Racial Projects

Classifying Racial Ambiguity for Equal Employment I write this particularly after the Rachel Dolezal phenomenon, with attempts to push forward the conversation on race by asking how it operates through its social construction. At the heart of this story and the fieldwork are debates between identity and race, our tendency to conflate the two, and […]

Dropping the Ball

The power of sports might be the greatest for a parent. Watching one’s child run, jump, or score is a true electric thrill. My son is nearly two years old, but when he puts the basketball in his two-foot bucket, the widest smile you can imagine overcomes me. [pquote]Judging LaVar for his “click-baity” comments alone […]

Women in the Middle East Take a Stand

The 2016 edition of the Arab Human Development Report by the UNDP highlighted the challenges of reporting on young women in the region. The report’s authors encountered objections to their nuanced depiction of women in the region. Their examination of how young women, who were subject to prevailing norms, found ways to circumvent societal forces […]

Kneeling Down is the New Standing Up

Colin Kaepernick and the power of athlete protest In our new age of viral videos, trending topics, and social media outrage, patriotism is now hotly contested in cyberspace—what it means to be a patriot and honor the flag, the anthem, or the nation’s president. Enter former San Francisco 49er and now free agent NFL quarterback […]

Trump Echoes Bush in Middle East Visit

President Introduces New Term into Counterterrorism Lexicon President Trump embarked on his first international trip since moving into the White House after a special counsel was appointed to investigate his campaign’s ties to Russia and concerns about obstruction of justice. Each day leading up to his departure brought a fusillade of damning reports about his […]

Returning to the Anthropology of Secularism and the “Secular”

At the recent party congress of the governing populist right-wing Progress Party in Norway, party delegates adopted resolutions calling for a range of measures targeting religious minorities in Norway. Those adopted called for a national ban on the wearing of the Islamic headscarf—the hijab—for girls under the age of sixteen in public schools; increased state […]

Managing Hope after Affirmative Action

What “Diversity of Thought” Reveals About the Disappearing Corporate Ladder   In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg took the media by storm with the publication of her book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Many in the diversity management profession applauded her, despite critiques by intersectional feminist scholars that her purported universal advice offered […]

Clovis in Space, Kennewick for Sale

Archaeologists often find themselves navigating through potentially contentious issues, especially appropriation or commercialization. Recently, the sending of a Clovis point into space and selling replica skulls of The Ancient One, more popularly known as Kennewick Man, have brought these issues to the fore. [pquote]Issues such as a putting a Clovis point in space and selling […]

Is Graduate School Obsolete?

I’ve served on more than 110 graduate committees in all four subfields and have chaired 21, so I am perfectly comfortable with the steps and rituals of graduate education, which have not changed much from what I went through some 40 years ago. But I suspect this comfort is really a signal of something wrong. […]

Obama, Trump, and the End of Meritocracy

Dipping into David J. Garrow’s massive tome, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, I was not struck by the fact that Obama was calculating or willing to sacrifice anything, including romantic relationships, at the altar of personal ambition—Rick Perlstein’s quasi-biography of Reagan, The invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, told […]