Skip to content
Department of Anthropology promotional video

Recent Posts

Primates upon primates upon primates...
Published 9/11/2012 in Brown Vs. The Blog of Education
Author ashleystewart
Hey ladies and lads, I'm doing the second half of Part 1 of The Primate Anthology, also known as pages 44- 87. APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE FOR LENGTH, I KNOW IT IS VERY LONG. Chapter 6: Daughters or Sons In many cultures, boys are more "beneficial" than girls. They are stronger, carry the family name, and they do not require large dowries in order to wed, like some daughters. So why, after all these years of attempted selective birthing (selective abortions, infanticide, etc), haven't we as a species developed into one that can produce the desired sex at will? Other species in the world have already accomplished this feat. The Atlantic silverside from North America that are born in relatively cool water are mostly females, while those who are born later when the water has warmed up are mostly males. Fig wasps also produce an interesting case. Their fertilized eggs become daughters, and... read more ❯
Is Homo gautengensis a valid species?
Homo gautengensis is a hominin species whose remains were discovered in the South African paleocaves of Sterkfontain, Drimolen, Kromdraai, and Gondolin. First described by Curnoe in 2010, it was suggested to have lived 2.00-0.82 million years ago (based on multi-method chronological seriation) in South, and possibly East, Africa. Bivariate analysis comparing cranial and mandibular measurements between cases Stw 53 and SK 847 and means and ranges of cranial, mandibular, and dental measurements from H. habilis and H. erectus suggest that Stw 53 is significantly different from H. habilis and H. erectus, may represent a novel species. According to Curnoe (2010), size of remains and timeline together suggest that Stw 53 represents H. gautengensis, a novel hominin species that pre-dates H. habilis, making it the earliest recognized species of Homo at the time of publication. A Web of Science search of articles citing Curnoe (2010) turned up fifteen sources, none of... read more ❯
Fridays In The New Academic Paradigm
Published 9/25/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
Twenty years ago I was finishing up a 2-year deal as a Student Assistant Editor of The Journal of Planning Literature in the Department of City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University. It wasn't a paid Graduate Assistantship and how I wound up on the editorial staff is the topic of another blog. The academic paradigm of the early to mid 1990s was vastly different than the one of today. The Internet as we knew it was perhaps 3-5% of what it is in 2015. In fact, the Internet in 1995 was still mostly an academic venture based on what used to be called the Bitnet (dust clouds encountered here). As a Student Assistant Editor, it was my job to write up to 45 journal abstracts and 90 journal listings per quarter. It was a tedious job that required a lot of... read more ❯
Elizabeth's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
This past weekend I traveled to New Orleans with a group of friends to celebrate Mardi Gras and a friend’s 21st birthday. Counting myself, there were three girls in the group and we had never been to a strip club. We convinced the boys to take us to one on Bourbon Street, and I saw an opportunity to complete the assignment in a prime location for studying the anthropology of sex. The strip club, Lipstyxx, had the usual (or so I’m told) mix of people, mostly male. The pole and dance platform was in the middle of an octagonally-shaped room, with chairs circling the platform, and tables interspersed throughout the room. The bar is located against the back wall of the room, and a door to the right of the bar leads to the VIP back room. Dancers can be taken to the back room for $40 a lap-dance. One of... read more ❯
Memory and forgetting in Poznan
Published 12/31/2014 in Uncovering Jewish Heritage
Author Marysia Galbraith
Author Marysia Galbraith has kindly let the Bama Anthro Blog Network repost from the original site here.   In early December, I visited the Poznan Jewish Cemetery for a second time with Anna Weronika Brzezińska, a professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Adam Mickiewicz University, and Małgosia Wosińska, a doctoral student at the same institute. We chose the coldest day of the season for our tour of sites associated with Jewish culture. Still, it was great to get the perspective of other ethnographers on some of the places where Jewish heritage is marked and unmarked in Poznan. The gate into the courtyard was locked as usual, so Anka pushed the buttons on the intercom until... read more ❯
E.O. Wilson and The Social Instinct
Published 9/11/2012 in Brown Vs. The Blog of Education
Author ashleystewart
