Recent Posts

Hello world!
Published 9/21/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
Welcome to Anthropology Blog Network Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! read more ❯
Ethnography at Arcadia
Published 9/21/2015 in UA Outreach: Anthropology Partnership
Author jmfriel
Week 2: Ethnography Lecture Ethnography is the way that anthropologists study and teach others about cultures. Anthropologists learn about cultures by engaging different groups of people, asking questions, writing down their answers, and then thinking about the best way to understand behavior. Cultural anthropologists use an emic perspective when studying another group, meaning they describe a particular culture in terms of its internal elements. The focus of this semester is West Africa, and this week our lecture was about Benin. Students were intrigued that the people of Benin snack on bush rats! They also bonded over a love of soccer. Activity Last week students were broken into three clans. Each clan chose a name, selected a language, and determined a social structure. They even designed a flag.  This week each clan selected 1 ethnographer per group, and then sent that ethnographer out to observe another clan’s culture using the Ethnographer’s Guide. After interviewing other clans, told us what they learned about the new culture. Lastly, the clan defended errors... read more ❯
Dispatches From the Field #1
Published 8/27/2015 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
The journey to the village of Yorkín begins at 6:30 in the morning when you catch the bus in Puerto Viejo, the rambunctious little beach town with an international flair where the smell of ganja flows freely through the air. This area of Costa Rica, the Talamancan coast, was originally settled by Caribbeans from the island nations and also from workers traveling north by boat after working on the Panama Canal. It wasn’t until much later that people from the rest of Costa Rica arrived to the area. However, both these groups were preceded by the indigenous populations who have some of the oldest mitochondrial DNA in the Americas. It is about an hour bus ride from Puerto Viejo to the municipal capital of the Talamancan Indigenous Reserve, appropriately named Bribrí. At the bus stop there is a small restaurant (closed on Sundays) a small tienda, and panaderia where you... read more ❯
"Bioculturalism"--An Interview with Christopher Lynn [reposted from Somatosphere]
Published 8/24/2015 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Jo Weaver
August 24, 2015 By Christopher D. Lynn and Jeff Snodgrass This article is part of the series: Bioculturalism This series aims to get anthropologists and closely-related others talking seriously, and thinking practically, about how to synergize biological and social scientific approaches to human health and well-being, and to what positive ends. In this interview, Christopher Lynn responds to questions posed by series organizer Jeffrey G. Snodgrass.   How and why might cultural anthropologists and social scientists interested in health benefit from integrating biological variables/biomarkers into their research and analysis? Cultural anthropologists and other social scientists interested in health shouldbe interested in some objective indication of health status as reflective, at least in part, of physiological status. I don’t feel health issues have been sufficiently addressed if they are not approached integratively in this way. That is not to say that all my projects have gotten there yet or that biomarkers are always necessary in all health-oriented research, but without at least an accompanying biological perspective, any... read more ❯
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, Probably
Published 7/31/2015 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
When I began my career as a wilderness guide, for the first time in my life I encountered people who were constantly seeking the newest piece of gear, anything from a titanium drinking cup to a sleeping bag which had arms and legs. Being an unschooled vagabond living in my truck and prostituting my wilderness skills out to the highest bidders throughout Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, I made do with the simplest and minimalist accoutrements. I’ve always looked at my gear as sacred; I easily signed over the title of my 1994 Ford Explorer to my friend John, but you could only wrench my MSR backpacker stove out of my cold dead hands. While I was working as a logistics coordinator for the Trailhead Wilderness School, I was often called the “Road Worrier” due to the mental effort I put into packing for a trip. I have protected and cherished... read more ❯
"Bioculturalism"--An Interview with William Dressler
Published 7/27/2015 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Jo Weaver
