BANDIT – On Facebook!
Introducing the new expanded BANDIT format. Conversations with Kate Clancy, Katie MacKinnon, Elizabeth Quinn, Robin Nelson, and Katie Hinde have inspired us to add content and discussion related to teaching methods and pedogogy, developments in research methods, and new research in biological anthropology that inspires us. This will be a thoughtful forum aimed at a holistic view of career development in all facets of our careers and we hope both “junior” and “senior” members of the community join the conversation.
Volume 19, Issue 1, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Lots of great anthropology and reviews. As of 28 January 2013 this was all free and open access. Get it now!
Anthro in the news 1/28/13, Always lots of interesting anthropology news here!
The Archaeology of Race, Shame, and Redemption, Paul Mullins
Many more sites of comparable trauma certainly remain remembered but unmarked; many spaces like riot sites certainly contain concrete archaeological evidence, but in places like Rosewood the threat of that material history provokes apprehension for both undoing racist caricatures and sparking conversations about the impression of such violence on contemporary social life. Many of these landscapes witnessed brief events like lynchings that left little material evidence, yet marking such spaces and telling these stories is certainly well within archaeological method. The challenge is less techniques of placing such heritage on the contemporary landscape as it is a challenge to overcome anxiety over the discussions that may follow. Yet the tenor of such discussions in many communities suggests that efforts to conceal such a heritage are always losing battles.
Immigration Reform, Debra Lattanzi
It’s a good thing that lawmakers are grappling with the issue, in fact, it’s long overdue. The entire framework does a great deal to address the basic unfairness of our current immigration system and if enacted, would help move millions of immigrant workers in the U.S. out of their second-tier status and offer more opportunities. My concern is that the plan is contingent on “secure borders.” I’ve written extensively about the folly of this idea, that it is money wasted when there are other solutions, like temporary visas, that could address the border issue.
Guest Roast: Is Poverty a State of Mind?, Erin B. Taylor
There is no single answer, then, to the question of what is the psychology of poverty. It depends a great deal on people’s perceptions of their needs and wants, relative to the sociocultural conditions in which they live. When trying to understand the psychological aspects of poverty, then, we would do well to begin by asking “What does it mean to be poor?” and “What does it mean to live a good life?”
A ‘paradigm shift’ in science….or a manoever?, Ken Weiss
For better or worse, this is certainly a change in how we do business, and it is also a change in our ‘gestalt’ or worldview about science. But it does not constitute a new paradigm about the nature of Nature! Nothing theoretical changes just because we now have factories that can systematically churn out reams of data. Indeed, the theories of life that we had decades ago, even a century ago, have not fundamentally changed, even though they remain incomplete and imperfect and we have enormous amounts of new understanding of genes and what they do.
Spring Syllabi, Adam Van Arsdale
Today marks the beginning of the Spring semester at Wellesley. I am teaching two courses this semester, Introduction to Physical Anthropology (Anth 204), which I teach every Spring, and Human Biology and Society (Anth 314), a new upper level seminar that will be focused on personal genomics this semester. Here is a brief description of the two courses with links to the preliminary syllabus for each.
Challenging Anthropology: Teaching with Positive Messages, Douglas Reeser
Critique of the world around us is one of the most valuable tools of anthropology. Our research, our work, and our thinking seek fuller pictures and deeper understandings about all aspects of our lives and society than may be readily apparent. Such examinations shed light on the myriad problems facing humanity today, and without such critique, it’s likely that many would be worse off than they may be currently. In the classroom, one of my main goals is to demonstrate the value of critique, and then encourage my students to engage with that tool a bit more in their own lives and work. What is sometimes challenging, is the ease at which critique can slide into criticism and negativity, of which there is already too much in this world.
Idle No More! and Struggle Forever!, Jeremy Trombley
I like “Idle No More!” It resonates with Struggle Forever! in a way that “Occupy!” couldn’t quite achieve. ”Occupy!” is an end – a goal to be achieved. ”Idle No More!” is a process. The indigenous people who have taken it as their banner are effectively telling the world that they want to be part of the discussion, part of the work to make the world better.
