On Being a Near-Native Speaker

On my recent trip to Bolivia, my mother-in-law looked at me curiously, then commented, “You know, Anna, you sound almost just like us.  But there’s always something; there’s always some little thing…” she shook her head, as if trying and failing to put her finger on what, exactly, made me different. While the insider/outsider dichotomy […]

Food for all in Latin America

Access to food is critical in several Latin American countries.What have been the self-organized responses to accessing food for all in Latin America? How have some of the governmental administrations responded to these issues? Over the past twenty years, peasants and rural families organized as worldwide coalitions or movements such as Vía Campesina. Other coalitions, […]

Trouble on the Hill

First, I need to situate this with a little autoethnography. As someone who has spent his entire adult life in the American higher education system, the events at Chapel Hill would have been highly disturbing, just as were those at Penn State a few years ago, apart from any rooting interest one might have in […]

Self-organization, Integration and Homeless People

Some people are stigmatized as excluded, marginalized, the poor, extreme poor people, homeless and helpless, and other categories with which western capitalist societies tend to label the living situation of people who do not conform to common sense patterns of the market economy. Palleres (2004) has documented that over time, people living on the streets […]

Anthropology in the High School Classroom II

Including Anthropology in a high school curriculum provides important opportunities for students and instructors, but it also presents unique challenges. In this second installment of a two-part interview with Dexter Chapin, anthropology instructor at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) in downtown Seattle, WA, he reflects further on the significance of  teaching cultural anthropology […]

A Literature of Practice

As I have read this column over the last several months, I’ve been heartened to see many familiar themes. Contributors have covered the partialness and compromises involved in influencing decisions and policy, the complexities of implementation in large institutions, the importance of anthropologists as representatives of perspectives that are sometimes scarce in government, the need […]

The Wyoming Way

Leaves are turning, there’s a nip in the air, the parking lot by the library is suddenly impossible: yes, thousands of students are back on campus, effectively doubling the size of our small college town. As good a time as any to contemplate the state of higher education in relation to the political economy of […]

Dealing with Inflated Egos

If you have been in academia long enough, you are bound to encounter more than a few outsized egos.  Often oblivious to their own pomposity, these individuals tend to overvalue their professional credentials while simultaneously undervaluing the contributions of others.  Unfortunately, students working with such faculty may feel they have no choice than to put […]

World on the Move: Migration Stories

“In order to understand history it is necessary to know not only how things are, but how they have come to be.” Franz Boas, “The Methods of Ethnology,” 1920 The phrase, “World on the Move” captures a characteristic of “how things are” today, a point in time nearly half way through the second decade of […]