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Imperial Abduction: The Globalization of Residential Schooling

The following is an extract from my chapter, “Imperial Abduction Lore and Humanitarian Seduction,” which serves as the introduction to Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. Show More Summary

“Everyone was running little magazines in those days”

I recently went a conference where I had a chance to meet Nikolas Rose recently. I’m always interested to meet Famous Professors to see how they do it — what unique combination of personality traits got them, well frankly, tenure. Isn’t that something every academic should start keeping track of? I’m pleased to say that Rose’s success –as […]

The prehistory of New World Arctic (Raghavan et al. 2014)

Science 29 August 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6200 DOI: 10.1126/science.1255832 The genetic prehistory of the New World ArcticMaanasa Raghavan et al. The New World Arctic, the last region of the Americas to be populated by humans, has a relatively well-researched archaeology, but an understanding of its genetic history is lacking. Show More Summary

Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge about structural inequality?

In case you have been living under a rock (or in the field, either is permissible for an anthro really) you may not have noticed that everyone and their mother is dumping ice water on their head in the name of ALS. Watching this fad unfold has provided Internet observers and other semi-employed persons an […]

Boasian Critiques of Race in “The Nation”: SMOPS 12

I’m delighted to feature this, our dozenenth SMOPS, for readers. These papers provide an excellent example of anthropology’s long term commitment to social justice, public outreach, and a critique of incorrect folk theories of heredity and race. The real gems of this paper are not Boas or Herskovits or even Sapir, but the sparkling, penetrating […]

Nature, Culture, and Imperial Beliefs

The following is an extract from my chapter, “Imperial Abduction Lore and Humanitarian Seduction,” which serves as the introduction to Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 1-34: Two of the most enduring beliefs, among at least the political elites and a substantial portion of the wider population in […]

The Trouble with Teaching (and a call for help)

This week, I embark on my 12th year as an adjunct at the College of Southern Nevada (formerly the Community College of Southern Nevada, which I much prefer — they changed the name in a bid to sound classier). For the last 11 years, I’ve taught intro-level anthropology, even as my career shifted from academia […]

These are a few of my favorite things.

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things. [Sound of Music (1965)] When Rodgers and Hammerstein first produced this song in 1959 on Broadway, they may not have been thinking about debates related to ontology – […]

Controversies that matter and controversies that do not

First, the controversy that does not matter: Beth Povinelli’s keynote at EASA 2014. The #povinelli hashtag failed to erupt on twitter over the weekend after being used about seven times in three days by Allegra, who posted an embarrassing critique of Beth Povinelli’s keynote  at EASA 2014 which focused on the style of her talk rather than […]

New Book: Good Intentions (Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism)

Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism is the fourth volume in the New Imperialism series published by Alert Press, and it has just been released in hardcover, paperback, and in a couple of free versions online (a simple PDF, a bookmarked PDF [also here], or individual chapter files as below). In addition, over […]

Around the Web Digest: Week of August 17

Here’s a recap of what you might have missed this week. If you have something to send me for next week, shoot me an email at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis. Classes start this week for me, and I know they’ve already started for some of you. If you’re teaching a course with a […]

How modular is intelligence?

Great at reading or recognizing faces? You might not do so well on an IQ test. Source: Histoire naturelle générale et particulière avec la Description du Cabinet du Roy (1749) (Wikicommons) The English psychologist Charles Spearman was the first to argue that a single factor, called "g," explains most of the variability in human intelligence. Show More Summary

Dude Guardians of the Galaxy is TOTALLY A METAPHOR FOR ANTHROPOLOGY

As I get older, I have less and less in common with my students and every fall I try to think back to movies or TV shows I’ve seen that might serve as a common reference point for us. I was walking to the library the other day wondering “What movies have I seen recently?” […]

Resistance, Rupture, and Repair: The Story of the Caribs of St. Vincent

Originally published on H-Caribbean, June 2014 (Director) Andrea E. Leland. Yurumein (Homeland). January 2014. 50-minute documentary / DVD format / 4:3 aspect ratio / surround sound. Resistance, Rupture, and Repair: The Story of the Caribs of St. Vincent in the Caribbean Yurumein by Andrea E. Leland effectively begins twice: first it begins in St. Vincent, […]

Lagunita and Tamchén, Two Newly Discovered Mayan Sites

Two large Maya sites in the Yucatana have been (re) discovered by Ivan Šprajc from the Research Centre of the … Continue reading ?

Human Fossil Databases & Data Theft

Hominid fossil databases are a very difficult undertaking to curate and create. One of my colleagues, Dr. Henry Gilbert created … Continue reading ?

Ancient Y-DNA from China

From the paper: Dividing the samples further using social status shows that the six aristocrats had haplogroups Q1a1, O3a, and N, the 14 commoners had haplogroups Q1a1, O3a, and O, and the seven slaves had haplogroups O3a, O2a, and O (Fig. Show More Summary

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