Anthro in the news 10/6/14

  • Global Politics, Global Health and the Anthropological Moment

Paul Stoller, professor of cultural anthropology at Westchester University, published in article in The Huffington Post about how anthropologists are uniquely positioned to understand the complex multiethnic nuances of 21st century social and political life. He discusses two examples: ISIS and the Ebola epidemic.

  • Beyond words: Canada should address Ebola

Two students, an MPH student and a medical anthropology PhD student, co-authored an op-ed in the Waterloo Record about how Canada should respond to the Ebola outbreak. Lauren Wallace and Nicole Markwick argue that Canada must move beyond words:

“Canada must move beyond words — and quickly. We must disperse current pledges, and successfully deploy emergency treatment centres and specialized medical teams immediately. If we do not, the virus will claim thousands more lives and more deeply damage West Africa’s health-care systems and economies.”

Earlier this week, students at the Universities of Guelph, British Columbia and McMaster turned heads as they ran across campus dressed as doctors in scrubs and lab coats. At times, students shouted battle cries: “We’re coming for you, Ebola!” Students did not organize the flash mobs to incite fear and concern that Ebola will soon come to Canada. Rather, they organized the events as a way of highlighting Canada’s slow humanitarian response.

  • Talking white in review

Slate carried an article reviewing perspectives on so-called Black English in the United States and the “talking/acting white” theory. The author states that Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth. The article pays substantial attention to the work of Berkeley cultural anthropology professor, John Ogbu, who explored the allegedly “oppositional” culture of black teenagers and pushed the “acting white” idea into the popular discourse, starting with his 1986 paper, coauthored with Signithia Fordham, ‘Black Students’ School Success: Coping with the Burden of ‘Acting White’.” His work lives on and goes on.

  • Syrian antiquities in danger

The New York Times carried an article about the loss and endangerment of antiquities in Syria due to the conflict there. Among many experts mentioned is archaeology professor Michael Danti of Boston University and co-director of the American Schools of Oriental Research Syrian Heritage Initiative, a project financed by the State Department that monitors sites at risk:

“ISIS uses heritage explicitly, tying it into history, providing a back story for itself and showing it is part of this massive unstoppable force to appeal to young fighters.”

The article includes a slide show.

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