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  • Museum of Anthropology marks last day at MU campus home

    anthropology - Yahoo News Search Results
    19 Apr 2014 | 12:17 am
    The second of two University of Missouri museums slated to move to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center closed its doors Friday to begin preparing for the move to so-called Mizzou North.
  • The Empty Tomb and valuing the right questions

    Savage Minds
    Matthew Timothy Bradley
    19 Apr 2014 | 7:08 pm
    The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions. – Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Raw and the Cooked’ Easter is my favorite holiday. It’s pretty much the only holiday I care about, really. A big part of that comes from my discovery during my late 20s that the oldest of the Easter accounts, that found in Mark, ends not with the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus but rather at his empty tomb. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise. Mark originally ended not at chapter 16, verse 20, but rather at verse 8: But when they looked…
  • The story of animal domestication retold: Scientists now think wild animals interbred with domesticated ones until quite recently

    Anthropology News -- ScienceDaily
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    A review of recent research on the domestication of large herbivores suggests that neither intentional breeding nor genetic isolation were as significant as traditionally thought. "Our findings show little control of breeding, particularly of domestic females, and indicate long-term gene flow, or interbreeding, between managed and wild animal populations," a co-author said.
  • In Extra Rib, a Harbinger of Mammoth’s Doom

    NYT > Archaeology and Anthropology
    31 Mar 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The superfluous bone, seen in fossil samples, was a sign of inbreeding and harsh conditions during pregnancy.
  • Happy Easter

    Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog
    20 Apr 2014 | 12:06 am
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    Savage Minds

  • The Empty Tomb and valuing the right questions

    Matthew Timothy Bradley
    19 Apr 2014 | 7:08 pm
    The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions. – Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Raw and the Cooked’ Easter is my favorite holiday. It’s pretty much the only holiday I care about, really. A big part of that comes from my discovery during my late 20s that the oldest of the Easter accounts, that found in Mark, ends not with the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus but rather at his empty tomb. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise. Mark originally ended not at chapter 16, verse 20, but rather at verse 8: But when they looked…
  • Open access is organic: on the Journal of Material Culture

    17 Apr 2014 | 9:03 pm
    Back in December Haidy Geismar, the incoming editor of The Journal of Material Culture (published by Sage), published an editorial mooting the future of JMC as an open access journal and asking readers to weigh in by taking an online survey about the future of the journal.  To date, sixteen people have responded. Sixteen. That’s pretty embarrassing — for Geismar and for the JMC, but also for the open access movement more generally. So after you read this, go take the survey. The apathy of the JMC’s readership is worth dwelling on because it demonstrates what  is…
  • Elsie Clews Parsons’ loveshack

    Matthew Timothy Bradley
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:45 am
    That a patrician New Yorker was in an open marriage during the early 20th century is an attention grabber, ergo the title of my post. But that is not even among the half dozen most impressive facts of Elsie Clews Parsons’ life, about which more below. Last spring I had the opportunity to visit her Gilded Age cottage in Lenox, Massachusetts, where she and her husband Herbert Parsons summered. One of the most enjoyable parts of my afternoon was my walk up to the cabin above the cottage. The cabin was designed for Elsie by her paramour C. Grant LaFarge, one of the architects responsible for…
  • Memory, History, and Xenophobia in Crimea

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:52 am
    [This is an invited post by Greta Uehling. Greta is the author of Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatar Deportation and Return published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2004 as well as a number of articles on the Crimean Tatars. She teaches in the Program on International Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.] As pundits, politicians, and the world’s media wring their hands over Putin’s next move, events in Crimea seem to be fading from attention. Residents of Crimea have noted, correctly I think, that even after annexation, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea remained little more than a…
  • Around the Web Digest: Week of April 6

    Dick Powis
    14 Apr 2014 | 12:54 pm
    A day late and a dollar short. I had some trouble getting home from the Central States Anthropological Society meeting in Normal, IL, but I made it! These links still cover the week of April 6th, so nothing has changed there, but this list is shorter than normal. So anyway, if you have any suggestions for articles or blogs, please don’t hesitate to email me at or find me on Twitter @dtpowis. Distract yourself from grading or writing up a final paper; here’s what you (and I) missed last week. If you read one thing from last week, I recommend you read this: Julienne…
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    Anthropology News -- ScienceDaily

  • The story of animal domestication retold: Scientists now think wild animals interbred with domesticated ones until quite recently

    17 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    A review of recent research on the domestication of large herbivores suggests that neither intentional breeding nor genetic isolation were as significant as traditionally thought. "Our findings show little control of breeding, particularly of domestic females, and indicate long-term gene flow, or interbreeding, between managed and wild animal populations," a co-author said.
  • New city wall discovered at ancient Roman port

    17 Apr 2014 | 6:05 am
    Researchers have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously estimated.
  • Family ties in the language jungle: Amazon language relationships revealed

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Relationships between rare languages in the Colombian Amazon have been revealed by researchers. The only linguistic data available for Carabayo, a language spoken by an indigenous group that lives in voluntary isolation, is a set of about 50 words. This list was compiled in 1969 during a brief encounter with one Carabayo family. Researchers have now analyzed this historical data set and compared it with various languages (once) spoken in the region. The analysis showed that Carabayo shares a number of similarities with the extinct language Yurí and with Tikuna, a language still spoken in the…
  • Lifestyle determines gut microbes: Study with modern hunter-gatherers tells tale of bacteria co-evolution

