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So we're catching up well after the fact, for which we apologize, but we wanted to share with you what the kids have been up to this semester by topics. Naturally, what the museum exhibits the kids constructed conveyed is symbolic information. The garbage symbolized something about a culture, and our young archaeologists were left to interpret these symbols without a handy Rosetta Stone (not the language software, but the Egyptian decoder key that facilitated reading of hieroglyphs). To help the kids understand this, the kids divided into groups, which would become their own clans, and each developed their own symbol system. There would be four clans that would innovate and share cultural practices throughout the rest of the semester. They were the Wu-Tang Clan clan, the Blood clan, the Guitar clan, and the Tazmanian Devil clan. The photos here are their symbols, which have meaning understood by all members of the... read more ❯
The History of Human Biology in the United States of America
Published 9/4/2013 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author lmwiggins
Biographies Dr. Michael A. Little possesses the title of “distinguished professor” at Pennsylvania State University (where he also earned both his masters and PhD). He began his research career examining cold adaptation in the high Peruvian Andes before he began a 20 year, multidisciplinary project that studied the health, biology, and culture of pastoralists in northwest Kenya. His current work focuses mainly on documenting the history of biological anthropology mainly, through archival research. He teaches classes at PSU on comparative human growth, human biological variation, and the history of biological anthropology. In 2005, he received the Franz Boas award from the Human Biology Association and later, in 2007, received the Charles R. Darwin award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Dr. Francis E. Johnston is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned his PhD (his masters was earned at the University of Kentucky). He specializes... read more ❯
Brains in the Wild: Update from the AAAs
Published 11/30/2012 in Anthropology to the Max
Author Max Stein
I recently had the opportunity to attend the American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) 111th Annual Conference in San Francisco, and one of the session topics focused on neuroanthropology: ‘Brains in the Wild: The Challenges of Neuroanthropology.’ I would like to share the content of this session - including papers by Daniel Lende, Jeffrey Snodgrass, Sarah Mahler, and Greg Downey - and outline the researchers' main message concerning current and future scholarship in this very new field. Daniel Lende (University of South Florida) Habits and Society: Where Brain and Practice Meet Lende’s main message is that when it comes to the relationship between culture and biology, “it’s complicated,” and he suggests that a biocultural approach is the first step toward unraveling this complex area.  What we’re observing essentially is a snapshot of human behavior, and we need to get out of this stable and bounded disposition by taking a multifactorial approach with holistic anthropology.  In other... read more ❯
Raele's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Focal In my observations I did a focal sample on a African American male that was well dressed in slacks and a button down shirt, he was reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. He seemed to be a happy man as he was smiling from the time I started watching him. He had amazing posture that was odd for the time of day that I was watching him. I observed him for answer a phone call that took about 5 minutes. After that he sent out two text messages. At the nine minute we made eye contact and continued to do so off and on for about a minute and a half. The 12 minute make I was forced to stop as my specimen came and began to engage me in conversation and tried to get my number. Scan Scanning the room was a little more difficult do to the shape... read more ❯
Into the Unknown
Published 8/26/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
In the days leading up to a vacation, be it spring break, fall break, beginning or ending of summer break, and occasionally during winter break, you can find me hunched over maps spread out on my floor, planning a route into the wilderness which will take me and my lucky companions beyond established trails and as far away from anything man-made as possible. The preparation for such a trip is always exciting to me. For days leading up to the excursion you will find various pieces of gear strewn about the house, being checked and double checked to make sure everything is in working order. I live for these excursions. Being deep in the wilderness I find peace. When I am in the wilderness I know what to expect; if I do not pay attention to the map and compass I may get lost,... read more ❯
Join our Biocultural Medical Faculty!
Published 10/19/2013 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Christopher Lynn
We are seeking a  cultural anthropologist with research interests in medical anthropology that converge with a biocultural focus.  Topical and geographic specialization are open.  Knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research are expected.  Teaching responsibilities include specific core undergraduate and graduate level class and courses of one's own development.  Please visit our Biocultural Medical Program and Anthropology Department pages for more information. The Department of Anthropology of The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in cultural anthropology beginning Fall 2014. Ph.D. in Anthropology is expected to be in hand at the time of the appointment. We seek a cultural anthropologist with research interests in medical anthropology that converge with the biocultural focus of the department. Topical and geographic specialization are open, although the applicant should complement existing specialties in the department and be well-versed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The successful applicant... read more ❯
Memory and forgetting in Poznan, part 2
Published 12/31/2014 in Uncovering Jewish Heritage
Author Marysia Galbraith
Despite the cold, Anka, Małgosia and I visited a few other sites associated with Jewish culture and history. The monument to the victims of the Poznan labor camp is on Królowa Jadwiga Street even though the actual detainment site was a block away in the old football stadium. The socialist-era monument is a tall concrete pillar with what looks like a menorah at the top. Anka pointed out the dedication on back of the monument stating it was erected on the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; even sites commemorating local events reproduce the idea that the Holocaust happened elsewhere—in cities such as Warsaw and Krakow. The actual stadium was abandoned in the 1990s when a new one was built for the Warta football team. Warta is Poznan's smaller club, rival to Lech, who got a big new stadium for the European... read more ❯
Biography: Bruce Latimer
Dr. Bruce Latimer is a paleoanthropologist at Case Western Reserve University. He received his Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona at Tuscon, his MA in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Kent State University in 1988. Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy was his advisor. Dr. Latimer is currently Professor of Anthropology, Anatomy, and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Origins at Case Western Reserve University. He has also been the Director of the Biological Program in the Department of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University, the Curator of Physical Anthropology and the Executive Director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Cleveland State University, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medical Illustration at the Cleveland... read more ❯
Out of Africa? Again?!? Y-not!
Published 9/26/2012 in Brown Vs. The Blog of Education
Author ashleystewart
First thing's first: What exactly is a Y-Haplogroup, and why on earth does it matter? The Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup  is a haplogroup (<---which is a group of similar haplotypes [<----which are a combination of alleles (or DNA sequences) at adjacent locations, or loci, on the chromosome and are transmitted together] )that is defined by differences in the non-recombining parts of the DNA from the Y chromosome (also dubbed Y-DNA). That's a fun definition, isn't it? To me, this definition is not particularly helpful. For a start, what are non-recombining parts!? Here's an easy way to think of it. Since every male (and only males!) have just one Y chromosome, he can only pass down that SINGLE chromosome, therefore, its not going to combine with anything else and change. So the Y-chomosome is passed down from father to son, nearly unchanged. Since this is true, the... read more ❯
Alexandria's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Focal Sampling Summary My focal subject was a man who was about 27 years old. He was sitting at the bar at Buffalo Phil’s. It was about 8:00 and the bar was full. There was a basketball game on TV but he was not watching it. He was sitting by himself and eating a cheeseburger. A lot of people at the bar were talking to each other and to the bartender but he kept to himself the whole time he was seated there. He didn’t look up much and he was wearing a baseball hat that hid his eyes. He also never took his leather jacket off the entire time he was there. He didn’t pull out his phone once. After each bite he would take a napkin and wipe his hands and wad it up. He had a pile of used napkins by the end of the meals. I was... read more ❯