This year’s anthropological findings brought us fascinating insights from across the globe, upending long-held assumptions about the evolutionary timeline, human dispersal, and more. There were almost too many great stories to choose from, but here are some of 2017’s most exciting discoveries from the world of anthropology.
Homo naledi—A Twig That Found Its Trunk
As 2017 comes to a close we’d like to celebrate the AAA publishing portfolio by announcing the most-downloaded articles published by each journal this year.
These articles are all available to AAA members through our AnthroSource database and will be ungated and available for free access to all through the end of January.
If you’re just starting out in anthropology, let me do you a favor. I want to point out three items that are NOT resources for learning more about anthropology, though they may seem like it at first glance.
1. Anthropologie. This is obvious for many of our readers: Anthropologie is a clothing and home décor retailer in the United States, UK, Germany, and France – not a store where you can find the course readings or cool skull things for your office. In fact, there is no clear connection between what Anthropologie sells and what anthropology is. I’ve heard stories of anthropologists shopping at Anthropologie who have tried to strike up conversation with employees about anthropology, only to be met with blank stares. Furthermore, Anthropologie’s ridiculously high prices for frivolous products are totally counter to anthropology’s long relationship with social justice and political economy. Instead: If you need anthropology-related goods, try patronizing your local bookstore or buy from the local artists wherever you do your research.
This post is part of a series celebrating Human Rights Day authored by members of the former AAA Committee for Human Rights, now represented on the Members’ Programmatic, Advisory, and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC). This piece was submitted by Kathleen C. Riley (Rutgers University).
Words, speech acts, and larger discourses have consequences. They have the power to give voice or suppress, persuade or degrade, encourage or shame, escalate or resolve. Thus, language is intimately implicated in the quest for human rights and social justice. In this piece, I consider this spectrum of verbal impact, but first discuss briefly a terminological matter: the potential tension between the two terms, human rights and social justice.
I never thought I would be guest-blogging for an internet publication whose name was (once) a racial slur directed at me and my ancestors. For many years now, “the-blog-formerly-known-as-Savage-Minds,” Anthrodendum, has been engaging the public in discussions about anthropology, but until recently it has alienated the very people upon whom this field is built — due to the desire to cling to an unfortunate name.
First Encounters of the “Savage Mind”