    15 Apr 2014 | 10:39 am
    The intestinal bacteria of present-day hunter-gatherers has for the first time been deciphered by an international team of researchers. Bacterial populations have co-evolved with humans over millions of years, and have the potential to help us adapt to new environments and foods. Studies of the Hadza offer an especially rare opportunity for scientists to learn how humans survive by hunting and gathering, in the same environment and using similar foods as our ancestors did.
  • Bioarchaeologists link climate instability to human mobility in ancient Sahara

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:53 am
    Researchers have uncovered clues to how past peoples moved across their landscape as the once lush environment deteriorated. Scientists sampled bone and teeth enamel, and used their chemical signatures to determine individuals' origins, as well as where they resided during the course of their lives. The results suggest that individuals chose different mobility strategies but that near the end of the lake area's occupation, as their environment dried out, Saharan peoples became more mobile.
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    NYT > Archaeology and Anthropology

  • In Extra Rib, a Harbinger of Mammoth’s Doom

    31 Mar 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The superfluous bone, seen in fossil samples, was a sign of inbreeding and harsh conditions during pregnancy.
  • Egypt’s Heritage Plundered Anew

    20 Mar 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Emergency measures are needed in international markets to stop the sale of looted antiquities.
  • When Trilobites Ruled the World

    3 Mar 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The remains of trilobites, a diverse group of marine animals much older than dinosaurs, are remarkably well preserved, providing fresh insights of their anatomies and social behavior.
  • A Verdict of Murder

    3 Mar 2014 | 9:00 pm
    With the help of DNA analysis and a body scan of a mummy, scientists say that they have determined the cause of death of an Inca woman who lived centuries ago.
  • A Hard Climate for Penguins and Butterflies

    3 Feb 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Storms and warmer temperatures are killing the chicks of Magellanic penguins, while extreme weather and a shrinking habitat are taking a toll on monarch butterflies.
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    Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog

  • Happy Easter

    20 Apr 2014 | 12:06 am
  • mtDNA history of Oceania (Duggan et al. 2014)

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:00 pm
    AJHG doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.03.014 Maternal History of Oceania from Complete mtDNA Genomes: Contrasting Ancient Diversity with Recent Homogenization Due to the Austronesian Expansion Ana T. Duggan et al. Archaeology, linguistics, and existing genetic studies indicate that Oceania was settled by two major waves of migration. The first migration took place approximately 40 thousand years ago and these migrants, Papuans, colonized much of Near Oceania. Approximately 3.5 thousand years ago, a second expansion of Austronesian-speakers arrived in Near Oceania and the descendants of these people…
  • Chronology of the earliest Upper Paleolithic in northern Iberia (Wood et al. 2014)

    14 Apr 2014 | 1:20 pm
    From a press release:The main conclusion -"the scene of the meeting between a Neanderthal and a Cro-magnon does not seem to have taken place on the Iberian Peninsula"- is the same as the one that has been gradually reached over the last three years by different research groups when studying key settlements in Great Britain, Italy, Germany and France. "For 25 years we had been saying that Neanderthals and early humans lived together for 8,000-10,000 years. Today, we think that in Europe there was a gap between one species and the other and, therefore, there was no hybridation, which did in…
  • Neandertal admixture not African population structure

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Genetics doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.162396 Neandertal Admixture in Eurasia Confirmed by Maximum-Likelihood Analysis of Three Genomes Konrad Lohse and Laurent A. F. Frantz Although there has been much interest in estimating histories of divergence and admixture from genomic data, it has proved difficult to distinguish recent admixture from long-term structure in the ancestral population. Thus, recent genome-wide analyses based on summary statistics have sparked controversy about the possibility of interbreeding between Neandertals and modern humans in Eurasia. Here we derive the probability of…
  • IBD sharing between modern humans, Denisovans and Neandertals

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:24 pm
    bioRxiv doi:doi: 10.1101/003988 Sharing of Very Short IBD Segments between Humans, Neandertals, and Denisovans Gundula Povysil, Sepp Hochreiter We analyze the sharing of very short identity by descent (IBD) segments between humans, Neandertals, and Denisovans to gain new insights into their demographic history. Short IBD segments convey information about events far back in time because the shorter IBD segments are, the older they are assumed to be. The identification of short IBD segments becomes possible through next generation sequencing (NGS), which offers high variant density and reports…
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  • Decolonizing Thought in the New World

    Maximilian Forte
    13 Apr 2014 | 12:45 pm
    On the Passing of Norman Girvan and the Continuation of the New World This past Wednesday (April 9, 2014), Norman Girvan passed away after suffering paralyzing injuries on a hiking trip in Dominica. He was in Cuba receiving treatment. Norman Girvan, trained as an economist, was by most appreciative accounts a leader in the Caribbean intellectual scene, as a public figure and a scholar. Needless to say, he cannot be replaced, but he does leave a rich intellectual legacy that should continue to stimulate efforts to further decolonize diverse areas of experience, from the cultural to the…
  • Venezuela: A Call for Peace, by Nicolás Maduro

    Maximilian Forte
    3 Apr 2014 | 8:44 am
    This is an Op-Ed by Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, as published in the New York Times: CARACAS, Venezuela — THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events. Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people. According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has…
  • Rwanda, 20 Years On: From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction

    Maximilian Forte
    24 Mar 2014 | 4:35 pm
    By Robin Philpot* April 6, 2014 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the shooting down over Kigali of a plane carrying two African heads of state, Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi. We know that that terrorist crime—surely the worst of the 1990s—triggered unending war, destruction, and massacres in Rwanda and Congo. Yet it has never been elucidated and nobody has been brought to justice. Despite the wilful blindness and amnesia about the most critical crime in the Rwandan and Congolese tragedies, politicians, diplomats, pundits, intellectuals, and retired…
  • Encircling Empire: Report #24—Regime Change

    Maximilian Forte
    16 Mar 2014 | 1:27 pm
    In this report, our first for 2014, the reader will find links and article extracts for a selection of some of the very best resources to have been published online, focusing on the topic of regime change, along with an extended essay on Imperialism and Democracy. Here we address the current cases of Venezuela and Ukraine, and the legacies of regime change played out currently in Libya and Afghanistan, along with a review of the history of recent regime change in Haiti. This report is for the first quarter of 2014. This and previous issues have been archived on a dedicated site—please…
  • Regime Change: 10 Things You Need to Know about Ukraine

    Brendan Stone
    14 Mar 2014 | 8:14 pm
    1. The U.S. government, through Victoria Nuland, was caught interfering directly in Ukraine’s politics. Her “fuck the EU” phone call demonstrates the high level of U.S. State Department involvement. Our media focused largely on the negative PR caused by the “fuck the EU” comment, but skirted around the content of the phone call. The widely-leaked conversation featured Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt “micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies,” as Daniel McAdams put it.
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    Material World

  • Adventures in Sound: A Grand Tour on Vinyl

    Haidy Geismar
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:21 am
    Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder, Rochester Institute of Technology This project explores the contribution of consumer artifacts to the imagination and construction of modern US identity and cosmopolitan, global citizenship. We undertake fieldwork in our living room (Riggins 1994), offering a critical visual and cultural analysis to show how peripheral objects reveal often hidden pedagogical aspects of consumer culture. The intersections of identity and material culture emerge, in this case, via vintage vinyl record albums in a music genre specifically constructed for creating…
  • Veiled Truths by Hossein Fatemi

    Aaron Glass
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:42 pm
    The New York Times recently ran this photo essay by the Iranian documentary photographer Hossein Fatemi of diverse women in Tehran posing behind veils of one sort or another, accompanied by a short commentary critiquing the imposition of the hijab on secular women there. While the piece ran in the “Review” (opinion) section of the Sunday print edition, it was featured online — without the commentary — as a “Fashion and Style” slideshow.    … Continue Reading
  • CFP: Missionaries, Materials and the Making of the Modern World

    Aaron Glass
    13 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    15-17 September 2014 Emmanuel College Cambridge United Kingdom While some scholars have understood the activity of overseas Christian missionaries primarily in terms of a ‘Colonization of Consciousness’ (Comaroff & Comaroff 1992), a range of recent scholarship has also emphasised the profoundly material dimensions of much missionary activity. While religious conversion was never unimportant historically, many missionaries have been equally heavily involved in practical projects to remake the world. Their global projects have transformed landscapes, forms of architecture and…
  • Jacques Le Goff [1924-2014]

    Patrick LAVIOLETTE
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Born on January 1st 1924 in Toulon, historian Jacques Le Goff has died on 1 April in Paris aged 90. He took up a teaching position and eventually headed up the Paris based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). He was one of the main proponents of ‘New History’, inspiring a shift in historical research from an emphasis on political figureheads and mata-events to social memory and historical anthropology. Throughout a long career in higher education and public broadcasting, Le Goff transformed views of the Middle Ages from a dark and backward time to a period…
  • On Facebook, Death and Memorialisation

    Haidy Geismar
    10 Apr 2014 | 9:26 am
    Over at the UCL Social Networking Sites and Social Sciences Project, Danny Miller writes about his research at a London hospice where he has been exploring the resonance of new media at the end of life: Alongside my ethnographic research in The Glades I have now been working for over a year alongside The Hospice of St Francis. When I am in the UK I try to spend a day a week interviewing their patients who are mainly terminal cancer patients. I was delighted to hear this winter that the wonderful hospice director Dr Ros Taylor was awarded an MBE in this year’s honours list. My…
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    Museum Anthropology

  • Smuggled Cultural Valuables Returned to Bulgaria

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:11 pm
    FOCUS News Agency14 April 2014 Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security (SANS), in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, returned cultural valuables, subjects of trafficking, to Bulgaria, FOCUS News Agency reporter said.Different golden items were handed to the National Museum of History. The event was attended by museum’s director Bozhidar Dimitrov, Bulgarian Minister of Culture Petar
  • Junior Folklorist Challenge, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:37 am
    What does it take to be a Folklorist? The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, in collaboration with ePals Corporation, is asking students to get involved in learning about the folklife and cultural heritage around them.  The 2014 Junior Folklorist Challenge asks students to: “Discover a tradition in your community and share it with the world!”  in the 2014 Junior
  • 2014 Collection Internship Announcement, Musueum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona

    13 Apr 2014 | 11:36 am
    The Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) is offering a collection management internship that will occur between May 1st and September 30th 2014.  The first review of applications will begin April 14, 2014.   The duration is flexible but will be for a minimum of 10 weeks and maximum of 6 months.  Housing and a stipend of $300 a week are provided to offset expenses. This internship will provide on
  • Zuni Ask Europe To Return Sacred Art

