anthro in the news 9/26/16

Mother, mother: On police violence and race in the U.S.

At the 50th Anniversary JFK March in 2014. Source: Google Images/Creative Commons
At the 50th Anniversary JFK March in 2014. Source: Google Images/Creative Commons

The Huffington Post carried an article discussing recent writings about the problem of policing and race in the U.S. It mentions the work of Christen Smith, professor of anthropology and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas Austin. She argues that addressing the problem of anti-black police violence also requires taking into account the traumatic and long-term deadly effects on the living, who are often women: “We know from the stories of black mothers who have lost their children to state violence that the lingering anguish of living in the aftermath of police violence kills black women gradually. Depression, suicide, PTSD, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating mental and physical illnesses are just some of the diseases black women develop as they try to put their lives back together after they lose a child.”


Can cultural “appropriation” ever be called theft?

Screenshot of the costume for the character Maui from the film "Moana" on the Disney online store. It was pulled on September 21. Source: Hawaii Public Radio/AP
Screenshot of the costume for the character Maui from the film “Moana” on the Disney online store. It was pulled on September 21.
Source: Hawaii Public Radio/AP

Hawaii Public Radio reported on Disney’s pulling of its Moana costume for children because of the negative reaction to it as racist and derogatory. The piece quotes Tevita Kā‘ili, associate professor of  cultural anthropology and department chair at Brigham Young University Hawai‘i: “This costume should have never been made in the first place…It’s difficult for me to see how Disney can benefit and make a lot of money off of someone else’s culture…Especially someone as significant as Maui.”

Continue reading “anthro in the news 9/26/16”

DC event: How gender expectations impact girl's education in West Nile, Uganda

When: Thursday, March 26th, 12- 1 PM
Where: International Center for Research on Women, 1120 20th St NW Suite 500N Washington, DC 20036

*A light lunch will be provided.

On Thursday, March 26th, ICRW will release a groundbreaking new report that helps shed light on the barriers to girls’ education in Uganda.

The report, based on research conducted by ICRW in collaboration with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Uganda, examines the relationship between school dropout and adolescent pregnancy in post-conflict areas of the West Nile region of Uganda.

Dr. Kirsten Stoebenau, Gender and Population Specialist at ICRW, will present on the key findings and lead a discussion on how gender norms and expectations operating at the community, household and individual levels impact girls’ schooling. She will also address the implications for policy and programming to ensure girls can complete their schooling and contribute to the wellbeing of their families, communities and society.

Anthro in the news 11/24/14


  • Building a green wall to hold back the Sahara

The New York Times carried an article called “Senegal Helps Plant a Great Green Wall to Fend Off the Desert.” It mentions the changes in the environment from a time still remembered by elders when there were so many trees that you couldn’t see the sky to now, when the landscape is miles of reddish-brown sand dotted with occasional bushes and trees. Overgrazing and climate change are the major causes of the Sahara’s advance, said Gilles Boetsch, an anthropologist who directs a team of French scientists working with Senegalese researchers in the region. The article quotes him as saying: “The local Peul people are herders, often nomadic. But the pressure of the herds on the land has become too great…The vegetation can’t regenerate itself.” Continue reading “Anthro in the news 11/24/14”

GW event: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World – Let’s End Violence against Women

This international video conference will link the George Washington University with Lahore College for Women’s University (LCWU) in Pakistan for a live student discussion to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. It will provide the opportunity for students at both universities to share views about challenges and prospects for change. The event is part of a new three-year partnership between GW and LCWU funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Convenors/moderators: Professor Barbara Miller, Elliott School, GW

Professor Shaista Khilji, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, GW

Professor Sarah Shahed, Chair, Department of Gender and Development Studies, LCWU

When: Tuesday, December 3 | 8:30 AM-10:00 AM

Where: 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, 6th floor

To RSVP for this event: go.gwu.edu/LCWU

Sponsored by the Elliott School’s Global Gender Program (GGP). Coffee/tea/juices will be provided.

GW event: Prenatal sex selection — global patterns and a focus on South East Asia

The  Global Gender Program will host “Prenatal sex selection: global patterns and a focus on South East Asia”.

In this seminar Christophe Z Guilmoto, demographer and director of research at the Center for Population and Development (CEPED), Institute of Research for Development (IRD), Paris, will discuss current global patterns and trends relating to pre-natal sex selection, as well as the relationship between the practice and kinship structures in Vietnam and Indonesia.

When: October 9, 2013, 2:00-3:30pm

Where: Lindner Family Commons
1957 E Street NW
The Elliott School of International Affairs
Washington, DC 20052

To RSVP for this event: go.gwu.edu/sexselection

Conference at American University on LGBTQ languages and linguistics

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Lavender Language Conference, the program will feature an array of special events celebrating two decades of scholarship and activism in LGBTQ languages and linguistics.

Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference at American University
Dates: Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17
Location: 6th Floor, Butler Pavilion, 4410 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

To register, visit the American University website.

Mainstreaming gender in the military to improve security and development

Guest post by Ally Pregulman

The United States’ perspective on gender in the military and the security sector as a whole is substantially different from how many other countries, particularly African countries, view their security. On January 19th, the US Institute for Peace (USIP) held a panel on mainstreaming gender in the military and the security sector, which lead to a broader discussion of perceptions and reform of the security sector.

Alpha Company
Alpha Company. Credit: Anneh632, Creative Commons, Flickr

According to Lt. Colonel Shannon Beebe, many Africans view their security in terms of human security: poverty alleviation, health, environmental shock / natural disasters, and reforms, instead of the traditional United States view of security as physical security: types of force and real threats. This perspective provides an opening for women to enter into the military; integrating gender in African militaries allows women to help with many of these alternate types of security concerns, including water and sanitation, health, and infrastructure.

The evolution of security perspectives stems from integrating women in the military. As the military becomes more gendered and diverse, it can focus more on issues of human security. In Senegal, studies show that having a president interested in gender issues helps move this issue forward. National strategies on equity and equality, cooperation with the Senegalese Ministry of Gender, and involving women in the process of integration all contributed to the success of mainstreaming gender in the military.

Panelists from the United States offered a different perspective. Although women participate in many roles of the armed forces in the United States, there are some areas, such as the Special Forces, that remain closed to women. Colonel David Walton, an instructor from the special warfare school, conceded that gender mainstreaming is not really taught to Special Forces trainees because of time constraints that require prioritizing the curriculum. Gender needs to be incorporated into the military from the ground up, in order to emphasize its importance and ensure its incorporation into every aspect of military training and daily life. All of the panelists echoed the sentiment that making gender a separate issue would be inefficient and ineffective.

Continue reading “Mainstreaming gender in the military to improve security and development”