The alternate title for this post was going to be “Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, and Boas walk into a bar…”. This is a little autobiographical passage from pages 46-48 of History, Evolution, and the Concept of Culture: Selected Papers by Alexander Lesser. In it, Lesser (a vastly under-read and under-appreciated author) describes what it was like to be a graduate student in the 1920s. It’s a fun little vignette that says something about the limits of functionalism… and academic networking! I’ve condensed this account down a good deal — if you’d like to see the full version, check out the book.
Harvard museum turns 150, undergoing big changes
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – As one of the world’s oldest museums dedicated to anthropology turns 150, it’s undergoing some big changes to showcase its significant role in developing the discipline. Leaders of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology …
Harvard museum to dust off curiosities long kept in storageU.S. News & World Report
Next in line for the Anthropologies #22 Food Issue, we have this essay by Christopher Laurent. He is currently a Cultural Anthropology doctoral candidate at the University of Montreal in Quebec Canada. Laurent’s research primarily focuses on regional food revival in Japan. Check out his blog Chanko Food, and look for him on Twitter: @SFchanko –R.A.
Today there is a general “hallelujah” mood surrounding the emancipatory possibilities of digital communication technologies (mobile phones, smartphones, and social media). The combination of easy, mobile internet access and social media has been hailed as revolutionary: Citizens can now gather information and organize protests like never before, with the democratic uprisings of the Arab Spring collectively serving as poster child for the trend. Some even claim that mobile phones and social media will lead to more democratic, more transparent,more peaceful societies.
See other posts under Digital ethnography reading group
Haynes, N. (2016). Social Media in Northern Chile. London: UCL Press.
Summary of Chapter 3,“Virtual posting: the aesthetics of Alto Hospicio”, by John Postill
Anthropologist Robert Smith, Japan scholar, dies at age 89
Robert J. Smith, Ph.D. ’55, a noted expert in the socioculturalanthropology of Japan, died Oct. 11 at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. He was 89. Smith was a distinguished authority in Japanese studies and Goldwin Smith Professor of AnthropologyEmeritus.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the role of food in turning a place into a cultural landmark. This is the mirror opposite of the process through which foods acquire their reputation through a linkage to a place. That, of course, is what we refer to these days as terroir. The implication is that the place, through soil, climate, or traditions, is reflected in the food. The process in either direction seems to require that people be self-conscious about making the link work. This is the work of culture and history, not nature.
Forensic anthropology facility in the works at NMU
Schuiling says the new program would tie together anthropologyand criminal justice studies, and provide a training site for Public Safety and the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. She says there is significant interest in the forensic anthropology …
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