    10 Apr 2014 | 2:20 pm
    The New York Times Rachel Donadio, April 8, 2014 Octavius Seowtewa, an elder of the Native American Zuni tribe from New Mexico, was sitting in a Paris cafe late last month, scrolling through his iPhone pictures of Ahayuda, carved and decorated wooden poles that are considered sacred to the Zuni. They were taken at his recent meetings with representatives of major European museums, whom he is
  • Getty Musuem to Return 12th Century New Testament to Greek Monastery

    8 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    Los Angeles Times, David Ng April 7, 2014 The Getty Museum has announced that it is voluntarily returning a 12th-century Byzantine illuminated New Testament to a monastery in Greece after learning that the item had been illegally removed from the Monastery of Dionysiou more than 50 years ago. Officials at the Getty said in a release on Monday that the museum acquired the manuscript in
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    A Hot Cup of Joe

  • ?Nazi War Diggers: Why it’s a Bad Idea for NatGeo

    Carl Feagans
    30 Mar 2014 | 10:34 pm
    National Geographic has long captured the hearts and imaginations of those interested in far-away cultures, history, and the world in general. The vivid and often striking photographs captured, accompanied by detailed narratives take us around the globe and through time for just a few pennies. Now they have the Cosmos redeaux with Neil deGrass Tyson. It’s easy to have a lot of respect for what they do. NatGeo the channel has perhaps borrowed some of the reputation of it’s parent organization, The National Geographic Society, but it has some of its own as well. Unfortunately, I…
  • Of What Use is Archaeology?

    Carl Feagans
    20 Mar 2014 | 7:46 pm
    This is a question that arises in conversations with others in academia from time to time. I’ve even pondered it myself, particularly since presenting archaeology in a positive light to the public has always been an interest of mine. Today, I noticed two articles online that speak to this. I’ll mention the second one first, which is a post at Doug’s Archaeology. Doug writes a quite informative post on this very topic, sharing with us a work first published in 1857 by Rev. John Collingwood Bruce, titled, “The Practical Advantage of Accruing from the Study of…
  • Blogging Archaeology: March Question

    Carl Feagans
    20 Mar 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Admittedly, I didn’t do so well with Doug’s Blogging Archaeology carnival. I recently finished my graduate work and sort of took a break from any writing -it wasn’t a conscious break, it just happened. But I like his effort and Doug certainly should be congratulated! Anything that gets this many archaeologists blogging and talking is nothing short of wonderful. The last question he poses for the Blogging Archaeology Carnival leading up to the SAA conference in Austin, TX (I’ll be there, of course) is: Where are you going with blogging or where would you like it to…
  • Were the Terracotta Warriors of China Inspired by the Greeks?

    Carl Feagans
    10 Dec 2013 | 8:50 pm
    Could this (or something like it): A 2500 year-old Greek statue, photo from Reuters 2012. Have inspired this?: Terracotta warriors of Qin Shi Huang. Flickr user: Lukas Nickel, of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, believes that recently translated ancient texts indicate that large statues began to appear in the western-most portions of China in the Qin Dynasty (around 221 BCE), in a region known in the texts as Lintao. And the statues were of 12 giants clad in foreign robes. The direct evidence of Greek influence seems absent, but…
  • Not Archaeologists: Vandals!

    Carl Feagans
    3 Dec 2013 | 9:32 pm
    I’m talking about the two chuckleheads that vandalized the Great Pyramid in order to promote their conspiracy theory about the pyramids being some 10,000 years older than currently believed. Dominique Goerlitz and author Stefan Erdmann have been working on something they call “das Cheops Projekt” -a pseudoscientific project that seeks to question the origin of the Great Pyramid, specifically that Khufu (Cheops) was the pyramid’s builder and that the pyramids at Giza are significantly older than archaeology has thus far revealed. Neither Goerlitz or Erdmann are…
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  • Putting Science in its Place by Mackenzie Cramblit

    Mackenzie Cramblit
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:08 am
    In some corners of anthropology, it has been said that science studies lacks a robust sense of place. But many capable ethnographers have brought labs, hospital suites, and production facilities to life, giving readers a granular sense for what distinguishes these sites from other milieux. What, precisely, might be missing? Consider the word “place.” As science studies scholars have repeatedly observed, there are no universal or value-neutral terms in the social sciences, and we ought to be relentlessly symmetrical in denaturalizing both scientific and social scientific terminology. The…
  • Conference: Comics & Medicine, From Private Lives to Public Health, June 26-28, 2014 by Todd Meyers

    Todd Meyers
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:36 pm
    Comics & Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health June 26th to 28th, 2014 The Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, Baltimore, Maryland, USA Keynote Speakers: Ellen Forney, Arthur W. Frank, James Sturm & Carol Tilley The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Art as Applied to Medicine in collaboration with Graphic Medicine invites papers for the fifth Comics & Medicine conference, a gathering of healthcare professionals, artists, academic scholars, comics enthusiasts, students, and various stakeholder groups. Follow these links for conference information:…
  • Top of the heap: Ken MacLeish by Maria Cecilia Dedios

    Maria Cecilia Dedios
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:46 am
    In today’s “Top of the heap,” Ken MacLeish, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, takes us into the world of war (and post-war) memoir, fiction and ethnography, also introducing us to some conceptual texts he’s been thinking with. Ken MacLeish Danny Hoffman, The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia (Duke University Press, 2011) “War machine” is one of the most overused metaphors for the large-scale organization of bodies, images and material things for the production of violence.
  • Stefan Ecks’ Eating Drugs by Erica Rockhold

