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Anthropology’s Top Findings of 2017

“Fossil scout” Pedro Boshoff inside the Rising Star cave system in South Africa, where Homo naledi fossils were found. Wits University

This year’s anthropological findings brought us fascinating insights from across the globe, upending long-held assumptions about the evolutionary timeline, human dispersal, and more. There were almost too many great stories to choose from, but here are some of 2017’s most exciting discoveries from the world of anthropology.

Homo naledi—A Twig That Found Its Trunk

 

Best of 2017: AAA Journals

As 2017 comes to a close we’d like to celebrate the AAA publishing portfolio by announcing the most-downloaded articles published by each journal this year.

These articles are all available to AAA members through our AnthroSource database and will be ungated and available for free access to all through the end of January.

Happy reading!

American Anthropologist

Signaling Safety: Characterizing Fieldwork Experiences and Their Implications for Career Trajectories

Three Places to Avoid if You’re New to Anthropology

If you’re just starting out in anthropology, let me do you a favor. I want to point out three items that are NOT resources for learning more about anthropology, though they may seem like it at first glance.

1. Anthropologie. This is obvious for many of our readers: Anthropologie is a clothing and home décor retailer in the United States, UK, Germany, and France – not a store where you can find the course readings or cool skull things for your office. In fact, there is no clear connection between what Anthropologie sells and what anthropology is. I’ve heard stories of anthropologists shopping at Anthropologie who have tried to strike up conversation with employees about anthropology, only to be met with blank stares. Furthermore, Anthropologie’s ridiculously high prices for frivolous products are totally counter to anthropology’s long relationship with social justice and political economy. Instead: If you need anthropology-related goods, try patronizing your local bookstore or buy from the local artists wherever you do your research.

 

Full coverage

Sea Level Rise Threatens Archaeological Sites

Graves that are more than 400 years old in Jamestown, Virginia, lie near the first Protestant church in what later became the United States. Jamestown is just one of the thousands of critical sites that are threatened by rising sea levels. Joe Fudge/Associated Press

Language, Human Rights, and Social Justice

This post is part of a series celebrating Human Rights Day authored by members of the former AAA Committee for Human Rights, now represented on the Members’ Programmatic, Advisory, and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC). This piece was submitted by Kathleen C. Riley (Rutgers University).

Words, speech acts, and larger discourses have consequences.  They have the power to give voice or suppress, persuade or degrade, encourage or shame, escalate or resolve. Thus, language is intimately implicated in the quest for human rights and social justice.  In this piece, I consider this spectrum of verbal impact, but first discuss briefly a terminological matter: the potential tension between the two terms, human rights and social justice.

Bidding “bon voyage” to la pensée sauvage: Why the “Savage Minds” name change couldn’t come soon enough

I never thought I would be guest-blogging for an internet publication whose name was (once) a racial slur directed at me and my ancestors. For many years now, “the-blog-formerly-known-as-Savage-Minds,” Anthrodendum, has been engaging the public in discussions about anthropology, but until recently it has alienated the very people upon whom this field is built — due to the desire to cling to an unfortunate name.

First Encounters of the “Savage Mind”