Theory in Public Sector Anthropology

In graduate school, my favorite course was titled “History of Anthropological Theory.” The course readings, which required a critical engagement with works written by Foucault, Geertz, Stoler, and V. Turner (to name a few), were invigorating and encouraged me to think in a new way—one that sought out nuances, peeled back layers, and identified seemingly […]

Religion is not Archaeology

Unless you are hibernating without a cellphone or internet in Siberia, you have heard a lot about ISIS, a.k.a. the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and its “IS”-related acronyms, in the news for the past year, even on Anthropology News.  People who thought the caliphate was something created for the Disney movie Aladdin have […]

Unfolding of the On the Line Project

“Is this ‘new’ anthropology but ‘old’ art. Or new art woven of the threads of anthropology?” Anthropologist and artist, Susan Ossman posed this question during the installation process of her February 2013 solo art exhibition, On the Line. To date, it is commonly known that artist and anthropologist research can consist of borrowed methods from […]

What’s Biological about Biocultural Research? (Part 1)

Our January column from Bill Dressler harkened to 2005 when, concerned about the absence of an explicit theory of culture in much biocultural research, Bill had written a piece in Ethos entitled “What’s Cultural about Biocultural Research?” While not all of us follow Bill’s approach to the letter, his perspective has been influential in our Biocultural […]

“We Can’t Be What We Can’t See”

The students were excited. I’m sure their delight may have started with the prospect of getting out of class for a while, but as I stood in front of them with hands full of artifacts, skulls, and tools, I realized that this was beyond some time outside away from incessant test prep and standard text […]

Anthropology and Humanitarian Aid

The international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) is known for its medical work in conflict zones, epidemics and natural disasters. MSF is recognized globally for the work of its doctors, nurses and logisticians, and as I discovered several years ago, they have a growing pool of anthropologists working in their programs. […]

Anthropology Awareness

February 19th is National Anthropology Day and to celebrate this diverse field and its creative social thinkers, I want to share the importance and impact of the field with my fellow students, anthropologists, and the curious. Anthropology, simply put, is the study of humankind and human life. Under the umbrella of anthropology there are sub-fields or […]

The Ethnography Experiment in the National Park Service

Thirty-five years ago the National Park Service (NPS) embarked on a bold experiment by creating a formal Ethnography Program to serve as a complement and counterpart to the agency’s well-established Archeology Program. The fledgling program’s mission was to bring people with cultural and historical connections to parks into the management decision-making matrix for federally protected […]

Decriminalizing Children in Florida and Beyond: An Introduction

Introduction and Purpose Making structural violence visible—showing how to trace its effects back to their causes—is a prerequisite for mobilizing people to dismantle it. Humanizing people who are harmed by structural violence strengthens our ability and willingness to empathize with them—an innate capacity that can be quickly impaired by exposure to dehumanizing images and negative […]

Why I don’t dig “Dig”

If you watched the Super Bowl, you may have noticed one for an upcoming dramatic series on the USA channel.  It is called “Dig,” with about as much positive publicity for archaeology as the Indiana Jones series.  The plot is typical Hollywood explosions-murder-mystery-sex, with a little bit of The Exorcist and a lot of the […]