Incidental Anthropology: Anti-Circumcision Advocates on Amazon.com, Thai Skin Bleaching Products, and Portraits of Chinese Families with Their Belongings

First, in an example of the internet’s power to concentrate amorphous outrage into a highly focused beam, the reviews for this book have become the schwerpunkt of anti-circumcision “Inactivists.” : here Meanwhile, in Thailand, the French cosmetic company Sanofi Aventis has begun advertising a vulva-bleaching product (yes you read that correctly). You can see the … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: Anti-Circumcision Advocates on Amazon.com, Thai Skin Bleaching Products, and Portraits of Chinese Families with Their Belongings

Drinking and Anthropology

In case you've forgotten the sage advice of Cindy van Gilder, here is a reminder CINDY’S TOP TEN THINGS ANTHROPOLOGISTS SHOULD NOT DO WHEN THEY ARE DRUNK

How the FBI spreads DIYBio

For more than a year now I have been conducting research on DIYBio . In a lucky break, the FBI convened a conference on DIYBio and Security this past summer, which I managed to attend. The conference lasted three days with sessions in the morning and afternoon. Some sessions were reserved for the FBI to … Continue reading How the FBI spreads DIYBio

Incidental Anthropology: Wearing a V-Neck in Malaysia and “the flirt” on Facebook in Brazil

Two things today: First, in a move of dubious methodological validity (though related to the move embraced by the Culturomics crowd and made profitable by the American comedian Jeff Foxworthy) , the Malaysian government would like you to be on the lookout for men wearing V-neck shirts. Second, the blog Material World (you should read … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: Wearing a V-Neck in Malaysia and “the flirt” on Facebook in Brazil

Incidental Anthropology: On “having it all” in France at the Dawn of the 20th Century

Today in Slate, there is a wonderful (and brief) article on the presentation of French women in popular magazines around the turn of the 20th century. At this time, magazine editors were moving from the established image  of the bicycle riding “New Woman” to formulating the contemporary femme moderne.  A nice snapshot of a category … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: On “having it all” in France at the Dawn of the 20th Century

McGee, Boas and the organization of American Anthropology

I found this on the AAA website last week: "The AAA has been a democratic organization since its beginning. Although Franz Boas had initially fought to restrict membership to an exclusive group of 40 "professional anthropologists," the AAA's first president. W. J. McGee, argued for a more inclusive membership embracing all those who expressed an … Continue reading McGee, Boas and the organization of American Anthropology

Day 2 of the German Conference on General Education Reform

The conference took interesting turns. Homage was paid to Goethe, Weber, Marx' Theses on Feuerbach, and Bourdieu on the habitus of academic silos. Not the sort of thing that would have happened in our GE meetings at Chico State where the Engineers, Soil Scientists, and Business Profs would have shook their heads in bewilderment. Here … Continue reading Day 2 of the German Conference on General Education Reform

General Education, Distance Education and Cotton in my Ears

I spent the day sitting in meetings at my new "home campus" in Lueneburg, Germany, listening to lectures about their new innovative General Education program.  And Distance Education.  I avoid meetings about such subjects when I am home campus at Chico State.  How did such subjects follow me here? I have lots of opinions about … Continue reading General Education, Distance Education and Cotton in my Ears

Portraits of American Men Holding Hands

Some days the internet is full of cats and cheeseburgers and other days it is full of anthropological nuggets like this collection of American men holding hands. A good reminder to always ask: When is identity?

Opening a window on “The Closing of American Academia”

It has been difficult over the past few weeks to miss Sarah Kendzior's article in Al Jazeera and the ensuing rounds of reaction and counterreaction in the anthropological blogosphere. In her article, and in other recent writing about adjuncting, there is more than a passing element of nostalgia for a vanishing class escalator. The argument … Continue reading Opening a window on “The Closing of American Academia”

Ever thought about learning Chinese? It’s about more than memorizing characters!

Kerim Friedman at Savageminds.org has written an interesting blog about what it means for a foreigner to speak Chinese.  The blog is called “Seven Ways to Talk to a White Man.”  Most Taiwanese assume foreigner cannot speak Chinese—so how does Kerim convince them that he indeed, is a potential Chinese conversation partner? The blog itself … Continue reading Ever thought about learning Chinese? It’s about more than memorizing characters!

The Body Canvas Photo Competition

The Royal Anthropological Institute is holding their third international photography contest. The theme is The Body Canvas and the contest is open to anybody interested in anthropology, photography and science communication.   The RAI’s Body Canvas photo competition aims to: • promote public engagement with the RAI’s Education Outreach Programme • provide a platform for … Continue reading The Body Canvas Photo Competition