Anthro in the news 9/19/11

• On campus drinking culture
Nearly 40 percent of U.S. college students engage in high-risk alcohol consumption. This rate has remained unchanged for 30 years. Each year 2,000 students die from alcohol related deaths, and an estimated 600,000 are injured while under the influence of alcohol. So begins Jim Yong Kim‘s editorial in the Washington Post, “Targeting Campus Drinking.” He has worked in Peru and Rwanda, and is a world-renowned expert on tuberculosis. He brings that experience to a major campus affliction through the Learning Collaborative methodology that weds research with practice through innovative strategies to change “alcohol culture.”

• Anthro of London bankers
What do bankers in the City of London do all day? The Guardian is launching an anthropological study of the Square Mile by Joris Luyendijk, a Dutch anthropologist. According to Luyendijk, “So what is a Dutch anthropologist doing talking to bankers in the City of London? That was certainly the first thing bankers themselves wanted to know before they would even consider meeting with me in secret.” The project includes a blog with profiles of several bankers. It’s meant to be interactive: you can comment!

• Interview with Thomas Eriksen
The Mauritius Times carried a lengthy interview with Thomas Eriksen, professor of anthropology at the University of Norway, on ethnicity, kinship, community, and more.

• Anthro of Paris magicians
To find out how the craft of magic works, Graham Jones spent two years inside Paris’ thriving world of magic. Jones, a cultural anthropology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, passed an examination to join France’s largest magic association. He recently published a book based on his research, Trade of the Tricks. “Magic is more than illusions,” Jones says. “It’s a whole repertoire of crafty interactions.”

• Anthro of drought and development
An article in the Nairobi Standard describes the work of cultural anthropologist Stacy Hope, who is in Kenya to help address the drought. To find out the root cause of drought in the country, she is conducting research focusing on the Turkana and Samburu people: “The study seeks to understand the lives of the Turkana and Samburu people vis a vis the environment. It will help Kenya manage drought from a social perspective,” she says.

• Eurozone decline and tourism in Mauritius
AW’s Sean Carey, of Roehampton University, published an article in the Mauritius Times on tourism expansion plans that may be thwarted by “the on-going economic turbulence in the eurozone, from where nearly two-thirds of tourists coming to Mauritius originate.”

• Fathering and plummeting testosterone
Findings from a localized study in the rural Philippines caught the attention of several mainstream media including front page coverage in the New York Times. The study measured testosterone levels in over 600  men for around five years and found that the testosterone of men who spend time in child care “plummeted.” Lead author of the study of Christopher Kuzawa of Northwestern University.

• Sometimes it doesn’t take a village
The Toronto Star picked up on research by Beverly Strassmann, a biological anthropology professor at the University of Michigan and faculty associate at the university’s Institute for Social Research. She studied 1,700 children from the Dogon people in Mali over 25 years. In this population, neither group child care nor grandparents contribute to child survival. These findings contradict two major bioanthropological theories.

• Kudos
Catherine Fowler, University of Nevada, Reno foundation professor of anthropology emerita, has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Her work helped to preserve the indigenous languages, culture, land and heritage of the Great Basin’s Native people.

• In memoriam
Seyhan Tahire Dwelis, anthropol­ogy professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Spring, passed away on August 18, 2011. In addition to teaching anthropology with a focus in human evolution, Dwe­lis was the first Curation Specialist at UCCS. Her latest project in­volved collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Acad­emy to house artifacts found on government soil.

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