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The Anthropologist as Scholarly Hipster, Part V: Why do they hate us?

This is the last (I promise) in a guest blog series that examines scholarly subjectivities in anthropology through comparison with the figure of the ‘hipster.’ Part I focused on defining terms, Part II was about offering critiques from the margins, Part III focused on image and brand, and Part IV was about authenticity and privilege. […]

Computing: From Method to Object

Display system, from Shigeharu Sugita’s 1987 “Computers in Ethnological Studies: As a Tool and an Object“ This post is the final part of a series on the history of computing in sociocultural anthropology. The 1980s marked a significant shift in the history of computing and anthropology. Up to this point, computers were primarily considered tools […]

Researchers Control Monkey’s Choice by Activating a Brain Region

According to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), activating a particular region of the brain affects the decision-making progress. The team was able to change monkeys' choices between two images by artificially stimulating...Show More Summary

Ebola Vaccine For Chimps Could Help Save Wild Populations

Researchers at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center have conducted a vaccine trial on chimpanzees that could help protect endangered wild apes from deadly infectious diseases, such as the Ebola virus.It's...Show More Summary

Six Quarantined Monkeys Die At Oregon Zoo

Six monkeys died of unknown causes while in quarantine at the Oregon Zoo.The cotton-top tamarins, a species of small New World monkey, were part of a group of nine that arrived at the zoo on May 22."It's sad," said zoo visitor Maria Maarigal. Show More Summary

A twist in Austronesian origins

The Taiwanese origin of Austronesians is widely accepted. A new preprint confirms this theory, but adds a new twist to the story of Austronesian dispersals, as it seems that in their western expansion, Austronesians picked up some Austroasiatic ancestry. Show More Summary

Personal Computing: Ordinariness and Materiality

The introduction of portable personal computers significantly broadened the scope of computing in anthropology. Where centralized mainframe computing had lent itself to large calculative tasks and team research projects, PCs fit more readily into the classic model of the lone fieldworker working primarily with textual material. Show More Summary

Cultural Ecology: Modeling with Computers

This post is part of a series on the history of computing in sociocultural anthropology. Last week, I surveyed mid-century formalist approaches to computing and culture, which took culture as ideational — a matter of mental states, structures, or content. Show More Summary

High genetic differentiation between populations often driven by classic selective sweeps

bioRxiv doi: Human genomic regions with exceptionally high or low levels of population differentiation identified from 911 whole-genome sequences Vincenza Colonna et al. Background: Population differentiation...Show More Summary

Reader rights and author rights at Cultural Anthropology

The latest issue of Cultural Anthropology (the last issue edited by Anne Allison and Charlie Piot before the editorship moves to James Faubion, Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe) has a bunch of great articles on Open Access (as well a fantastic article by Joe Dumit about a classroom assignment called “The Implosion“). There is a […]

The puzzle of European hair, eye, and skin color

T aylor Swift (photo by David Shankbone). The physical appearance of Europeans seems to result from a selection pressure that acted primarily on women and only secondarily on men. This is especially true for highly visible traits on or near the face—the focus of visual attention. Show More Summary

Urban geographer’s brush with the law risks sending cold chill through social science

Almost two years ago, one of my oldest friends, Bradley L Garrett, boarded a plane at Heathrow airport. As it taxied on the runway, the British Transport Police arrived and dragged him off the plane. He was accused of conspiracy to commit criminal damage. Garrett, a geographer at the University of Oxford, originally from the […]

Ethnoscience: Being Scientific with Computers

This post is part of a series on the history of computing in sociocultural anthropology. If we had to pick a moment when computers first appeared as anthropological research tools, it might be the 1962 Wenner-Gren Symposium on “The Uses of Computers in Anthropology.” The proceedings would be published three years later, in a volume […]

MSMC preprint (Schiffels and Durbin)

From the paper:In particular, the early beginning of the drop would be consistent with an initial formation of distinct populations prior to 150kya, while the late end of the decline would be consistent with a final split around 50kya. Show More Summary

Structuralism: Thinking with Computers

This post is part of a series on the history of computing in sociocultural anthropology. In his foundational 1955 article “The Structural Study of Myth,” Claude Lévi-Strauss outlined the program for a structuralist, cross-cultural study of mythology. Show More Summary

Album Art for Anthropology

Shortly after I bought my wife a Kindle and started moving all my iTunes stuff over to Amazon Cloud Player I discovered that ACP had captured a bunch of podcasts I’d forgotten I had subscribed to. Maybe they were off of iTunes U or something, I don’t know. I listened to four or five and […]

Three Clips on Language and Ethncity

In 2012 I wrote a post, Seven Ways to Talk to a White Man in which I talked about how Taiwanese react to seeing a foreign-looking person speak Chinese. Here is a funny video from Japan which dramatizes the scenario I described as “Look at the Asian”: More after the jump. This short film is […]

Carl Hoffman > Jared Diamond

Carl Hoffman is a travel writer who has recently turned his attention to New Guinea, where he produces grisly stories of cannibalism, murder, and The Smell Of Men. Jared Diamond is a scientist with decades of experience visiting New Guinea whose books attempt to humanize the people who live there. As an expert on Papua New Guinea, I […]

Computers and Sociocultural Anthropology

Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Nick Seaver. The fundamental requirement of anthropology is that it begin with a personal relation and end with a personal experience, but […] in between there is room for plenty of computers. – Claude Lévi-Strauss, epigraph to The Use of Computers in Anthropology 1 Recent years have seen the growth of […]

The history of mtDNA haplogroup U6

BMC Evolutionary Biology 2014, 14:109 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-109 The history of the North African mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6 gene flow into the African, Eurasian and American continents Bernard Secher et al. Abstract (provisional)...Show More Summary

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