Passing along a selection of interesting anthropology blog-posts from 5-6 February 2012. Please let me know if you’ve read or written something that should be included.
Occupy Our Schools
The more I think about it, I become less and less convinced that closing a school must be inevitable. (Or not properly resourcing a library or art and music programs or physical education, for that matter.) Just like poverty is not so much about a lack of wealth, but its inequitable distribution, so it is with the funding of public education.
Academia as Music Industry, Alex Golub
Academia is being ‘disrupted’ (as the digerati like to say) in the same way that the music industry once was. As open access, the Internet, and DIY publishing opportunities proliferate, the old system of prestige and recognition is breaking down. How today can we judge that our assistant professors are deserving of tenure?
Anthro in the news 2/6/12
Always interesting to check in with anthropologyworks on Monday to see where anthropologists are in the media.
Are You the Next Book Review Editor for American Anthropologist?, Joslyn O.
The American Anthropologist (AA) seeks applications for the position of book review editor.
Could abolitionists stop mixing up chattel slavery with sex slavery?, Laura Agustin
That this reminds people of slavery is understandable, but to not distinguish between different states of freedom, volition and labour of individuals is a way of imposing an abstraction on them. Yes, it is colonialism again, by saying We Know What Your Situation Really Is, We Know Better Than You Do. Poor You, We Will Rescue You.
Debatable terms: “marriage”, Rosemary Joyce
No matter how one wants to slice history, social institutions regulating associations among persons, to sanction sex, to legitimate children, to determine the passage of property, or for any other reason we might imagine, are not timeless frameworks. If I have to reduce the scope of my discussion to address a more popular audience, I will do it to get this one simple fact across: things haven’t always been the way they are now, and there is nothing to dictate that humans cannot change the way we do things.
We Need Sharon Sund in Minnesota’s Third District
Sharon Sund is a clearly progressive candidate who overtly foregrounds science and related economic, educational, health, and social policy informed by science. I really could not have asked for a better candidate running in my district. . . . If you are not a resident of the Third District of Minnesota, I still need you to do something. I need you to click here and donate to Sharon’s campaign.
The Forensics of Temperance Brennan, Kristina Kilgrove
In the December issue of American Anthropologist, forensic anthropologist Heather Walsh-Haney published an interesting review article on the forensics in Kathy Reichs’ series of Temperance Brennan novels. . . . After reading Walsh-Haney’s brief review article, I was a bit surprised by the high praise. Granted, Reichs’ books are the best and most accurate of any forensic-true-crime series I’ve read. But they can be readily critiqued.
Anthropology 105, lecture 2: Feet
The topic of this lecture is “Feet”. The lecture covers the gross anatomical differences among the feet of different great apes and humans, the evidence for bipedality in Australopithecus afarensis focusing on metatarsal anatomy and the Laetoli footprints, some details about the feet of Australopithecus sediba, which show an interesting mosaic of anatomy, the foot anatomy of Ardipithecus ramidus, and evidence for footwear in Upper Paleolithic humans based on reduction of the lateral toes. The overarching concepts reviewed in the lecture are phylogeny and the idea that different lineages may arrive at different solutions for common evolutionary problems.
Where are/is our embassador? Where is our Margaret Mead?, Barry R. Bainton
The insular nature of academic anthropology and reluctance to stand up for and take action on the issues many seem to feel are critical only weakens the brand and influence of what should the prince/ess of the social sciences. Trans-disciplinary is the appropriate word for the potential contribution anthropology can make. For the past thirty years, the opportunity has been there and still in 2010 we are talking about it, rather than having done anything about lending our insight to the public understanding of the problems and solutions of building a planetary socio-cultural system.
The Great PhD Hunt 2012, Angela K VandenBroek
At this point, I am looking for faculty broadly interested in identity, representation, politics, power and inequality, particularly, but not necessarily, in the U.S. and Europe. I am also interested in finding faculty who appreciate, even if they do not partake in, deep ethnographic studies of the particular and everyday lived experiences. . . . So, dear reader, do you know of someone I have missed? Do you have a friend or colleague who might be interested in guiding and advising an eager student with my interests?
Historical Particularism: Boas, Kroeber and Whorf
Franz Boas changed American anthropology by introducing a new perspective of historical integration in understanding society.