anthropology today

a forum for readers and authors of this bimonthly periodical

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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JOYCE DALSHEIM There will always be a Gaza war: Duration, abduction, and intractable conflict 1 Reply

This article reflects on the idea of intractable violence in Palestine/Israel by considering the work of temporality. It considers the latest round of intense violence during the summer 2014 Gaza war in terms of Henri Bergson's notion of ‘duration’, in conversation with Steve Caton's reflections on conflict and duration during his fieldwork in Yemen. Duration provides insight into how collective publics understand, interpret and act in situations of intense conflict; how these knowledges and…Continue

Tags: DALSHEIM, OYCE, article, 2015, February

Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015. Last reply by Brian Callan Feb 20.

Becoming a professor in Anthropology

Becoming an anthropology professor would be truly amazing. However, some people have told me to go for a real job. In other words, it isn't a safe option.However, money isn't important to me as it is for other people. Going for a PhD is really expensive and getting a job I heard is difficult. However, I am willing to work hard, move far away for a job if I have to (or even out of the country), and other things too.Do you think that becoming a professor in anthropology would be worth it if I…Continue

Started by Jackson in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Feb 5.

Covers AT February 2015, volume 31 issue1

Front coverTHE HOUSE GUNThe world was watching when Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp's parents stepped into the magisterial Palace of Justice in Pretoria. At that moment they entered alien territory beyond the ken of the insular white upper class Afrikaner community, many of whom live as if…Continue

Tags: Covers, 2015, February

Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.

ULLRICH KOCKEL ‘Aye’ll be back’: The quest for Scotland’s independence

In this guest editorial the author reflects on the implications of the Scottish independence referendum that took place on 18 September 2014 for the United Kingdom.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: KOCKEL, ULLRICH, article, 2015, February

Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.

MIRIAM DRIESSEN The African bill: Chinese struggles with development assistance

Chinese diplomats and politicians have sought to underline the mutually beneficial and cordial nature of Chinese engagement with Africa through the use of phrases such as ‘win-win cooperation’ (huying huli hezuo) and ‘friendly collaboration’ (youhao hezuo). Avoiding the use of concepts such as ‘aid’, which suggest a hierarchical relationship between giver and receiver, they have argued that Chinese initiatives on the African continent are fundamentally different from Western development…Continue

Tags: DRIESSEN, article, MIRIAM, February, 2015

Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.

KEIR MARTIN & ALEX FLYNN Anthropological theory and anthropological engagement

Engagement with pressing social and political issues is often presented as a threat to the elaboration of sophisticated anthropological theory that needs to be protected from such concerns in order to flourish. However the history of anthropological theory demonstrates that some of the discipline’s most important contributions have tended to arise as a result of its proponents’ desire to engage in such debates. Although we cannot reproduce the cultural models of a previous generation of…Continue


Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.

SUSAN TERRIO Dispelling the myths: Unaccompanied, undocumented minors in US immigration custody

In this article the author reflects on the unexpectedly large numbers of unaccompanied, undocumented minors in US immigration custody.Wiley Online LibraryContinue

Tags: TERRIO, SUSAN, article, 2015, February

Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.


No abstract is available for this article.Wiley Online LibraryContinue


Started by AT admin in AT FEBRUARY 2015 Jan 30.


