Anthropology agenda: A new site “Sapiens” (@sapiens_org) by The Wenner-Gren Foundation… “Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertations 2015…

Dear Colleague,
Chances are you’ve heard about SAPIENS, our new initiative to bring cutting-edge anthropological research to a broader public audience.
Throughout its development, we’ve thought of SAPIENS as building on the tradition of Sol Tax andCurrent Anthropology. But whereas that journal’s launch marked a new era in scholarly communication, SAPIENS will provide a new forum for anthropologists to share their research with the wider world. From the beginning, the Wenner-Gren Foundation has been committed to innovation in the field—and we see this as a vital next step.
Unlike CA, SAPIENS is not an academic journal. It’s an editorially independent online publication, hosting a smorgasbord of feature articles, op-eds, news, photo essays, videos, and more. We also have a roster of bloggers, ranging from senior scholars to doctoral students and journalists, who will offer fresh takes on topics like race, human evolution, food, and outer space. Updated nearly every day, each time you visit SAPIENS you’ll discover something new.
We invite you to head over to SAPIENS to see for yourself what we’ve built and consider ways you might contribute. Please spread the word, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Your friends at Wenner-Gren and the SAPIENS team
Questions? Please contact Dr. Chip Colwell, Editor-in-Chief, at
Phenotypic effects of Neandertal admixture

Now that we know that Neandertal-introgressed DNA had (deleterious) functional consequences for modern humans, I think we also need a study on “useful stuff” conferred by Neandertal admixture. So far, the Neandertal genome has been used (mostly) as our closest relative, in order to identify novel gene variants shared by all modern humans but absent in Neandertals: the goal is to find things that “made us special”. Pickings of this search have been slim.
Why do you love anthropology?

Why do you  anthropology? We thought we’d get an early start celebrating Valentine’s Day and the Feb. 18 Anthropology Day event by sharing the #AnthroLove.

Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertations 2015



Welcome to another year of my cultural anthropology dissertation picks. Every year my scanning of the year’s dissertations reveals different prominent themes, as informed by my search of Dissertation Abstracts International (which as I have noted in previous year’s posts, is anything but international; as far as I can tell, the scope is nearly 100 percent U.S.).

Canadian Anthropology or US Cultural Imperialism?


Read Part One
Read Part Two
Download the complete paper

Anthropologists in Outer Space

Anthropologists studying outer space might sound like fringe science, like something from “The X-Files” or some “ancient aliens” TV show, but we have been studying outer space as long as we’ve been studying people whose lives are influenced by it. In the fields of archaeoastronomy (how people understood the sky in the past) and ethnoastronomy (current cultural perceptions of the sky), scholars study how humans throughout history have looked up to the sky and wondered where we come from, why we’re here, and where we’re going. “All human cultures have a sky,” notes astronomer and archaeologist Clive Ruggles, and throughout human history our relationships with the cycles of stars and planets in that sky have influenced human activities, including agriculture, religion, literature, and art.

A baby displays his eating prowess with only a few teeth. Holly Dunsworth

What Is an Animal?

What is an animal? Take a moment to think about it. Without doubt your dog and cat are animals, as are the birds singing out your window. What about an earthworm? Or a flea? Certainly they are. Have you ever walked along the beach and spotted a jellyfish or picked up a sand dollar? They are also animals. What do all of these creatures have in common, and what sets them apart from other living organisms? What might the very first animals have looked like, and when did they live? Naturalists have pondered these questions for millennia.

Hospitals have many tools at their disposal. A garden is not typically one of them (not in the healthcare system I am accustomed to in the United States, anyway). When I traveled to Rwanda last year on a fellowship through the International Women’s Media Foundation, I found a hospital treating malnutrition with compost and garden hoes.

Chris Fisher, PhD, Archaeologist and Professor of Anthropologyat Colorado State University to Keynote at ILMF 201
Chris Fisher, PhD, Archaeologist and Professor of Anthropologyat Colorado State University, will deliver the keynote “Pursuing Ancient Myths and Unveiling Lost Cultures with New Technologies” at International LiDAR Mapping Forum on Monday, February .

Importing Empire, Exporting Capital: Canadian Universities as Retail Outlets for US Anthropology

The mediated modernities of Tuareg smith women

Occasionally I will be posting on this blog some notes under the broad theme ofmedia and change in preparation for the volume Postill, J., E. Ardevol and S. Tenhunen (eds.) forthcoming, Theorising Media and Change. The notes below are the first of a series taken from a wealth of media anthropological research into this question that has remained to this date well hidden from mainstream media and communication studies. This research deserves, in my view, to be read more widely if we are going to finally expand this interdisciplinary area of scholarship beyond its obstinate fixation with the global North.

Notes prepared by Fran Barone (my emphases)
Used with permission

Analog to Digital and Back Again, Part I

By Kathryn Killackey (Killackey Illustration and Design)

Analogue in action.
Analogue in action.

I am an archaeological illustrator and in this post, as part of this month’sanalog/digital series, I’d like to discuss my work in relation to analogue and digital media. My job includes recording on-site features, drawing artifacts, and creating reconstruction illustrations of architecture, people, and activities. I also help researchers think through their data and raise new questions during the illustration process. Until recently I would have considered my illustration practice wholly analogue. I feel most comfortable working with pencil, paint, and paper. When I first started producing archaeological illustrations (about 10 years ago), the only digital part of my workflow was at the end, scanning my hand drawn images and cleaning them up in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for eventual publication. The image below is an example of this process.

LCSC Anthropology club to host Mardi Gras fundraiser February 5
KXLY Spokane
The Lewis-Clark State College Anthropology Club will host its fourth annual Mardi Gras Night Games and Silent Auction fundraiser, to raise funds for a study abroad trip to Ecuador, on February 5 at the Lewiston Elks Lodge. The event, which includes

Inside AAA- Meet Ushma

Get to know Ushma Suvarnakar, AAA’s Director of Meetings and Conferences. Ushma is responsible for the strategic planning, fiscal management, and direction of the association’s meetings, conferences and related products. She manages the AAA staff and vendors who produce AAA’s meetings and conferences and is staff liaison to the Annual Meeting Executive Program Committee and the AAA Committee on Labor Relations. You can reach Ushma via email at

OSU anthropology professor says mammoth could have been 14 to 20 feet tall
CORVALLIS, Ore. — While expanding the valley football center at the stadium, construction workers discovered more than just Beavers in the end zone — they found bones belonging to a mammoth and other animals, and they’re at least 10,000 years old!
Mammoth Bones Found Under Oregon State University Football StadiumABC News
Mammoth touchdown: Bones discovered at Oregon State’s Reser StadiumFox News
Ore. construction unearths bones from ancient mammoth, bison, camelABC NEWS 4

Anthropology’s Storyteller-Shaman-Sorcerer Strikes Again With ‘The Corn Wolf’
Michael Taussig was once dubbed “anthropology’s alternative radical” (by the New York Times, no less). It’s tempting to call him iconoclastic, but his latest collection, The Corn Wolf, problematizes the term ‘iconoclasm’ (it even features an

Anthropology professor and student recreate old Navy ship
Indiana University The Penn Online
Through the use of a 3D scanner, IUP’s anthropology department is recreating the remains of old U.S. Navy schooner. The scanner was the only plausible means of achieving this, as the nearly 241-year-old ship, dubbed Royal Savage, is, for the most part, …

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