Monday, February 22, 2016

marking languages still vigorous today

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-mother-language-day-2016/
This year's day for Mother Languages.

On the other side of the human patrimony ledger is the erosion of spoken languages and environments/livelihoods they derive from; see these notes taken from K. David Harrison's book, When Languages Die, to get a taste of this subject.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

reckoning time - swap from Julian to Gregorian calendar

excerpt from full article, http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-england-was-a-year-behind-belgium-spain-and-italy-for-170-years

...the longer a country waited to shift to the Gregorian calendar, the more days needed to be removed; in 1752, England and its colonies went to sleep on September 2 and rose on September 13, as per the Calendar Act of 1750. Russia didn't change calendars until February 14, 1918 and skipped a whole 13 days, meaning their October Revolution of 1917 actually happened, by today's dating system, in November.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

anthropology articles getting into news media

Upshot from project at the Center for Public Anthropology to track the mentions by anthropologists (cultural, biological, archaeological) in wider circulation or cited or interviewed in mainstream news media [emphasis added]:

A Pattern to Ponder:  Perusing the data, readers will note that archeologists and biological anthropologists tend to be cited in the media more than cultural anthropologists. One likely reason derives from the journals the discipline's subfields publish in. Cultural anthropologists tend to publish in a set of sub-field journals. Archeologists and biological anthropologists tend to publish in more interdisciplinary journals leading, in turn, to a wider distribution and more attention paid to their articles. There is no reason why cultural anthropologists could not publish in PlusOne, Science, or Nature. But many prefer publishing in the American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist or Cultural Anthropology thereby attracting limited attention from those beyond their sub-field. Current Anthropology, which crosses the discipline's sub-fields, tends to attract less attention than inter-disciplinary journals', but comparatively more attention than the American Anthropological Associations journals, focused on specific sub-fields.

 -source page, http://metrics.publicanthropology.org/collected.php

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

context – 6 photographers make 6 different portraits

Experiment: each photographer was given a different story about the person coming in for a portrait. Results varied widely when told the subject was fisherman, self-made millionaire, parolee, beach lifeguard, psychic, and so on.

six different backstories led 6 photographers to make differing portraits
six different backstories led 6 photographers to make differing portraits

Perhaps the same contextual framing and predisposition affects documentary projects, archival work, ethnographic field studies, or transposing a biographical sketch from one language to another for readers of a different culture or era. In other words, if the lens can stand for a perceptual grasp of a subject, then the same assumptions that these photographers baked into their choice of composition and lighting and shutter release also may reveal how one goes about engaging with the world in general: we prejudge people and settings, we view the world as half-empty instead of half-full, for example; or at the time of middle age we feel that so many opportunities remain, rather than feeling that so few days are left before extinction.

And while this portrait experiment misled the photographers who were doing their very best creative work to interpret the man, based on the sparse backstory provided, the end result of this decoy experiment powerfully demonstrates to journalists, archaeologists and other scientists (predisposed with the working theories or hypotheses they bake into their research design and deployment of available methods), philosophers and novelists, as well as social observers of all stripes that assumptions and prior knowledge frame one’s boundaries and the placement of one’s subject within that context.

By extension the frame we paint for our selves (presentation of self; self-image; concept of self) is colored by the assumptions we adopt, discover, aspire to, or have been given by others we know and have been labeled by society more generally.

see the experiment, https://youtu.be/F-TyPfYMDK8 or jump to the time mark showing the resulting portraits

Blurb: A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it. To prove this we invited six photographers to a portrait session with a twist. ‘Decoy’ is one of six experiments from The Lab, designed to shift creative thinking behind the lens.  [November 2015]

Sunday, May 17, 2015

writing for public, general audiences

Anthropology can be bracing stuff, but too often it is read or viewed only be its own denizens.
This blog essay on the methods of New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell points the way to balancing data and drama; (excerpt)

when I use Gladwell with my students, it's as a reminder of the relationship between narrative and argument. Err too much on the side of narrative and you'll weave a captivating tale that might not hold together at the end. However, if you just pile on evidence
without providing a narrative through line, your reader can miss the bigger, brilliant point you are trying to make.

language localism in USA

from the weekly digest of "most emailed stories" at National Public Radio, npr.org

Look for the sample words given for each state, below, to see if you recognize any of them still alive today. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

research abstracts on video!

