Interview with Donald Brenneis

Donald Brenneis chatted with Ilana Gershon over Skype about the institutional and collegial relations that shaped his career, a reflection inspired by the Franz Boas award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology. Below is an edited transcript of the informal conversation.

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.

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 […]

Not Talking about Disarmament at the IAEA

Less than a decade and an administration ago, nuclear weapons appeared as Cold War relics that history had made obsolete. Their numbers dwindled, their importance declined, and President Obama inspired hope that nuclear weapons would be eliminated in a lifetime (or two). Today, however, nuclear weapons have made the comeback of the century thanks to a president who seems eager to reignite an arms race.

New Sovereignties and the Translation of Clinical Authority

On February 14, 2018, 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. News of the massacre quickly began trending on social media. For the first time since the preceding October after a mass shooting in Las Vegas, the now sadly familiar discourse about gun violence in the United States raised its head to front-page prominence.

#Adulting and the Disordered State of American Adulthood

In 2016, the Oxford Dictionary shortlisted the noun-turned-verb-turned-gerund “adulting” for its Word of the Year designation. Oxford defined adulting as “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” The designation capped off a banner year for the term, with the Washington Post launching a […]

Reflections on Kit Woolard’s Singular and Plural

Kit Woolard received the 2017 Edward Sapir Book Prize for Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia. This prize is awarded to a book that makes the most significant contribution to our understanding of language in society, or the ways in which language mediates historical or contemporary sociocultural processes. Reading Singular and Plural […]