Anthropology roundup: “Paleolithic Ax Debunks Colonial Myth”

Paleolithic Ax Debunks Colonial Myth

Earlier this year, a team of Australian researchers led by Peter Hiscock from the University of Sydney published new findings about a fragment of a ground-edge ax—which might have been similar to the hafted ax shown here—that had been discovered in the Kimberly region of Australia. This small artifact challenges assumptions about creativity and complexity in Australia’s first human populations. University of Sydney

Dialogical Anthropology in an Age of Controlled Equivocation

I’ve been thinking about Dennis Tedlock and reading Marisol de la Cadena’s Earth Beings at the same time lately. Much of Earth Beings is concerned with intimacy, translation, and understanding — both cross-cultural and inter-personal. It seems to me that Earth Beings isn’t alone in having this concern. Although I am hardly an expert in this literature, Viveiros’s ‘controlled equivocation’, Holbrad’s Truth in Motion and much other work in this vein is really about what it means to understand someone who is different than you. Although much of this work is branded ‘ontology’ at times I feel like its central concern is really epistemology.

When Cultural Anthropology Was Popular: A Quiz

Guest post by Paul Shankman

Cultural anthropologists are often concerned that their work is not getting the public attention that it deserves. Yet just a few decades ago, cultural anthropology was familiar to a broad audience who thought it to be interesting, thought provoking, and even life changing. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the work of a number of cultural anthropologists found an appreciative public, and their books sold well. These anthropologists wrote in plain English, on eye-catching subjects, and for commercial presses rather than academic presses. Looking back, their work may elicit a mixture of admiration, amazement, embarrassment, and even dismay. Can you identify these anthropologists? (Answers follow the questions.)

Shingo Hamada
Osaka Shoin Women’s University

Fermentation is a preservation technology often seen in Southeast Asia and East Asia, including fish sauce and fermented fish. However, naresaba (fermented sushi made with mackerel, also called saba-narezushi) made among households in Tagarasu, my field site in Fukui prefecture, Japan, has one significant difference. While most communities use salted fish for crafting fermented fish, my informants use mackerel that have ‘already’ been fermented (not just salted) as the base of naresaba making. This fermented seafood, however, is now becoming an endangered culinary heritage.

Cultural Anthropology: The Most Important Class that Any Undergraduate Will Take

This post was authored by Leslie Walker, project manager, AAA public education initiatives.

A cultural anthropology course is the most important class any undergraduate student can take. This statement may seem quite bold and challenge the perceptions held by students who are not majoring in the discipline, but here I will explain how such a brave statement is valid. This essay details my experience as an undergraduate anthropology student and now a professor of anthropology. This writing may not reflect others’ experiences; however, I do believe that every student who takes an anthropology course will reap substantial benefits that will significantly influence their course of study.

The Perennial Power of Ritual

A rain dance won’t make water fall from the sky. Casting a spell won’t cure cancer. Tarot cards can’t really reveal the future. Yet rituals like these have persisted for thousands of years. In fact, ritual is just as common today as it was in the distant past. Even in the most secular societies, ritualization is everywhere: from military parades to gang initiations, and from knocking on wood to raising glasses for a toast.

Campus anthropology professor emerita Elizabeth Colson dies at 99
Daily Californian
Elizabeth Colson, a campus professor emerita of anthropologybest known for calling attention to the disruptive effects of displacement, died last month in the home she built in Zambia. She was 99. Ed Liebow, executive director of the American .

North Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Spark Historic Declaration

Native Americans from many different tribes have unified behind the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s protest in North Dakota against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. The controversial pipeline raises numerous cultural and environmental issues, ranging from tribal rights to climate change. Joe Brusky/Flickr

CSU anthropology professor named lead author on intergovernmental science-policy project
Colorado State News
CSU professor of anthropology Kathleen Galvin has been named as a lead author to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Galvin, director ..

Culture warrior – How anthropology can save the world
North Shore News
“The thrust of my work as an anthropologist is really trying to make the world safe for human differences and for diversity. My mission at the (National) Geographic for 15 years was to really kind of change the way the world views and values culture

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