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Behind Many Masks: An Ethnographic Account of a Pandemic Borderlands

Behind Many Masks: An Ethnographic Account of a Pandemic Borderlands

In June of 2020, four months into a global pandemic and a month after I graduated from college (via a YouTube livestream while sitting on the couch in my parents’ living room), I decided to apply to be a U.S. Census Bureau Enumerator. In college I’d learned the decennial count’s importance in determining state and local budgets and, as a bit of a geography nerd, had often used Census Bureau data in G.I.S. mapping projects. Applying felt like a way {+}

On The Culture of Harassment in Archaeology: An interview with Barbara L. Voss

On The Culture of Harassment in Archaeology: An interview with Barbara L. Voss

[Content advisory: This article discusses harassment and discrimination in archaeology, including discussion of sexual assault.] On the morning of March 30, 2021, three articles on the culture of harassment within archaeology dropped. And it was epic. Across three articles, Barbara (Barb) Voss reviewed and analyzed current research about the prevalence and patterns of harassment within our discipline. Most useful was her list of proven interventions that have demonstrable results in reducing harassment. Most difficult and heart wrenching to read were {+}

Skin, Bones, and Red Masks

Skin, Bones, and Red Masks

Photo credit: Lehi Sanchez (APTNNEWS.CA) UPDATED 5/6/2021 Today, May 5, 2021, people across the United States will wear red in recognition of missing and/or murdered American Indian (Indigenous) women. They will type #MMIW, #MMIWG or something similar in their social media feeds. If they are one of a few American Indians in their organizations, they may be asked (a bit ironically) to make special statements about missing American Indian peoples. Why does “MMIW” exist? Recently, the skeleton of a Turtle {+}

How a legacy of colonialism hinders vaccination efforts in Indigenous communities

How a legacy of colonialism hinders vaccination efforts in Indigenous communities

By Soham Govande Today, hopes are held high that the COVID-19 vaccine will gradually bring an end to the pandemic. Due to systemic health disparities, disadvantaged groups such as Indigenous peoples have especially suffered this past year—both biologically and culturally. Hence, vaccination efforts in these communities must be successful to prevent further damage. Yet, the lack of trust between Indigenous communities and governmental programs stands as a significant challenge to overcome. Health Disparities in Indigenous Communities Why is vaccination so {+}

The masked and the unmasked

The masked and the unmasked

Before 2020 and COVID-19, I never thought much about masks. Now I think about them all the time. One question that keeps coming up is why they have become so controversial and contentious, especially here in the US. Why all the resistance? These questions are on my mind constantly. The whole subject of mask-wearing is often so tense that it can be difficult to even mention the subject. Masks have become a proxy for not only what people believe about {+}

Why “is this fascism?” is the wrong question: a foray into the everyday life of political concepts

Why “is this fascism?” is the wrong question: a foray into the everyday life of political concepts

By Louis Philippe Römer Activists, politicians, and public intellectuals have turned to the word “fascism” to analyze the intensified mobilization of the far-right and the radicalization of the GOP during the Trump presidency. Others vehemently object and see this new usage of “fascism” as incorrect. This already heated debate further intensified after the United States Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. Much of this debate revolves around the prescriptivist premise that there is a correct language for naming and describing {+}

An Obituary for Alfred Kroeber (or…Can American Indians Speak?)

An Obituary for Alfred Kroeber (or…Can American Indians Speak?)

Image: The title “Kroeber Hall” being removed at the University of California-Berkeley on January 26, 2021. (Photo Credit: Irene Yi) In 2017, the theme of the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association was “Anthropology Matters”. I didn’t hear folks criticize the theme too much, but I wondered who had chosen it in the age of “Black Lives Matters” to make a point about the value and substance of anthropology. It was a bit … tacky … mostly because it {+}

Anthrodendum, the revival

Anthrodendum, the revival

Early in 2020, we faced a decision. For the past couple of years, things have definitely slowed down here on Anthrodendum. You may have noticed. So we asked ourselves whether it was time to close up shop for good and move on to other things…or keep this project going. We decided to keep it going. We started sharing our ideas and plans for pushing this project forward. We had plans. Ideas. Changes. And new people we wanted to bring in. {+}

Unexpected happiness in virtual spaces.

Unexpected happiness in virtual spaces.

This piece was co-authored and experienced by the following (in alphabetical order): Zoe Crossland, Celine Gillot, Praveena Gullapalli, Sven Haakanson, Christina Halperin, Sarah Jackson, George Lau, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Kisha Supernant, Dawn Wambold, and Joshua Wright. This essay is about ice cream, beading, trust, friendship, and finding happiness in unexpected spaces while being an anthropologist. Collaboratively envisioned and written, we offer these reflections on praxis for a screen-bound contemporary moment, as well as an equitable and critical way to conceive {+}

Quaran-teens Class of 2021: COVID-19’s Impact on Our Everyday Use of Technology

Quaran-teens Class of 2021: COVID-19’s Impact on Our Everyday Use of Technology

[The following students are high school seniors Class of 2021 at “KTH School.” As part of their International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology class, they conducted a collaborative visual auto-ethnography of their experience of hybrid schooling from August to December 2020. Each group focused on a particular conceptual theme to analyze in the blog.] By Elizabeth Surbrook, Logan Honshell, and Elle Nienhuis In this time of COVID-19, we mainly rely on technology to communicate with one another. Technology can be {+}