The Politics of Race, American Style

As the presidential primaries roll on, I find myself increasingly contemplating the question, is the American electorate ready to elect a phenotypically black president? I want to believe that I am part of a culture that would answer, “Of course I will vote for him, if he has a sound exit strategy for Iraq, good … Continue reading The Politics of Race, American Style

Teaching Tales (Episode II)

That's right - I changed my unit of analysis from a "part" to an "episode." Those of you who teach, especially in the world of small, highly interactive classrooms full of undergraduates, will understand that the experience is enough like a sitcom to warrant the analogy. Today's episode took place in my senior capstone Anthropological … Continue reading Teaching Tales (Episode II)

Teaching Tales (Part I)

Yesterday I walked into the classroom of my Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology class and passed two young women deeply engaged in an animated discussion.  The snippet I overheard was part of a recounted conversation: "...and I was all, 'Geeze, she's your professor!!'  I mean seriously, would it kill him to codeswitch?  It's just … Continue reading Teaching Tales (Part I)

A Great Day for the Anthropologically Minded

When understanding culture is your abiding interest and passion, everyday is a good day to be an anthropologist, however yesterday supplied us with some particularly exciting media happenings. First of all, news broke that during his appearance at Columbia University, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had let it be known that there are no gay people … Continue reading A Great Day for the Anthropologically Minded

Tak and the Power of Publicity

Yesterday morning my four year old daughter begged me to watch a tv program she had seen advertised earlier this week on Nickelodeon, entitled, Tak and the Power of Juju. For better or for worse, I was popular culture savvy enough to know that the characters and setting of this cartoon are based on a … Continue reading Tak and the Power of Publicity

Why Stephen Colbert’s Job is Safe: Dirimens Copulatio

Not only am I not arguing what you say I am, I’m arguing some of the things you say I’m not. Your title, “circling the wagons,” implies the exact opposite of what I was suggesting. This metaphor suggests insularity and defensiveness, at best. In fact, my essay could easily be interpreted as a call to … Continue reading Why Stephen Colbert’s Job is Safe: Dirimens Copulatio

Can (and Should) Anthropology Share Culture?

For me, the short answer to this question is obviously, yes. We want EVERYONE to know and love the concept that we consider to be our finest intellectual creation, the lynchpin of our diverse discipline. And yet, could it be the case that we have shared ourselves out of jobs, or worse yet, allowed our … Continue reading Can (and Should) Anthropology Share Culture?

Kennewick Man Sighted Buying Groceries in Virginia

Most everyone in the anthropological community is familiar with the controversial human skeletal find known as Kennewick Man. Discovered in 1996 by some hikers on the Columbia River, Washington, Kennewick Man was initially identified as a 19th century Euro-American settler, but closer inspection revealed a projectile point embedded in his pelvis that was common about … Continue reading Kennewick Man Sighted Buying Groceries in Virginia