[cross-post from blog.aaanet.org on Oct. 30, 2013]

...new video abstracts. Teresa Figueroa Sanchez comments on her Anthropology of Work Review article about "California Strawberries" and R. Brian Ferguson talks about his work, "Blood of the Leviathan." The latter (originally published in American Ethnologist) is part of a collection "On Violence" in Open Anthropology. So, what can video abstracts do that the written word does not? These short takes let authors personally explain their work. As visual documents, they provide a way for non-specialists to quickly understand the central themes. Students might well find these clips fascinating in terms of making research projects "real," by showing how these anthropologists came to their projects and how anthropologists craft their research.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fwd: Daily digest for August 3, 2013


Teaching Materials Exchange

Looking  for new ideas and materials for fall term? Check out AAA's new Teaching Materials ExchangeSearch by course, syllabus, keyword or even instructor. Or browse through the database of more than 90 syllabi and teaching tools.

Don't forget to submit your materials to share as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

music class - bringing in diverse human experiences

While visiting a high school choir class, the anthropologist in me found ways to introduce vocal art to illustrate some of the variety of music expression. Surely there are more or better references to sample, but these came first to mind:

 
-(Japan) Noh theater solos
-(Polynesia? Micronesia?) hymn in quarter tones
-(Swiss; USA) yodeling
-(USA) work songs to synchronize group exertions
-(USA) Sacred Harp (shape note singing) in hollow square
-(USA) rapping (cf. Bobby McFerrin vocal percussion)
-(USA) vocal jazz 'scat singing'
-(Scotland) mouth music (imitating instruments)
-(ancient Britain) slaves brought to Imperial Rome: novelty of singing in 3rds
-(Bulgaria) women's chorus singing in 9ths and 7ths
-(Central Asia) Tuva "throat singing"
-song circles for healing
-(India) mantra repetitions

 
These could be extra-credit assignments for students to report to the class (or in writing to the teacher), for the teacher to playback samples (Wikipedia; Wikimedia), to demonstrate and challenge students to produce each of these.

Friday, November 11, 2011

some cultural anthro - Gifted & Talented

via e-newsletter at Michigan State University, Office of Gifted and Talented
 

Myth, Self, and Religion (3 MSU Honors Credits)

This course will enable students to explore the mythic quest for meaning, identity, value, and transcendence as seen through religious biography and literary narrative. They will study myth in relation to religious symbols and life-cycle rituals. The course will emphasize a cross-cultural perspective on religious world views and the interpretation of myth as sacred narrative.
For more information on this course, visit the wide-ranging wikispace created by a former REL205 class:
http://rel205.wikispaces.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 anthro-day (London, July; Wales, September)



Diary for August 2010


Monday 30th August- Booking Ahead for Wales Anthropology Day

Many of you who were not able to come to this year's London Anthropology Day will be happy to know that there is a sister event happening on the 16th of September in Wales. Every year the University of Wales Lampeter organises a free university taster day of anthropological workshops and films aimed at Year 12, 13, FE students and teachers. To find out more and book your free place visit this website.

London Anthropology Day 2010 Photos now Online!

The London Anthropology Day 2010 is a university taster day for Year 12,13 and FE students, career advisors and teachers. Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute's Education Programme in collaboration with the British Museum and participating universities the event was held on 8th July. This year's event included 18 universities from England, Ireland and Wales and over 350 participants making it the largest London Anthropology Day to date. Take a look at the this year's photos along with other anthropological events on this website.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

teaching anthro at US Marine Corps University

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122362543 [Jan 9, 2010 Nat'l Public Radio, Weekend Edition-Saturday]
In Class, Marines Learn Cultural Cost Of Conflict, mp3 audio download

The students in front of Paula Holmes-Eber wear camouflage and have close-cropped hair. Most of them are Marine officers, and many of them have already been to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They're here to learn the consequences of their actions.

"Should we change another culture?" she asks the class. "The reality is, the second you land on the ground with 100,000 troops eating and using the materials of the area, you've changed the economy; you've changed the environment."

"It's not should we," she tells them, "it's what are we doing — and is that what we want to be doing?"

An anthropologist, Holmes-Eber trains American warriors to be sensitive to other cultures. She teaches operational culture at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va. It's her job to get soldiers to think through how every move they make on the battlefield has a consequence — not just for enemy forces, but for ordinary people.

