Incidental Anthropology: Sworn Virgins, Genes and Ethnic Identity (or Race Redux), and “Americanizing” a Novel

Three things on this holiday week:

1) In Slate there was a wonderful photo essay on sworn virgins in the Balkans. Also, here is a BBC interview with Antonia Young, the author of Women Who Become Men.

2) What would a holiday week be without a minor donnybrook over race and genes? This week brings us a useful discussion at the NYRB between Richard C. Lewontin and Nadia Abu El-Haj on the topic “Is There a Jewish Gene?” The discussion continues here.

3) Finally, also at the NYRB, Tim Parks discusses the difficulties of translating between English and “American.”