Why Vote?

Elections in India are a loud, rambunctious, great equalizer in public life. Elections in India are the world’s biggest festival and Indians clearly like to vote. Evidence shows that turnouts are often above 80% and higher the more local the election. Indians seem also keener to vote than ever before. Figures show a steady rise […]

The Pleasure and Pain of Electioneering in the UK

Canvassing for elections is an addictive mix of gossip, ideas, theatre and competition. Elections are a ritual process for creating political representatives and encouraging citizens to accept them even when they voted for the other side. They are ‘dramas of identity and difference’ where you vote for someone who is seen at once to embody […]

The World after Brexit

Britain’s vote to leave the EU has ushered in a surprise: it turns out that voting matters, and the UK is living in a New Normal now. After a majority of British voters elected to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum in June this year, the sky did not fall on our heads; […]

Unusual Politics as Usual?

What Trump’s smash-it-all message tells us about presidential campaigns. Before we join the refrain that the candidacy of Donald J. Trump in this presidential election is unprecedented, we should pause and remember that what we call the political order of “message” has been in the “anti-” mode for some time. Significant swatches of the American […]

Ethnography as Education, Alone and Otherwise

Ethnographic fieldwork is a unique and life-altering experience. But it is also a trying and complicated experience. Even as someone who is relatively new in the field of anthropology (I’ve just finished my undergraduate degree), I understand this. The following are my experiences and analyses of two different types of ethnography—ethnography conducted by a lone […]

So, What is Anthropology Anyway?

How do you engage students who have never heard of anthropology before? In a community college one finds very few students who have already decided to be anthropology majors. Some students are there to complete an applied (technical) associate degree and will enter the workforce immediately after graduation. Others plan to get an associate of […]

Collaborative Ethnography in Kensington Market

How one research project takes a collaborative approach to the study of urban transformation. I arrived at the café to meet Tracy, who runs a small family business at the Kensington Market, at 3:30 pm on a cold day in April. I saw her sitting near the window with a plastic bag full of receipts. […]

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 […]

Class is in Session

What can anthropology offer high school students? Two teachers answer the question. Anthropologists across the discipline despair at how little-known the field is, how it’s often confused with entomology or ichthyology—not to mention a certain women’s clothing store. If people looked back on memorable high school anthropology teachers like Jeff Meade, whose students “comment that […]

Skulls, Skeletons and Shakespeare

Osteology “Boot Camp” What can human skeletonized remains reveal about people’s lives? How can you hold a single human bone and use it to reveal age, sex, ethnicity, occupation, height and diet at the time of death?  I started teaching human osteology as an advanced undergraduate lab course, ten years ago in an intensive summer […]