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.

Addressing #MeToo and Exploitation in Anthropology

The explosion of awareness and public conversation on bullying, harassment, sexual violence, and exploitation in recent years can hardly have gone unnoticed by anyone in academia. Access to important archaeological sites has apparently been contingent on securing favor from key “Alpha Males.”

For the Love of Football

After sitting through exactly 70 minutes of meetings and film-watching, the players made their way out to the practice field by 8:30 a.m., equipped in pads and helmets. “It’s North versus f*cking South, and it’s damn Bloody Tuesday!” yelled the offensive coordinator to his players.

When Is It Cultural Appropriation?

This year there have been some curious public reactions to a girl’s prom dress and Zac Ephron’s new hairstyle. In May, Keziah Daum wore a Chinese-style dress to her prom. After posting pictures of her prom night on social media, one Twitter user responded with “MY culture is not your prom dress.”

William Leap’s Reflections upon Retirement

William Leap is retiring after being a professor of anthropology at American University for 46 years. Ilana Gershon asks him to reflect on his career. What article or book that you wrote are you most pleased with?  Could you talk about the story behind writing it? Easier than citing a single book or article, I’d […]

The Human Birth Hour

“Nothing good happens after midnight” is a phrase that might be taken with a grain of salt in light of recent research on the timing of human births. A seminal 1956 study, showed that the number of non-induced, vaginal births in US hospitals peaked between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and declined throughout the day.