Why does anthropology tend to focus on “exotic others”? Why this obsession with Africa? How come calls by well-known anthropologists such as Paul Rabinow to “anthropologize the West seemed to have not brought forth much fruit? How racist is American anthropology?
Doctoral dissertations are an excellent indicator of the health of a discipline. They are a weather vane pointing toward where the discipline is heading. They represent a huge chunk of work by the researcher and his/her mentors as well as generous contributions from people in the field site(s). With luck, they are a crucial basis for a newly minted PhD to getting a job to which all the years of training and research will contribute. Dissertations are very important documents, and they deserve more visibility.
Could social scientists and humanities scholars be replaced by bots?
From the December 17, 2010, issue of the journal Science comes a News of the Week piece “Google Opens Books to New Cultural Studies.” It sketches the ongoing research of a mathematician, Erez Lieberman Aiden, who is studying word frequencies using all of Google Books as his data source. Here’s the abstract of the technical publication.
The Journal of Health and Social Behavior recently ran a supplemental issue dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the journal and of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. The issue is made up of a series of reviews about key issues in medical sociology written by some of the leading scholars in the sub-discipline. Aside from being an excellent—and completely open-access—resource on the current state of knowledge in medical sociology, this issue is interesting as an object of comparison with the 2009 meeting of the Society for Medical Anthropology, which was also framed as a 50th anniversary celebration. (What was it about 1959?) Here is how guest editors Janet Hankin and Eric Wright introduce the issue:
“I have been invited to at least four Christmas parties this year, and three of them are being held by Muslims. This is the first time I’ve felt such a huge emphasis on Christmas,” 33-year-old investment banker Osama Abdelshafy says.
Debates in palaeoanthropology are often quite involved, and they become more arcane the further back we go in time. An modern human jawbone usually elicits a call to the police, but if you find an Upper Paleolithic jawbone, you can write paper upon paper on its anatomical minutiae.
from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte
Last month Radboud University Nijmegen hosted a conference on Anthropology and/in Publicity. The main conference featured talks by Ulf Hannerz, Annelies Moors, Thomas H. Erikson, and Mathijs Pelkmans.
If you are a Real Scientist, I it is reasonable that you believe yourself to be under attack from 1) ‘critical’ or ‘political’ or ‘activist’ anthropologists on the one hand and 2) ‘postmodernists’ on the other. However, it is unreasonable that you consider yourself under attack from ‘activist postmodernists’.
Edge on Anthropology
The Cutting Edge
… as well as Professor Israel Hershkowitz of the university’s Department of Anatomy and Anthropology and Sackler School of Medicine and an international
Clyde Hertzman and Tom Boyce published an excellent article, How Experience Gets Under the Skin to Create Gradients in Developmental Health, in the 2010 Annual Review of Public Health. I am going to cover their concepts of biological embedding and social causation, both of which are relevant to neuroanthropology. And then we get some great media from both authors at the end.
I just went through the “Section Prizes” page of the AAA website and listed all the award winning books and articles listed there. I limited myself to works published after 2008 which I could find references to online. That means I included books listed in Amazon.com which only received “honorable mentions,” but did not list award winning student essays for which no online link was given. Unfortunately a lot of the links on the AAA site were dead, and many AAA sections don’t properly list their award winners, or haven’t updated their pages since 2007. The list is also missing award winning English language works from other anthropology associations outside the US. I’d love to add such works to the list as well if someone can point me to such lists. Or if you have a Mendeley account, you can add them yourself.