Anthropology roundup: ” On Dylan and the Nobel Prize”

Song as Boundary Work: On Dylan and the Nobel Prize

This post was submitted by Robert Skoro.A musician-turned-anthropologist, Robert works in private industry as a strategist and researcher. 

Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, a remarkable gesture to all, whether obvious or controversial. His songs provoked and catalyzed cultural change during a pivotal era in American history, and an American hasn’t won the Nobel Prize in Literature since Toni Morrison in 1993. Yet as readers of this blog have likely noticed, the award was conspicuously met with the question of whether or not Dylan’s most impactful work is in fact a form of literature in the tradition the award maintains.

Language and Social Justice Task Force events at #AAA2016

Please see below a list of events that the Language and Social Justice Task Force is sponsoring and/or participating in at this year’s AAAs in Minneapolis. We hope to see you all there!

If you are involved in a panel or event that you think would be of interest to LSJ members, send an email to Robin (

The LSJ Core Members

Elisa Ascione and Michael A. Di Giovine

In the early hours of August 24, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Central Italy. Its epicenter lay below small medieval towns on the mountainous border of four regions—Umbria, Latium, Abruzzi, and The Marches. The earthquake was so intense that it was felt from Bologna to Naples, and soon the world would awake to the previously unknown town of Amatrice flattened into a pile of dust and rubble. Bearing the brunt of the earthquake, Amatrice lost 236 lives that day; another 51 deaths were reported in Arquata del Tronto and 11 in Accumoli, as well.

Katarin Ladu is tall and thin, with short, curled hair and a face wrinkled by sunshine, age, and worry. She wears a beaded necklace, a mismatched pair of flip-flops, and a long, loose dress with intricate patterns on it. I follow her a quarter-mile along a red-dirt path that leads from the United Nations tent where she lives to the soil where she is making a garden. “This is my plot,” she says, pointing to a small patch of straw-covered earth where tiny green pea leaves are beginning to emerge. “They are not yet ready for eating,” Ladu says. But when they are, she explains, she will pluck the leaves, boil them with salt, chop them, and—this is her dream—mix them with a paste of groundnuts (peanuts) and sesame seeds.

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the Anthropologies #22 series.

Up next for the Anthropologies #22 Food issue we have this essay from Chhaya Kolavalli. –R.A.

“In faith work, you want your faith to fuel you, personally, and it will shine out in what you do—you won’t have to try to convert anyone. We don’t want to tell people what to believe. But we do want to beg the question, ‘Oh my gosh, why are things going so well for them?—Well, let me tell you! It’s because of the light of the lord. And you know I’ll answer questions if people ask, but I won’t push it. And lots of times people start asking these questions in our garden”

Book Review: Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation Examines Cinema in Everyday Life
MovieMaker Magazine
What Logandurai sings is a lyric from a popular Tamil film, and it emerges from the scene so effortlessly and spontaneously that observer Anand Pandian (then a PhD student in anthropologywriting his dissertation on agriculture and everyday life in .

Margaret Mead was among the 20th century’s most famous anthropologists. She not only helped shape the discipline but also made significant contributions to public dialogues about culture, power, and sexuality. Fæ/Wikimedia Commons

Universities need anthropology now, more than ever.
Huffington Post
Anthropology as a field may be way off many people’s radar, but now more than ever we need to encourage students to learn the skill sets that anthropology provides. Certainly, in the 1960santhropology gained a reputation of hipster academics headed to …

Texas State anthropology professor disputes account of student walkout
Austin American-Statesman
Earlier: About five Texas State University students angrily left their cultural anthropology class Tuesday after the professor commented about why he feels the Black Lives Matter movement is important, according to students quoted in the Tab website.



Porta Palazzo: The Anthropology of an Italian Market. Rachel Black. Foreword by Carlo Petrini. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014

Renata Christen (University of Amsterdam)

In her book, Rachel Black explores social interplay on the stage of Porta Palazzo in Turin, one of Italy’s preeminent open air markets. Approachable for all audiences, this is a descriptive ethnographic account of political, social and gendered relationships: the market is a hotbed of cultural diversity. As Black convincingly argues, it’s the most visible entry point for social admission. Through several case studies, she highlights the market as an edge habitat between pre-established (Italian) and pre-eminent (immigrant) cultures.

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