anthro in the news 10/16/17

School girl, India. Credit: Google Images Commons/Pexels.

educated brides sought, but not working wives

Japan Today published an opinion piece co-authored by cultural anthropologist Rachael Goodman, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She and her co-author base their comments on ethnographic fieldwork in Uttarakhand, a state in northern India: “Even in remote rural areas of Uttarakhand, an Indian state in the foothills of the Himalayas, most young women now earn bachelor’s degrees while their mothers often did not finish high school and their grandmothers were lucky to attend primary school at all… many families expect prospective brides to have college degrees, even if the groom does not. Educated women are seen as higher status and are expected to raise children who will be even better educated…Rather than leading directly to increased participation in the formal labor market, the greater interest in educating girls has changed the landscape of arranged marriage…While expectations for brides have changed, those for wives have not.”

sexual harassment in anthropology

A teal ribbon stands for awareness of sexual harassment and assault. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/MesserWoland

Newsweek reported on the occurrence of sexual harassment in many professional contexts, outside of Hollywood. The article mentions a new study of sexual harassment in anthropology fieldwork and academia co-authored by Robin Nelson, assistant professor of biological anthropology at Santa Clara University and quotes her as saying: “We have that same dynamic happening in academia and academic fieldwork [as in Hollywood].”

anticipating Puerto Rican migrants

The Patriot Ledger (Massachusetts) carried an article on the likely rise of migrants to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico, due to the ongoing effects from Hurricane Maria. Massachusetts, home to the fifth largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S., is preparing to accommodate them. The article quotes Rosalyn Negrón, associate professor of anthropology professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston: “…we’re going to have to think about how Massachusetts is able to respond to a higher influx of families who have either small children or elders that they’re trying to take care of here…it’s not too soon to think about them…I think it is realistic to expect there could be a lot of people coming.”

The Los Angeles Times, in an article on the same topic, quotes Jorge Duany, professor of anthropology at Florida International University, who left the island five years ago to pursue his career in Florida. He said that although a mass influx of Puerto Ricans is nearly guaranteed, at least one question is open: “Whether they will stay.”

famous children of anthropologists

Forbes published a piece by regular contributor Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida, about some famous Americans with an anthropologist as a parent: “It may be easy to suggest that most people on any list of famous actors, writers, and musicians likely share a common political affiliation. But in this case, actor Ted Danson, writer/producer Mike Judge, former President Barack Obama, author Ursula Le Guin, and drummer Stewart Copeland all share one interesting aspect of their upbringing: one of their parents was an anthropologist…President Obama has discussed his relationship with his mother extensively in the press and in autobiographies. In 2007, he told the Chicago Tribune that his mother was ‘the dominant figure in my formative years. The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics.’” Stanley Ann Dunham, his mother, did fieldwork in Indonesia on traditional crafts production. Her revised dissertation, Surviving against the Odds, was published after her death.

take that anthro degree and…

…work in a non-profit. Katie Johnson is on the staff of the Alabama Blues Project which is dedicated to the preservation of blues music as a traditional and contemporary art form through interactive programs that educate and entertain. The organization provides blues music lessons for children ages 8-18 including at-risk and troubled youth. Teachers include some of the best blues musicians in the state. The Alabama Blues Project has been awarded the National Coming up Taller Award by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and a Keeping the Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation. Johnson has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Alabama.

archaeology exhibit in Sharjah

Gulf Today reported about an upcoming Unesco-supported exhibit at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum that celebrates the 40th anniversary of an archaeological partnership between the UAE and France. Featuring more than 100 objects excavated by the French Archaeological Mission since it began its work in the UAE in 1977, the exhibit runs from October 18 to January 31, 2018. It is curated by Sophie Mery, Director of the French Archaeological Mission to the UAE. Highlights include the Emirates Pearl – the oldest pearl found in the world – from the Neolithic period, an etched carnelian bead from the Bronze Age, an incense burner in the shape of a standing man with raised arms from the Iron Age, a silver coin from the late Pre-Islamic Period, and a Pilgrim flask from the 15th century.

skin-color genes

The New York Times reported on the research of University of Pennsylvania geneticist Sarah Tishkoff on the evolution of genes that determine human skin color. The article quotes Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University: …the new study provides “a deeper appreciation of the genetic palette that has been mixed and matched through evolution.”

kudos: genius award

National Public Radio (U.S.) did an interview with cultural anthropologist Jason De León, associate professor at the University of Michigan and one of the 24 winners of a 2017 MacArthur “Genius” award. His research involves following the paths of undocumented migrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border and documenting and preserving what they have left behind. He comments: “…we hike in the desert. We survey vast parts of the Sonoran desert, looking for the things that migrants have left behind. When we find those things, we will stop and map them, photograph them, take GPS coordinates, collect artifacts. They get put into a database and then get stored at the University of Michigan, where we analyze them and we use them in various ways.” Quartz notes: “The reality de León has uncovered through his Undocumented Migration Project…is decidedly different. For example, his documentation of the objects left behind by border crossers on their perilous journeys north helps dispel Trumpian notions of immigrants as ‘bad hombres’ and rapists. Among the items he’s unearthed: A shirt emblazoned with the Statue of Liberty, a child’s weathered boot, and balled-up diapers.”



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