Innovative Teaching Practices Maybe Worth Trying

The trend today is to find innovative and effective ways to improve student completion and retention rates. So many of our students never earn their degrees, instead they leave college with just a collection of credits. For community college students, this is particularly a problem because as open admission institutions we can’t really rely on […]

Anthropologists on the Nepal Earthquake

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. Aftershocks, avalanches and landslides followed. News agencies report the death toll is now over 5,000 and still continues to rise. Anthropologists who work with Nepalese communities are working hard to respond and help. AN has seen a few pieces by AAA members who have already written some […]

Welcome to the Jungle: Touring Tikal

During my fieldwork in Guatemala, I toured Tikal. Group tours of archaeological sites like this are famous for dwelling on the glories of past communities at the height of their greatness while glossing over present material and political realities for their descendant groups. Our bilingual guide, Jorge, effectively subverted these expectations. His tour drew from […]

A Note from the New NAPA President, John Massad

Thirty years ago, when I first entered graduate school, the AAA was a rather lonely place for a practitioner, and back then, I already knew that was who I would become.  But, that was the year NAPA was founded, and through the work of many dedicated leaders and volunteers, it has become a welcoming home […]

At the Crossroads of Linguistics and Anthropology

Disciplinary Perspectives on Language Documentation For a long time in anthropology, the documentation of languages on the brink of disappearing was negatively tainted as salvage: quaint in its Boasian particularism, inappropriately objectifying speakers as passive vehicles of an authoritatively rendered tradition, naïve in uncritically adopting the folk category of language as an analytic one, and […]

Elegy for Ethnographic Poet, Kent Maynard

This poem is in honour of an ethnographic poet that the world lost earlier this year.  Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor writes: “Kent organized countless panels and special events showcasing creative ethnography generally and ethnographic poetry in particular at annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and through the Society of Humanistic Anthropology (SHA).   Kent was an […]

Ethnographic History versus the Ethnography of History

The lines between history and anthropology blur when it comes to doing research about the recent past. I think of ethnographic history as oral history’s anthropological cousin, but rather than doing a series of interviews about a subject’s life over a fixed period of time, ethnographic interviewing is less formal and requires trust and multiple […]

Confessions of a Shark Anthropologist

Earlier this year I received a phone call from an unknown number. “This is the National Geographic Channel. Is it true that you are a shark anthropologist?” I paused— “Yes, I guess you can say that.” “Great, we are doing a program about sharks and are asking experts why sharks attack at certain times and […]

2015 Climate Science Day

Lobbying for Science There is a fine line between lobbying and advocacy for a cause or issue. In this case we advocated for science-based decisions and offered assistance in serving Congress’s science needs. I spent February 10 and 11 involved in “2015 Climate Science Day” on Capitol Hill, organized by the Ecological Society of America […]

Disavowing the Law and Engaging Politics in Rural China

APLA Student Paper Prize 2014 This month, APLA is proud to present a column by the winner of the 2014 Graduate Student Paper Prize, Andrea E Pia, a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics. Submissions are now open for the 2015 competition (until July 1): start polishing your papers! —The APLA editors A […]