So Who Really Did Build the Assemblage which is the Internet? (Part 6), Adam Fish
The internet is translative boundary object for political thought, situated between four liberal ideologies about freedom and the state, corporation, individual, and the public. The internet is thus a parallax object, looking different from what ideological perspective one looks at it.
Why Europe?, Al West
The answer to the question of why Europe, rather than, say, China, conquered the world is reasonably clear, and it is due, at least in part, to geography. Geography supplied the means: the spread of agricultural technologies by the east-west orientation of Eurasia; the rise of inter-continental empires through the use of the horse, camel, and sailing vessel; the propagation of murderous diseases and sophisticated technologies, including paper and the compass, by both of these causes; and so on. The motivation was produced, indirectly, by the same geography; it wasn’t easy for Europeans to get access to the spice trade, so they had to come up with a way to have at it. They came up with several ways. They then used the fruits of this – including their domination of the Americas–to improve their technologies and one-up everybody else.
Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History – Geography, States, Empires, Jason Antrosio
Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People Without History attempts to answer Yali’s Question – Why Europe? Anthropology must rediscover the history of Eric Wolf.
Forest and Labor in Madagascar: From Colonial Concession to Global Biosphere, Genese Marie Sodikoff
Protecting the unique plants and animals that live on Madagascar while fueling economic growth has been a priority for the Malagasy state, international donors, and conservation NGOs since the late 1980s. Forest and Labor in Madagascar shows how poor rural workers who must make a living from the forest balance their needs with the desire of the state to earn foreign revenue from ecotourism and forest-based enterprises. Genese Marie Sodikoff examines how the appreciation and protection of Madagascar’s biodiversity depend on manual labor. She exposes the moral dilemmas workers face as both conservation representatives and peasant farmers by pointing to the hidden costs of ecological conservation.
David Graeber: “An important and lively contribution to the study of ‘green neoliberalism.’ An obvious choice for undergraduate teaching on ecology, rights, international political economy, development, and a host of other topics.”
Review of new book on widows of Japan
An open access review in Pacific Affairs of Deborah McDowell Aoki’s book, Widows of Japan: An Anthropological Perspective, says that this “comprehensive study of Japanese widows brings into focus the complex, ambiguous, often tragic history of the impact of spousal death on Japanese women. Her eight years of research from 1996 included 58 interviews with women from urban and rural areas. She states the themes in the introduction: ‘the fetishism of female bodies to protect and embody family honor, the historical role of state formation in creating family and kinship systems, and the integrative functions provided by women’”
Why Does Anthropology Worry about Jared Diamond when they have Nigel Barley?, Tony Waters
It has long mystified me that The Innocent Anthropologist is not a staple of Intro to Cultural Anthropology courses. It is well written, funny, empathetic, theoretical, and easy to read. And students are happy to read it—the whole thing. Most importantly, it is a fantastic introduction to what ethnographers do, why they do it, and what an anthropological viewpoint has to say about not just a small place in Cameroon, but the human condition. I have used this book in my undergraduate social science classes a number of times, and it has always worked well to get students dreaming about the possibilities of culture and travel—i.e. the things that I would expect a good Intro to Cultural Anthropology course to do.
Book review: Clara Han’s Life in Debt, Larisa Jasarevic
Life in Debt: Times of Care and Violence in Neoliberal Chile offers a very fine, politically-minded account of indebted existence. Han’s historically and biographically specific text raises stakes of the debate on moral economies of credit by offering intricate, memorable ethnographic detail about the embodied temporalities and relationalities of the under-employed, overworked urban population. This book has much to contribute to the global scholarship on debt, beyond the Chilean and Latin American context.
Anthropology Announcements, Calls for Papers
Towards a Four Fields Anthropology of Fetuses, Sallie Han
It is our hope to organize a panel of scholars from across the four fields to consider the possibilities of building publics within anthropology and furthering engagements around the concerns of reproduction. The focus of this panel will be on research in anthropology on fetuses and address the question: What is a fetus?
