Children in Cages, with Guns

The death toll of schoolchildren, the agony of migrant families seeking safe haven, the mistrust of the “justice” system by people of color—anthropologists need to determine their role in clotting these social wounds. One way forward, I think, is the intersubjective empathy at anthropology’s core.

A Demagogue’s Words Matter

Trump’s immigration metaphors set a divisive tone from the top. His immigration metaphors do not constitute “plain speaking,” “strong language,” or “passionate debate,” nor can they be innocently excused as his “own style.” His language is textbook demagoguery, and his immigration metaphors help constitute our current sociopolitical moment.

HHS Transgender Proposal a Shabby Costume

Implementing the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed definition of sex as “either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with” is so manifestly impracticable that calling it a “policy proposal” is a shabby costume. Any serious observer can see that it doesn’t cover the sneer beneath; it’s not meant to.

Speaking with Silence

Words take center stage in the verbal sparring of the Twitter age. But, amidst the endless talk and noise of today’s political landscape, we often overlook the powerful communicative potential of silence.

White Patriarchy Gets a Pacifier

In less than the time it takes you to read this, someone in the United States will be sexually assaulted. One person is assaulted every 98 seconds; almost 37 people in an hour and 888 people a day. There is less than a 1 percent chance that any given perpetrator will go to jail. Rape is underreported, under-prosecuted, and disbelieved. Ours, as anthropologist Peggy Sanday might say, is a rape prone society.

Creating Space for Veterans’ Voices in the Production of Knowledge

Anthropologists grapple with the responsibility of producing knowledge about other people. From understanding values and beliefs to practices and behaviors, the act of generating knowledge about others is an exercise of power that few other disciplines acknowledge or regularly reflect upon. The methodological tools of our discipline—ethnography, qualitative interviews, participant observation—are fundamentally relational and afford […]

Christian Cosmopolitics

Anthropologists have begun to take seriously the other-than-human entities at play in the world and in political life. In Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice Across Andean Worlds, Marisol de la Cadena details “co-laboring” closely with Mariano and Nazario Turpo, a family of ritual practitioners and land-rights activists.

The New Elite’s Battle Against Affirmative Action

What little solace we had from Abigail Fisher losing her anti-affirmative action case against the University of Texas, is now under threat as a new legal case is underway against Harvard University. The current lawsuit that alleges Harvard University discriminates against Asian-Americans student applicants is not a lawsuit claiming “reverse racism” or racism against white people.

Academic Games

In 1947, the British writer Stephen Potter published a slim volume called The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: Or the Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating, ushering the term gamesmanship into the English language. In later books, Potter extended his theories and recommendations beyond the formal world of sports to include every aspect of human life.