[elipsis]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the Open Anthropology Cooperative - constellation

sets of interest groups on the Ning platform (one sign-up allows multiple Ning memberships)

http://openanthcoop.ning.com/
As of June 3, there are groups for Visual anthro, Anthro of Japan, Anthro of Brazil, Physical/forensic, and a Forum on general policy of this Cooperative intersection of groupings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What is Anthropology for?

Anthropologist About Town


Diary for 28th May to 3rd June 2009

Anthropologists find work in a variety of different fields ranging from working in museums, to working as business consultants, or in development and tourist agencies. Often the word 'anthropologist' does not appear in their job title, but anthropologists use the skills they have learned from their degrees, such as undertaking ethnographic research, analysing cross cultural data, doing interviews and apply these skills to their current roles. Veronica Strang, professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland has written a new book called What do Anthropologists do? The book takes a close look at why anthropologists are in demand for certain roles, and the job opportunities that are open to people studying the degree. It's written in an accessible manner and is a very useful resource for people beginning their exploration of anthropology and those already studying it at university.





Tuesday, July 1, 2008

video online, Doing Anthropology

Mass. Inst. of Technology's Video Productions has created a new video called Doing Anthropology, to promote greater public understanding about cultural anthropology and the process of fieldwork. The video, which is housed on MIT TechTV (http://techtv.mit.edu/file/663/), is streamable and can be embedded into your personal blog or website.

Friday, January 4, 2008

bbc2 "Tribe" series 1-2-3

[opening snippet] "What is Tribe to me?
"Tribe has been my whole world for the last four years and is the most important thing in my life right now. It's a series about people and culture, our culture as well as others. We hope it's entertaining, because we want people to watch and enjoy, especially people who wouldn't normally tune into this type of programme, but we also hope we can communicate something important about the world." [continues, http://www.bbc.co.uk/tribe/bruce/index.shtml]

titles & links to anthro research papers

Examples of topics today by (U.K.) Goldsmiths > Dept Anthropology 

  1. Gorer's Gaze: aspects of the inauguration of audience studies in British Television. Gareth Stanton
  2. Perilous Ideas: anthropological debates in cross-cultural arts projects. Eleanor Jupp
  3. Identity, Resettlement and Perceptions of Change: The Vasava Bhils of Gujarat, India. Roxanne Hakim
  4. The Virile Nation: gender and ethnicity in the construction of Argentinian Pasts. Victoria Goddard
  5. Enabling Fictions: Politics, Representation, and the Environment in Maluku, Indonesia. Nicola Frost
  6. The 'politics of the everyday': populism, gender and the media in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia. Sian Lazar
  7. Life Down Under: Water and Identity in an Aboriginal Cultural Landscape. Veronica Strang
  8. 'Sit anywhere you like, we're all friends together': reflections on bingo culture. Katherine Mann
  9. Studying world society as a vocation. Keith Hart
  10. Negotiating Autonomy: girls and parental authority in multi-ethnic Norway. Hilde Liden
  11. Anthropology and Anarchy: their elective affinity. Brian Morris

Friday, December 7, 2007

sniper story ties Michigan to Iraq

While traveling recently I overheard the brief exchange between jet passengers waiting to de-plane. One middle-aged man perceived the younger man to be a member of the U.S. military who was on leave from his assignment. The older man said, "thanks for serving" and the younger man acknowledged this, then added, "we don't get that [recognition] enough." The older one asked whether the soldier was visiting family members, and indeed that was the case. The soldier volunteered that he was to be deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a 13 month assignment and further said that at least his job was a "good job." He went on to say he was a sniper who was prepared to shoot a person 2000 meters away!

Later at the airport curbside I recognized him leaving with a small older woman who could have been his mother or aunt. The contrast between his casual comment about killing and now the comforts of him going home with (perhaps) his family gave me a mild shock. Come early 2008, when this service member is settled in to do his job, there may be someone there today whose life will end at that date when an order is given and the young man pulls his trigger. Of course, in armed conflicts, though, things can go the other way, too: by accident or according to the enemy's plan.

Friday, August 24, 2007

language links 24 august 2007

wwww.june29.com/HLP =Human Languages Page >Languages and Literature
www.sil.org/ethnologue [6703 languages...]
http://sorrel.humboldt.edu/nasp/lang.html [Native American languages]
www.cs.washington.edu/homes/kgolden/wordbot.html [machine translation, word-for-word]