The Ethnohistory of Trump’s Inauguration

It is possible for the world to change overnight, as it did last November. The boring certainty of a continuation of centrist, neoliberal policies gave way to an open chasm in which nothing could be taken for granted, including the relative global stability of the past decade. Trump had repeatedly suggested a willingness to use […]

Equipping Archaeology for the Post-Truth, Fake News Era

Archaeologists already have more experience comprehending and adapting to this new post-truth and fake news era than many. We have long been subjected to pseudoarchaeology, sensationalism, archaeology in popular culture, and media bias. In short, we are used to countering misunderstandings about the past. But the new post-truth era—a time in which many people appear to lack […]

Arctic Anthropology

Thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, and erosion are rapidly destroying unique and irreplaceable sites and artifacts in several Arctic regions, including the Ilulissat Ice Fjord in Greenland, the Mackenzie Delta in Canada, the Seward Peninsula in Alaska, and the Altai Mountains in Russia. Greenland The Ilulissat Ice Fjord is located approximately 150 miles north of […]

When the Wind is Called Haydar

“I came like water, like the wind I go,” Omar Khayyam said as he contemplated life. Rumi found an affinity between anger and the wind as he stated, “anger is like a strong wind; after a while it calms down but many of the tree branches are already broken.” However, he also saw beauty and […]

“Making a Bill” in Search of Health

The Poorest, Sickest State Mississippi is the U.S.’s poorest state and has the lowest rates of insurance coverage. Mississippi also has very poor health outcomes including the highest or second highest rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and age-adjusted death rate due to cancer (Mississippi State Department of Health 2014). These rates are nothing new and […]

Ayahuasca Visions in the Peruvian Amazon

As a psychological anthropologist interested in alternative healing options, I recently traveled to Peru to experience ayahuasca with a shaman I had been corresponding with. Ayahuasca is being used to help treat war veterans and others suffering from PTSD and depression, and its use as a treatment option for addicts is widespread. For thrill-seeking millennials, ayahuasca […]

Replacing the Lone Stranger with Evidence-Based Theory

Collaborative Fieldwork in Anthropology At the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association this year, I was recruiting a graduate student whose former adviser had told the student that she should leave academia because she would never get hired or tenure at an R1 institution because of structural obstacles to women in the academy. […]

Daring to Love

Gender and Sexuality in Layla and Majnun There is something extraordinarily intriguing about the story of Layla and Majnun. More than just a story of misery and pain, Layla and Majnun’s love for each other have broad and far-reaching implications for exploring gender and sexuality in the Middle Eastern context. By unfolding a series of […]

Criminalizing the Destruction of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Federico Lenzerini wrote, “Intangible cultural heritage, which comprises all immaterial manifestations of culture, represents the variety of living heritage of humanity as well as the most important vehicle of cultural diversity.” Despite its undeniable and universal value, intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is being destroyed on an active and worldwide basis. Criminalizing the destruction of ICH […]