Anthro roundup: “Decentering “the human” at the interfaces of anthropology and science studies?…

This entry is part 19 of 19 in the Decolonizing Anthropology series.

By: Kristina Lyons


On December 7th the AAA asked our members to join us in a live discussion on Twitter to share post-election resources and suggest ways we can proactively engage in positive activities in our own communities. Using #AnthroForward we were able to identify collective actions anthropologists can undertake and compile a solid set of resources to support the anthropological community. An archive of the Twitter chat can be found here. The following is a list of resources shared through the #AnthroForward discussion and emails from our members:

The Silk Ribbon of Highways


A thousand years ago, the Silk Road was in its heyday. Caravans hauling tons of commodities and luxury goods crisscrossed Asia and the Middle East from Xi’an, China, in the east to Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey, in the west. Major trading centers along the way included Baghdad in Iraq, Samarkand in what is now Uzbekistan, and Turfan in western China.

A Satellite Meeting will be organised before the EHBEA annual conference (6th-8th April, Paris, France). « Cultural Evolution by Cultural Attraction: Empirical Issues » Time: Wednesday the 5th of April 2016 (from 9:00-17:00) Location: Ecole Normale Supérieure (Salle Langevin) Registration: Registration is free (send en email to

Gold Glimmers in the Amazon

For centuries, explorers have searched the Amazon for treasures. Today, gold lures thousands who dream of finding their own fortunes, or at least a better life. Michael Klingler

Early in the morning, when the sky is still dark, the men rise from their hammocks. These gold miners of Amazonia slip on their flip-flops and walk toward the light, sometimes stumbling on roots and other remnants of the forest. At the kitchen, they pour sweet steaming coffee into old jam jars, gripping the hot glass with their fingertips. They shake off the chill, stretch away the aches, and follow the steady purr of the excavator to the open-pit gold mines.

Amazon Go and the Erosion of Supermarket Sociability


Invited post by: Sally A. Applin (@AnthroPunk on Twitter)[1]

I recently finished my Ph.D. As a present, a friend of mine gave me a hand. Not help, which he had done during the process, but rather a battery-powered automated hand, cut off at the wrist, similar to that of Thing, the Addams Family’s servant from TV and film. In part of my thesis, and my research on automation, I’ve looked to Thing as a metaphor for IoT software automation.


Sorting the Beef from the Bull. The Science of Food Fraud Forensics.  Richard Evershed and Nicola Temple. Bloomsbury, 2016.

Ellen Messer (Tufts University)

Evershed, Richard and Nicola Temple (2016) Sorting the Beef from the Bull. The Science of Food Fraud Forensics.  New York: Bloomsbury Sigma.

A New Influence on Human Evolution: C-Sections

The regular use of cesarean sections could be resulting in the need for even more C-sections, according to new research. Heathere Willoughby/Flickr

It’s not easy to be born. In contrast to other mammals, humans have relatively large babies with big brains. But, we also walk upright—which creates a puzzle for anthropologists since the shift to bipedalism resulted in smaller pelvises.

One day a student approached me after class and asked, “What should I call students who are of Asian descent? Is it OK to just say Asian, or should I say what group they belong to?” He continued, “What if I make a mistake and call a Chinese student Japanese? I don’t want to appear racist.”

On the campus where I teach, as well as in community organizations that I belong to, people often approach me with such questions.

In most cases, the questions are posed by white people wondering what they should call African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Pacific islanders, and others. They are generally sensitive to not wanting to be offensive and genuinely want to know what people prefer to be called. The response I usually give is, “Just ask them.” If done in a respectful way, it is usually fine. Racial terminology is daunting even to those of us who research and write about it.

Using “networked anthropology“ to study park usage
Baltimore Sun
Towson University anthropology professors, Samuel Collins and Matthew Durington, and ten undergraduates have explored how the public interacts with the nearly 800-mile Potomac Heritage Trail, one of 28 National Park Service sites in Maryland, using

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: