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Opening our anthropological conversations: An Interview with Tom Boellstorff

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Ryan
I had the chance to conduct an email-based interview with Tom Boellstorff during this past month to explore some of his views about Open Access (hereafter OA) publishing in anthropology.  Update: You can download a PDF of this interview here.

 

Re-describing Diabetes:Toward A Political Ecology of Health and Bodies

by Ryan Anderson

How does a society, a government, or the academy explain away eighteen years? In Arizona, eighteen years marks the disparity between the average life expectancies of American Indians and non-Hispanic whites (Arizona Department of Health Services, 2005; Indian Health Services, 2001). With what technologies and mythologies do we naturalize such a stunning gap? Life expectancies for American Indians are lowest of any population nationwide, and preventable illnesses comprise the majority of the health inequalities that contribute to this picture (Warne, 2006). The diabetes epidemic tops the list, having become the major cause of morbidity and mortality in indigenous communities in the United States (Gohdes 2006). Since the 1970?s when it became recognized as a serious public health issue, rising rates of diabetes and a falling age of onset appear to have become intractable. Young children are being diagnosed with ?adult onset? diabetes now, only enlarging the risk for serious health complications in their lifetimes.

Being more than an ?administrative convenience?

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Ryan
This is a brief post to keep the conversation about adjuncts, anthropology, and academia going.  Check out this piece over at Anthropology News* about the ?Challenges to Organizing Academic Labor.?  Here is one choice selection to think about:
Eli Thorkelson (U Chicago) and Ryan Cook (Saint Xavier U) observed that accepting the culture of academia makes contingent faculty complicit in the system. Graduate students and recent PhDs hold on to the promise that professionalism, hard work and talent will eventually be rewarded with membership in the guild. The graduate teaching assistant, adjunct or visiting assistant professor believes, at least initially, that the position is a stepping-stone when, in reality, it may be no more than an administrative convenience.

 

Finding value: Theory, abstraction, and fieldwork

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Ryan
I am still obsessed with the concept of value.  What is value?  What does it mean to say something has value?  How do we decide what something is ?worth??  How are different ideas about value connected to meaning?and action?  How do our ideas about value, worth, and meaning relate to our actions?  How is value connected to money (in its various forms)?  How are different forms of valorization (economic, cultural, moral, political) connected?  Where and when are they disconnected?

 

Finding value: Theory, abstraction, and fieldwork

from ethnografix by Ryan Anderson

I am still obsessed with the concept of value.  What is value?  What does it mean to say something has value?  How do we decide what something is ?worth??  How are different ideas about value connected to meaning?and action?  How do our ideas about value, worth, and meaning relate to our actions?  How is value connected to money (in its various forms)?  How are different forms of valorization (economic, cultural, moral, political) connected?  Where and when are they disconnected?


Paleolithic Europeans may have been substantially Neandertal-admixed

from Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog by Dienekes
In Oetzi the Neandertal Champion, I suggested a way to determine whether the higher Neandertal admixture in Oetzi suggested by Sams and Hawks is due to his Near Eastern Neolithic or European Paleolithic ancestry.

The ?Applied? Regrets of Conrad Arensberg

from Ethnography.com by Michael Scroggins
At the end of his 1980 AAA presidential address,  Arensberg paused to lament bequeathing the term ?applied anthropology? to the Society for Applied Anthropology, which he and Eliot Chapple helped found in 1941:

Best Introduction to Anthropology Syllabus ? Four Fields Anthropology

from Anthropology Report by Jason Antrosio
After posting my four fields Introduction to Anthropology syllabus to the American Anthropological Association Teaching Materials Exchange, I?ve been updating my Four Fields Textbook Reviewconcentrating on the themes of human nature, race, and evolution.