Proposed AAA Panel: Foodways in Discourse and Practice
This panel will seek to find theory and methods that prove useful in overcoming the impediments to matching quantitative dietary recall data with qualitative ethnographic participant observation of foodways in the field. We will seek to share theories and practices that help illuminate these difficult but interesting areas of disjuncture. Instead of presenting these incongruous results as failure in the field, I am seeking researchers who have dug deeper into these conflicts to find interesting ways to apply theory and further understanding of how humans use and interpret their foodways.
Seeing, Thinking, Doing: Visualisation as Archaeological Research, Call for Papers, TAG USA, Sara Perry
Research tends to begin with a series of observations on a site, object, monument or related space as it stands in the present, and leads to the construction of narratives which aim to craft a dialogue between that experience of the real today and the experience of the real in the recent and distant past. Visualisation is a critical methodology in such narrative creation–extending far beyond mere presentation of results into the actual constitution of data and the working and reworking of archaeological ideas. It is a key player, then, in the process of mediating the real. The visual tools we use (both new and old), their interactions with our ways of seeing, and the relationships between these interactions and our experiences on-the-ground–with collaborators, spaces, and other sensory engagements–affect how we do archaeology and conceive of the past. In other words, visual practices are intimately connected to different ways of thinking, and such connections can be (and have long been) exploited to productive effect.
Postdoc Opportunity in Health Disparities!, Julienne Rutherford
This post-doctoral program provides year-long support for training in interdisciplinary research that addresses disparities in health status and health outcomes among minority mothers, infants, children and their families.
Engaged anthropology with and for Latino immigrants
The University of South Florida News carried an article about ongoing research into the consequences of new Latino immigrants, African Americans and working class Whites coming face to face at work in the U.S. South and how to better bridge differences. The project is led by cultural anthropologist Angela Stuesse, an assistant professor at the University of South Florida.
Searching for a program? Looking for an expert?, American Anthropological Association
The American Anthropological Association is delighted to announce its eAnthroGuide online, a directory of more than 800 academic departments; museums; government agencies; nonprofits, NGOs, and foundations; research and consulting firms. To promote study of the discipline, we offer a freely available program search in which students and faculty advisers may look up institutions by Country, State, degree offered, subdisciplinary specialization, internships, and more.
X RAM 2013: Reunión de Antropología del Mercosur
Call for Papers: The Anthropology of Sport in Latin America has gained importance in the last decade in events such as RAM, RBA and ANPOCS. Note that in this production, the increasing demand of modern sports in urban settings. Moreover, indigenous body building revealed in cosmological aspects and rituals in a rich production for decades. However, the contexts of games, traditional or modern, toys, games and specific bodily practices of indigenous peoples in Latin America has increased the interest of many researchers in recent years through various investigations within or outside the villages . Our working group aims to bring together current research and reports or statements of intercultural experiences within indigenous issues in Latin America. The initial expectation is to collect a minimum of 20 papers and 05 posters of anthropologists and other researchers with an affinity with the issues.
A Map of Gender Diverse Cultures
On nearly every continent, and for all of recorded history, thriving cultures have recognized, revered, and integrated more than two genders. Terms such as transgender and gay are strictly new constructs that assume three things: that there are only two sexes (male/female), as many as two sexualities (gay/straight), and only two genders (man/woman). Yet hundreds of distinct societies around the globe have their own long-established traditions for third, fourth, fifth, or more genders. Fred Martinez, for example, was not a boy who wanted to be a girl, but both a boy and a girl — an identity his Navajo culture recognized and revered as nádleehí. Most Western societies have no direct correlation for this Native “two-spirit” tradition, nor for the many other communities without strict either/or conceptions of sex, sexuality, and gender. Worldwide, the sheer variety of gender expression is almost limitless.
Added to Anthropology, Sex, Gender, Sexuality: Gender is a Social Construction with thanks to Kerim Friedman for the link-tweet!