    Erica Rockhold
    9 Apr 2014 | 1:54 am
    Eating Drugs: Psychopharmaceutical Pluralism in India by Stefan Ecks New York University Press, 2013. 233 pp.   In Stefan Ecks’ poignant ethnography, he illuminates the relationship between digestive health and mental health in Calcutta, paying particular attention to the contributions this relationship has made to a pharmaceuticalized India. He traces three medical systems––Ayurvedic, homeopathic and allopathic––as they each locate the belly as the somatic center in Bengali society.  In doing so, Ecks offers reflections on the role psychopharmaceuticals play in daily life in…
  • Bleach by Alex Nading

    Alex Nading
    7 Apr 2014 | 1:26 am
    My friend Dr. Muñoz makes his own bleach.  He uses salt, water, and electrodes to render sodium hypochlorite.  To do this, he has colonized a small space in a garage-cum-storage unit nestled on the grounds of the Managua health center where he works.  His bleach-making is ad-hoc and off the books.  Dr. Muñoz doesn’t get extra money or time from his employers at the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to perform this chemical labor.  Still, several weekends a year, he and his assistants load a bucket of homemade disinfectant into the health center’s ambulance and ply the surrounding…
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  • To Disrupt or Preserve The University

    Michael Scroggins
    29 Mar 2014 | 3:28 pm
    Lately there has been a lot of heat around the idea of disrupting higher education. In fact, the search phrase “disrupting higher education” currently yields almost 2 million results via Google. Like everything else disrupted in the recent past, the impetus here is the application of digital technology to a new domain in order to lower costs and increase efficiency. This HASTAC article has a nice breakdown of the current state of play in higher education. And here is a presentation on disruptive innovation in education from the man who coined the term and popularized the concept. No word…
  • Participant Observation at Its Best: How Max Weber Concluded Nine out of Ten Politicians are Windbags!

    20 Mar 2014 | 8:21 pm
    It was January 1919, and Max Weber was on a roll in his career as a German politician, journalist, and academic.  Germany had on November 11, 1918, more or less surrendered to the Allied forces of France, Britain, Italy and the United States, and Germany slowly began to collapse into an anarchic state. Bavaria sort of seceded under the apologist Kurt Eisner, and set up its own government—this new government was releasing documents from the Bavarian archives so that the Allies meeting at Versailles could better make the case that World War I was indeed started solely by Germany. Street…
  • Call For Papers: AAA 2014

    Michael Scroggins
    15 Mar 2014 | 2:31 pm
    CFP AAA 2014: Producing Anthropology, Producing Science: Citizen Science and Emerging Problematics Many of the challenges facing anthropology today have their parallels in the emerging citizen science sphere. Anthropologists have long conceptualized, and re-conceptualized, the permeable boundaries of knowledge production, but new challenges emergent within citizen science mark a changing landscape where new forms of knowledge production and dissemination are reworking scientific boundaries long considered stable. Professional scientists are addressing new audiences in new contexts, including…
  • Voting Sheep, Voting Cows, and Sheeple

    1 Mar 2014 | 11:09 am
          Max Weber uses a great German noun Stimmvieh to describe unthinking voting behavior.  Literally translated into English, it means “voting cow,” or “voting livestock” which Weber wrote in 1918 or so.  At the time, he had this love-hate relationship with the United States, so two of his illustrative examples of “voting cows” both came from there.  He saw “voting cows” in both the United States Congress where voting members are herded into party line voting, and in the urban areas of the early twentieth century where ward bosses rounded up recent…
  • My Life as an Honored Potted Plant

    23 Feb 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Meetings are rituals, and rituals need symbols, and decorations, in other words potted plants.  Ie been to a lot of meetings in my time as an academic where I sat bored and confused, but still clap on cue.  The most obvious place I am such a decoration is in May graduation ceremonies.  I sit in a hot black robe in May, with the faculty and react in unison with those around me.  Literally an honored potted plant. But there are many more places where such potted plants exist—decoration at a meeting where pre-prepared decisions are served up.  Academic Senate meetings come to mind; but so…
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    Constructing Amusement

  • Announcing April’s SIMLab Brown Bag talk: Investigating a MMOG community through a social justice framework

    31 Mar 2014 | 10:46 am
    Time/Place: April 7th, 2014 @12pm, SIMLab (SOC 016) Speaker: Kelly Bergstrom, York University As with all games, Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are a voluntary leisure activity. However, the voluntary nature of play does not necessarily mean these gameworlds are equally open to all.  To illustrate barriers to participation I present a case study of EVE Online, a space-themed MMOG
  • CFP: The Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics, Chicago Nov 7th, 2014

    24 Feb 2014 | 8:34 am
    Call for papers The Center for Digital Ethics & Policy at Loyola University Chicago ( will be holding its 4th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics on Nov 7th, 2014. We are looking for papers on digital ethics.  Topics might include privacy, anonymity, griefing, free speech, intellectual property, hacking, scamming, surveillance, information mining, transparency,
  • Announcing the official launch of SIMLab!

