Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Anthropumpkinism is here!

The 10th Annual Anthropology Pumpkinfest and Advising Fair 

When: Friday, October 28, 3-5 pm

Where: Lobby and on the Deck of Hortense Amsterdam House (2110 G St.)

Undergraduates and graduate students alike will get together for some food, academic advising, intellectual conversation, and a pumpkin-carving competition. Prizes will be awarded for the best anthropologically-themed pumpkins. Carving tools will be provided. The dog will attend.

Were-Jaguar pumpkin by Alexis Clark
**2015 Winner**

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

GW Anthropology alumna Amanda Eller gets article published and Undergraduate Peri Buch awarded Fulbright Scholarship

The article written by Amanda Eller is titled: Transactional sex and sexual harassment between professors and students at an urban university in Benin. It was published in the Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. Eller discusses the relationships between female students and their professors. She analyzes the determination of power and how it affects the professor's ability to determine consent as well as why the professor, in these cases, is perceived as the victim.
The link to the article is posted below.

Undergraduate Peri Buch, a senior in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences double-majoring in Archaeology and History, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. She will be studying at the University of Haifa in Israel while on this grant. Peri has worked on multiple archaeological digs in Israel with GW's Dr. Eric Cline, including his sites at Megiddo and tel-Kabri.

Friday, December 4, 2015

What We're Reading Now: Fall 2015

Emma Backe
Claire Laurier Decoteau, Ancestors and Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Jorge Benavides
Merill Singer, The Anthropology of Infectious Diseases (Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2015).
Jeffrey Blomster
George Lau, Andean Expressions: Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2011).
“Lau uses a social agency approach to objects, looking at how objects make chiefs in this poorly understood but aesthetically vibrant civilization. Exploring material culture both from excavations as well as private collections, Lau's presentation is both innovative and theoretically engaging.”

Dave Braun
Ditchfield K. 2016, An experimental approach to distinguishing different stone artefact transport patterns from debitage assemblages. J Archaeol Sci 65:44-56.
Franklin J, Potts AJ, Fisher EC, Cowling RM, and Marean CW, 2015. Paleodistribution modeling in archaeology and paleoanthropology. Quaternary Science Reviews 110:1-14.
Pop CM. 2015, Simulating Lithic Raw Material Variability in Archaeological Contexts: “A Re-evaluation and Revision of Brantingham’s Neutral Model. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory:1-35.
Haley Bryant
Terry Cook, Evidence, memory, identity, and community: four shifting archival paradigm. Archival Science, 13.2-3 (2013).
"Archivist Cook advocates for a four-stage co-evolution of the role of the archivist and the archive. He takes a critical look at when and where reflexivity entered archival practice and how this has impacted the production of history from archival materials across time."

Liam Buckley, Objects of Love and Decay: Colonial Photographs in a Postcolonial Archive. Wiley, 20.2 (2005). 
“Buckley challenges the notion that the path from the past to the present is a straight, visible, and navigable line and situates this idea as a particularly colonial one. Specifically, he complicates the idea that archival materials must stand in the present as a testament to past in perpetuity into the future. Different closely-held interpretations of “past”, “history”, and “future” (for many and overlapping reasons) lead to differential treatments of archival materials.”

Alexander Dent
 David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (New York: Back Bay Books, 2006).
 “This book explores the addictive power of media.”
Allan Megill, The Prophets of Extremity (Berkley: University of California Press, 1985).
“This book traces the history of a performative approach to social life by way of Nietzsche, Derrida, Heidegger, and Foucault.”

Ghonva Ghauri
Stanley I. Thangaraj, Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity  (New York: New York University Press, 2015).

Hugh Gusterson
Alisse Waterston, My Father's Wars (New York: Routledge, 2014).
Alisse Waterston, Love, Sorrow, Rage: destitute women in a Manhattan residence (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999).

Corey Heyward
Jon Bernard Marcoux, Pox, Empire, Shackles, and Hides: The Townsend Site, 1670-1715 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010).

Ella Cara Deloria, Waterlily (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988)
It's a narrative fiction about a Sioux girl and her grandmother who are the only ones of their tribe to escape a massacre. They are adopted by the Dakota, and the book describes the various intricacies and difficulties that the two women face in learning the new customs and kinship rules. Deloria is a member of Yankton Dakota, and is a Sioux scholar, anthropologist, and ethnographer. She also worked with Franz Boas. The book is a phenomenal and entertaining read. 

Becky Hirsch
Rick Bass, The Hermit’s Story  (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002).

 Annie Dillard, “The Wreck of Time”. Harper’s Magazine, (January, 1998).

Jonathan Higman
Pat Shipman, The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove the Neanderthals to Extinction (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2015).

Ray Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-45 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2013).

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (New York: Knopf, 1995).

Susan Johnston
Mike Parker Pearson, Stonehenge: A New Understanding:  solving the mysteries of the greatest stone age monument (New York: The Experiment, 2013).
          “A terrific overview of the most recent research written for non-specialists.”

Jackie Cahill-Wilson, Late Iron Age and 'Roman' Ireland.
“It's the latest research in what I do.”

Barbara Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974).
“One of those classic ethnographic books that I've always meant to read.”

Benjamin Zeller, Heaven's Gate: America's UFO Religion (New York: New York University Press, 2014).
“A really good discussion and analysis of this religion.”

