Living with Debt

If one journeys up the Hooghly River from Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, one can get a condensed impression of India’s colonial past. Dotted along the river banks are the towns of Bandel, Chinsurah, Serampore, and Chandannagar, where the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Danes, and the French respectively settled. […]

Unsettling Gender Normativities through Dance and Music

The annual Istanbul LGBT Pride Week will kick off at the end of June in Turkey. For the 24th consecutive year, the event will incorporate the traditional parade which will roll down the streets of a historic city that was once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Every year, crowds in festive attires increase and […]

The Missing Ethics of Heritage

Ethics codes should play a key role in the education of future professionals.  Indeed, in teaching a capstone course for graduating seniors, I justify our multi-day exploration of ethics in part by referencing the Society for Applied Anthropology’s ethics code, which states in its principle 4 that “Our training should inform students as to their […]

On the Continued Relevance of Agricultural Anthropology

Back in 1974, Robert Netting made the important observation that, although most anthropologists up until that point had worked among agricultural peoples, very little had been written about agricultural systems and their importance to cultural identity and local livelihoods. Anthropologists were more interested in documenting complex kinship systems, economic relations, or the symbolic meaning of […]

The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes . . . and a Canal

Anthropology and Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal The cab driver sized me (M. Petriello) up, “¿A dónde nos vamos?” (Where are we going?) he asked, assessing the fee and my Spanish simultaneously. After departing, we negotiated typical taxi conversation etiquette, but something felt different from my prior visits to Nicaragua. His speech emanated an immediate and urgent […]

The Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal and Heritage Protection

Why consultations with Indigenous communities matter The construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal has garnered only a sporadic interest in the news media, one that does not match the immensity of the project and its potential to affect the natural environment and the lives of those who inhabit the region. As proposed, the canal […]

Queer and Trans Anthropology

Students’ Perspectives As we discussed in our first post of the year, our goal this year is to showcase a more full range of work being done under the banner of queer and trans anthropology. We often overlook how queer and trans anthropology is being integrated into all levels of higher education, particularly at the […]

An Open Letter to the American Anthropologist and Responses

An Open Letter to the American Anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj Susan Slyomovics The recent issue of the American Anthropologist included a section presenting nine views on anthropology in Israel. The persons asked to respond to three questions about Israeli anthropology included “all living past heads of the Israel [sic] Anthropological Association,” a group whom Virginia […]

Activating and Deactivating Heritage Symbols

On the Tubman $20 and Other Symbolic Controversies After a long controversy between students and upper-level administration, Yale University decided not to remove the name of John C. Calhoun from their residential community building. Apparently, they only supported efforts to stop using the title “master” to address the faculty members who head these residential communities. […]

Why Refugee Resettlement Isn’t Enough

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are nearly 60 million refugees worldwide, the largest number in recorded history. The same report by the UNHCR states that “one in 122 humans is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum”, and approximately 50 percent of this population is made up of children under […]