Euphemisms for the Global Other

I recently attended a conference in Copenhagen about sustainable consumption where I kept hearing “the Global South” used to refer to poor people in general, to low income countries, and the continents of Africa and South America.

William Leap’s Reflections upon Retirement

William Leap is retiring after being a professor of anthropology at American University for 46 years. Ilana Gershon asks him to reflect on his career. What article or book that you wrote are you most pleased with?  Could you talk about the story behind writing it? Easier than citing a single book or article, I’d […]

The Human Birth Hour

“Nothing good happens after midnight” is a phrase that might be taken with a grain of salt in light of recent research on the timing of human births. A seminal 1956 study, showed that the number of non-induced, vaginal births in US hospitals peaked between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and declined throughout the day.

“Which Children Matter?”

The debate on immigration has recently boiled over, with border policy being brought front-and-center. This more recent attention and uproar was ignited by reports of children being separated from their parents at the United State’s southern border. Whether  images of children being detained or the chilling audio  of children crying out for their parents, these children triggered something intensely emotional for all sides.

Creators of the Contemporary in Africa

In Ghana, creative culture and the contemporary art sphere is in a period of exponential growth and refiguration. Across Accra and Kumasi, the contemporary creative scene has been growing at an unprecedented rate since 2011–pervading public spaces, transportation infrastructure, historical sites, and online social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In the absence of support structures for the arts, many artists and institutions have begun using urban public spaces as creative venues and substantive mediums for producing and displaying art.

Your Fieldwork and Thinking Lives On

It is getting ever easier to share something valuable from fieldwork or writings sparked by those materials, whether you are early, middle, or late career. But particularly in those retrospective moments around the time of retirement, the idea comes to mind of sifting some things out to donate to an archivist at your alma mater, workplace, or a national repository like the vast space at the Smithsonian Institution.

Fear and Food, Two Extremes of Human-Insect Relations

At the beginning of June 2018, I set off for my first field season in the valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, to learn more about traditional medicine involving edible insects. One day, the group of students that I was traveling with stopped at a restaurant to have comida (lunch). We were offered an array of snacks, soups, salads, meats, and a make-it-yourself tostada bar. Amongst the toppings offered in the tostada bar was a small bowl of chapulines (the local name for grasshoppers), and I convinced a few of the students to try some along with me. Most were afraid, some willingly put them on their tostadas like I did, while others struck up the courage to eat a single chapulín to say that they did it.

Reclaiming “Allahu Akbar” from Semantic Pejoration

Allāhu akbar, the Arabic phrase meaning “God is the greatest,” has gained connotations in US public discourse that differ vastly from its meaning among Muslims. Understanding this process may be the first step to reclaiming its positive connotations.

AFA Introduces Recent PhD Graduates

The Association of Feminist Anthropology is pleased to introduce recent PhD graduate members Elyse Singer, Rachel Fleming, Risa Cromer, Shunyuan Zhang, and Veronica Miranda, whose doctoral work contributes to the work of feminist anthropology. Elyse Singer Washington University in St. Louis Regulating Reproduction: Abortion Reform and Reproductive Governance in Mexico Situated in the aftermath of Mexico City’s […]

Ethnography of Museum Anthropology Futures

Introducing the Inaugural Conference of the Council for Museum Anthropology. The following is co-authored by three emerging museum anthropology professionals tasked with using ethnographic methods to critically reflect on the inaugural Council for Museum Anthropology conference, which took place May 25–27 of this year at Concordia University, Montreal, QC. This is the first installment in […]