Theology and Anthropology

Years ago the anthropologist Akbar Ahmad argued for a specific “Islamic anthropology,” one that merged the principles of anthropology with those of his religious faith. An orthodox believer who accepts the Quran as the literal word of God, like the Evangelical Christian who insists the original Biblical texts were verbally inspired by God, is not free […]

Artificial Intelligence I: The PKD Android

In 2005, a community of Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers, engineers and artists produced an android that looks like the late science fiction author Philip K Dick (PKD). It is a manifestation and embodiment, an interpretation of the future rooted in the mythology of science fiction and the reality of technology. The android is considered by its […]

Being Polyamorous: Part 1

“Hi, I’m Viola and I’m Polyamorous” *Although very open and keen to discuss her experiences and sexual preferences, “Viola” cited bullying and security concerns. Out of respect for her concerns, her name has been changed and no images of her face were taken. As a fan of the anthropologist, Lila Abu-Lughod, when I think about […]

The Bone Lab Goes To School

“You’re the lady that taught us about the bones last year,” one of the students exclaimed as I made my way through the door of Bedford Village Public School in Brooklyn, NY. It felt good to be remembered for an anthropology lesson taught over a year ago. My team and I were welcomed into the […]

The Tip of an Archaeological Iceberg

Archaeologists have become increasingly skilled at using modern technology to discover, survey, and analyze previously unknown archaeological sites.  This article describes the manner in which magnetometry and ground penetrating radar have enabled scientists to make unprecedented advances in our knowledge about the Neolithic ruins surrounding the iconic circle of bluestone columns known as Stonehenge. Stonehenge, […]

The Trumpenproletariat

The first time as tragedy, the second as farce: Karl Marx amends Hegel’s statement about history repeating itself in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. How tempting, how comforting, to accept such a pronouncement. If the tragedy has already occurred, then we are safe from it. But how does history know that it is the […]

Disrupting the Status Quo

Women in Combat Gender integration in the armed forces is one sphere where the inherent tensions that constitute civil-military relations are visible: “On the one hand, the armed forces have to ensure military effectiveness…on the other, they must be responsive to wider social values and thus to the society in which they are embedded and […]

Youth Suicides and Discontentment in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, the ‘fragrant’ [hong] ‘harbor’[kong], has seen different eras in its past two hundred years as it has turned from a British colonial post of the Far East, to the global and international finance center as it is known today. In the early years, after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Hong […]

On Exploring Masculinities in the Middle East

“Eat, eat my fur coat,” said Nasreddin Hodja to criticize societal attitudes that valued outward appearances of success rather than character traits such as trustworthiness and integrity. Largely disappointed by the cordial welcome he received at a dinner party organized by the beys (male leaders of tribal groups or rulers of principalities/beylik) of his town […]

How Social Networks Shape Cultural Consonance

The Embeddedness of Cultural Knowledge The relationship between social networks and health has been established in anthropology since Émile Durkheim identified a link between social isolation and suicide. Medical anthropologists have also long recognized that people with more diverse social ties and greater emotional and economic support are typically healthier, but how this association is intensified by culture […]