July 27, 2015 By William Dressler and Jeff Snodgrass This article is part of the series: Bioculturalism This series aims to get anthropologists and closely-related others talking seriously, and thinking practically, about how to synergize biological and social scientific approaches to human health and well-being, and to what positive ends. In this interview, Bill Dressler responds to questions posed by series organizer Jeffrey G. Snodgrass.   How and why might cultural anthropologists and social scientists interested in health benefit from integrating biological variables/biomarkers into their research and analysis? Outcomes. What I mean is that anthropological analyses are full of intriguing theoretical and ethnographic models proposing processes that operate at many levels, ranging from the molecular to the symbolic. Very often I find myself reading such analyses, only to get to the end thinking: “and……?” I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, in the sense of what the implications of those processes might be for health or biological outcomes. That other shoe can... read more ❯
10 Things You May Not Know About Dr. Kathy Oths
Published 5/26/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
In our ongoing effort to bring more depth to our play (name that ethnographic reference), we bring you 10 things you may not know about Professor Kathy Oths. Dr. Oths is Professor of Anthropology in our Biocultural Medical track, specializing in medical anthropology in Latin America. In addition: "I was raised in a small Appalachian coal mining town in Southeastern Ohio. The first record I bought as a kid was a 45 rpm single by Johnny Cash for 83 cents. As a Wellston High School sophomore, I was elected queen of the First Annual Sweetheart Dance by the student body. I was a VISTA volunteer on the Navajo Reservation in 1980 doing carpentry, solar energy, and weatherization. I lived for 6 months in a Spanish nunnery. I was scrum half for the Stanford Women’s Rugby team. Of all the manual labor jobs I’ve done, the slime... read more ❯
Up With the Old, In With the New
Published 5/26/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
The Department of Anthropology is pleased to be able to announce the hiring of two new faculty members. Dr. Sonya Pritzker and Elliot Blair have been hired in tenure-track positions beginning in August to fulfill the Department's needs in Linguistics and Archaeology, respectively. Dr. Sonya Pritzker is a medical and linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on the management and expression of emotion in China, the development of Chinese medical psychology in the U.S. and China, and the translation of Chinese medicine in the U.S. Her book, Living Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine, was published in 2014. Since completing her Ph.D. at UCLA in 2011, she has worked as a faculty researcher in the UCLA Department of Medicine, where she has received further training in clinical translational science and has participated in team science projects examining the neuroanthropology of IBS, the treatment of obesity with Chinese... read more ❯
Spring Classroom Activities
Published 5/23/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Experiential learning is important across the University of Alabama, and Anthropology is no different. Students in my "Primate Religion and Human Consciousness" (UH 300) and "Evolution for Everyone" courses had fun (I hope) this semester with a few of the activities I set up. Primate Religion & Human Consciousness is a course in the cognitive science of religion I teach every spring for the Honors College. This semester we explored cooperation and prosociality by replicating Milgram's "lost letter" study in Tuscaloosa. Students stuffed envelopes with fake money and sheets with pre-set locations, addressed the envelopes to me, put stamps on them, and dropped them off around town to see how many would be returned from various districts. They also chose cooperative groups (two teams chose churches and the other team chose the UA swim team) to investigate how cooperation is inculcated and maintained. I was impressed at the students' integration of... read more ❯
Conferences and Presentations
Published 5/23/2015 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
Several of our faculty were invited to give lectures: Dr. Bill Dressler was invited to the Departments of Anthropology and Public Health at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC on April 10 to give a lecture entitled "Cultural Consonance: Linking  Culture, the Individual, and Health." Dr. Chris Lynn was invited to speak to the EvoS program at SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, NY on April 13 and gave a lectured called "Transcendental Medication: Defraying the Costs of Analysis Paralysis." Dr. Lynn also collaborated with colleagues Dr. Michaela Howells and Katherine Cully at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, who were invited to conduct a workshop called "Understanding Humans: Using an Anthropological Approach in STEM Classrooms" at the 1st Annual K-12 STEM Education Conference in Wilmington, NC on January 9. Additionally, our Department was well-represented by undergraduate and graduate students... read more ❯

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