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Thank you to Mella Baker for reminding us that not all anthropologist heroes are white and male. Welcome to anthropology! I haven’t looked at the demographics of our field recently, but I assume we still have a ways to go before the American profession better reflects the general population.
American Presidential Politics
Our last post looked at possible anthropological explanations for the popularity of Donald J. Trump, Republican presidential nominee. Reader Carie Little Hersh, Northeastern U., points us to an article by Tanya Luhrmann, Stanford U., reflecting on… Continue reading
American Presidential Politics
Earlier this month Brexit was THE topic in the American media. NOW it is presidential politics. How would anthropologists explain the popularity of Donald Trump? There are several possibilities:
- An historian offers Emile Durkheim‘s “collective efferevescence,” but that seems a bit one-dimensional.
- A religious studies professor argues that anthropologist James Frazer‘s discussion of magicians and kings in The Golden Bough is a better explanation. But aren’t there some living anthropologists we can consult?
- Linguist George Lakoff (UC Berkeley) comes close. His most recent piece in The Huffington Post summarizes previous observations about American world… Continue reading
Anthropologists Comment on Brexit and Other Policy Issues
Social Anthropology/Athropologie Sociale and Allegra Laboratory partnered to provide a forum for over two dozen anthropologists to comment on Brexit. They published extracts on July 1st and expect to post the full texts by July 15th. To add to the mix, Vidya Venkat, a staff journalist for The Hindu, returns to her fieldwork in anthropology to comment on Brexit.
David Vine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University, notes the irony… Continue reading
Practicing Anthropology from the South Pole to Wall Street
Our colleagues are using ethnography to study the interchange between scientific expertise and policy-making at the South Pole, to make visible the invisible sanitation workers of New York City, and to understand the people inside the faceless “market” of Wall Street (Marketplace returns to Karen Ho’s research (Liquidated, 2009) for their “Price of Profits” series).
The American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology News issued a Call for Proposals (text, photo, film, cartoon) to answer the question: “What can anthropology offer to public conversations about and understandings of mass shootings [in the wake of the attack in Orlando, FL].” Two-page proposals are due July 15th.
From the Field (Where Else?)
We do get around. Leave it to anthropologists to support adding insects to the American diet (see photo), to defend mosquitoes in our built environment, to appreciate the role of elves in Icelandic history and highway construction planning, and to compliment the quality of footprint casts made by Bigfoot hunters in Appalachia (but remain mum on the search itself).
Past is Present
Anthropologists continue to re-examine their discipline’s roots in colonialism. Barbara King offers a B- in her review of Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums by Samuel J.… Continue reading
NAPA is happy to announce the re-launch of AnthroCurrents, a bi-weekly look at anthropology in the news.
Anthropology of Climate Change
- In the online magazine, popmatters, a review of the 2015 documentary film “The Anthropologist” (screened at the Independent Film Festival Festival, Boston 2016), the reviewer describes this “spry and crisp” film as a multi-layered depiction of (a) the personal side of climate change through visits to indigenous peoples most affected by sea level rise, (b) a not-so-data-heavy explanation of the hows and whys of climate change, and (c) a mother and daughter travelogue. See also IMDB.com and… Continue reading
A biweekly look at recent stories on anthropology and practicing anthropologists in the popular media
- Seth Holmes, author of “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies” was interviewed by PRI’s The World about his field work traveling and working with migrant laborers—from Central California and back to their home in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Valentine’s Day must be anthropologist Helen Fisher’s busiest time of year. She’s all over the media right now, and Big Think reports on her thoughts on online dating, which she feels is more natural to our species’ past than you might think.
- New Zealand’s Business Day Live brings an anthropological… Continue reading