anthropology today

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This site is an experimental attempt to get conversation going between authors, readers and the editors of ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY, published by the Royal Anthropological Institute and available at Wiley-Blackwell. Please bear with us while we introduce new features and hone our layout. (For more information on ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY see ABOUT; on the mechanics of contributing various types of content see HELP; to determine suitability of content and for conditions see RULES).

Gustaaf Houtman

David Marsden

Matthew Parsfield

Jill Reese

ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY provides a forum for the application of anthropological analysis to public and topical issues.





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Covers AT June 2015, volume 31 issue 3

Front cover: AFRICAN ARTThis slightly larger than life-size terracotta head (height 35 cm.) was found face down below some 4 metres of deposit in a tributary of the Nok valley, Rafin Dinya, in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Esti-mated age is mid first millennium BC. This image was published by Bernard Fagg, archaeologist and…Continue

Tags: covers, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

JONATHAN BENTHALL William Fagg the seer

This guest editorial assesses Bill Fagg's legacy in the African art scene.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: BENTHALL, JONATHAN, article, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

ELEANOR KATHERINE PEERS Cartoon epic heroes in indigenous Siberian revival: The meaning of ethnicity in Putin’s Russia

This article outlines a motivation for the Russian Federation’s incursion into the Crimea, which concerns the Putin administration’s relationship with Russia’s citizens, rather than the outside world. I use a case study from Siberia – the Sakha people’s revival of their national epic, the Olongkho – to explore the possibility that Putin’s behaviour during the Ukrainian crisis serves to legitimate his authority within Russia, by appealing to conceptions of ethnicity that have their roots in…Continue

Tags: KATHERINE, PEERS, ELEANOR, article, 2015

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

ROBERTO J. GONZÁLEZ Seeing into hearts and minds: Part 1. The Pentagon’s quest for a ‘social radar’

In this two-part article, explored are the many funded programmes by which security agencies and private companies mine ‘big data’ and attempt to measure the sociocultural and psychological states of whole populations. How is failure or success meas-ured? What kinds of new institutions/practices might these give rise to? Part 1 ‘The Pentagon’s quest for a “social radar”’, published in this issue, comes to terms with today’s many sociocultural modelling and forecasting efforts, looks in detail…Continue

Tags: GONZÁLEZ, ROBERTO, article, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

NARRATIVE. TAKEYUKI (GAKU) TSUDA Is native anthropology really possible?

Although native anthropologists are often understood to be quite different from non-native anthropologists, this paper argues that the distinction is not as clear as is often presumed. Both types of anthropologists are partial outsiders who are positioned at a relative distance from those they study in the field. This is illustrated with a discussion of the author’s own fieldwork with Japanese Americans as a ‘native anthropologist’. Ultimately, the cultural differences we experience with the…Continue

Tags: GAKU, TSUDA, TAKEYUKI, narrative, 2015

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

PETER HARRIS Britannia rules the waves?: The law of the sea, the British Indian Ocean Territory, and the Chagos Islanders’ right to return

An international arbitration tribunal recently found the United Kingdom to have breached its obligations under international law in declaring a Marine Protected Area in the Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory). The ruling has potential implica-tions for the indigenous people of the islands, the Chagossians, who continue to wage a political campaign for the restoration of their right of abode in Chagos. In this comment, I update readers on the tribunal’s ruling and other related…Continue

Tags: HARRIS, PETER, comment, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

BOOKS. BRIAN MORRIS The anthropology of anarchist solidarity

No abstract is available for this article.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: MORRIS, BRIAN, books, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

TESS ALTMAN Symbiotic Anthropologies

No abstract is available for this article.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: ALTMAN, TESS, conferences, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.

DANIELA M. PELUSO Traversing and translating high finance

No abstract is available for this article.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: PELUSO, DANIELA, conferences, 2015, June

Started by AT admin in AT JUNE 2015 May 26.


Blog Posts

Scottish referendum - Ullrich Kockel

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on September 19, 2014 at 10:39 0 Comments

The people of Scotland have spoken, and the Prime Minister promises their voices will be heard. Following two years of campaigning generating unprecedented public participation and reaching previously disengaged group in large numbers, the referendum delivered a solid majority for Scotland remaining in the UK. According to opinion polls, the youngest voters were predominantly inclined to vote "no". On the night of polling day, one young man on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, having just voted "no",…


From 'Human Terrain' 'to Human Domain' - Another Pentagon concept?

