** via media anthropology mailing list **
I am delighted to announce the launch of the new EASA Media Anthropology Network site! The site is at http://www.media-anthropology.net/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
Huge thanks are owed to Daniel Taghioff and his team of volunteers for all the work they?ve put into this site over many months. As this is still work in progress, we look forward to all suggestions for improvement and offers of help to make the new site a success.
The Media Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists has launched a new website to help cultivate discussion and collaboration around the anthropology of media, both new and old. The site allows visitors to access bibliographies, search member research interests, join the medianthro listserv, post reviews and upload multimedia. Visitors can also view working papers, conference papers and thought-provoking e-seminars.
What is anthropology? What does anthropology tell us about the world that we live in? What claims to truth does this ?anthropology? have, and how can those claims be challenged, evaluated, and measured against other forms of knowledge? Anthropology is not as monolithic and unified as it may seem to a first year undergraduate who is forced to sit through her/his first class on the subject?despite the cohesive narratives that many introductory textbooks present. Still, certain ideals about anthropology?as promulgated by particular institutions, organizations, and individuals?do exist. Anthropologists have their particular characterizations of what it is that they actually do: they study humans. But not just any humans; historically speaking, anthropologists have made the non-western Others their intellectual stock and trade. This academic and methodological focus is what Michel-Rolph Trouillot calls the ?Savage slot,? and it needs some dramatic rethinking if anthropology is to remain a viable mode of inquiry.
EDITORS NOTE: It has been suggested that the original post was somewhat over the top, poorly thought-out, generally missed the point and could use some editing. Therefore we have assembled a committee consisting of a group of people from a St. Petersburg, Florida shopping mall to red-line this post and edit it in a way they feel is more balanced and considerate. These guest editors where selected by asking passers-by to rate a series of ?Ziggy? and ?Dennis the Menace? comic strips on a scale from ?0? (somewhat morally questionable) to ?5? (The authors of such foul filthy material should be burned at the stake). A random sample from all those that graded the comics at ?3? or above were asked to edit the post.
Numerous stereotypes float around about how men and women act toward sex and how they feel in terms of desire:
The notion of addiction as a ?chronic, relapsing brain disease? — which frames addiction as a dysfunction of normal brain systems involved in reward, motivation, learning and choice — has gained tremendous traction over the past fifteen or so years. This model, strongly advocated by the past two directors of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Alan Leshner and Nora Volkow, emerged both from research conducted since the 1970s on the neurochemical underpinnings of craving and pleasure and work carried out with the powerful imaging technologies which became available during the 1980s and 90s. This is a terribly important development for social scientists interested in medicine and health. While the model has gained increasing ubiquity outside of scientific domains in the English-speaking world, promoted by highly visible media productions (such as HBO’s 2007 “Addiction“), it diverges in significant ways from the understandings of addiction which have been prevalent in these countries for decades (for example, the “disease model” of 12 step programs).
From the National Humanities Alliance:
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) is currently circulating a ?Dear Colleague Letter? in support of increased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The letter requests total funding of $232.5 million for NEH in FY 2011, including $144 million for NEH National Programs and $60 million for the NEH Federal/State Partnership (a $65 million increase over the FY 2010 enacted level). The deadline for Senators to sign-on to this letter is this Monday, May 10th.
Is it reasonable to simply ponder the “possibility,” ever so idly and hypothetically, that bad genes might explain African American underachievement? It is a an old and many-told tale, I know, but it just got a fresh re-telling at Harvard Law School this month.
US Army Generals Not Informed HTS was Spy/Intel Program; Casualty Rate Excessive
by John Stanton
29 April 2010
?Let me tell you what HTT is not. The Team is not an intelligence gathering too which is used to target individuals.? Colonel Martin Schweizter, USA, in testimony before the US Congress, April 2008.
John Stanton has another new post about the HTS program over at Zero Anthropology. If you are looking for some long term coverage of the whole HTS issue, Stanton is a good place to start. Here is an excerpt from his latest:
Human Terrain – directed by James Der Derian – is a worthy, albeit unfocused, look at the US Army’s experiments with anthropology. 4/5.
The Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science, held in Sydney last year, are now online for anyone to access. Thanks to the editors, Wayne Christensen, Elizabeth Schier, and John Sutton, for pulling the whole collection together!
The 3Fs in Italian Cultures: Critical Approaches to Food, Fashion, and Film
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY) announces its fourth annual conference dedicated to the theme of food, fashion, and film. The conference will be held on April 28-30, 2011, at the institute offices located at 25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor, New York, NY 10036.
Finally, something we have been all searching for, thinking that no entrepreneurs out there could ever really understand us and our special policy-making needs. It took a McPhee to recognize the hidden McFate in all of us. Without further ado, here it is, in all its glory, the one and only Great Ideas NAPKIN Sketchbook! (image shown may not be to the scale of users? ambitions):
Most of us like to rant now and then. Usually we do this in the quiet of a bar, with the assumption that as long as we never run for political office, the rants stay in the bar. But with the invention of the world wide web, there are new parameters to the dissemination of rants. Witness what has happened here on www.ethnography.com during the last week where Mark Dawson shot his virtual mouth off with the rant right below this posting. Witness too the responses over at zeroanthropology.net. It?s like two guys in virtual bars a continent apart rip into each other, calling each other ?moron? and ?bigoted? across cyber space, while the rest of us vicariously and anonymously enjoy the fireworks. The good news for www.ethnography.com is that the two rants by Mark Dawson during the last month or so have sent the hit rate, the only thing that counts in cyber-space, through the roof. His first successful rant was an April Fool?s joke about the dissolution of the AAA, and in May there is the ?butterfly? rant. It seems that some people like rants much more than ethnographic commentary; I guess that it gives us déjà vu to when we were eight years old. In contrast, Mark has done some enchanting writing about the ethnography of clowns, and some girl?s picture on his bedroom dresser which have attracted less than 100 hits even after 3 years. All people seem to care about are his rants?which can go into four digits within a few days of posting.
New York Times
… genome of non-Africans today is derived from Neanderthals, say scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Why the Neanderthal Theory is a Game-Changer
I found out about the high likelihood of this paper just before the UNM results were presented at the American Anthropological Society meeting
I was wary of this paper’s conclusion as soon as I realized that the authors contended that Europeans and East Asians did not differ significantly in their levels of Neanderthal admixture. You see, Neandertals were absent from East Asia, so there is no reason for East Asians to have such admixture at all, or to have much less of it than West Eurasians do.
Europeans and Asians are Neanderthal
Times LIVE (blog)
… was led by Swedish evolution specialist and biologist, Svante P??bo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Deutscher Platz.
Paleogeneticists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany sequenced the Neanderthal genome using more than 4 billion nucleotides