The Estranged Siblings

Beginning in 2000, I served a term as chair of the anthropology department at Indiana University, at a time when our state legislature was progressively squeezing the university budget. One of our Dean’s many austerity measures was a policy that we could no longer replace people who retired or departed. There would be no more […]

The Multivocal Power of Sports

After the summer’s hurricanes, fires, and North Korean nuclear provocations, the autumn return to football might have been exactly what we needed. But the current National Football League (NFL) season is showing that our nation’s politics are just as tumultuous as Mother Nature. This season’s controversy actually began last summer, when Colin Kaepernick of the […]

The Paranoid Style of Climate Change Denial

Through its actions and appointments, the Trump administration has elevated climate change denial to official government policy. The administration’s position represents a fundamental shift away from science toward the embrace of what Richard Hofstadter termed the “Paranoid Style in American Politics.” The paranoid style breeds a form of post-truth cynicism that destroys confidence in science as a tool for guiding thoughtful responses to issues like climate change.

Learning from Stuart Hall

The anthropology of living with difference. This year has for me been a year of reading and re-reading the work of the late cultural studies scholar Stuart Hall (1932-2014). This year the publishing of Hall’s work has become a minor publishing cottage industry. Though Hall was not an anthropologist, his books and essays have certainly been […]

The Disastrous End for DACA Students and Workers

Early morning on September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, issued to protect over 800,000 undocumented persons who arrived to the United States as minors from deportation and provide them with temporary work-permits. Sessions claimed that DACA had been “an unconstitutional exercise […]

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 […]

AnthroVice

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 […]