By: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar
In 2016 the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions for their involvement in the illegal occupation of Palestine both gathered significant steam and faced a huge roadblock. In the United States, the country that largely underwrites and funds the Israeli occupation, the call to boycott initiated in 2004 by Palestinian civil rights organizations movement has had some impressive successes, with eight associations endorsing it thus far, notably in academic fields that challenge Eurocentrism.
I sometimes like to joke that anthropologists looking for the strangest and most exotic society on earth should do fieldwork in the United States. As if to prove my point, along comes Pizzagate.
The Occult, Witchcraft & Magic. An Illustrated History, by art historian Christopher Dell.
Publisher Thames & Hudson writes: Our belief in some form of magic runs throughout human history. In fact, in an increasingly rational and scientific world, the idea that occult or arcane knowledge can give us access to another, hidden reality is as strong and widespread as ever.
Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Coltan Scrivner for the month of January. Coltan will be writing a series of posts on personhood from different disciplinary perspectives.
A common Indian folk tale tells the story of a forest-dwelling hermit who had neither possessions nor troubles, except that a mouse was nibbling away at his loincloth. He bought a cat to keep the mouse away, then a cow to provide milk for the cat. He then hired a man to collect fodder for the cow. Feeling lonely, the man brought his family to live in the forest with him. The process continued until one day the hermit found himself married and living in a house. The hermit’s singular attachment to his loincloth led to a cascade of other attachments and desires that brought with them a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows.
Here’s a fascinating story about advances in forensic anthropology based around a creepy case of an archaeologist who had several open coffins full of human remains in his home. He said they were all legally taken from ancient Guatemalan sites, but new forensics methods showed that some of the bones were pretty new and of different races than the archaeologist claimed.
In this second of two recent articles on migration I examine the writings of three anthropologists— Nicholas P. De Genova, Andrew Kipnis, and Luis F.B. Plascencia—concerning usage of the phrase “illegal immigrant”. The problem of labelling migrant workers is not one that anthropologists invented, but it certainly is one they take seriously, as they should. If there is one thing that anthropologists understand best, it is the power of symbolism and the deployment of labels to mark group boundaries, to signify who/what belongs and who/what is out of place, and all of the meanings and consequences that being “out of place” entails. The labelling issue is always prominent in the US when debating immigration policy, especially because the labels stake out key positions in political debates.
Some ancient relics never cease to pique the interest of modern societies.
Editor’s Note: This is the second of two reviews of this book, with a rather different perspective. For the first review by Ellen Messer, link here
What’s So Controversial about Genetically-Modified Foods? John Lang. Reaktion Publishers. 2016
Robyn Flipse (Nutrition Communication Services)
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