All Blog Posts (808)

Islam, violence and mourning in America

By Betsy Taylor

(published in NORTH OF CENTER, Nov 24, 2010

America’s founding documents speak in the first person plural with such power—“We the People…We hold these truths…We have warned them…We have reminded them…We have conjured them…We, therefore…solemnly publish

and declare.” Why has it now become so hard to say “We” as Americans


This question has hounded me recently. On… Continue

Added by Betsy Taylor on November 25, 2010 at 6:13pm — No Comments

AAA new Long-Range Plan drops reference to science

AAA new proposed Long Range Plan drops reference to science. I find this a little troubling.

This is the mission statement:

Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science that

studies… Continue

Added by Jacob Lee on November 24, 2010 at 5:00am — 11 Comments

The Genetics of Migration

National Geographic has been airing a series about annual migration in the animal world. From Monarch butterflies to African elephants, they are all beautifully documented. Their numbers are just overwhelming to watch. It's called "Great Migrations" because it's really a mass movement of bodies in hunger and in heat. Army ants march on like soldiers and form themselves into a gigantic barricade during… Continue

Added by M Izabel on November 23, 2010 at 5:57am — No Comments

For Soccer

(found poem)

(An American's View of Berlin: 06-19-06)

The Croats are tanned,

the Swedes pink,

the Poles the color of powder.

They hoist the flags of their nations

and trundle like tiny

sweating armies under the sun.

The beer comes in big cups,

and the boats on the River Spree

glide past with music and accents



Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 3:00am — No Comments

Rummy's Winter*

[Found Poem]


he stood alone

at the 42 metro bus stop

just north of dupont circle last thursday

when icy traffic made the roads

a nightmare for drivers.

with his smartrip card in hand –



Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 3:00am — 2 Comments

Where the Wild Things Are: The World According to Larry H. Summers

found poem


“Inhabitants of low-income countries
typically die before the age

at which they begin

suffering prostrate cancer

associated with toxic…

Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

Bums, Scums, Nuts, and Sluts Do Matter in Social Science

I owe my understanding that history must come from below, from peripheries, from the edges, and from the margins not to Howard Zinn but to Ambeth Ocampo, a famous historian in my country who was educated in Britain. He also writes for a national daily, and his subjects are mostly about our eighteenth-century heroes. He demystifies and "unclothes" them. The title of his book about our national hero, "Rizal Without the…

Added by M Izabel on November 20, 2010 at 12:03pm — 2 Comments

Experimental Anthropology

I was browsing foreign films on when the synopsis of "Le Ballon Rouge" (The Red Balloon) popped up. The synopsis said that it was about a Parisian boy who found a red balloon, and it asked if the red ballon found the boy. The posed question sounded playful and innocent, but it definitely tickled my mind.…


Added by M Izabel on November 18, 2010 at 4:58pm — 1 Comment


Marx between Mill, Mayhew and Dickens

Phil Swift's brilliant post on the relevance of Henry Mayhew's 19th century investigations of London's working classes for a politicized ethnography today has set off many reverberations inside my skull. One issue is the relationship between Mayhew's project and Marx's. Both are highly critical of the social causes of the… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on November 18, 2010 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Anthropology + Photography

When I first started this blog I wrote a few posts about what different people do with photography, how they use it, and why. Those were inspired by social scientists and anthropologists who have looked into the social meanings and uses of photography--Pierre Bourdieu, Jay Ruby, Elizabeth Edwards, among others. Some of those posts looked at the lives of particular professional photographers, like…

Added by ryan anderson on November 17, 2010 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Ontology Is Dynamic

Like culture, ontology, which includes terms, categories, concepts of being, realities, relations, is dynamic because language is. I don't know if you still have to require me to quote someone about the dynamism of language and of all features embedded in it such as lexicons, syntax, semiotics, and, yes, semantics. I'm a little bit Chomskyan in my treatment of semantics. The latter can stand alone even without syntax, grammar, or structure, and that includes the standards of how it is used.… Continue

Added by M Izabel on November 16, 2010 at 9:38pm — 2 Comments

The 'Perils of the Nation': The Activist Anthropology of Henry Mayhew

I want to tell you about Henry Mayhew. His work is neither new (he wrote during the same decades as Charles Dickens), nor was he an anthropologist, yet for all that, he produced a vital and urgent anthropology that speaks critically to our current moment.

Mayhew’s aim (in his own words) was to ‘publish the history of a people, from the lips of the people… Continue

Added by Philip Swift on November 16, 2010 at 6:30pm — 7 Comments

Meaning: A Few Words from the Competition

From one now popular perspective, anthropologists are supposed to be especially acute interpreters of what other people(s) mean. But meaning is not, of course, a topic restricted to anthropological theory. An e-mail delivered via Soc-Net points to a deep review of philosophical and analytic perspectives of particular interest to developers of semantic network analysis. The abstract on reads as follows,…


Added by John McCreery on November 16, 2010 at 10:28am — No Comments




Added by Tame Ramya (Tarh) on November 13, 2010 at 10:14pm — 1 Comment

Derridas and Borgeses in Our Village

I used to join chess and scrabble tournaments for women in the city a day by bus from our village, just so I could use my prizes to buy every book by or about Derrida, my very first dalliance with postmodernism. I would lie about my age so I could join in adult divisions where the prizes were twice than those in teen…


Added by M Izabel on November 13, 2010 at 7:18am — 1 Comment

Popularizing and Localizing Anthropology

In our class in college, we were only ten from the only anthropology department in the Philippines. When someone asked about my major, I would say, “Biology.” When I was honest, the burden of explaining anthropology was always on me, and it was a laborious effort. Anthropology was not a familiar social science degree even on the campus. There were instances when…


Added by M Izabel on November 12, 2010 at 3:10am — 12 Comments

AAA Conference in New Orleans (from the sidelines)

Rex over at Savage Minds has written a post with some special advice for AAA conference-goers on how they can make the best of the human experience by rubbing elbows with semi-celebs and nobodies while ignoring panels and papers as much as possible.

On Twitter and throughout the blogosphere, the anticipatory posts are beginning to appear… Continue

Added by Francine Barone on November 11, 2010 at 6:39pm — No Comments




Added by Tame Ramya (Tarh) on November 11, 2010 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Edward Said, a one-sided referee of globalization

I admire Said's originality but not his myopic criticism and total westernization of the intellectual and visual phenomenon called Orientalism.…


Added by M Izabel on November 8, 2010 at 12:30am — 12 Comments

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