Archaeology and NASA

Archaeology and NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration), in my view, has a complicated relationship. In many ways NASA supports archaeology, yet it places barriers against archaeologists’ entry into the inner sanctum of the astronaut world. One way NASA supports archaeology is by allowing archaeologists to work with images taken from NASA satellites. There has […]

AnthroCyberism and the AnthroCyberist

It should be considered that the human condition, culturally and developmentally, can be measured by advances in computer technology. Inequalities are created, exaggerated and/or corrected rapidly, as the symbolic and objective worlds are manipulated by advanced machines. The power relationships between nations and populations are maintained or altered through the use of computers and the […]

Fear in the Bathroom

I once taught a course titled, “Fear in the Making of the Americas” that focused on how fear has worked throughout history to shape identity. Fear of women possessed by the devil or disgraced because of perceived transgressions, fear of migrants, and fears of disease all fueled nation-building throughout the Americas. Today, fear continues to […]

Unaccompanied Child Migrants: An Overview

During 2014, over sixty thousand unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as they traveled across the southwest border of the United States.  While the number of unaccompanied children making the journey north without an adult caretaker has been steadily increasing since 2011, the summer of 2014 […]

The Anthropology of Engagement

In discussing the 2015 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), we both agreed that its theme, “Familiar/Strange,” felt particularly apt for us. Our individual career trajectories have led us to work primarily in health services research for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Returning to the AAA meeting felt like coming back to […]

Making Connections Through Simulation

The simulator operator warned me that I might get sick. I stepped down from the platform into the cockpit, mentally preparing myself for the nausea I should expect to follow. I was unreasonably nervous as the operator glided me into place. As I began my first flight in an F-5N Tiger II simulator (usually referred […]

Ethnic Minorities and Theme Parks

What is a “Chinese Dream”? Can a country have a dream and impose it on its people?  What underlying assumptions are linked with the notion of “Chinese people”? This column will explore field observations on Chinese individuals and populations. In November 2012, shortly after the closing of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of […]

The Shah of Snakes

Why Shahmaran Matters Within the cultural fabric of Anatolia and the plains of Mesopotamia lies the story of Shahmaran, a beautiful woman with the lower half of her body shaped in the form of a snake. Varied versions of the legend exist which play a critical role in the expressions and understandings of gender, sexuality, […]

San Bernardino

Long before it became an eponym for mass slaughter like Aurora or Sandy Hook, San Bernardino was a modestly prosperous, multi-ethnic, and forward-looking city, the anchor of Southern California’s “Inland Empire.” My family moved there in the early 1960s when my father, a recent teacher college graduate, was offered a job. At that time, California […]