Chloe Ahmann
 Sheila Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1998).
Mutual Chemical Company of America Chromium Chemicals: Their Discovery, Development, and Use (New York: Mutual Chemical Company of America, 1941) [Found in the Baltimore Museum of Industry's "Chemical Industry" research files.]

Mutual Chemical of America, Chromium Chemicals: Their Uses and Technical Properties  (New York: Mutual Chemical of America, 1941).

Shweta Krishnan
Lucinda Ramberg, Given to the Goddess (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014).
“It recently won awards for best feminist anthropology and queer anthropology.” 

Joel Kuipers
Saba Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962).

Stephen Lubkemann
Baptist, Edward 2014. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Basic Books.
"This should be required reading for every American and if it doesn't win the AHA book award this year it will be a true crime. Who knew that NYC was so implicated in financing King Cotton that it tried to secede with the South? Turns a lot of current historiography on its head--and (consulting my crystal ball) in the next twenty years will be amplified/scaled up from the American case to the global condition in the 19th century. Read with Shama's Rough Crossings,  it recasts understandings of US history in the most profound ways."

Bloch, Maurice 2012. Anthropology and the Cognitive Challenge. Cambridge University Press.
"His most cogent assault on the anthropological tradition that stretches back to Sapir and takes language as the strongest analogue for culture. Wish Geertz was still around to think aloud about this."

Kohn, Eduardo.  2013. How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. University of California Press.
"Latour's actancy on steroids, still too early to say much...however an aside-archaeologists may also find something here to mull over."

Carrier. James and Kalb, Don (Eds.) 2015. Anthropologies of Class: Power, Practice, and Inequality. 
"Cambridge University Press. Also very early--but Kalb lays out in the intro a sophisticated case for why class matters and what it is that rips into the narrow operationalizations that hold sway and represent a too-often unrecognized departure from Marx and Engels--and finally the consequences of the discipline's reflexive rejection of 'grand narratives'. Like Bloch--whether you agree or not--this is the kind of argument that (in my view) we would benefit from much more of. By the way-also perhaps the best (or most provocative at least) history of post-WWII anthropology I have run across. So far 2 essays in and both reach the threshold of 'this really makes me (re?)think'."

Beth Moretzky
S. Lochlann Jain, Malignant (Oakland: University of California Press, 2013).
Scott Ross
Louisa Lombard, "Threat economies and armed conservation in northeastern Central African Republic," Geoforum (2015).
“The article complicates armed actors being either rebels or state actors by focusing on the conflict between armed conservationists and illegal poachers. Lombard also discusses armed actors' ability to carry out violence and to hide (physically and metaphorically), which is a useful analytic for studying violence in the rural spaces.”

Robert Shepherd
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow  (New York: Viking Press: 1973).
“It is huge, complicated, and one of the great novels ever written in American English.” 

James Ferguson, Give a Man a Fish  (Durham: Duke University Press, 2015).
“This is an insightful analysis of the current state of cash transfer payments and a wonderful response to the vacuous clamor of teaching 'skills' as a way to avoid dependency, a rhetorical claim usually made by people (such as professors and IR students) who have no clue how to fish, and indeed would not fish because this is something others do for you.”     

Frederic Gros, A Philosophy of Walking (London: Verso, 2014).
“We all should walk.”

Sarah Wagner
Tom Laqueur, The Work of the Dead (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015)

Yuting Yin
Herman Hesse:
1.      Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth (London: Peter Owen & Vision Press, 1960).
2.      Siddhartha (New York: Penguin, 1998)
3.      Gertrude (New York: Picador, 2005)
4.      The Glass Bead Game (New York: H Holt, 1969)
“This is not exactly anthropological- but I fell in love with Hermann Hesse recently. I finished a couple of his novels. They are great! Hesse's novels are soulful and depict the journey of an individual's search for authenticity and self-knowledge.”

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
 Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha


Friday, November 6, 2015

CASHP professor, Dr. Sergio Almécija, aids in discovery of new genus and species of ape

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Sergio Almécija and a team of researchers from GW have partnered with the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont to publish evidence in Science Magazine of a new genus and species of ape that is an unlikely ancestor of both apes and humans. (source)
According to Science News, the partial skeleton of an 11.6-million-year-old primitive ape, dubbed Pliobates cataloniae and found near Barcelona, Spain, may force scientists to re-imagine the ancestor of all living apes and humans. With a muzzle like a gibbon but a large brain for its body size, the ancient primate has traits that link it to all apes and humans—yet it weighed only 4 kg to 5 kg.
“This is the first small ape in the fossil record that shows clear features present in all living apes,” says Almécija. “Before this discovery, we had assumed that the living small apes, the gibbons and siamangs, had evolved from larger apes of a size similar to that of a chimpanzee,”
Almécija said he was invited to analyze the fossilized remains by IPC back in 2011, when they were discovered during the construction of a landfill near Barcelona. He said he and his teammates were “stunned” to find a number of similarities between the new species and living apes.
“All scholars in the field of anthropology will start paying more attention to the small primates that lived alongside larger fossil apes in the past,” Almécija said. “Some of them could be also small apes. They just look slightly different that what we would expect, that’s why it’s difficult to identify them for what they are.” (source)