A Taste of the Basque Country

My first trip to the Basque Country, an ethnic nation straddling northwest Spain and southwest France, was not academic in nature; I was there with my partner David to spend two weeks bicycling through the Pyrenees Mountains along the Bay of Biscay. However, since you can never take the anthropologist out of the anthropologist, and […]

A Tale of Two Museums

Among Basques, it used to be “the anthropologist as hero.” By the turn of the new millennium it was “the architect as hero.” Two museums embody the transition: the ethnographic museum of San Telmo in San Sebastian (which homes the archeological findings and ethnographic implements discovered by the two patriarchs of Basque archeology and ethnography, […]

Why Are People on the Move?

At the 2016 Folklife Festival AAA asks what objects you would take with you if you suddenly had to move and how you would cope with new surroundings.   What would you take with you if you suddenly had to move? A photo? Cell phone? Passport? #TakeItOTM   When moving, how do you cope with […]

Dance the City

How might an anthropologist use dance to study cities? How about dance ethnography as method? The Liquor Store Theatre project (LST) is a series of choreographed dance performances and ethnographic conversations on the sidewalks and spaces in and around liquor stores on Detroit’s east side. LST started in a moment where you feel tears begin […]

Peer Review and Academic Citizenship: A Call to Our Colleagues

Most of us who earned our degrees before the advent of email remember the thrill of being asked to write our first peer review. We both remember how a typed letter arrived, the request signed in pen by the editor. We quickly typed and mailed a letter saying we were deeply honored, and agreeing to […]

Fish Kills and Protests on the Islands of Chiloé

Southern Chile’s Archipelago of Chiloé is a region best known for its mythology, historic churches, and communitarian labor practices like the minga. Earlier this month, though, it exploded in political unrest, drawing the attention of the international press. Thousands of protesters blocked roads and set fire to barricades on seaside ramps. Commercial access to the […]

The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes . . . and a Canal

Anthropology and Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal The cab driver sized me (M. Petriello) up, “¿A dónde nos vamos?” (Where are we going?) he asked, assessing the fee and my Spanish simultaneously. After departing, we negotiated typical taxi conversation etiquette, but something felt different from my prior visits to Nicaragua. His speech emanated an immediate and urgent […]

The Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal and Heritage Protection

Why consultations with Indigenous communities matter The construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal has garnered only a sporadic interest in the news media, one that does not match the immensity of the project and its potential to affect the natural environment and the lives of those who inhabit the region. As proposed, the canal […]

An Open Letter to the American Anthropologist and Responses

An Open Letter to the American Anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj Susan Slyomovics The recent issue of the American Anthropologist included a section presenting nine views on anthropology in Israel. The persons asked to respond to three questions about Israeli anthropology included “all living past heads of the Israel [sic] Anthropological Association,” a group whom Virginia […]

Why Refugee Resettlement Isn’t Enough

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are nearly 60 million refugees worldwide, the largest number in recorded history. The same report by the UNHCR states that “one in 122 humans is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum”, and approximately 50 percent of this population is made up of children under […]