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Decolonizing Anthropology Textbook Covers

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the Decolonizing Anthropology series.

By: Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall and Jennifer Esperanza

 

As young anthropology students in the 90s we heard Dr. Faye Harrison call: decolonizing anthropology is about “working to free the study of human kind from the prevailing forces of global inequality, and dehumanization…” As professionals, one way that we—anthropologist Dr. Jennifer Esperanza and design anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall—have chosen to decolonize anthropology is to critically (re)examine the North American introductory anthropology textbook.

Price, David H. 2016. Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology. Duke University Press. 

A few years ago, I had a chance to have lunch with David Price and some other people at the AAA meetings. Back then, he struck me as exactly like the kind of person you’d expect to be a professor at a small liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest. Which is exactly what he is. Graying beard, laid back manner.

Anthropologist Discovers 100-Year-Old Graffiti By ‘America’s Most Famous Hobo’
NPR

Susan Phillips studies and writes about graffiti as ananthropologist. In 2000, while doing research for her book, Wallbangin’: Graffiti and Gangs in LA, she stumbled upon some graffiti that stunned her. Under a century-old bridge near the Los Angeles

Ramadan Diaries: Week One

Ramadan Diaries takes you into the Ramadan experience of two students of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Oguz Alyanak and Dick Powis. They will be fasting amongst Muslims in two Francophone contexts, Strasbourg, France and Dakar, Senegal, respectively. By sharing brief notes on the fasting experience, the aim is to provide a reflexive account of participant observation as it is undertaken by two scholars with distinct backgrounds and field sites. This is the second entry in the series, you can read the Introduction here.

Climate Wars

Fiji’s human history is directly linked to the ebbs and flows of climate change—particularly of sea level rise. Throughout the Pacific Islands, fluctuating environmental conditions resulting from changing sea level have historically resulted in conflict with neighbors.
Fiji’s human history is directly linked to the ebbs and flows of climate change—particularly of sea-level rise. Throughout the Pacific Islands, fluctuating environmental conditions resulting from changing sea level have historically resulted in conflict with neighbors. Björn Groß/Flickr

Stone tools, like Acheulean hand axes, remain well-preserved for eons because they are stones first, tools second. Fired ceramics remain well-preserved for millennia because they are, in essence, human-made stone. Metal tools may, in some rare instances, endure for millennia, but their material hardness belies chemical fragility; most are not stable over the long term. Bone tools, like their metal counterparts, may remain well-preserved, but preservation is highly specific to local burial chemistry. Artifacts made of perishable plant and animal remains, such as clothing, shoes, nets, baskets, and many toys, are rarely well-preserved, and therefore not very well-understood.

The archaeological record tends to preserve stone tools rather than perishable remains, such as this split-twig figurine found in Dolores Cave, near Gunnison, Colorado. How does this affect how we study gender in prehistory?

On Miniatures: a dialogue

In a new series of postings, we draw two research projects on miniatures together in dialogue:

Miniatures Matter

Jonathan Walz, Rollins  College

Jonathan Walz is an anthropologist who practices archaeology in eastern Africa and the western Indian Ocean. This contribution arises from his long-term interest in representations of archaeology and Africa and previous explorations of miniatures, often overlooked by archaeologists more typically drawn to monuments. The tendency to miniaturize impacts the form and substance of practices, materials, and the eventual effects of things on humans in the endless entanglement of material, agency, subjectivity, memory, and affect. Postage stamps collapse of multiple symbols into proximity motivates metonymy and the exchanges and contests among bundled ideas rooted in the negotiated political landscape of the public and nation-state.

Rachel Black
President, Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
Connecticut College

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the John Dewey Kitchen Institute at the University of Vermont. The goal of this three-day workshop was to “emphasize experiential education, of course in teaching about food but also as an important pedagogical approach for teaching any subject.” As a long-time believer and practitioner of hands-on learning, I was eager to hone skills and think more about how to create opportunities for experiential learning in my anthropology of food classes.

The Anthro/Zine strikes back!

Anthro/Zine, a venue for undergraduate publication from the team behindAnthropology Now, has entered its second year of publication. The premise behind the project is to provide a space for college students to reflect on how anthropology, in all its myriad forms, has touched their lives. As editor I have been completely blown away by the quality and creativity of our submissions which have included not only essay, but also art, poetry, photography, fiction, and what I call “briefs” — very short pieces. There are now four issues, open access and CC-BY, available at the link above. Check out our latest issue below!

What we learned from #anthroboycott

Please join me in reading responsively

We learned that Boycott supporters felt silenced and intimidated by the anti-Boycott sentiment in their departments while on the other hand anti-Boycott supporters felt silenced and intimidated by the Boycott sentiment in their departments.

We learned that the AAA could deal judiciously with a difficult topic or
We learned that the AAA’s curation of Israel’s “World Anthropology” was biased

Call for Papers: Visual Anthropology and The City

Via Barbara Knorpp, UCL Institute for Archaeology/Museum Studies

Photo: Paola Catrica

Photo: Paola Catrica

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