Going to Pottery Barn

When the U.S. decided to liberate Iraq only a decade ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell issued a warning behind the closed doors and to the closed minds of the war planners. It was the Pottery Barn rule: you break it and you own it.  Before Pottery Barn broke on the mall scene, I remember […]

Capitalism vs the Climate

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just released its finalized Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the state of scientific knowledge about climate change. A central theme of the report is that climate change may have serious, pervasive and irreversible impacts on human society and the environment. The notable word here is irreversible. The […]

Public Sector Anthropology and the Annual Meeting

  As the annual meeting of our organization approaches, my e-mail inbox fills up with messages about exciting sessions and calls for papers, notes from friends and colleagues inquiring about coffee dates and committee meetings.  And yet, despite longstanding investment in “the AAAs,” I’m not going this year.  Many constituent groups within AAA have been […]

The Writing on the Wall

One of the ongoing challenges we confront as professors at the U of Central Florida is dealing with weak or ineffective writing.  Despite the importance of effective communication to overall academic and post-graduation success and efforts made by colleges and universities to ensure that all students are writing on an appropriate level by the end […]

Trouble on the Hill

First, I need to situate this with a little autoethnography. As someone who has spent his entire adult life in the American higher education system, the events at Chapel Hill would have been highly disturbing, just as were those at Penn State a few years ago, apart from any rooting interest one might have in […]

Tweeting the Hell Train

Moving Across Scale and Platform in Seoul Walker, Rider, Smartphone Talker In Ryu Shin’s 2014 Seoul Arcade Project, the author, in the persona of the “walker” (구보), explores Seoul through Benjamin’s “Arcades Project,” focusing on the phantasmagoria of Korean capitalism and spectacle over the course of a day’s travel from Gangnam to Gangbuk and back again.  […]

Anthropology and Climate Change

Climate Change Denial: The Organized Creation and Emotional Embrace of Unsupported Science Claims The August 13, 2014 issue of Arctic News begins, “A catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding in the Arctic Ocean. Huge quantities of methane are erupting from the seafloor of the East Siberian Sea and entering the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean”. This […]

Self-organization, Integration and Homeless People

Some people are stigmatized as excluded, marginalized, the poor, extreme poor people, homeless and helpless, and other categories with which western capitalist societies tend to label the living situation of people who do not conform to common sense patterns of the market economy. Palleres (2004) has documented that over time, people living on the streets […]

Anthropology in the High School Classroom II

Including Anthropology in a high school curriculum provides important opportunities for students and instructors, but it also presents unique challenges. In this second installment of a two-part interview with Dexter Chapin, anthropology instructor at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) in downtown Seattle, WA, he reflects further on the significance of  teaching cultural anthropology […]

Dancing through Istanbul

Turkey is all over the news these days.  Former Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seen by liberals as attempting to be a new “Islamist” Neo-Ottoman Sultan and by Bible Belters as a top candidate for the Antichrist.  Earlier last summer there were the riots in Gezi Square.  Thousands of Syrians and […]