    20 Feb 2014 | 10:44 am
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  • Have a very Merry Christmas!

    25 Dec 2013 | 12:28 am
    Wishing you and yours all the best this festive season.  Thinking of friends new and old; loved ones near and far.  Thank you for being a part of it all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  • Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies - STS Conference Graz 2014

    18 Nov 2013 | 12:39 pm
    CALL FOR ABSTRACTS “Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies” GRAZ, AUSTRIA, May 05-06, 2014 We invite interested researchers in the areas of science and technology studies and sustainability studies to give presentations. The conference provides a forum to discuss on a broad variety of topics in these fields – especially abstracts are encouraged which refer to
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    Visual Anthropology of Japan - 日本映像人類学

  • 47-47-47

    19 Apr 2014 | 3:42 am
  • Friday Fun! "This [American] Sign Language Rap Battle Is Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen"

    11 Apr 2014 | 1:04 am
    This is way too cool. Thanks to my colleague MH for sharing this with me. Check it out! Again, very cool. But one might ask why was a stoned rapper asked to judge the interpreters? Where were the deaf people? Source:
  • "Stores sharing biometric face data"

    6 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Image and text from The Japan News, 4/6/14. Automatically recorded images by security cameras of shoppers’ faces have been shared among 115 supermarkets and convenience stores in the Tokyo metropolitan and another area as an antishoplifting measure, without customers’ knowledge, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. Although the images are used mainly to prevent shoplifting, experts and industry bodies say it is necessary to make clear rules because providing people’s facial data to a third party could constitute an invasion of privacy. The facial data in question was shared by 115 stores of…
  • Sakura II: The Fallen Petals

    5 Apr 2014 | 8:43 am
    It all ends too soon; delicate cherry blossoms are swept away by wind, rain, flowing currents and neighborhood women with their brooms...
  • Sakura I: Between Work and the Wind & Rain, This Year's Shots...

    5 Apr 2014 | 3:50 am
    The timing of the cherry blossoms (full bloom during the weekdays) along with the chilly/windy/rainy weather made it difficult to go out and enjoy ohanami. Luckily I am blessed with many cherry trees behind my house so I can simply open the window and enjoy. I left early for work one day so as to get some sakura shots as is custom here at VAOJ. Happy Spring! See previous sakura-related posts on VAOJ: Spring 2010Spring 2011Spring 2012 pt.1Spring 2012 pt.2Spring 2012 pt.3Spring 2013 pt. 1Spring 2013 pt. 2Spring 2013 pt. 3
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    International Cognition and Culture Institute

  • Negatively-Biased Credulity and the Cultural Evolution of Beliefs

    16 Apr 2014 | 12:35 am
    A new article by Dan Fessler, Anne Pisor,& David Navarrete, highly relevant to cultural epidemiology in PLoS ONE 9(4): e95167. doi:10.1371Abstract: The functions of cultural beliefs are often opaque to those who hold them. Accordingly, to benefit from cultural evolution’s ability to solve complex adaptive problems, learners must be credulous. However, credulity entails costs, including susceptibility to exploitation, and effort wasted due to false beliefs. One determinant of the optimal level of credulity is the ratio between the costs of two types of errors: erroneous incredulity…
  • The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology. Vilnius . 9-11 October 2014

    6 Mar 2014 | 3:37 am
    The Vilnius Experimental Philosophy Lab,  the Departments of General Psychology and of Logic and History of Philosophy organize a conference on: The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology, the 9-11 October 2014 at Vilnius University. Confirmed keynote speakers: Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh), Katinka Quintelier (Amsterdam), Paulo Sousa (Queen’s), Dan Sperber (CEU / Institut Nicod),  Stephen Stich (Rutgers).What kind of norms and judgments count as moral? In other words, what constitutes the moral domain? This broad…
  • The Content of Our Cooperation, Not the Color of Our Skin

    2 Mar 2014 | 12:01 pm
    A new, important article by David Pietraszewski, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby: The Content of Our Cooperation, Not the Color of Our Skin: An Alliance Detection System Regulates Categorization by Coalition and Race, but Not Sex. (PLoS ONE, 2012, 9(2): e88534. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088534) Abstract: Humans in all societies form and participate in cooperative alliances. To successfully navigate an alliance-laced world, the human mind needs to detect new coalitions and alliances as they emerge, and predict which of many potential alliance categories are currently organizing an…
  • Relationship Thinking

    30 Jan 2014 | 2:58 am
    Nick Enfield -- ethnolinguist at the Max Planck institute for psycholinguistics (and contributor to ICCI) -- has published a new book, Relationship Thinking.Here's the blurb from Oxford University Press:In Relationship Thinking, N. J. Enfield outlines a framework for analyzing social interaction and its linguistic, cultural, and cognitive underpinnings by focusing on human relationships. This is a naturalistic approach to human sociality, grounded in the systematic study of real-time data from social interaction in everyday life. Many of the illustrative examples and analyses…
  • This year's Edge question

    16 Jan 2014 | 7:35 am
    The new The Edge annual question, and the answers, are now online.The question was: "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?"Here are some answers that could be relevant to the ICCI crowd:Oliver Scott Curry AssociationismN.J. Enfield A Science of Language Should Be Concerned Only With 'Competence'Tom Griffiths Bias is Always BadLaura Betzig CultureScott Atran IQRob Kurzban Cartesian HydrolicismPascal Boyer CultureDan Sperber The Standard Approach To MeaningJon Haidt The Pursuit of ParsimonyJohn Tooby Learning And CultureSteve Pinker Behavior = Genes + EnvironmentDan Dennett The Hard…
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    Anthropological Notebook

  • Get me off this rock!

