Anthropology roundup: “Decolonizing Anthropology…

8 Awesome Anthropologists Advancing Public Outreach

It’s International Women’s Day, and I’ve seen an abundance of posts about the amazing pioneers in my field of anthropology. One that sticks out for many people is Margaret Mead, an all-around awesome anthropologist known for her research, museum work, …

Anthropology without Villains: Kurt’s Vonnegut’s Master’s Degree in Anthropology for Cat’s Cradle


Kurt Vonnegut just got published in the Chicago Tribune, even though he has been quite dead for the last nine years. So it goes. The title of the article is “The Secret Ingredient in my Books is that there Never has been a Villain,” even though he wrote about things like atomic bombs, The Holocaust, and the firebombing of Dresden. But the new newspaper article is not about these depressing things, rather it is mostly about the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago where his M. A. Thesis was rejected twice. And then once Vonnegut was famous, they accepted his novel Cat’s Cradle as a substitute thesis in 1964 or so, a fact that Chicago no longer acknowledge on their web site. But graciously, not even in the Anthropology Department of Chicago are there any villains.

Why I have voted in support of BDS: Ghassan Hage

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is pleased to present Ghassan Hage‘s eloquent essay on the urgency of voting for boycott in a desperate situation of settler colonial violence — where calls for more critique of the Israeli occupation and dialogue are simply not enough, and where the Israeli academy’s existence is dependent on that colonial violence. As he puts it, “It is possible to tell oneself: ‘I am not going to do anything since no action meets my unbelievably pure criteria of what needs to be done’. I don’t think it is coincidental that such an attitude ends up working to support the status quo. For those of us who do feel the urgency of dealing with Palestinian question this is not enough and we hope that most of my colleagues share our sense of urgency.

Log in soon to the AAA website and vote!

On the ballot are the next NAPA president and an at-large Governing Council seat. In addition are several AAA board and committee positions, and whether or not to adopt a resolution to boycott universities in Israel.

Decolonizing Anthropology: A Conversation with Faye V. Harrison, Part I

On March 3, 2016, three anthropologists at the University of Colorado–Carole McGranahan, Kaifa Roland, and Bianca C. Williams–sat down with Faye V. Harrison, distinguished professor of African-American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to talk about decolonizing anthropology then and now. We share now a lightly edited transcript of our videotaped conversation: this is Part I of the conversation; Part II will be published tomorrow.

Decolonizing Anthropology

Decolonizing Anthropology is a new series on Savage Minds edited by Carole McGranahan and Uzma Z. Rizvi. Welcome.

Just about 25 years ago Faye Harrison poignantly asked if “an authentic anthropology can emerge from the critical intellectual traditions and counter-hegemonic struggles of Third World peoples? Can a genuine study of humankind arise from dialogues, debates, and reconciliation amongst various non-Western and Western intellectuals — both those with formal credentials and those with other socially meaningful and appreciated qualifications?” (1991:1).

It’s official: Kennewick Man is Native American

The Seattle Times
April 27, 2016
Five tribes claiming Kennewick Man as a relative will work together to rebury him after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday it has validated the skeleton is Native American. Allister Hill

How Corporate Anthropology Can Help Women Drive Change
By Andrea Simon. As a corporate anthropologist, I am a bit of an “a-ha” moment junkie. My days are spent digging into business problems and hunting for previously unimagined opportunities. Often, people want to know how they can use “a little ..

The Best Food Film Not About Food

David Beriss
University of New Orleans

Is it possible that the best food movie ever made is not a food movie?

Last fall I was teaching a course in urban anthropology and another course on food and culture. When I teach the latter, I usually provide the students with a short list of recommended movies to go with the course. These are mostly not ethnographic films or even documentaries (although I sometimes include a few). Instead, I recommend popular films that illustrate some of the points we are discussing in the class. I decided to do the same thing for the urban anthropology class and in an effort to simplify my life, I tried to make the two lists more or less the same. So most of the films I picked had both food and urban themes.

Anthropology in Business?

BBC for blogbusinessbooks

We Are All Anthropologists Now” aired on BBC Radio 4 in February of this year as part of a series that explores anthropology in today’s world. What was particularly striking about this segment was that it was all about anthropologists in business.  The image on the right, taken from Amy Santee’s January 2016 AAA Webinar, shows a stack of work by anthropologists in corporate arenas – a stack that is stretching if not bursting beyond the boundaries of the image. A LOT is going on in anthropology and business.

Obituary: William Rowe: Anthropology professor, founder of Open Arms of Minnesota
Minneapolis Star Tribune
In 1968, he was recruited to the University of Minnesota’sAnthropology department, where he retired in 1995. He and his wife adopted a son, James, and Rowe taught classes through the years on Marxism, South Asian culture, gender and theanthropology ..

Vale Bernard Bate

I was saddened to learn yesterday that my friend and colleague Bernard Bate passed away. A scholar in his prime in his mid-fifties, Barney (as he was known) was a model of vitality, health, optimism. On paper, Barney’s story is straightforward: A Chicago anthropology alumn with a speciality in Tamil oratory, he taught at Yale before moving to Yale-NUS, an innovative liberal arts college in Singapore where Yale and the National University of Singapore created a unique curriculum combining Western and Eastern classical traditions. His book, Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic says a lot about Barney: It’s sly reference to Weber encapsulates the mix of playfulness and profound depth that marked Barney’s scholarship. The book is also a homage to Barney’s deep personal commitment to Tamil as a language, Madurai as a place, and to the global Tamil-speaking community.

Filming Empathy – Part 1

In their essay “Whatever Happened to Empathy?” Hollan and Throop1 cite the ambivalence that Franz Boas felt about the usefulness of the concept for ethnography:

Edward Sapir Book Prize 2016

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2016

The Edward Sapir Book Prize was established in 2001 and is awarded to a book that makes the most significant contribution to our understanding of language in society, or the ways in which language mediates historical or contemporary sociocultural processes. Beginning in 2012, the Sapir Prize has been awarded annually.

Anthropology: what it means to be a human
The Lion’s Roar Newspaper
Anthropologists who study the culture and history of the human kind are still raising the question: what makes someone a human physically, mentally and emotionally? In the Student Union Room 2207 on Wednesday, Apr. 23, sociology and criminal justice

Adriana Varejão’s Cultural Anthropology
Huffington Post
Deep cultural and historical research seems to be the pivotal anchor of Adriana Varejão’s work. Her versatile painting and sculpture-making skills, coupled with thorough investigations about colonialism, anthropology, cultural cannibalism and racial

Decolonizing Anthropology: A Conversation with Faye V. Harrison, Part II

On March 3, 2016, three anthropologists at the University of Colorado–Carole McGranahan, Kaifa Roland, and Bianca C. Williams–sat down with Faye V. Harrison, distinguished professor of African-American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to talk about decolonizing anthropology then and now. We share now a lightly edited transcript of our videotaped conversation: this is Part II of the conversation; Part I is here.

Left to right: Kaifa Roland, Faye Harrison, Bianca Williams, Carole McGranahan


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