Anthropology roundup: “Mobile apps and the material world…

Ephemeral Layers: Coffee, Snapchat, and Violence

For decades, ephemeral layers at archaeological sites have been the bane of my existence. The moment I read, hear, or have to confront it at an excavation, my soul does a smh. How can we reconstruct anything meaningful in this ephemerality? To be honest, that frustration is simply a privileged standpoint of archaeologists who work in ancient cities, towns, or any mostly permanent settled space – which is where my training and research has focused. Ephemerality is a challenge and requires me to contend with materials and surfaces in a way I am only starting to understand.

Anthropology professor uncovers mysteries of the past in Middle East digs
Penn State News
An old stack of National Geographics, with their full-color, fold-out maps, led Leigh-Ann Bedal to Petra, the ancient city buried in the Jordanian desert. “I would study them,” says Bedal, now an associate professor of anthropology at Penn State Erie

Penn Professor Deborah Thomas Named Editor-in-Chief of ‘American Anthropologist’
Penn: Office of University Communications
“I hope that during my time as editor-in-chief, AA continues to foster dialogue and debate across the subfields while supporting the association’s commitment to enhancing diversity in relation to forms of scholarly production and underrepresented

Sam Beck’s book frames anthropology as a means of change
Cornell Chronicle
Social and cultural anthropologist Sam Beck is a leading proponent of moving anthropology out of academia’s ivory tower and into communities and cultures to bring about positive change. He has been a fixture in the New York City neighborhood of North

Mobile apps and the material world

[Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Sara Perry.]

Ҫatalhӧyük, 2015
Testing of mobile app prototype with users at the archaeological site of Ҫatalhӧyük, Turkey. Photo by Sara Perry, 2015.

This is the first in a series of posts, coordinated with Colleen Morgan, on the relations between analog and digital cultures. Over the next month, through the contributions of a variety of archaeologists, we will explore the concept of materiality in an age where the nature of ‘the material’ is rapidly shifting. How do physical materials and digital materials shape one another? How does experimentation with the digital rethink the dimensions of the analog, and vice versa? How, if at all, do we distinguish between one and the other – and is this even necessary (or possible) today? How have our understandings of ‘the real’ – of ‘things’ and ‘facts’ – of presence and the body – of aura and authenticity – been shifted by interactions between physical and digital materials?

Got hay fever symptoms? Blame your Neanderthal genes sayanthropology experts
According to Janet Kelso and her research team at the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, the Neanderthal immune system was developed over 200,000 years in Eurasia, and humans leaving Africa who mated with Neanderthals …
Your Neanderthal DNA may help you fight disease, and give you allergiesLos Angeles Times
Thank Neanderthals for your strong immune system — and your allergiesSTAT
Itchy Eyes? Sneezing? Maybe Blame That Allergy On NeanderthalsNPR
Live Science –BBC News
all 100 news articles »


US Anthropology: Political, Professional, Personal, Imperial

Part One of: “Canadian Anthropology or Cultural Imperialism?”

Recent events have called into question how a discipline can be commanded on an international plane, and represented in a singular and universal fashion. Those events are useful for inviting meditation on questions of national traditions, the power to globalize a claim to preeminence over other national traditions, the capital deployed in and acquired from academic-political conflict, and questions of intellectual independence. The ultimate aim of this essay is to renew discussion of what a Canadian anthropology would mean, born in the shadow of US cultural and academic imperialism.

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