Motherhood in the Field

My daughter Luna is now eight months old, chubby, with a wide-mouthed smile and bright eyes. I’m here to study community responses to youth “return” from the United States and Mexico—return often, although not always, being a sanitized word for deportation. We have been in Guatemala eight weeks now, long enough to begin settling in, and slowly to understand the vastness of what I don’t understand.

Gramsci, Ethnography, and “Class”

Kate Crehan talks with Marek Mikuš about his recent monograph Frontiers of Civil Society: Government and Hegemony in Serbia (Berghahn 2018) and how the work of Antonio Gramsci can inspire anthropological thinking about civil society and inequality.

Reclaiming a Broken Future for the Past

The revolution in information and communications technologies, which had so much promise for broadening access and participation in scholarship, certainly seems much darker and more ominous now. Social media platforms have been weaponized to subvert democracies and weirdly globalize local nationalisms.

Sense as Metaphor

In Metaphors We Live By, Lakoff and Johnson (1980) argue that metaphor is like a sense. It structures human experience and guides our understanding of our own and other worlds. Metaphors are passed down, becoming a way for structuring experience—a feeling that guides us through our lives.

Educational Anthropology as a Resource for Teacher Educators

My work as a second-grade teacher was strongly influenced by the sociocultural and anthropological perspectives embedded in my teacher preparation. While traditional approaches to education center a teacher’s intentions and goals for the classroom, I strove to see my students from their perspective.

Plastic Reason, Part One

The big theme of the book is of course how the discovery of plasticity upset the classical concept of the brain as a fixed and immutable structure. But there is no overall core argument that would organize and arrange the stories assembled in Plastic Reason. In fact, I could say that one of the major points of Plastic Reason is precisely to not have a core argument.

Visiting and Revisiting Silicon Valley at the 2018 Annual Meeting

The Association of Senior Anthropologists has planned several activities inspired by the venue of this year’s AAA meeting. The gathering in San José, urban center of Silicon Valley, serves as an incentive to investigate anthropological implications of the digital revolution. Those of us who reached adulthood earlier will recall electric typewriters and photocopiers, for instance, […]

African Vodun in the Age of Globalization

Westerners’ knowledge of Africa typically includes images of safaris, poverty, and of course, “tribal” religion, with all of its racist connotations of “primitiveness.” Among African religions, Beninese Vodun holds a prominent place as the precursor of Caribbean Vodou and North American Voodoo.

What Do We Want Anthropology to Resemble?

 This was, in many ways, the question which was driving the organizers of this year’s SVA/AES joint conference, hosted in Philadelphia, PA, this past March. The conference theme “Resemblance” is, according to the organizers’ call for proposals, “at the very heart of anthropology, as its practitioners have sought to demonstrate the commonalities of all people.”

Applying for Jobs in Communication Departments

Linguistic anthropologists sometimes think about applying for jobs in communication departments, which have their own sets of expectations for what a good job candidate looks like. Ilana Gershon interviews Zizi Papacharissi, professor and head of the Communication Department at University of Illinois, Chicago.