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AnthroCurrents

AnthroCurrents — August 23, 2016

The Olympics just ended, the American presidential election campaigns are in full swing, and academic anthropologists are returning to the classroom after summer travel and research. But today let’s focus on how practicing anthropologists are raising the profile of our discipline in the business and corporate world.

Maia Green (U. of Manchester) reviews The Silo Effect: Why Every Organisation Needs to Disrupt Itself to Survive by Gillian Tett (Financial Times). The book, among other things, explains how the outside observer perspective of anthropologists is a critical tool for corporate change.

Meanwhile, business and marketing consultants are realizing—and writing about—how an… Continue reading

AnthroCurrents — August 9, 2016

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.

Screen capture of Tweet by Mella Baker. 8 August 2016

Screen capture of Tweet by Mella Baker. 8 August 2016

 

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

AnthroCurrents – July 26, 2016

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

AnthroCurrents – July 12, 2016

Anthropologists Comment on Brexit and Other Policy Issues

Brexit artwork

“Brexit” from Allegra Lab (http://allegralaboratory.net/brexit-europe-and-anthropology-time-to-say-something/)

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

AnthroCurrents — June 28, 2016

Anthropologist Jessica O'Reilly in Antartica

Anthropologist Jessica O’Reilly in Antartica <http://glacierhub.org/2016/06/15/intimacy-and-expertise-a-conversation-with-antarctic-anthropologist-jessica-oreilly/>

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).

Remaining in New York City, ethnographers share their “Human-Centered Research in Policymaking” to counterbalance the quantitative, “Big Data” approach in urban planning. On… Continue reading

Anthropology News — Call for Papers (re mass shootings)

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.
Orlando, FL, shooting victims

Orlando, FL, shooting victims (VOA, 6/14/2016 <http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/push-gun-control-orlando-shooting-obama-trump-clinton/3375886.html>)

 

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AnthroCurrents – June 14, 2016

Anthropology, Gender, Bodies, and Bathrooms
Despite what some may think, “feminist biology” has little to do with genitalia envy.  Anthropologist Caroline VanSickle, a postdoctoral fellow in feminist biology, is more interested in how our cultural assumptions about gender distort our view of human evolution.
In the US, gender and genitalia remain controversial for those concerned about which genders share bathroom facilities. Anthropologists help us keep this tempest in perspective, since many people globally do not have the luxury of bathroom facilities. In these communities the issue is sanitation and health.
Of Similar Interest to Anthropologists…
Contemplate your… Continue reading

AnthroCurrents – May 31, 2016

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

AnthroCurrents – May 17, 2016

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

AnthroCurrents – February 20, 2015

A biweekly look at recent stories on anthropology and practicing anthropologists in the popular media