19 December 2016

Finding anthropology everywhere in 2016... more posts in 2017!

Jennifer and I want to send our thanks to everyone who has read and shared anthro everywhere! during 2016. With our first posts on this new blog beginning in February, we've shared 130 posts and 4 special topics pages with you over the past year, including:
We'll be taking a break from posting until the new year, but until then here is a round-up of 10 of our favourite/ most popular posts from this past year:
Thanks for reading -- we'll be back in 2017!

15 December 2016

Reading Lists for Decolonizing Anthropology & Beyond

One of the ways that anthropologists and other scholars have responded to recent world events -- from the systemic issues underlying the Black Lives Matter movement and Standing Rock, to Brexit and the rise of Trump -- has been in the classroom. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of some of the great resources for building a syllabus and classroom discussions around some of these current events. You can also check out our new page that has collected together various posts already published on our blog about reading lists and syllabi.

  • The Decolonizing Anthropology series via Savage Minds, reflecting and building on the work of Faye Harrison, is a good place to start thinking about what it means to decolonize anthropology.
  • In response to the recent events at Standing Rock, an interdisciplinary syllabus was created by the NYC Stands for Standing Rock committee "a group of Indigenous scholars and activists, and settler/ POC supporters": Standing Rock Syllabus
    • Less a syllabus than a resource, the Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness (U.S. National Library of Medicine) is an exhibition that "explores diverse Native Peoples’ concepts of health and illness, past and present." The site provides things like video interviews with indigenous healers, leaders, and biomedical professionals, as well as other activities and suggested readings.
  • We've already posted about Anthropoliteia's #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus. This ongoing project is anthropology-focused.
  • This Decolonising Science Reading List has been put together by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (#BlackandSTEM theoretical astro|physicist), where "You’ll find texts that range from personal testimony to Indigenous cosmology to anthropology, to history to sociology to education research. All are key to the process of decolonising science, which is a pedagogical, cultural, and intellectual set of interlocking structures, ideas, and practices."
  • And lastly for this post, here is a Google Doc reading list of Ethnographic approaches to understanding Trump/Brexit/new rise of conservativism.

12 December 2016

Add it to the dictionary! Changing language, changing culture

This short article about Merriam-Webster's addition of 'genderqueer' to their dictionary is really useful for thinking about how language changes over time to describe our changing cultural worlds. According to the Hufftington Post, the dictionary's
commitment to adding new queer terms and language to the dictionary, and discussing them on social media, follows the evolution of culture.
“The set of terms relating to gender and sexuality that we’ve added in recent years is like any other; as established members of the language ― we have evidence of these terms in published, edited text from a variety of sources and over an extended period of time ― they meet our criteria for entry,” Emily Brewster, Merriam-Webster Associate Editor, told The Huffington Post. “We would be remiss not to define them.”
What does the emergence of new words tell us about our changing cultural world -- in this case about how we understand and express our gender and sexuality?

Quick links and further reading:

08 December 2016

Mapping the world?

At anthro everywhere! we've already written a couple of posts about how maps powerfully represent certain social realities. Today's post adds a couple of new resources for teaching about the power of maps as a tool of social and political as well as geographic representation:

This video from Vox (via their faceBook page; run-time 6 minutes) gives a brief history of the mathematical problem of trying to accurately represent the three-dimensional world in a nice, neat two-dimensional format -- and the distortions that result from that impossibility:

The "Dymaxion Map," also known as the Fuller Projection Map, seems to be the closest mathematical solution to flattening the globe.

For other resources and links on mapping a representation, check out our earlier posts:

05 December 2016

VPhD career finder

If you are thinking about what you'd like to do with your degree in anthropology (or degrees in anthropology), or are just looking for some good answers to the kinds of questions about career options that grad students habitually dread over the holidays... why not check out this handy resource from Versatile PhD?
The Versatile PhD Career Finder
The Career Finder page is not just for anthropologists, but has organized a number of different types of non-academic careers into those best suited for Humanities & Social Science thinkers and STEM thinkers. Each career possibility listed provides open-access information about what a job in the field entails, where you might start in that field, possibilities for advancement, disciplines that have an edge in certain fields, and how you might shape your professional development strategies to help you enter a particular field. (Some universities that have a subscription with VPhD will also have access to premium content such as real life examples and resumes from people in these fields.)

VPhD also offers other kinds of resources and support for PhD students across the disciplines, such as local meet-ups and a blog.

Quick links & further reading:

01 December 2016

Ethno everywhere! Workshop

The American Anthropology Association's Annual Meeting hosted a workshop on November 16th about Ethnographic Writing. In this workshop, Ruth Behar from the University of Michigan and Marcia Ochoa Univ of California Santa Cruz discussed their tips and tricks for crafting an ethnographic scene, writing this form of data into one's work, and solving such problems as how to harmonize the voices of your interlocuters and weave theory into these stories.

One very useful outcome (as there were many) of this workshop was a list of ethnographies used to teach others (and learn more) about the various possibilities for ethnographic writing. Below is a(n incomplete) list of ethnographies and suggestions as to their unique approach to this writing genre.
  • Ruth Benedict's (1936) Patterns of Culture  –  Classic ethnographic text that weaves in poetic prose (written as under the pseudonym Anne Singleton)
  • Zora Neale Hurston's (1935) Mules and Men  – Uses conversational style writing to describe the context, setting and relationship with her interlocuters.
  • James Agee's (1941) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men –  A literary journalist who comes across as ethnographic in the amount of detail he gave
  • Claude Levi-Strauss' (1961) Tristes Tropiques ­– Levi-Strauss' use of irony
  • John Langston Gwaltney's (1980) Drylongso: A Self-Portrait of Black America – Black American anthropologist (who was also blind) introduced each person he met with as an epigraph to introduce a chapter or scene
  • Kevin Dwyer's (1982) Moroccan Dialogues: Anthropology in Question – includes dialogue (like Zora Neale Hurston) in the text
  • Svetlana Alexievich's (1997) Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster – the manner in which she formats her ethnographies keeps the poetics of her interlocutors. 
  • Renato Rosaldo's (2013) The Day of Shelly’s Death: The poetry and ethnography of grief  – "Anthro-poetry"