The Invaluable Gift of Yoga

During a 2014 speech to the United Nations (UN) general assembly, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared that yoga was an “invaluable gift” of India’s ancient traditions. Soon after, the UN, with the support of 177 member countries, passed a resolution to make June 21st the International Day of Yoga (IDY), a day to celebrate the health and wellness benefits of yoga practice. Each year’s theme (environmental protection, international peace etc.) highlights one further potential for yoga to benefit the world. Though it is a UN observance, IDY is one of the most unified and widespread of India’s international cultural engagements.

Retiring into the Future and the Present

I revel in community, a place and sentiment where I flourish. I can’t imagine living a life apart, and I feel flummoxed when I’m not around people with whom I can share ideas—and emotions. In the field, I participated as fully as I could in the life of Quinua, the Andean town where I  worked: […]

Digital Elder Care

In a transnational context, co-residence and touch are not possible due to the geographic distance among family members. Instead, calling has become an elder care practice: sharing everydayness on the phone by sharing the details of one’s daily life is a way of enacting co-presence at a distance, not only as a feeling, but as a concrete practice that involves parents, their children, and phones.

Performance, Sign Language, and Deaf Identity in Japan

Through 20 years of research experience in Japan, I realized that Japanese Sign Language itself can also be viewed as a performance genre found in the everyday lives of Deaf people, considering the relationship between their presentations of JSL and shared Deaf identity through the consumption of information and values.

Practicing Heritage Means Life or Death in Rwanda

In Rwanda, the field of heritage production is dominated by the central government. National museums and memorials are part of the government’s efforts to establish a usable history for the country, where politicized divisions between ethnic groups, reinforced and reified during colonialism, resulted in a devastating genocide in 1994. Establishing a singular narrative and identity—along with the life-or-death stakes—means that the democratizing practices advocated within heritage scholarship circles are unlikely to gain traction.

Business Anthropology on the Road

In practice and scholarship, the application of anthropology in and on business has seen substantial growth in recent years. Beyond the industries that employ anthropologists and the scholarly studies, the sheer number of people engaged in the field appears to be increasing exponentially.

Haunting Democracy

It’s difficult to imagine being haunted in a public space. Regarded from outside, public spaces usually evoke the gathering of large numbers of people; regarded from within, their occupants often do not recognize the space as anything special at all. However, consider public space in post-Soviet contexts, where it continues to be haunted by the machinations of totalitarianism and is always already haunted by histories of surveillance and violent state power, despite nearly three decades of democracy.

Committee on Language and Social Justice Meeting Report

The SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice (LSJ) aims to increase awareness, both within the AAA and among the general public, of the ways that language is implicated in social discrimination; and where appropriate, to respond to language-related injustice.

Protesting Border Patrol on Campus

Denisse Moreno Melchor, 20, and Mariel Alexandra Bustamante, 22, along with other students, peacefully protested the presence of Border Patrol at their university, a place they go to learn. As pedagogical research has shown (e.g. Smith 2011), learning can only take place when students are safe, and moreover, feel safe.

Staging Harmony in China’s Urban Dance Competitions

At a recent government-sponsored dance competition for retirees in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, more than 20 groups of retired women took to the stage to perform a dance routine set to Kangding Qingge, a Chinese pop song with lyrics extolling the romance of the Tibetan grasslands.