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Gustaaf Houtman

David Marsden

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

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Covers AT October 2015, volume 31 issue 5

Front and back cover caption, volume 31 issueFront coverShark attack!July 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of Jaws, the blockbuster film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. At the time, the enormous success of the film was attributed to the way it tapped into the primal…Continue

Tags: covers, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

MAURIZIO ALBAHARI Europe’s refugee crisis

In this guest editorial Maurizio Albahari considers the refugee crisis, Europe’s worst since WWII. Does this crisis represent a critical turning point?Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: ALBAHARI, MAURIZIO, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

ADRIAN PEACE Shark attack!: A cultural approach

Many Australians would concur with the view of the novelist Tim Winton that we have an ‘almost supernatural fear and hatred’ of sharks. Especially in the wake of fatal attacks by great white sharks (on average once or twice per year), the extent of fascination and fear within the population at large is undeniable. This paper rejects the frequently encountered explanation that this is because we have an ‘instinctual’, ‘hard wired’ and ‘primal fear’ of wild animals that can kill people. Its focus…Continue

Tags: PEACE, ADRIAN, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

KRISTEN CHENEY Invisible Children fades away: What it means for the future of youth activism

The global reach of Invisible Children’s viral video KONY 2012 supposedly established the efficacy of ‘spectacular humanitarianism’: sympathetic spectatorship of suffering others through the mediatization, commodification, and depoliticization of Western humanitarian action. However, their ‘brand’ of activism ultimately proved unsustainable, as Invisible Children announced in late 2014 that it was phasing out operations. Here I consider how Invisible Children, as a quintessential spectacular…Continue

Tags: CHENEY, KRISTEN, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

CATHERINE SMITH Celebrating 10 years: Peace, bravery and resilience in Aceh

The date 15 August 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki Peace Agreement, which ended a major thirty-year conflict between the Free Aceh Movement and the Government of Indonesia. In this article I argue that much greater acknowledgement should be given to the creative responses that ordinary conflict survivors have brought to the process of post-conflict social recovery. The article briefly discusses some observations on resilience made through 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork with…Continue

Tags: SMITH, CATHERINE, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

BARBARA ANDERSEN Style and self-making: String bag production in the Papua New Guinea Highlands

The looped netbag or bilum is one the most culturally significant of everyday objects in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Made exclusively by women, bilum are also iconic of female productive and reproductive labour. In this article, I analyze how growing social stratification is expressed through the types of bilums young women produce and wear. I argue that the choices that young women make about what kinds of designs, shapes, colours, and fashions to incorporate into their bilums can tell us a great…Continue

Tags: ANDERSEN , BARBARA, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

ABDELMAJID HANNOUM Cartoons, secularism, and inequality

In this article, I discuss the tragic attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January 2015. First, I comment on Didier Fassin’s article ‘In the name of the Republic’, published in ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY in April 2015. I express my disagreement with him on the issue of laïcité, and offer a critical examination of the concept, taking into account what I call ‘the Christian heritage of the secular state’. I then examine the various French reactions to the tragedy and focus…Continue

Tags: HANNOUM, ABDELMAJID, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.

DIDIER FASSIN On secularism and politics: A reply to Hannoum

No abstract is available for this article.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: FASSIN, DIDIER, article, 2015, October

Started by AT admin in AT OCTOBER 2015 Sep 24.


Blog Posts

Leeds International Film Festival, Arctic Cinema, 9-13 November 2015

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on September 28, 2015 at 13:34 0 Comments

The Arctic is hot. Everywhere you turn these days, the Polar regions are making headlines: climate change, geopolitics, mining, tourism, trade. These topical issues are seriously affecting one of the planet’s most malleable regions. Researchers at the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University are collaborating with the Leeds International Film Festival ( to curate a week-long programme of Arctic cinema, showcasing films, talks and…


Real vampires?

Posted by Keira Dignan on September 22, 2015 at 13:41 0 Comments

Real life vampires’ must be met with ‘tolerance and respect’, writes Kim Wall for The Guardian, following a study conducted by sociologists DJ Williams and Emily Prior on ‘Fears of Coming out of the Coffin’. ‘Vampires’ are people who believe that they must ‘feed’ regularly from…


Paul Sillitoe in the news

Posted by Gustaaf Houtman on August 17, 2015 at 13:00 0 Comments

Paul Sillitoe and Mako John Kuwimb's have jointly reported on the Jared Diamond vs New Yorker controversy. Paul Sillitoe is a highly regarded anthropologist expert on Papua New Guinea, and Mako John Kuwimb contributed a…


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 …


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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

The 1857-8 delegation portraits: Native American photographs by Vannerson and Cohner (to 15.11.2015); 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;
Manga now: Three generations (to 15.11.2015); Pacific barkcloth clothing (to 06.12.2015); Africa Gallery (permanent); Living and dying (permanent). British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG; tel. +44 (0)20 7323 8299 (information desk);
Revisiting Romania: Dress and identity (to 06.09.2015); Project Tobong (03.10.2015-10.04.2016); Centenary gallery: 100 years of collecting (permanent). Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ; tel. +44 (0)20 8699 1872;
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;
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. David Shankland. Thoughts from Catalhoyuk and the Konya Plain. Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB.
12 Oct 2015 18.00 Tourism Seminar. Seaside towns in an age of austerity. Steve Fothergill.
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
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.
21-22 Oct 2015 Biennial conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society. Landscapes, sociality and materiality. Helsinki.
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.
9 Nov 2015 17.30 Tourism Seminar. Magaluf and moral panic. Hazel Andrews.
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
19-21 Nov 2015 Narratives of displacement. International interdisciplinary conference, Warsaw.
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.
3-4 Dec 2015 Human rights, violence and dictatorship. International interdisciplinary conference. Krakow, Poland.
4 Dec 2015 17.30. Huxley lecture. Robin Dunbar. BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.
7 Dec 2015 17.30 Tourism Seminar. Morality or moralising? Ethical tourism’s critique of the masses on holiday. Jim Butcher.
8-9 Dec 2015 History of the RAI: 1871-1918. Conference.
16 Dec 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Festive tales of the Fitzroys: Evolutionary stories from the past. Simon Underdown.
28-29 Dec 2015 Second international conference on media and popular culture.
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
9-12 Jun 2016 ACSS2016 - The Asian conference on the social sciences.
30 Jun 2016 London anthropology day.
JULY 2016
4-7 Jul 2016 ASA conference, University of Durham. Theme: Footprints and futures – The time of anthropology.
20-23 Jul 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
JUNE 2017
Jun/Jul 2017 (date t.b.a.) ASA2017 at Adelaide University.
29 Nov-3 Dec 2017 AAA annual meeting. Washington DC.
JULY 2018
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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