Anthropological Listening as a Genre

Linguistic anthropologists are accustomed to exploring the way speakers create structures of relevance that provide directionality to social activity. Could we also say the same for listeners? Listening has the potential to generate a specific context by listening “in a particular way;” for example, when a mechanic is deciphering the semantic meaning of the sounds […]

LGBT in Central Asia

2014’s Most Pivotal Moments Last year proved to be a turbulent year for LGBT politics in Central Asia. The passage of Russia’s “gay propaganda law” ignited discussion of the presence of LGBT people throughout the former Soviet Union. While Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan had repealed Soviet era legislation criminalizing male-male sex acts in 1997 and 1998 […]

When Heritage Turns to Rubble

In late March a coalition of wealthy states, led by Saudi Arabia, began constantly bombing Yemen.  The stated rationale for this air war and naval blockade has been to reinstate former interim president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in power after he was forced out by a rebellion in the north.  The primary target of the campaign […]

Reconstructing The Past: Studio EIS (A Docu-Portrait)

Almost every weekend for over a year, I left NYC on a 6:30 am south bound bus to Washington, DC. When I arrived, I would quickly grab breakfast from Union Station and enjoy the walk to the National Museum of Natural History. I was volunteering for a forensic anthropology exhibit based on the Jamestown excavations […]

Fieldwork Equipment That (Hopefully) Won’t Break the Bank

Digital Audio Recorders Every task necessitates a tool and ethnography is no exception. As twenty-first century student anthropologists, we have a staggering amount of options when it comes time to selecting a field recorder, camera, camcorder, editing software, and storage devices. While some students’ home institution can provide them with these resources, many are unable to […]

Cheap Thrills and Elementary Anthropology

In “Fieldwork in Common Places,” Mary Louise Pratt (1986) critiqued anthropological writing, saying, “For the lay person, such as myself, the main evidence of a problem is the simple fact that ethnographic writing tends to be surprisingly boring. How, one asks constantly, could such interesting people doing such interesting things produce such dull books?” I came to […]

Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology Announces 2015 Book Prize Competition

The Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology (SLACA), a section of the American Anthropological Association, announces the opening of its annual book prize competition. The prize aims to recognize distinguished anthropological work that advances the understanding of the Americas in innovative and potentially transformative ways. The winner is announced at the annual meeting of […]

“Pro-Government” Is Not “Pro-Corruption” in the Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquakes

Since the April 25th earthquake in Nepal, as anthropologists, aid workers, Nepalis and outsiders, we have responded to our grief in both laudable and questionable ways. Many of us have thrown ourselves into action through the networks and organizations we are connected to in Nepal. In an environment rife with anguish and critique, we admire […]

Strength, Security, Resilience and Nepal’s Great Earthquake

Newars, one of Nepal’s many ethnic groups, have a traditional way of responding to earthquakes. When a quake comes, adult men are supposed to stand up and yell loudly, while women should place their hands on the ground and recite soothing mantras to comfort the earth in its agitation. In fact, none of my friends […]

Buffalo’s Collective Memory

In a previous post, I introduced my thesis topic and research; exploring the current social and economic revival of Buffalo, New York through a project titled “Silo Sessions”. This project, the brain-child of Buffalo native Kevin Cain, is a web series of local and national musicians recorded in an empty grain elevator in downtown Buffalo. […]