Ten Treasures (and a Bonus): A Selection of Anthropological Gems You Might Have Missed from the Past Few Years

I began interviewing authors of fabulous new anthropology books for this space back in 2016. While completing 11 interviews, I also amassed a backlog of more terrific books whose authors I planned to interview. One thing led to another, and my embarrassingly accumulating backlog fell hostage to a pandemic. I’ve

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Writing about Coffee

Despite being a lifelong non-coffee-drinker, I somehow found myself reading two fantastic books about coffee recently. The first, Miriam Sagan’s A Hundred Cups of Coffee, hijacked me from reading the OTHER coffee book I’d just started. Sagan’s series of short meditations inspired by drinking a cup of coffee (and, occasionally,

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Irish Writers, Anthropologically Speaking: An Interview with Helena Wulff

Anthropologist Helena Wulff has been conducting research on youth culture and multiple art worlds (especially in Western Europe) for over thirty years. Wulff’s recent book, Rhythms of Writing: An Anthropology of Irish Literature (Bloomsbury, 2017), brings an anthropologist’s questions to the world of contemporary literature. In a review of her new book for

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Is History Over? How Can Power be Soft? Ask Ulf Hannerz

  The end of history The clash of civilizations The coming anarchy Soft power We’ve all heard these trendy mottos, and most of us have probably cringed. Anthropologists know the world as an infinitely more complex place than such simplistic catch-phrases and predictions can possibly describe. Yet simplistic catch-phrases and

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Interview with Perry Gilmore about “Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki”

Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki chronicles a charming and, indeed, remarkable friendship that developed between two five-year-old boys—one (Sadiki), the son of a traditionally pastoralist Samburu family in Kenya working as a wage laborer for wealthy British landowners; the other (Colin), the son of a white

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A Review of “Euphoria” by Lily King

The novel, Euphoria, by Lily King, published in 2014, became a national best-seller and won several major literary awards.  Based loosely on a brief period in the life of Margaret Mead as she hesitated between Reo Fortune (to whom she was married) and Gregory Bateson (who the couple met while conducting

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