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on February 27, 2013 at 19:00 0 Comments

Sisk, Richard 2013. 'Human Domain' Enters Future Army War Plans. News, 20 February 2013.

Keith Walker at AUSA 2012.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Army's core mission as the world's dominant land power must meld with the challenges posed by future conflicts that will increasingly be fought over "human terrain," senior Army officials…


Human Terrain continues

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on February 27, 2013 at 17:00 0 Comments

Hanley, Ken 2013. Op-Ed: Problematic Human Terrain System continues despite criticism. Digital Journal, 21 February

VandenBroek, T 2013. Army plows ahead with troubled war-zone program. USA Today, 21 February.



Akbar Ahmed on drones

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on February 18, 2013 at 11:00 0 Comments

American University professor Akbar Ahmed talked about his book, The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam. He also talked about the debate over the use of drones by the Obama administration. This interview, recorded at American University in Washington, DC, was part of Book TV’s College Series.…


Marshall Sahlins resigns from the National Academy of Sciences

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on February 27, 2013 at 16:30 3 Comments

The following items have been published in relation to Marshall Sahlin's resignation (to be updated as more sources become available):

Golden, Serena 2013 A protest resignation.Inside Higher Education, 25 February.

Horgan, John 2013 …


Michel-Rolph Trouillot, 1949-2012

Posted by Matthew Parsfield on July 13, 2012 at 10:00 0 Comments

MICHEL-ROLPH Trouillot, the esteemed Haitian anthropologist and professor at the University of Chicago, has died at the age of 62.…


Crisis is as cultural as Kula

Posted by Matthew Parsfield on May 5, 2012 at 19:30 0 Comments

THE FINANCIAL crisis must be understood culturally if "discredited" neoliberal economic perspectives are to be challenged, argued Keir Martin on the Guardian's website in April. 

Taking Malinowski's classic study of Trobriand …


UPDATED: US Military in new anthropologist recruitment drive

Posted by Matthew Parsfield on April 25, 2012 at 12:00 0 Comments

GRADUATE recruitment websites and university email lists are being flooded with vacanciesfor embedded social scientists as the US Military steps up…


Banking on Kim

Posted by Matthew Parsfield on April 23, 2012 at 22:30 0 Comments

MEDICAL anthropologist and public health leader Jim Yong Kim has been appointed as the 12th President of the World Bank. The Korean-born American academic was the first Washington nominee ever to be opposed for the role, but successfully saw off the challenge of Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to maintain the USA’s seven…


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ANTHCAL - Calendar of events as published in the last issue of ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY

