Anthro roundup: AAA Long Range Plan debate continues…

Human genetic variation: the first 50 dimensions

from Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog by Dienekes
Here is a huge data dump for anyone interested in human variation. Part of the reason I started the Dodecad Project was to be able to analyze data on my own, rather than having to squint to make sense of a plot, to speculate about what might show up at higher dimensions, or with more clusters, to wonder how the inclusion of additional populations would affect the results, and so on.

Ethnography as a solution to #AAAfail

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Rex

One of the things #AAAfail has revealed is not just wide divisions within the anthropological community about what anthropology is ? I think we all knew those were there ? but also wide division about what the terms to evaluate those divisions mean. Especially the term ?science?: does this mean a general belief  ?in reality? and ?a broad commitment to empiricism? or something more specific like ?deductive research methodologies, an attempt to minimize the subjectivity of the researcher, extremely specific genre choices about conveying research results? and so forth. One of the biggest problems, in other words, is that we have no ethnography of what anthropologists believe about their discipline.

A New Journal, Anthropologie & Santé

from Somatosphere by Todd Meyers

Anthropologie & Santé

I?m passing along the announcement of a new international journal on the anthropology of health: Anthropologie & Santé.

Soundscapes and Music Traditions in December AN

from American Anthropological Association by Amy

The “science” of anthropology?

from Somatosphere by Neely Laurenzo Myers

I am posting this on behalf of Jacob Hickman, a PhD student from the University of Chicago’s Department of Comparative Human Development.

Two recent pieces in the Chronicle of Higher Education (available here and here) document something that happened at the past American Anthropological Association meetings that I was not aware of during the meetings. I went to the general business meeting to hear about some of these developments, but what is interesting is that this particular development occurred during the Executive Board Meeting, rather than being presented before the general AAA body for debate and a vote.

?Science? versus ?public understanding?? Some thoughts on the distinction?

from Somatosphere by Erin Koch
As an anthropologist it is the shift from advancing ?the science? to ?public understanding? that I find both most compelling and most dangerous about the revisions to the stated mission of the AAA. Like many anthropologists, cultural and political debates about what counts as ?science? figure prominently both in how I shape and conduct anthropological research and analysis, and the questions I ask and topics and issues that I study anthropologically?science is for many of us a subject and object of anthropological research. One concern is not just that throughout the mission statement ?science? is being purged. It is, more specifically, that the primary stated mission of the organization will shift from advancing anthropology as ?the science of humankind? in all its aspects to advancing ?public understanding of humankind in all its aspects? as a ?knowledge discipline.? Some of the questions at the heart of the current controversy over whether references to science should be excised from the AAA?s Long-Range Plan are not entirely new (history matters), as Jacob Hickman, Eugene Raikhel, and others are discussing. But the stakes in these debates are partially particular to the contemporary political economic situation, to say the least.

Revision to AAA Long Range Plan

from American Anthropological Association by Amy

AAA President Virginia R Dominguez

The following is a letter from AAA President Virginia R Dominguez regarding the association?s long range plan.

Every so often an event or statement captures the attention of anthropologists on important issues for the profession, regardless of the intentions of those involved in sponsoring the event or formulating the statement. The past 10-12 days are an excellent example.

Anthropology MINUS science?

from ethnografix by Ryan Anderson

You know, I really like the whole history of science. I mean the kind that looks at scientific practice as yet another human social and cultural system. Fascinating stuff. And when it comes to those wonderful discussions about truth, the limits of objectivity, and the fallibility of science…I think it’s all very relevant, fascinating, and important to think about.

They blinded me with science: further thoughts on the AAA controversy

from Somatosphere by Eugene Raikhel

A few thoughts regarding the recent controversy stemming from the AAA executive board’s revision of the association’s statement of purpose which removed explicit descriptions of anthropology as “science.” 

Anthropology and Science

from another anthro blog by o.w.

A recent Inside Higher Ed article, ?Anthropology Without Science?, discusses the American Anthropological Associations recent changes to its? ?vision? (not definition for some reason) of Anthropology. I tried work a definition or two of anthropology into Chapter 2, and where I thought I?d really messed it up, it turns out others are having just as tough a time,

Open access articles from Medical Anthropology

from anthropologyworks by admin

Medical Anthropology, a journal dedicated to publishing papers that examine human behavior, social life and health in an anthropological context, has recently made available a number of articles published since the inception of the journal in 1977. The journal provides a global forum for inquiring into and elucidating the social and cultural, ideational, contextual, structural and institutional factors that pattern disease, shape experiences of illness and wellbeing, and inform the organization of and access to treatments.

A special issue of Medical Anthropology on “Medical Travel”

from Somatosphere by Eugene Raikhel

The latest Medical Anthropology is a special issue on “Medical Travel” — a topic which has received surprisingly little attention from medical anthropologists until now.  In their editorial to the issue, Carolyn Smith-Morris and Lenore Manderson write:

The Rise of Multispecies Ethnography

from Somatosphere by Michael Oldani

Multispecies ethnography (the study of both human and non-human organisms and their linkages both conceptually and in reality) has a truly emergent feel at the moment within (and outside) of anthropology. Many people in anthropology feel very excited about the prospects of a new inter- and intra- disciplinary field of empirical study and theorizing.

The Leavenworth Diary: Double Agent Anthropologist Inside the Human Terrain System

from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte

[Max Forte: The following article by John Allison, an anthropologist and former employee of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System, offers us an inside look at the workings of HTS and its training program, adding to a growing body of insider accounts published as leaks to John Stanton’s many articles, as comments on this blog (often anonymous), and previous posts on this site (i.e., “Another Insider?s View of the U.S. Army?s Human Terrain System“).

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