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 […]

Occupational Ethnography in the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements

On March 18, 2014, several hundred Taiwanese student and civil activists broke into the Legislative Yuan, the parliament of the contested island nation, launching the Sunflower Movement, a protest against the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and aligned business elites’ alleged collusion with authoritarian China to pass a highly controversial trade deal. It took 24 […]

Plastic Thoughts on Disasters

The People’s Climate March and the Shores of Krakatau On Sunday, September 21, participants in the People’s Climate March filled the streets of New York City from 86th to 59th Streets on Central Park West before progressing slowly, under heavy police control, to 34th Street. The event was deliberately timed by the environmental organization 350.org […]

Buffalo’s Revival

Buffalo, New York has a long-standing and ill-fated reputation for poverty and crime. It has been named one of the poorest and most recently, dreariest cities in America. However, in recent years Buffalo has been transitioning into a new place of social and economic revival. The memories of a booming, industrial, and successful city no […]

Occupy between Surveillance and Transparency

An iPad, fixed by a pair of slippers on the second floor of the Legislative Yuan (the congress of Taiwan), was shooting down the chamber with its lens. On the screen of the iPad, a big banner reading “Occupy 500 Hours” covered the bottom of the portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, the national father of Republic […]

Theory in Public Sector Anthropology

In graduate school, my favorite course was titled “History of Anthropological Theory.” The course readings, which required a critical engagement with works written by Foucault, Geertz, Stoler, and V. Turner (to name a few), were invigorating and encouraged me to think in a new way—one that sought out nuances, peeled back layers, and identified seemingly […]