Brewing Disaster in Post-Earthquake Nepal

Climate change and global capital compound suffering for local communities. We are taking a short break from walking the narrow, steep paths around the Saipu Village of Ramechhap District, Nepal in July 2016. We rest at a small, simple Hindu temple perched on a rare flat, grassy area overlooking a breath-taking view of the Likhu […]

Tensions in Post-Coup-Attempt Turkey

Kurdish participants in politics face concerted challenges, some of their own making. In the days after the failed coup against the Turkish government on July 15, 2016, top members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) took pains to thank the two largest opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement […]

A Funny Thing Happened at the Shaolin Temple. . .

How a tourist kept pace with the martial arts experts. It is a fairly standard trick-of-the-trade. A group of highly trained athletes and artists perform for tourists, who are assumed to be undiscerning dupes. The MC calls for volunteers to come onstage. The tourists’ blunders further underscore the skill of the performers. But in 2015 […]

Argentine Rugby Gets Professional

How Maradona’s support for the Pumas signals a change in the culture of Argentine rugby. Footage of Diego Maradona, the globally famous Argentine ex-soccer player, dancing in the stands in support of the Pumas, the Argentine men’s national rugby team, was regularly featured in television coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup both in Argentina […]

Wrestling with Uncertainty in Dakar’s Banlieue

Dakar’s aspiring wrestlers forge entrepreneurial career paths in an uncertain local economy. In the Senegalese capital of Dakar, the traditional sport of wrestling—known in Wolof as lamb ji—is a commercial spectacle, drawing huge crowds and attracting multinational sponsors.  In its continued transition from a village-based pastime to a modern urban phenomenon, wrestling has emerged as […]

Beyond “Embodiment” in Sport

How weightlifting involves relations between tools and bodies.   Anthropological writing on sport often describes how political, economic, or social values are “inscribed” on the body. “Embodiment,” the term that refers to this process of inscription, has become a central rubric through which anthropologists have framed inquiries in sport and physical culture. Training reconfigures the […]

New York City’s “First” Mosque

Muslims in the US are non-assimilationist outsiders. So goes a reigning ideology, which was galvanized after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and thrives today in the unbridled Islamophobic rhetoric of Donald Trump and others on the right. The recent shooting in Orlando further licensed such bigotry and […]

Soccer, Kinship and Migration Dreams in Cameroon

For young men in Cameroon, international soccer dreams and family relations are closely connected.   From the first morning sunlight, a rough gravel soccer field in Buea, a small town in the Southwest region of Cameroon, is crowded with young men hard at soccer training. Some are there only for leisure, but most are attending […]

Sporting Change in Spain

The Morisco Games celebrate Spain’s Islamic past through sporting competition in the present. The King of Granada conquered Purchena, where the victory was marked with lavish games. There were dancing contests for couples and for women only, poetry and singing challenges, wrestling, jumping and weight-lifting competitions, stone-throwing and marksmanship, either with harquebuses, crossbows or slingshots, […]

“Don’t Think About the Crisis, Work!”

Rage, Crisis, and the Informal Economy in Brazil   The foundation of Brazilian modernity has emerged from an unresolved contradiction. The informal economy has embraced millions of low-income workers in Brazil, backing and then preventing a collapse of the economy through history in alternating cyclic crises, such as the critical moment the country is experiencing […]