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AnthroCurrents — November 15, 2016

Politics, Domestic and Foreign
Paul Stoller (West Chester U.) argues for ethnography as one of the weapons available to those fighting against the anti-progressive movement represented by Donald Trump’s election.

Journalists use an anthropological lens in a documentary film of the Trump Tribe, and attempt to understand the beliefs and motivations of Trump supporters during the US presidential election season.

As reported in the Sao Paulo press, John Comaroff (Harvard U.) provides consulting services to Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is being prosecuted for corruption.

Recently stumbled across this one and will have to expand our search for anthropology-in-the-media to podcasts!  Jeffrey Mantz (Cultural Anthropology Program Director, National Science Foundation) is a featured guest on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio Show episode, The “Science” of Zombies and the Walking Dead, with Robert Kirkman.” Although presented in layman’s terms, almost all major themes of cultural anthropology are touched upon.

Anthropology in museums, sport and medicine
Dan Hicks (Pitt Rivers Museum, U. of Oxford) defends Anthropology from British educators who propose removing it from A-level exams in the United Kingdom. He remarks that Anthropology did not receive the outcry and online petition campaigns prompted by similar treatment of “Archaeology” and “Art History.”

The Museum of Anthropology at the U. of British Columbia received an anonymous donation of 200 pieces of northwest coast First Nations art, valued at $7M. The collection will be exhibited in a new gallery to highlight regional First Nations art and culture.

Football (“soccer”) player in Cameroon invokes the Holy Trinity on his sneaker to improve his performance. Photo credit: Uros Kovac. http://huff.to/2eYApVo

Football (“soccer”) player in Cameroon invokes the Holy Trinity on his sneaker to improve his performance. Photo credit: Uros Kovac. http://huff.to/2eYApVo

Uros Kovac (U. of Amsterdam) discusses the difference between chemical and spiritual doping among West African footballers and wonders how international anti-doping rules would apply.

Kristin Thomas (U. of Toronto) is credited with assisting in development of an online information tool for victims of breast cancer. The tool offers information, resources, and treatment decision-trees.

The Daily Tarheel profiles Charles Price (U. North Carolina) and his work on Rastafarianism. Price has previously published about Rastafarianism and continues research on the question of how people come to join the movement.

Matthew Desmond (Dept. of Sociology, Harvard U.) saw his ethnography, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City selected as Milwaukee’s Go Big Read Book for 2016-17. Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they are evicted from their homes, providing a lens on contemporary homelessness and poverty in the US.

Aseel Sawalha (Fordham U.) makes the case for cultural change in Amman, Jordan, stimulated by upper and upper-middle class refugees who support art, cultural events, and research activities.


Maple Razsa (Colby College) received the 2016 William A Douglass Prize in European Anthropology for Bastards of Utopia: Living Radical Politics After Socialism. The monograph is a companion to a documentary film of the same name, following anti-globalization activists in former Yugoslavia.


AnthroCurrents is a biweekly look at how the world sees anthropology. Add your comments below, or send tips and links to anthrocurrents@practicinganthropology.org. Follow on Twitter (@NapaAnthro), Facebook (@NAPA.Anthro), or LinkedIn (National Association for the Practice of Anthropology).

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