Looking Back at “Anthropology on the Front Lines”

On May 1 and 2, University of California Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology hosted a conference, “Anthropology on the Front Lines,” in honor of Nancy Scheper-Hughes and in celebration of barefoot anthropology. In what follows, two conference participants, David Napier Meira Weiss, reflect on the conference, and the impact of engaged anthropology and Scheper-Hughes on their own work […]

Digital Outsourcing and Japanese Call Center Workers in Dalian, China

Editors’ note: This is the fifth piece of the series “In and Out of Japan.” In 2003, the first Japanese-staffed call center opened in Dalian, a north-eastern city of six million people dubbed China’s “Green Silicon Valley.” Thousands of Japanese workers have served consumers across Sino-Japanese borders, alongside their bilingual Chinese colleagues. They are recruited […]

Can There Be an Anthropology of Hate Speech?

A mainstreaming of racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and misogynist hate speech in the public sphere in the US accompanied the rise of Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign. Though there is no direct and immediate causal relationship between hate speech and hate crimes, hate crimes do tend to increase when powerful figures engage in it or provide license and […]

The Power of the NFL Draft

  The NFL Draft, which is being held in Philadelphia this year, is a dream come true for a few lucky young football players. Each lucky player makes a transformational rite of passage from youth to adulthood, gets his first job, and ultimately signs a lucrative employment contract. The Draft showcases their personal rite as […]

Notes on the Political Divide

Disentangling Antiracism from Capitalism Was it racism or class that gave Trump the election? Much has been written about this topic, including articles that deconstruct the white working-class, analyze the opportunism in whiteness, and claim racism was to blame. Yet, our attempts to understand the rise of Trumpism have not assuaged our fears of institutionalized and […]

Life and Time after Fidel

What does the future hold for Cubans who came of age with the revolutionary state? On November 25, 2016, Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. As Cuba’s Commander-in-Chief from 1959 until 2008 (when power formally passed to his brother, Raúl), he headed a state that survived the tenures of ten US presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama. […]

The Unwelcomed Guest

Early in April the faculty at Indiana University had a heated email discussion about Charles Murray’s visit to our campus. The co-author of the notorious The Bell Curve, he was recently the subject of a demonstration at Middlebury College. He was not coming to IU to discuss his earlier book on human population genetics, but […]

Marching for Science in London

An anthropologist joins demonstrators and asks, “What happens next?” I am currently in London, beginning a year of fieldwork in climate finance, and on Saturday I joined the city’s March for Science. Straight from the field, I present my experience in the form of two fieldnotes, one for the day before and the day of […]

NAPA and Practitioner Relevance in the Blogosphere

Where can anthropologists find work these days? What is the public perception of anthropology? And what does the future hold? If you are following NAPA’s three blogs, you should be well informed on all these questions.   AnthroJobs Let’s start with a question asked each year by hundreds or maybe thousands of newly minted anthropologists: “Great, […]

Empire of Sound

A foundational moment in the historiographical study of Islam in China was marked by a light scorn. “You cannot alter the text at will and still claim it is from the original,” the prominent historian Chen Yuan thus expressed his frustration with Hui Muslim scholars in 1928. “Each generation had its own way of transcription. […]