


Embeddedness and informal norms: Institutionalisms and anthropology

Institutionalisms, old and new, are multifaceted and heterogeneous but they share a desire to unshackle the economy to some extent, and open it out to an inclusive society. This gives room for a dialogue with anthropology. Two concepts are discussed here: (1) the embeddedness paradigm has been influential according two very different perspectives:economic anthropology (focusing on unequal relations) and culturalist approaches (focusing on common social values and norms), both being too unilateral and too general. (2)


UCSB Anthropologists Study the Genesis of Reciprocity in Food Sharing

Santa Barbara Independent

When you share your lunch with someone less fortunate or give your friend half of your dessert, does that act of generosity flow from the milk of human kindness, or is it a subconscious strategy to assure reciprocity should you one day find yourself on .


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Anthropology roundup: ” ‘neo-Tardian revival’ …

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2013 at 10:32

Gabriel Tarde Gabriel Tarde (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gabriel Tarde: Been there, done that.

In the last decade or so (earlier, if you speak French) there has been a ‘neo-Tardian revival’ as people organize conferences, write books, and otherwise advocate for Gabriel  Tarde, an otherwise-forgotten thinker of France’s Third Republic. Most anthropologists think of Tarde, if they think of him at all, as one of the many guys that Durkheim defeated on his climb to the top of France’s academic heap. Today, people are interested in Tarde because he is part of the intellectual genealogy of people like Deleuze and Latour. This work is interesting and important because it moves beyond a vision of society as composed of static, coherent, superorganic social wholes to one which more adequately theorizes human conduct as a dynamic, emergent system with multiple determinants and outcomes. Except I will say one thing:


Imaginary museum of Marshall Islands Fine Mats

From the Pacific Islands Report:

The museum is an imaginary place designed to showcase the historic and contemporary mats of the Marshalls. In this wondrous world, you can ’stroll’ through rooms full of historic mats in Britain or Germany, relax in the cinema as you watch a ‘Majuro Productions’ show, or go shopping in the museum store.


Harvard Anthropologist Honored by Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency

The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University recently announced that it current Director, Theodore C. Bestor, received the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Award for the Promotion of Japanese Culture from the Agency of Cultural Affairs in Japan.  The Agency of Cultural Affairs is a special body of the of the Japanese Ministry of Education, established in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. Dr. Bestor is the twelfth person to receive the honor.

The Tender Soldier’ Tells Story Of Anthropologist Killed In Afghanistan

Here And Now

It, Gezari also tells the history of anthropology and war, from Lawrence of Arabia and Margaret Mead to Montgomery McFate. McFate was the child of San Francisco house boat hippies who asked, “Why can’tanthropologists study war?” She helped to start .


An anthropology of ourselves: This Is Your Photo at the Photographers’ Gallery

New Statesman

In the late 1930s, a small group of artists and left-wing intellectuals wrote that Britain required and deserved an “anthropology” of its own people – a “democratic science” to record the small, unacknowledged rituals that provided the texture of lived

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“Anthropology Co-Citation Graph… Anthro roundup…

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2013 at 09:20

Anthropology Co-Citation Graph

Recently Kieran Healy posted a link on Twitter to a co-citation graph he’d made to try to understand what philosophers “have been talking about for the last two decades?” He also posted a nice poster he made from this data . I reposted these and mentioned that it would be great to have something similar for anthropology. The internet being the wonderful place that it is, I shortly had my wish, courtesy of Jonathan Goodwin.


USCCB staff criticizes ‘flawed anthropology of sexual orientation’

Catholic Culture

The problem with treating “sexual orientation” as a description of a class of people is that it proposes a deeply flawed anthropology, or understanding of the human person. Christian anthropology teaches that each person is called to accept his or her


Fiction and Anthropology

As a graduate student during the time that the “Writing Culture” movement was in its heyday, I was drawn to ethnographies such as Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. I loved it not only for its poignant analysis of the cultural contexts of Bedouin poetry but also for Abu-Lughod’s fine writing.  Before becoming an anthropologist, I had received a master’s degree in creative writing, and I have always been interested in the ways that anthropology and literature inform one another. In particular, what can anthropologists learn from fiction?


Spoken Language Influenced by Elevation, Say Anthropologists

Popular Archaeology

Recent research, published in the June 12 edition of PLOS ONE, indicates a link between geographical elevation and the way language is spoken. The study, led by Caleb Everett, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at


Ethnographic writing: The Studs Terkel model or what?

So, let’s say you’re in the middle of writing up your dissertation.  You’re going through your interviews, making notes, seeing some patterns, and piecing together some of the stories you are going to tell about your fieldwork.  Then you start actually outlining chapters and blocking things out.  You follow with selecting certain segments of interviews you are going to use to illustrate the points you want to highlight.


The Amazon, Through an Anthropologist’s Eye

New York Times (blog)

Nicolas Janowski lives in Buenos Aires, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in South America. But in recent years he has spent as much time as he can traveling around a region that is about as different from his home town as can be imagined —

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