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“Proving” the language/culture connection

“Proving” the language/culture connection

Over the weekend, several anthropologist called attention to this research report produced by Princeton University (link to full report here). The headline touts the research with the claim that “Machine Learning reveals role of culture in shaping the meaning of words”. My response, and that of many others, was immediately snarky – we didn’t particularly need computers to tell us something that has been amply demonstrated by the entire field of linguistic anthropology for the better part of a century, {+}

A College Community of (COVID) Consociated Contemporaries

A College Community of (COVID) Consociated Contemporaries

Anthrodendum welcomes back guest blogger Christian Elliott, a recent graduate in cultural anthropology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. A College Community of (COVID) Consociated Contemporaries by Christian Elliott On Thursday, March 12th, I piled into a rental van with a dozen other student writing tutors from Augustana, a small liberal arts college in western Illinois. We were bound for the Midwest Writing Center Association’s annual conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After a few hours of cornfield-lined interstate, we {+}

Quaran-Teens 2020: Reflections on Teaching Auto-Ethnography to Quaran-Teens 2020

Quaran-Teens 2020: Reflections on Teaching Auto-Ethnography to Quaran-Teens 2020

By Dr. Rebecca Hodges When the coronavirus epidemic response made us close campus, we switched to virtual school for the rest of the year. After their final International Baccalaureate exams were cancelled, my high school seniors taking IB Social and Cultural Anthropology decided they would like to do an auto-ethnography of their life in coronavirus quarantine. They collected data for three weeks (including photographs, screenshots of social media and virtual school, interviews, and personal reflections) and wrote anthropological analyses focused {+}

Quaran-Teens 2020: Changes Because of Quarantine

Quaran-Teens 2020: Changes Because of Quarantine

[The following students are high school seniors at “KTH School” taking International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology. After their final IB exams were cancelled, they decided they would like to do an auto-ethnography of their life in coronavirus quarantine. They have collected data for three weeks (including photographs, screenshots of social media and virtual school, interviews, and personal reflections) and written anthropological analyses focused on different terms (communication, society, belonging, materiality, classification, the body, health, and conflict).] By Orli Katz, {+}

Like talking to a door: Thoughts on the interactional and semiotic dynamics of an office door

Like talking to a door: Thoughts on the interactional and semiotic dynamics of an office door

This post is Part 2 in a short series covering some of my thoughts on a recent story about University of Alberta professor Kathleen Lowrey, whose “gender critical” views were central to her being removed from a departmental service role. For the details of the event itself, see Part 1. One curious aspect about the way that Lowrey has framed the events leading up to her removal is that she suggests people have “scoured” her social media feeds as part {+}

(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

by Joelle Powe, Thea McRae, Christina Jones and Laith A. Ayogu. This piece emerged from our experiences as a group of four students in an undergraduate anthropology methods course at Bard College, “Doing Ethnography.” In response to changing circumstances that rendered more conventional face-to-face forms of engagement—presumed by our methods curriculum—no longer possible, we undertook a collective reconstitution of our ethnographic projects, launching a (web)site as a platform for improvisation. This platform allowed us, and other contributors, to make sense of {+}

Academic labour and academic freedom: What does it mean to be ‘fired’?

Academic labour and academic freedom: What does it mean to be ‘fired’?

While The-Author-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named has been the most prominent example of a public figure going all-in on a so-called “gender critical” argument that works to essentially justify transphobia, over here in the tiny world of academic anthropology, we have had our own example. Happy Pride Month, y’all. The background on this story concerns Kathleen Lowrey, a tenured associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta, who was removed from her role as departmental Associate Chair of Undergraduate Programs after serving one {+}

Quaran-Teens 2020: Cultural Impact on Health

Quaran-Teens 2020: Cultural Impact on Health

[The following students are high school seniors at “KTH School” taking International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology. After their final IB exams were cancelled, they decided they would like to do an auto-ethnography of their life in coronavirus quarantine. They have collected data for three weeks (including photographs, screenshots of social media and virtual school, interviews, and personal reflections) and written anthropological analyses focused on different terms (communication, society, belonging, materiality, classification, the body, health, and conflict).] By Yagmur Onder, {+}

More than arm’s length: reimagining rituals in a technologically mediated pandemic-centric era

More than arm’s length: reimagining rituals in a technologically mediated pandemic-centric era

Anthrodendum welcomes guest blogger Dr. Caitlin E. McDonald, a digital anthropologist at Leading Edge Forum, a technology industry research organization, and a trustee for Ellpha Citizen, a charity leveraging the power of data science and AI to create a more gender balanced world, faster. Caitlin earned her PhD following dancers around the world and across the internet, understanding how information flows for cultural bodies of knowledge like dance are impacted by technoscapes (the digital world around us). @cmcd_phd on Twitter. {+}

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

by Yukun Zeng (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) China was the first country hit by COVID-19. Due to the government-enforced Wuhan lockdown and strict self-isolation, most Chinese people—including me—have stayed at home since January, becoming pandemic spectators, both national and global: reading news, watching the case numbers waxing and waning. In this spectatorship, only macro-scale actors like governments and WHO seem to do the real work. As China’s situation has improved, and China became seen as an expert {+}