The Tragedy of Not Knowing History

In a recent article in The Economist, published one day after we in America celebrated our independence from foreign rule, the “tragedy of the Arabs” is summarized as a “civilisation that used to lead the world is in ruins – and only the locals can rebuild it.”  Responding to the emergence of a fanatical would-be […]

Exploring Ethnographic Film Archiving Today

Last spring, a group of 20 notable archivists, anthropologists, filmmakers and others concerned with the future of ethnographic media met at Harvard’s Peabody Museum for the Roundtable on Ethnographic Film Archiving. The day-long meeting, convened by Documentary Educational Resources (DER), took place on May 23, 2013 and was made possible by a grant from the […]

Latin America and Social Solidarity Economy Legislation

I had already anticipated that anthropology contributes to an important debate on otra economía & sociedad by making visible what and how are things accomplished, day-to-day, and what may these practices mean. I portrayed how —for example— when we want to interpret educational emancipatory school processes, we need to understand more closely what kinds of […]

The Korean Wave (Hallyu)

In June 2011, Korea’s production company held its first European concert in Paris, singing for fans from France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and so on. The company initially scheduled only one show at Le Zénith de Paris concert hall which seats about 6,000, but the tickets sold out in 15 minutes, prompting hundreds of […]

Anthropologist as Translator

As anthropologists we are acquainted with the challenges of translation. Whether through the process of learning a new language, or trying to communicate a concept from one cultural context to another, we know that slippage often occurs and that in many cases something gets lost—or transformed in both anticipated and surprising ways. For me, this […]

Anthropology’s Role in Assessment

In February 2013 I was asked to lead, along with one of our institution’s vice presidents, a team of campus trustees through a college-wide self-assessment. These trustees were to become members of the President’s Jubilee Commission, named in part to honor our College’s 50th anniversary. The PJC, as we became known, was tasked to assess […]

Keep Those Fields Alive

Agricultural Future of Vermont’s Mad River Valley Vermont’s Mad River Valley sits ten miles west of the state capital, Montpelier, and is comprised of five towns: Duxbury, Moretown, Fayston, Waitsfield, and Warren. These towns occupy the watershed of the Mad River, a tributary of the Winooski River—itself a tributary of Lake Champlain and one of […]

What is Humanistic Anthropology?

Approaching SHA’s 40th Anniversary At the American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings in Mexico City in 1974, a group of rogue anthropologists organized two sessions on what they called humanistic anthropology.  The following year in San Francisco, an open organizational meeting was held, and the anthropologists in attendance elected to formalize their interests by establishing a […]

Creating One’s Own Postdoc Position

An NSF-funded Investigation of Cultural Change in Amazonia I work at an ethnic boundary. “When they [the Matsigenka] first come, they have many problems, and they are used to not working. That is one of their customs. And when they come here they have to change their way of thinking. They have to see how […]

Climate Change and Social Murder

Agreeing to Kill the People of the Maldives Earlier this year researchers described huge collapses on the Western Antarctic ice sheet. A NASA study involving an assessment of 40 years of ground, air, and satellite data found that melt on the sheet is occurring far faster than climate scientists predicted. The growing fear is that […]