Is Anthropology Ready for the 21st Century?

Whenever social scientists start rethinking basic issues, they usually begin by interrogating their key analytical categories and assumptions. They may, for example, take terms like “identity” or “sustainability” or “power” apart, pointing the way to new research programs by finding the problematic assumptions or generalizations concealed in such words and their usage. The idea behind […]

Community Health Worker Training Made Me a Better Anthropologist

By Renee Cadzow, PhD I landed my first tenure-track faculty position in 2012 at a small private college after working for about eight years at a Research I university as a grant-funded health disparities researcher. During that time I simultaneously completed my PhD in biological anthropology (2008). The decision to jump from a research 1 […]


Disillusioned PhC I’ve recently advanced to candidacy in my archaeology program. But I’ve been working full time since I finished my courses and the longer I’m out in the “real world,” the less interested I am in finishing and continuing in academia. The Ivory Tower has little value for me, especially given an increasingly shrinking […]

Wrestling with “The Donald”

Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1984) concept of the carnivalesque provides insight into Trump’s ability to subvert dominant political conventions through humor and chaos, maximizing entertainment value as he flouts presidential norms. But this concept alone cannot do full justice to explaining the ongoing, day-to-day spectacle of Trump’s presidency. To better understand the Trump phenomenon, I suggest we borrow a concept from the world of professional wrestling where hyperreality converges with spectacle to produce the same strange amalgamation of bravado, hyperbole, and exaggeration (and outright lies) that marks Trumpian politics. That concept is kayfabe.

Deconstructing the Millennial Classroom

While I was in the field in the Fall of 2015, Deloitte University Press, a source of authority in business management, released a report titled, “The Radical Transformation of Diversity and Inclusion: The Millennial Influence.” Management consultants and human resource professionals in workshops and conferences cited this and other similar reports at length: Millennials only […]

Doing Fieldwork among People We Don’t (Necessarily) Like

Last year’s Annual Meeting of American Anthropological Association (AAA) took place in a cold and wintry Minneapolis, less a week after the global shock that was the election of Donald Trump as president of the US. It was only natural and that talk in the corridors and in quite a few panels and roundtables should […]


Like many mothers, mine often told me to finish the food on my plate “because children are starving in India.” I could never figure out how throwing out my soggy broccoli could take away food from the starving; but I did absorb the moral lesson that waste is a terrible thing. This anthropologist has some […]

Ramadan TV

Every year during the month of Ramadan, dozens of new and exciting Arab TV serials are shown on the numerous satellite stations in the Arab speaking world.  They showcase the best and most innovative of Arab TV and bring back to the small screen favorite Arab actors. There were over twenty new series this year […]

A Bully in the Presidential Bully Pulpit

In American vernacular of the day, bully (as an adjective) meant “very good; first-rate.” Combined with pulpit, or a speaking platform, Theodore Roosevelt used the term to refer to the power that the presidency gave him to speak and be heard on vital issues facing the nation, from labor rights to political corruption to consumer food and drug safety. But under the presidency of Donald J. Trump, that advocacy-oriented bully pulpit as originally conceived by Roosevelt has morphed into a crude platform to engage in bullying behavior.

The Zero-Sum Game of White Supremacy

Sexuality and gender-based civil rights and religion are now largely considered incompatible. In the United States, the media consistently poses this as a case of irreconcilable values, beliefs, and practices. However, this is not a problem of conflicting essential differences. Rather it is a flawed framework for thinking about citizenship and belonging. Much like the […]