“I Walked all the Way Back to LA”

Thinking About Queer Youth Migration I work with youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ), but who are also homeless and migrants to the U.S. When they speak openly about their experiences of homelessness or forced dislocation, I often hear stories of intersectional violence—my research attempts to trace these complex geo-social […]

Food, Fat, Fetus and the Future

Histories of Weight Gain during Pregnancy in the US and UK Stepping on the scale when you see a health professional for a dermatology appointment, a women’s health check up, or a general physical is part of the routine clinical experience. Although this practice is routine and ubiquitous, weight as a clinical measurement carries a […]

Earthquakes and Culture

What does culture have to do with earthquakes? Recently a major earthquake occurred in Nepal, with an epicenter in the rural area (Gorkha) where I conducted my doctoral research, and it got me thinking about the relationship between culture and earthquakes. In Nepal there are many cultural features which have led to the unpreparedness of […]

Welcome to the Jungle: Touring Tikal

During my fieldwork in Guatemala, I toured Tikal. Group tours of archaeological sites like this are famous for dwelling on the glories of past communities at the height of their greatness while glossing over present material and political realities for their descendant groups. Our bilingual guide, Jorge, effectively subverted these expectations. His tour drew from […]

At the Crossroads of Linguistics and Anthropology

Disciplinary Perspectives on Language Documentation For a long time in anthropology, the documentation of languages on the brink of disappearing was negatively tainted as salvage: quaint in its Boasian particularism, inappropriately objectifying speakers as passive vehicles of an authoritatively rendered tradition, naïve in uncritically adopting the folk category of language as an analytic one, and […]

Confessions of a Shark Anthropologist

Earlier this year I received a phone call from an unknown number. “This is the National Geographic Channel. Is it true that you are a shark anthropologist?” I paused— “Yes, I guess you can say that.” “Great, we are doing a program about sharks and are asking experts why sharks attack at certain times and […]

2015 Climate Science Day

Lobbying for Science There is a fine line between lobbying and advocacy for a cause or issue. In this case we advocated for science-based decisions and offered assistance in serving Congress’s science needs. I spent February 10 and 11 involved in “2015 Climate Science Day” on Capitol Hill, organized by the Ecological Society of America […]

Transitions within Public Sector Anthropology

Anthropologists have long studied the concept of transitions as it applies to people and their cultures. Transitions can come about through various means but are always accompanied by change. Although we study and read about how other cultures are changing, one thing I have heard less about is how applied anthropologists change as they transition […]

English or Russian?

Language Ideologies in Multilingual Khorog, Tajikistan While perusing wikileaks for information on English in Khorog, Tajikistan, the administrative centre of Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region, I noticed a cable sent in 2008 from the American Embassy, Dushanbe. It was entitled “Tajikistan — Why American Corners Matter,” and it describes Khorog as an ideal location for a […]

Considering the Transnational

Students and Activists in New York Address Violence and the Denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian Descent in Dominican Republic On December 5, 2013, over two hundred people packed a room at the CUNY Graduate Center to reflect upon the passage of the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal Ruling 168-13 (TC 168-13), which retroactively revoked the citizenship of […]