Capitalism vs the Climate

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just released its finalized Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the state of scientific knowledge about climate change. A central theme of the report is that climate change may have serious, pervasive and irreversible impacts on human society and the environment. The notable word here is irreversible. The […]

The Writing on the Wall

One of the ongoing challenges we confront as professors at the U of Central Florida is dealing with weak or ineffective writing.  Despite the importance of effective communication to overall academic and post-graduation success and efforts made by colleges and universities to ensure that all students are writing on an appropriate level by the end […]

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 […]

Standing Their Ground in #Ferguson

In her 2013 AAA Presidential Address, Anthropology Matters, Leith Mullings outlined the mutually constitutive relationship between social movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s and anthropological theory. Listening to the speech, we were reinvigorated as PhD. students and also envious. Comparatively, our work on the production of history, inequality, and public culture comes across as a […]

Ferguson: An American Story

By now the story is familiar to many. In Ferguson, MO, a town of less than 16,000 people, Michael Brown, an 18-year old was walking in the middle of a residential street. He ignored police officer’s Darren Wilson order to move out of the street. Apparently, a struggle of some kind ensued. Brown retreated and […]

Ferguson and the Right to Black Life

On March 19, 1935, the white manager of WH Kress & Co five-and-dime store on 125th Street in Harlem apprehended a 16-year-old Puerto Rican boy, allegedly for shoplifting a pocketknife. The teenager, Lino Rivera, was tackled and dragged by the manager and his staff to the store’s basement to await the police. Black customers, fearful […]

The Violence of the Status Quo

Michael Brown, Ferguson and Tanks Years ago I thought about writing a paper I would call “The Violence of the Status Quo.” I never wrote that paper. Perhaps now is the time—although it would have been appropriate any time in the last 500 years of US history. Michael Brown, yes, and as of August 19 […]

Dealing with Reality

Sexual Harassment in the Field Unlike our previous contributions, the topic presented below cannot be approached lightheartedly.  Harassment and assault are serious matters for all college students.  For anthropology majors, they can assume particular dimension, especially when they happen in overseas field settings.  A recent survey of some 666 male and female anthropologists, sociologists, and […]

A Tale of Many Borders

Unaccompanied Minors and the Perils of Sentimentalism It is almost the last week in July, and the sun along the strip of land connecting Boca Chica Beach, Texas, with Playa Bagdad, Tamaulipas (Mexico) is unforgiving.   The visit to the place where the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico converge constitutes the culmination of a […]

Working on The Hill

Politics as the Art of the Possible Despite Congress’s abysmally poor reputation in the public eye and its polarization, the national legislature remains an important public policy arena. Beyond authorizing legislation, Congress makes decisions on appropriations that affect our lives on a daily basis, from the US military, the judicial system, to social science research […]