We try to avoid errors, but please check dates before making a special journey. Entries are best submitted with a current web address to which readers can refer for further details. AnthCal is online at
My Siberian year, 1914-1915 (to 28.02.2016); Architecture for all: The photography of Paul Oliver (to 11.10.2015); Preserving what is valued (to 03.01.2016). Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PP; tel. +44 (0)1865 270927;
Living and dying (permanent); Indigenous Australia: Enduring civilization (to 02.08.2015); Shifting patterns: Pacific barkcloth clothing (to 06.12.2015); Prince and the Pir: Dervishes and mysticism in Iran and India (to 16.08.2015); Bonaparte and the British: Prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon (to 16.08.2015); Music, celebration and healing: The Sudanese lyre (to 16.08.2015); Africa Gallery (permanent). British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG; tel. +44 (0)20 7323 8299 (information desk);
Making freedom (to 02.08.2015); Revisiting Romania: Dress and identity (to 06.09.2015); Images from 42 Women of Sierra Leone (to 27.09.2015); Centenary gallery: 100 years of collecting (permanent). Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ; tel. +44 (0)20 8699 1872;
Sounding out the Morning Star - Music and West Papua (to 13.09.2015); The power of paper: 50 years of printmaking from Australia, Canada and South Africa (to 06.12.2015). Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ; tel +44 (0)1223 333516;
2-5 Sep 2015 21st Annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. Glasgow, Scotland.
3-4 Sep 2015 9th Global interdisciplinary fear, horror and terror conference. Mansfield College, Oxford.
7-11 Sep 2015 11th Conference on hunting and gathering societies
(CHAGS 11). Vienna, Austria.
9 Sep 2015 Social sciences and public policy 2015 conference.
9-11 Sep 2015 MAGic2015 - Anthropology and global health: Interrogating theory, policy and practice. Organized jointly by the RAI Medical Anthropology Committee, and the EASA Medical Anthropology Network. University of Sussex. &
12-13 Sep 2015 Second international conference on women’s studies
. Vienna.
18 Sep 2015
15.00 RAI AGM followed by the Curl Lecture by Noel Lobley at approx. 17.00. Title: Experiencing sound: Curation, art, practice
3-4 Oct 2015 Freedom of culture, culture of freedom. Lodz, Poland. International conference.
7 Oct 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Museum ethnography and the origins of anthropology in the mid-19th century? Jonathan King.
8 Oct 2015 18.00 Folklore Society lecture: Folklore, archaeology and religion in republican Turkey: Thoughts from Catalhoyuk and the Konya Plain
14 Oct 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Russian/Soviet anthropology: National and transnational episodes of Siberian research. Peter Schweitzer.
14 Oct 2015 18.00-20.00 Annual gold lecture in anthropology: ‘Big society or broken society? Food poverty and food aid in the UK. Pat Caplan. Followed by reception. Goldsmiths, University of London. RSVP by 01.10.2015 Alison Trew T: +44 (0) 20 7078 5039 E:
16 Oct 2015 10.00-17.00 Folklore and anthropology. Conference at the RAI.
21 Oct 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar (title t.b.a.). Carole Pegg.
22-23 Oct 2015 First International symposium on politics and society in the Islamic world.
28 Oct 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Touching and being touched – How we shape the world. Christina Toren.
30 Oct 2015 Norwegian anthropology day. At the RAI.
4 Nov 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Fürer-Haimendorf’s early academic career: A case study in exploring methodologies for the history of anthropology. Andre Gingrich.
13 Nov 2015 The ‘Dunbar number’, evolution and cognition. Conference at UCL.
18 Nov 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar (title t.b.a.). Jerome Lewis.
18-22 Nov 2015
AAA annual meeting. Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
21-22 Oct 2015 Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society. Landscapes, sociality and materiality. Helsinki.
25 Nov 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Instruments and material culture. Kevin Dawe.
26-27 Nov 2015 11th International conference on humanities and social sciences. Khon Kaen, Thailand.
1-3 Dec 2015 International conference sustainable development: Social sciences & humanities, Paris.
2 Dec 2015
17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Title t.b.a. Rachel Harris.
4 Dec 2015
Huxley lecture (time t.b.a.). Robin Dunbar. BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.
8-9 Dec 2015 History of the RAI: 1871-1918.
16 Dec 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Festive tales of the Fitzroys: Evolutionary stories from the past. Simon Underdown.
MARCH 2016
22-23 Mar 2016 Sixth international conference on religion and spirituality in society. Religion in the age of the Anthropocene: Towards a common cause? The Catholic University of America, Washington DC,
MAY 2016
4-9 May 2016 IUAES inter-congress, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
27-29 May 2016 Anthropology, weather and climate change. RAI conference. British Museum, Clore Centre.
JUNE 2016
30 Jun 2016 London anthropology day.
JULY 2016
20-23 July 2016 EASA conference. Department of Human Science for Education ‘Riccardo Massa’ and Department of Sociology and Social Research at The University of Milano-Bicocca.
2-4 Aug 2016 11th international conference on interdisciplinary social sciences. An age and its ends: Social science in the era of the anthropocene. Imperial College, London.
16-20 Nov 2016 AAA annual meeting
. Minneapolis Convention Center. Minneapolis, MN.
29 Nov-3 Dec 2017 AAA annual meeting.
Washington DC.
30 Jul-3 Aug 2018 IUAES 18th World Congress
. Florianópolis, Brazil.
14-18 Nov 2018 AAA annual meeting. San Jose, CA.
20-24 Nov 2019 AAA annual meeting. Vancouver Convention Centre Vancouver, BC, CAN

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