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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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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Do All African Immigrants Arrive Sick, Desperate, and Empty-Handed on the Shores of Europe? Ask Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg!

The lives, status, and image of immigrants may constitute the single-most urgent human issue of our time.  In an arresting and captivating new study of Cameroonian mothers now living in Berlin, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg challenges just about everything we thought we knew about immigrants.  Living as migrants in a nation infamous

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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 2: The Posters

  Photo by Noam Galai Women (and some men) with signs, as far as the eye could see. In my first post about the Women’s March of January 21, 2017, I chronicled the social and emotional ties I saw created in this space of massive communitas, feminist style. Here, I

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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 1: Finding Communitas, Feminist Style

(photo by Alma Gottlieb) The doors of our metro car opened and closed, opened and closed with increasingly alarming dysfunction.  On any other day, the many more dozens of people jammed into our subway car than (for safety reasons) should have occupied our tight, air-deprived space would have panicked–jostled, elbowed, and accused one

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An Open Letter to My Grandchildren

Dear Dean and Mona,   At four years old and ten months old, you are both too young to understand why the grown-ups around you keep talking about confusing words like “deeply flawed candidates” and “misguided pollsters.” But sooner than I’d like, the realities of yesterday’s vote will begin affecting

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Time for a New National Anthem?

Whatever the political and economic rationales existing beneath the surface, the modern nation of the US was created by European refugees fleeing religious prejudice. The Huguenots and Puritans arriving on the shores of New England helped create a new nation founded with the ideological goal of religious freedom. Donald Trump

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We Are All Africans

An impressively interdisciplinary team of geneticists, biological anthropologists, archaeologists, and geologists has just published an article detailing the genetic makeup of a man who lived in Ethiopia some 4,500 years ago. Why is this relevant today? The analysis shows close genetic ties between some contemporary Sardinian farmers, German farmers from

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