Seven Ways to Talk to a White Man

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Kerim
Chinese is a hard language to learn, and I?m the first to admit that I have a long way still to go. But for the past six years I?ve been teaching in Chinese and so I?ve achieved a certain degree of fluency even if nobody who spoke to me for more than five minutes on the phone would mistake me for a native speaker. In the United States there is a general assumption that everyone should and can learn to be a fluent English speaker, no matter where they are from. People are sometimes even fired for not speaking English at work [also see this]. But in Taiwan it is the opposite, there is an assumption that nobody who isn?t ethnically Chinese can learn to speak the language. For this reason, when someone sees a white person walk into a store or restaurant the first assumption is that there will be a problem communicating with you.

New Anthropology Databases Now Available via EBSCOhost
InfoToday.com
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has added three new anthropology databases to the EBSCOhost platform. Anthropological Index, Anthropological Literature, andAnthropology Plus, cover the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and related interdisciplinary

Registry of Anthropological Data Wiki

from American Anthropological Association by Joslyn O.
The American Anthropological Association is excited to announce the creation of a Wiki to help researchers locate anthropological source materials!
One of the effects of the web has been to create myriad crevices and crannies of information. Did you know thatFrederick Starr?s notebooks (12 volumes of field notes) have been put online?

Do anthropologists approach YOU? Do you want them to?

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Rex
Uh?. does anyone else think its incredibly creepy that the AAA?s new ?Registry of Anthropological Data Wiki? is hosted by Wikia and festooned with ads? Did you ever dream of the day that you could both locate the field notes of Mary Clifton Ayres and learn 3 questions that are PROVEN to make women want you?

McGee, Boas and the organization of American Anthropology

from Ethnography.com by Michael Scroggins
I found this on the AAA website last week:
?The AAA has been a democratic organization since its beginning. Although Franz Boas had initially fought to restrict membership to an exclusive group of 40 ?professional anthropologists,? the AAA?s first president. W. J. McGee, argued for a more inclusive membership embracing all those who expressed an interest in the discipline. McGee?s vision still guides the Association today. Business affairs, likewise comprehensive with 24 Councillors selected from the membership, and Executive Committee of 9 in 1902, are now conducted by a 38-member Section Assembly representing each of the Association?s constituent Sections, and a 17-member Executive Board. This increase in representation reflects the growing diversity of the discipline, which is viewed by many as a source of strength for the Association and for American anthropology as a whole. In Richard B. Woodbury?s words, ?. . .the AAA has remained the central society for the discipline, addressing with considerable success its increasingly varied interests and speaking for anthropology to other fields, the federal and state governments, and the public? (Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, 1994). ?

Anthrosource is still #Fail

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Kerim
The ?new? Anthrosource came out in January of 2009, and made Chris Kelty cry. In three and a half years it still hasn?t been fixed. Why not?
Do the following experiment. Pick a keyword and search for it on Anthrosource. Done? How many hits did you get? OK, now go to Wiley and search just one journal, let?s pick American Ethnologist. Search for the same keyword. How many hits did you get? Each time I do this I get several orders of magnitude more search results for AE alone than I do for a search engine that is supposed to search the entire contents of all the AAA journals.

MARGINALITY, MORALITY, MANHOOD AND MONEY

from An Anthropologist Goes Techno by Jukka Jouhki

I’m about take off for Loutraki, Greece and the 9th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues organized by EASG. I will present a paper drawing on my anthropologically-minded observations on online poker culture. Below is the abstract. Click here for the full paper.

The ethnography of Twitter: follow their interests

from media/anthropology by John Postill
The micro-blogging site Twitter has received a great deal of media attention in recent years, yet it remains oddly under-researched ? especially by ethnographers. Twitter?s tagline ?Follow your interests?, launched in 2011, captures neatly one of the site?s main attractions: the ability it affords users to keep track of people and issues that matter to them. This key socio-technical affordance (actualised through devices such as hashtags, tweets and lists) mirrors an old ethnographic maxim: ?Follow their interests?, i.e. the interests of our research participants.

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