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:31 am
    Boy perches on rock, holds out his arms for a lift back to the lean-to... It is granted, but not without motherly grumbles. He can walk, after all. I've been observing Batek children a lot for a paper on social learning, based initially on stuff I did for my doctoral work so many years ago, now being confirmed and updated. It's been great to see all the classic behaviour patterns still going
  • In a rainforest camp

    23 Mar 2014 | 8:11 am
    Stills captured from video clips: A glimpse of the sky: Batek camp along the Ruwil river, Taman Negara national park, 15/3/14   Inside a little girl's toy lean-to, but the "bed" is not big enough for parties. Truly a scaled down model of a grown-up lean-to. Excellent copy of construction details.
  • Ruwil camp, Taman Negara

    19 Mar 2014 | 10:00 am
    The camp at Ruwil, Taman Negara. A lovely location, near where I camped with the same group in 1996. My gang. The youngest wasn't even born when I met this cohort for the first time in 2010. Now she's surging past her Terrible Twos and entering her Chattering Threes. This being my first evening back with them, they gathered round in a circle and whispered their secrets into my ears. I
  • The littlest Batek | 3

    19 Mar 2014 | 9:12 am
    Now 14 months old, and growing fast. "She recognises her parents' voices but can't really talk yet," said her mother. It won't be long now. She clearly understands a lot more than she lets on.  Previously shown here and here.
  • From boy to man

    19 Mar 2014 | 9:02 am
    Mother and son in 1998 (left) and in 2014 (sharing a joke in the background, below). He's shot up like a weed in the last year or so.
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  • Baby-led weaning: academic research

    31 Mar 2014 | 6:53 am
    Well, haven't blogged for more than a year. Busy, and also more on Twitter and Facebook. But I do miss it a bit. Here is something that may be useful: a brief introduction to baby-led weaning, with some selected quotes and details of recent peer-reviewed academic research. Baby-led weaning. An introduction from julianhopkins
  • Conceptualizing personal media

    14 Feb 2013 | 5:18 pm
    Lüders, M. 2008. Conceptualizing personal media. New Media & Society 10, 683–702 (available on-line:, accessed 10 April 2010). Abstract The digitalization and personal use of media technologies have destabilized the traditional dichotomization between mass communication and interpersonal communication, and therefore between mass media and personal media (e.g. mobile phones, email, instant messenger, blogs and photo-sharing services). As private individuals use media technologies to create and share personal expressions through…
  • Trends in New Media Research: A Critical Review of Recent Scholarship

    1 Feb 2013 | 1:26 am
    Pavlik, J. V. 2013. Trends in New Media Research: A Critical Review of Recent Scholarship. Sociology Compass 7, 1–12 (available on-line:, accessed 1 February 2013). Abstract Trends in new media research are examined. These trends revolve around four dimensions, including citizen engagement, organizational innovation and adaptation, mobility and content computerization. The following article critically examines this shifting terrain in new media research and its implications for future scholarship. Overall • Claims to be an overview of some recent…
  • Business Professionals' Perspectives on the Disillusionment of Virtual Worlds

    17 Jan 2013 | 6:07 am
    Bateman, P., J. Pike, N. Berente & S. Hansen 2012. Time for a Post-Mortem?: Business Professionals' Perspectives on the Disillusionment of Virtual Worlds. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 5 (available on-line:, accessed 17 January 2013). Abstract Virtual worlds (VWs) are powerful three-dimensional technologies where users can assume identities and interact with others. While designed as open-platforms for creativity, expression, and experimentation by recreational users, VWs were once lauded for their potential…
  • "There's an app for that" - women and mobile technology

    17 Jan 2013 | 1:15 am
    Frizzo-Barker, J. & P. A. Chow-White 2012. ‘There’s an App for That’ Mediating mobile moms and connected careerists through smartphones and networked individualism. Feminist Media Studies 12, 580–589 (available on-line:, accessed 21 December 2012). Abstract The ubiquitous use of mobile smartphones and Internet-based applications commonly known as "apps," can be viewed as simultaneously empowering and constraining for women's experiences and identities due to their potential to foster "always on" forms of sociability in both public and…
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  • Language and Societies abstracts, vol. 6 (2014)

    9 Apr 2014 | 7:47 am
    The abstracts below are summaries of papers by junior scholars from the 2014 edition of my course, Language and Societies, and presented at the course blog of the same name. The authors are undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology and linguistics at Wayne State University. Over the next few weeks, some students will be posting links to PDF versions of their final papers below their abstracts. Comments and questions are extremely welcome, especially at this critical juncture over the next week, when the authors are making final revisions to their papers. Alex B. Hill: A critical…
  • The Case of the Missing Pi Day 4s

    15 Mar 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Yesterday was Pi Day, 3/14 (those who prefer days before months can have Pi Approximation Day, 22/7) and in celebration of this momentous annual event, I invited several of my American colleagues (who have learned to tolerate my numerical eccentricities) over to my house in Canada for an International Pi Day Pie Party, which was a great success.  And, of course, as befitting this event, we had Pie, complete with Pi (to two decimal places) on top: So far, so good.  (And for the record, it was very good).  There was only one problem: the local dollar store I went into had a very odd…
  • Lexiculture: vanilla

    14 Mar 2014 | 10:57 am
    Cecilia Murrell-Harvey Wayne State University Cite as:  Murrell-Harvey, Cecilia. 2014.  Vanilla.  Lexiculture: Papers on English Words and Culture, vol. 1, article 8. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. (Download PDF version) Vanilla is a word that I thought at one point, was simply the name of a plant species. I knew the extract of the vanilla plant was used for numerous reasons like flavoring my lip balm, adding depth and dimension to perfume, and making chocolate…
  • Lexiculture: ratchet