Article: Wilson, E. O. (1976). The Social Instinct. Bulletin of the Academy of the Arts and Sciences, 30(1), 11-25. Retrieved from   Sociobiology is the study of the biological basis of all forms of social behavior in all organisms, and is part of an effort to bring biology as a science to psychology, anthropology, and sociology. It deals with thousands of species and their social aspects in hopes that data from other species can provide a historical perspective and basis for general laws of genetic social evolution. And then, hopefully, those can be extended to study humans. Wilson begins with insects, describing their social behaviors. Even though termites don't recognize each other as individuals (in the manner vertebrates do), they still manage to accomplish great feats in social groups. The build intricate and specific underground systems that allow them their livelihood. Termites also have specific bodies of soldiers that rush to attack, while others continue... read more ❯
Victoria's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
For the human ethology assignment, I went to Rounders Bar on The Strip. When I first arrived, there weren’t many people there so I wasn’t too sure if I was going to get a good outcome. But, as the night when on, the bar started filling up until it was almost impossible to move. For the focal sampling, I stood on the side of the bar by the exit and carefully kept my focus on one brunette girl who was there with what seemed like two or three of her friends. The girl, although underage (there were x’s on her hands), kept sipping from her friend’s drink throughout the first four minutes. The drink was a yellowy color so I’m assuming that it was a Red Bull and vodka. She was wearing a tight banded black skirt and a short, tight crop top tube top that showed part of her... read more ❯
The Stone(d) Age: Altered Consciousness Past and Present
Studying the Stone Age is almost so boring that it’s rude, right? Researcher Yulia Ustinova has the right idea (second only to studying history while actually stoned) by approaching ancient peoples specifically to find out what type of mind-altering shenanigans they were into back then. Her research focuses mainly on the role of Greek religion within society, and her current project is entitled “Mania: Altered States of Consciousness and Insanity in Ancient Greece.” Sounds entertaining to say the least. Among a ton of papers and chapters in collective volumes, Ustinova has written two books entitled: "The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom: Celestial Aphrodite and the Most High God" and "Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind. Descending Underground in the Search for Ultimate Truth." She currently teaches at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, but has also taught in London and Chicago and conducted research in Leningrad. Suffice it to say she’s... read more ❯
Darwin’s Borrowed Allegory and the Apocryphal Six Races of Buffon
When I was in the process of developing my course on race I decided to assign chapter VII of Darwin’s 1871 Descent of Man, the chapter entitled “On the Races of Man”, where among many 19th century racial anachronisms Darwin makes a case for the unity of the human species.  Graves (2001) summarizes the critical paragraph from The Descent of Man in table form (2001:66).  This is the same paragraph that many introductory anthropological texts reference when discussing race.  In this paragraph, Darwin makes a statement about the lack of clear boundaries between races and that therefore there is only a single human species with a single origin: But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more... read more ❯
Dr. Kewal Krishan - Physical and Forensic Anthropologist
Published 10/11/2015 in Confessions of a Hockey Anthropologist
Author dascott
Dr. Kewal Krishan is Senior Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. His areas of interest include forensic anthropology, forensic osteology, anthropometry, stature estimation, growth and nutritional status. He extensively worked on Gujjars of North-West India. The majority of Dr. Krishan’s publications are in the fields of anthropometry, anthropometrics and forensic anthropology. Dr. Krishan was a graduate student of Biological Anthropology in, and earned the Doctorate in Forensic Anthropology from, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India in 2003. He was awarded gold-medal for standing first in M.Sc (Honours School) in Biological Anthropology at Panjab University (1994) where he also earned the B.Sc., also in Anthropology. Before joining his current faculty position, he worked as an anthropologist in the Forensic Medicine Department of Government Medical College Hospital, Chandigarh, India. Dr. Krishan’s M.Sc. supervisor was JC Sharma, editor of the book Anthropology, Population and Development (1995). Professor R N Vashisht,... read more ❯