All Blog Posts (773)

Michael Shanks: Ghosts, Mirrors, Machines

The above image of the surface of a daguerreotype was taken by archaeologist Michael Shanks as part of his project "Ghosts in the machine." Daguerreotypes are, of course, one of a kind photographic positives--direct reflections of light that once hit particular objects. What I find particularly intriguing are his ideas about an archaeology of media (or "media archaeology" as he puts… Continue

Added by ryan anderson on May 3, 2010 at 4:22pm — 2 Comments

Paul Mason: "Globalisation: the products but not the ethics"

Over at Neuroanthropology, Paul Mason has a great post that discusses globalization and the ethical issues that are often left out of the equation. One of his main points is that the products of globalization end up all around the world, but political and ethical concerns do not. Here is the intro:

"A photo is featured alongside the quote. In the photo, there is a billboard advertising… Continue

Added by ryan anderson on May 3, 2010 at 3:03pm — No Comments

Athropology of Spirituality?

I was just wondering whether, given my background I do have a place here - then I came across the discussion of culture and religion, so maybe i do:

I am a senior social worker and contemporary theologian. More importantly, in my diss. for theology, I dealt with what I named an aspect of the anthropology of spirituality: the effect of insight, specifically what I name the insight of being,



Added by Barbara Schaefer on May 3, 2010 at 12:22am — No Comments

Amartya Sen on "The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith"

This might be interesting for any of the economically-oriented anthropologists out there:

Hat tip to Maxine… Continue

Added by ryan anderson on May 1, 2010 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Arizona, Citizenship, and Rights

All of the recent events in Arizona have me thinking about citizenship and rights. Where do our laws begin and end? Do US ideals about inalienable rights stop at our borders? What kinds of rights should be afforded to all people in all places? In his 2008 book The Latino Threat, Leo Chavez writes,

For many, especially anti-immigration groups such as the…

Added by ryan anderson on May 1, 2010 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment


What is it about Cats (the musical, that is)?

Today was Midori no Hi 'Green Day' in Japan, the…

Added by John McCreery on April 29, 2010 at 2:31pm — 4 Comments


Truth in Fiction

There can be truth in fiction, truth as a topic, or truth as something that rings true, if only to one particular reader. For example, the reader is me; the fiction is Cloud's Rider, an SF novel by C.J. Cherryh. Third paragraph, page 87.

Truth, he'd been halfway religious before he became a rider. He was still trying to figure the ins and outs of the preachers' religion as it applied to him now that he'd…

Added by John McCreery on April 26, 2010 at 5:06pm — No Comments


AIDS in South Africa

South Africa is currently the leading victim of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with the highest number of people infected in the world (almost 6 million or 1 in 8 of the total population). The next top five countries are all neighbours of South Africa. The proportion of sexually active South Africans infected reaches 30% in some social categories (such as pregnant women) and places (Kwazulu-Natal’s rate is five times that of the… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on April 26, 2010 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Publication models: Contexts by the ASA

I just got something in the mail from the American Sociological Association which features their publication Contexts. That is a nice looking magazine, and it makes me wonder why us anthropologically minded folks can't get together and do something along those lines. Combine solid anthropology with good design. Contexts has a nice look to it, and they also put photography to good use. Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite magazines of all time,… Continue

Added by ryan anderson on April 24, 2010 at 4:36pm — No Comments

Ardipithecus ramidus and its Impact on Human Nature

Suwa, Gen et al

2009 Paleobiological Implications of the Ardipithecus Ramidus Dentition. Science 326: 94-99.

Fossilized teeth of the…


Added by Mitchell Jones on April 23, 2010 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Thoughts on Graeber's Direct Action: An Ethnography (part I)

I find Graeber's thoughts on ideology and government regulations interesting. Although he doesn't mention Libertarians (aka: anarcho-capitalists) he does touch on a fundamental contradiction in so-called Libertarian thought. The Libertarians and the Tea Party movement insist that the government is an institution that undermines the rights of individuals. Anarchists would agree. However, Libertarians and "Teabaggers" don't recognize the fact that in order for private property to exist there must… Continue

Added by Mitchell Jones on April 23, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Writing Well, Writing Academically…A Response


You said:…


Added by Neil Turner on April 23, 2010 at 2:12pm — 2 Comments

Published: New (and Enhanced) Issue of Museum Anthropology Review

(Reposted) I am very pleased to announce the publication of Museum Anthropology Review 4(1). This is the spring 2010 issue and there are a number of things to say about it. First, a huge expression of thanks go to everyone who worked to bring it into the world. Managing editor Janice Frisch in particular deserves special credit for working hard to bring several new features online.

First things first, the issue…


Added by Jason Baird Jackson on April 23, 2010 at 4:51am — No Comments


Iceland's revenge

At the height of the credit boom, three Icelandic banks built up a huge trade by offering higher interest rates on deposits in Britain especially, but also in some other European countries, notably the Netherlands. At one time these banks had liabilities much larger than Iceland's GNP. Their owners bought football clubs and the like. Iceland has a legally ambiguous relationship to the European Union and it wasn't clear which… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on April 21, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments


Millenium Assessment of Human Behavior

Are you aware of this project, now being promoted by Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University? Seems like it should be right up Keith Hart's alley.

Tip of the hat to…

Added by John McCreery on April 18, 2010 at 3:23pm — No Comments

Anthropological Interpreting Service in Yunnan

Hello everyone,

This is Aaron from Sincere Translation and Consulting…


Added by Aaron Yang on April 17, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Possession in Haitian Voodoo and Pentecostalism: A Cross-cultural Analysis

Trance states are found in many diverse cultures, two of which are American and Haitian. The trance state is a biological phenomenon that serves a cultural purpose. The shared experience of the trance binds people together and allows them to have direct spiritual experience, which then strengthens their faith, whether it is at an American Pentecostal church or a Haitian voodoo ceremony. In this paper I will examine the…


Added by Mitchell Jones on April 16, 2010 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

Archaeological/Ethnographic borders

Where do ethnography and archaeology collide? Where do they overlap? How can ethnographic information and practice inform archaeological projects? How can archaeological insights and theories give us different ways of thinking about contemporary lived environments?

Sometimes disciplinary boundaries seem pretty arbitrary. When do we call material artifacts "archaeological," and when do we place them under the ethnographic umbrella? What's the use of this separation?

I am… Continue

Added by ryan anderson on April 14, 2010 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Ethnology Against the State: Anthropological Anarchy


koy • ahn • i • skaht • see

noun (from the Hopi Language)

1. life disintegrating

2. life out of balance

3. life in turmoil

4. crazy life

5. a state of life that calls for

another way of living.


The man

Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys:

Power, like a desolating pestilence,

Pollutes whate'er it touches, and obedience,

Bane of all genius,…


Added by Mitchell Jones on April 14, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments


Morality in the movies

I have made a living from the analytical professions, but my passion has always been for stories. Fiction has the great advantage of allowing us to make things up, rather than passively reflect the world as it is. It involves people making complex moral decisions while in movement. By choosing a form nearer to human life, the great authors of novels, plays and movies could turn out to be our finest social thinkers:… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on April 13, 2010 at 9:30am — No Comments

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