    14 Mar 2014 | 10:56 am
    Jessica Hurst Wayne State University Cite as:  Hurst, Jessica. 2014.  Ratchet.  Lexiculture: Papers on English Words and Culture, vol. 1, article 7. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. (Download PDF version) Ratchet:  it’s what Miley Cyrus was trying to be when she wagged her booty all over the stage during this summer’s Video Music Awards. Ratchet, a slang term, is loaded with nuance and entrenched in racial and feminist commentary. Ratchet first appeared in…
  • Lexiculture: radical

    14 Mar 2014 | 10:56 am
    Mohanned Darwish Wayne State University Cite as:  Darwish, Mohanned. 2014.  Radical.  Lexiculture: Papers on English Words and Culture, vol. 1, article 6. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. (Download PDF version) I regularly hear, on Arabic and Hebrew political talk shows, the word ‘radicali’, an Arabized/Hebraized form of the English ‘radical’, used in the same context as its English counterpart to refer, more often in a negative sense, to a fringe…
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  • New protest movements and the mainstreaming of internet politics

    John Postill
    31 Mar 2014 | 5:04 am
    New protest movements and the mainstreaming of internet politics: a ground-up comparison of Malaysia, Iceland, Tunisia and Spain Paper to the Anthropology Department seminar, University of Melbourne, Wednesday 16 April 2014, 4.30- 6.00 5.45-7.00 pm. School of Social and Political Sciences John Medley (Building 191) Venue located in the link way on the 4th floor between the two ‘wings’ (entrance 10, off Grattan st.) The University of Melbourne Parkville, VIC 3010 Australia John Postill RMIT University, Melbourne In this talk I draw from fieldwork in Spain and Malaysia and from…
  • Framing Bouazizi (Lim 2013)

    John Postill
    2 Mar 2014 | 6:12 pm
    Lim, M. (2013). Framing Bouazizi: ‘White lies’, hybrid network, and collective/connective action in the 2010–11 Tunisian uprising. Journalism, 14(7), 921-941. Abstract By delving into the detailed account of the Tunisian uprising, this article offers an explanation that sets the 2010 uprising apart from its precursors. The 2010 uprising was successful because activists successfully managed to bridge geographical and class divides as well as to converge offline and online activisms. Such connection and convergence were made possible, first, through the availability of dramatic visual…
  • The Tunisian revolution according to Khosrokhavar (2012)

    John Postill
    2 Mar 2014 | 4:36 pm
    Khosrokhavar, F. (2012). The new Arab revolutions that shook the world. Paradigm Publishers. Notes on Chapter 2. The Tunisian revolution of dignity and freedom. p.  28. most unexpected revolution in Arab world, but there were signs in previous protests of what was to come. There were historical precedents like the Gafsa movement in early 2008, in the Gafsa mineral field, in poor region bordering Algeria. p. 30 Unlike Jasmine revolution of late 2010, though, in Gafsa the two segments of the population (pro-democracy middle class and the precarious or poor seeking social justice) did not come…
  • Data Havens of Iceland (Part 2)

    John Postill
    24 Feb 2014 | 9:08 pm
    A few days ago I posted a question to Alix Johnson, a PhD student in cultural anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, in the US. According to her Savage Minds interviewer, Adam Fish (read interview here), Alix will be soon travelling to Iceland to study the practices and discourses of data centers. She studies information infrastructures in capitalist economies and postcolonial politics, and researches these questions in Iceland where they take strange and fascinating forms. This is the question I put to Alix: Terrific interview and project, many thanks for posting this. Having worked on Spain’s…
  • Virtual Worlds vs. Networked Environments: A Question of Method

    John Postill
    18 Feb 2014 | 5:15 am
    Originally posted on Netnographic Encounters: A handwritten note announcing the death of a community member, pinned to an outdoor bulletin board. One of many media through which information travels in Indonesian kampung. I came to realize today, that the applicability of the term “ethnography” or “netnography” to my own research is somewhat limited.  A comical but unsettling story that happened today demonstrated the limits of treating social media like Facebook as social “worlds” to be investigated holistically. It became clear to me that applying ethnography to virtual worlds…
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    Into the Wild

  • The Story of the Easter Egg

    Gap Year Blog
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:42 am
    Decorated eggs and the consumption of their chocolate counterparts have become the overriding symbol of Easter, synonymous with the perceived role of Santa Clause during Christmas.
  • 12 Heartwarming Animal Facts

    Gap Year Blog
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:28 am
    Animals do the cutest things; that’s what I’ve noticed since I was very young. However, I have also noticed that these stem from the fact that animal traits are very similar to human traits, which allow us to have an emotional connection that we can share with animals.
  • Eco Art – International Installations Tackling Environmental Issues

    Gap Year Blog
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:40 am
    Historically, environmental awareness efforts have taken many different forms. Here’s a look at how some of the world’s artists have tackled topics from climate change to wildlife extinction.
  • Antarctica: A New Frontier

    Gap Year Blog
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:42 am
    Antarctica is a frozen, windswept continent, with no permanent inhabitants residing on the frozen planet because of its hostility and remoteness.
  • Volunteer Photo of the Week: Kirsten Inglis

    Gap Year Blog
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:28 am
    Travelling with friends strengthens your bond. Taken near a cliffside, Kirsten Inglis' photo captures the tranquility of Madagascar whilst on the Madagascar Wildlife Conservation Adventure project.
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