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…


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 years, 1914-1915 (to 22.12.2015); A well-documented life: James Arthur Harley (1873-1943) (to 08.02.2015); Scarred/sacred water (to 03.05.2015). Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PP; tel. +44 (0)1865 270927;
Eight mummies, eight lives, eight stories (to 19.05.2015); Living and dying (permanent); Africa Gallery (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); African worlds (permanent); Centenary gallery: 100 years of collecting (permanent). Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ; tel. +44 (0)20 8699 1872;
Magic and memory: Paul Montague in New Caledonia (to 08.03.2015). Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ; tel +44 (0)1223 333516;
February 2015
4 Feb 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Listening to ghosts. Sarah Buckler.
11 Feb 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Ethnographic biography: Telling leprosy through a life.
13 Feb 2015 17.30 RAI Research in Progress. Nature as a circulating entity: Hybrid semantics and cultural identity among the Bajo of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Elena E. Burgos-Martínez.
18 Feb 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Socioeconomics and the supernatural amongst the Miskitu and Ulwa of eastern Nicaragua. Mark Jamieson.
19 Feb 2015 9.30 Reviewer meets reviewed: Envisioning Eden - Mobilizing imaginaries in tourism and beyond. Anthropology Library and Research Centre, British Mueseum. Contact:
25 Feb 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Ethnomusicology and filmmaking. Barley Norton.
March 2015
4 Mar 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. The Christian dividual and sacrifice: Personal partibility and religious efflorescence among North Mekeo (PNG). Mark Mosko.
11 Mar 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. ‘The greatest delight to all present’: Public engagement with Aboriginal performances and displays in Melbourne Victoria, 1836-1914. Lynette Russell.
12 Mar 2015 17.30. Organisational anthropology - Understanding trust. ASA’s APPLY Network spring meeting. RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT. Talk and discussion led by freelance business anthropologist Stephanie Krawinkler. Contact Mary Adams ( or Julie Scott (
13 Mar 2015 RAI research in progress. Towards an anthropology of coups in Fiji. Jas Kaur.
15-16 Mar 2015 International conference on communication science, anthropology and political science (ICCSAP-2015). Phuket, Thailand.
18-20 Mar 2015 10th Global conference: Perspectives on evil. Lisbon, Portugal.
19 Mar 2015 9.30. Reviewer meets reviewed: Under a watchful eye - Self, power and intimacy in Amazonia. Harry Walker vs Paolo Fortis. Anthropology Library and Research Centre. British Museum.
23 Mar 2015 The alchemical landscape: Counterculture, occulture and the geographic turn. Interdisciplinary symposium. Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge.
23-28 Mar 2015 Vernacular religion, folk belief, and traditions of the supernatural. Folklore conference. Macao and Hong Kong.
26 Mar 2015 Musical instruments and material culture. RAI-Horniman Museum joint one-day conference.
26-28 Mar 2015 Face in trouble: From physiognomics to Facebook. International conference in humanities. Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland.
27 Mar 2015 RAI research in progress. Hustling in the village: Rural predictabilities, tensions and the flow of life in Western Kenya. Gemma Aella.
APRIL 2015
1 Apr 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Meeting anthropology, or how to talk to chairs. Simone Abram.
13-16 Apr 2015 Symbiotic anthropologies. ASA conference. University of Exeter.
16 Apr 2015 10.00 Reviewer meets reviewed: God’s agents - Biblical publicity in contemporary England. Matthew Engelke vs Adam Reed. Anthropology Library and Research Centre, British Museum. Contact:,
16-17 Apr 2015 Fifth international conference on Religion and spirituality in society. Berkeley, USA.
29 Apr 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Science and sustainabilitity. Joy Hendry.
MAY 2015
5-12 May 2015 37th International Americanistic studies congress. Centro Studi Americanistici. Perugia (Italy).
20 May 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Subjects as objects - How heritage practice works with the past. Tom Yarrow.
23-24 May 2015 Second international conference on media and popular culture. Vienna, Austria. Contact:
JUNE 2015
9-12 Jun 2015 10th International conference on interdisciplinary social sciences. Split, Croatia.
10 Jun 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. What did Ted Hughes learn from anthropology? Bob Layton.
10-13 Jun 2015 Civilizational values at the crossroads. Conference. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
11-14 Jun 2015 ACSS 2015 Sixth Asian conference on the social sciences. Theme: Power. Osaka, Japan.
16-19 Jun 2015 14th RAI international festival of ethnographic film. Venue: Bristol.
18 Jun 2015 TOURAVEL ‘15 / II. International Conference on Tourism and travel Istanbul, Turkey.
21-26 Jun 2015 9th International conference on Easter Island and the Pacific (EIPC 2015). Cultural and environmental dynamics. Ethnological Museum Dahlem, Berlin.
24-26 Jun 2015 Anthropology of hands. Conference.
JULY 2015
2 Jul 2015 London Anthropology Day 2015. Clore Centre, British Museum.
7-10 Jul 2015 1st AIBR international conference of anthropology. Madrid, Spain. The human being: Cultures, origins and destiny. Network of Iberoamerican Anthropologists (AIBR).
15-17 Jul 2015 IUAES Inter-Congress 2015: Re-imagining anthropological and sociological boundaries. Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.
15-17 Jul 2015 Qualitative research. International conference. Neuchatel.
26-27 Jul 2015 International conference on identity studies. Vienna, Austria. Contact:
2-5 Sep 2015 21st Annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. Glasgow, Scotland.
18 Sep 2015 15.00 RAI AGM followed by the Curl Lecture (details t.b.a.)
7 Oct 2015 17.30 RAI Research Seminar. Museum ethnography and the origins of anthropology in the mid-19th century? Jonathan King.
28 Oct 2015 17.30. RAI Research Seminar. Touching and being touched – how we shape the world. Cristina Toren.
18-22 Nov 2015 AAA annual meeting. Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
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.
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.
16-20 Nov 2016 AAA Annual Meeting. Minneapolis Convention Center. Minneapolis, MN
29 Nov-3 Dec 2017 AAA annual meeting. Washington DC
14-18 Nov 2018 AAA Annual Meeting. San Jose, CA.
t.b.a. IUAES 17th World Congress. Florianópolis, Brazil


March 2015

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