2016-10-06

maps showing USA pronunciation boundaries

These 22 slides show mapped representations of various diagnostic words like "law-yer" versus "loyer" for an attorney-as-law, for example.

2016-07-29

death & dying - video, Australia

This short video impression of the old cemetery for the town of Ballart, Australia, in service 1840 - 1920s, is densely packed with cultural meanings.
In particular the use of space and material culture particular to the people, place and time can be seen on display.

2016-05-29

language sources of swearing - Quebec's French

The Delightful Perversity of Québec's Catholic Swears - The Canadian province has expletives like no other.

[excerpt]     ...The sacres is the group of Catholic swears unique to Québec. There are many of them; the most popular are probably tabarnak (tabernacle), osti or hostie or estie (host, the bread used during communion), câlisse (chalice), ciboire (the container that holds the host), and sacrament (sacrament). These usually have some milder forms as well, slightly modified versions that lessen their blow. "For example, tabarnouche and tabarouette are non-vulgar versions of tabarnak, similar to 'shoot' and 'darn' in English," says Polesello.

2016-02-22

marking languages still vigorous today

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-mother-language-day-2016/
This year's day for Mother Languages.

On the other side of the human patrimony ledger is the erosion of spoken languages and environments/livelihoods they derive from; see these notes taken from K. David Harrison's book, When Languages Die, to get a taste of this subject.

2016-02-06

time culture - attitudes in cultural landscapes

excerpt from article about regulating and calculating time in ways different to broadcast news media and everyday consumer worlds, 

...within Arizona, which recognizes Mountain Standard Time year-round, the case gets more confusing for anyone traveling through the Hopi and Navajo nations. Both nations are in the same area–in fact, the Navajo nation completely surrounds Hopi territory, and both nations have enclaves within the other.

This arrangement might not have much of an impact time-wise, except that the Navajo nation uses daylight savings time, while the Hopi nation, along with the rest of Arizona, does not. Essentially, it'd be possible to drive through each outlying city and change time zones five times, all within two hours.


2016-02-03

Tribal Lands - map project for North America

This same idea would work well among all indigenous peoples displaced, disoriented, or distopic these past 500 years since global flows of people, ideas, money, material culture, diseases and species got started:

The 9 minute backstory of how the Tribal Nations Maps came to be,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0coKPtbP3isAaron Carapella's project to chart the placenames and locations of the people living in North America before immigration started in the 15th century.

reckoning time - swap from Julian to Gregorian calendar

excerpt from full article, http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-england-was-a-year-behind-belgium-spain-and-italy-for-170-years

...the longer a country waited to shift to the Gregorian calendar, the more days needed to be removed; in 1752, England and its colonies went to sleep on September 2 and rose on September 13, as per the Calendar Act of 1750. Russia didn't change calendars until February 14, 1918 and skipped a whole 13 days, meaning their October Revolution of 1917 actually happened, by today's dating system, in November.

2016-01-14

anthropology articles getting into news media

Upshot from project at the Center for Public Anthropology to track the mentions by anthropologists (cultural, biological, archaeological) in wider circulation or cited or interviewed in mainstream news media [emphasis added]:

A Pattern to Ponder:  Perusing the data, readers will note that archeologists and biological anthropologists tend to be cited in the media more than cultural anthropologists. One likely reason derives from the journals the discipline's subfields publish in. Cultural anthropologists tend to publish in a set of sub-field journals. Archeologists and biological anthropologists tend to publish in more interdisciplinary journals leading, in turn, to a wider distribution and more attention paid to their articles. There is no reason why cultural anthropologists could not publish in PlusOne, Science, or Nature. But many prefer publishing in the American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist or Cultural Anthropology thereby attracting limited attention from those beyond their sub-field. Current Anthropology, which crosses the discipline's sub-fields, tends to attract less attention than inter-disciplinary journals', but comparatively more attention than the American Anthropological Associations journals, focused on specific sub-fields.

 -source page, http://metrics.publicanthropology.org/collected.php

2016-01-10

context - 6 photographers make 6 different portraits

Experiment: each photographer was given a different story about the person coming in for a portrait. Results varied widely when told the subject was fisherman, self-made millionaire, parolee, beach lifeguard, psychic, and so on.
six different backstories led 6 photographers to make differing portraits
six different backstories led 6 photographers to make differing portraits
Perhaps the same contextual framing and predisposition affects documentary projects, archival work, ethnographic field studies, or transposing a biographical sketch from one language to another for readers of a different culture or era. In other words, if the lens can stand for a perceptual grasp of a subject, then the same assumptions that these photographers baked into their choice of composition and lighting and shutter release also may reveal how one goes about engaging with the world in general: we prejudge people and settings, we view the world as half-empty instead of half-full, for example; or at the time of middle age we feel that so many opportunities remain, rather than feeling that so few days are left before extinction.

And while this portrait experiment misled the photographers who were doing their very best creative work to interpret the man, based on the sparse backstory provided, the end result of this decoy experiment powerfully demonstrates to journalists, archaeologists and other scientists (predisposed with the working theories or hypotheses they bake into their research design and deployment of available methods), philosophers and novelists, as well as social observers of all stripes that assumptions and prior knowledge frame one's boundaries and the placement of one's subject within that context.

By extension the frame we paint for our selves (presentation of self; self-image; concept of self) is colored by the assumptions we adopt, discover, aspire to, or have been given by others we know and have been labeled by society more generally.
see the experiment, https://youtu.be/F-TyPfYMDK8 or jump to the time mark showing the resulting portraits

Blurb: A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what's in front of it. To prove this we invited six photographers to a portrait session with a twist. ‘Decoy’ is one of six experiments from The Lab, designed to shift creative thinking behind the lens.  [November 2015]

2015-12-23

what's so great about human language?

cross-posted from CARLA (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition); source, The Guardian newspaper online.

Excerpts, 

 it looks as if kids don't learn language in the way predicted by a universal grammar; rather, they start with small pockets of reliable patterns in the language they hear, such as Where's the X?, I wanna X, More X, It's a X, I'm X-ing it, Put X here, Mommy's X-ing it, Let's X it, Throw X, X gone, I X-ed it, Sit on the X, Open X, X here, There's a X, X broken … and gradually build their grammar on these patterns, from the "bottom up".


...Importantly, these same basic processes of intention-reading are necessary not only for language, but also for discerning what someone is communicating when they simply poke their index finger out in a particular direction for the purpose of communication. To understand why someone is pointing to, for example, a bicycle leaning against a tree, one must share some background experience and knowledge with that person to determine why on earth they would be directing one's attention to this particular situation at this particular moment.

       The idea is that something (we don't precisely know what) in our evolutionary history placed pressure on us (but not chimpanzees) to evolve the kind of mental machinery that allows us to read communicative intentions. One of the consequences of this was that it provided a key mental capacity for language. But it also put in place the potential for us to take part in ever more complex and large-scale cooperative ventures that form the fabric of our different cultures.

2015-12-20

Migration data - interactive, online

http://www.iom.int/world-migration allows you to display IN-migration or OUT-migration for any country pictured on the map.
Just move the slider from IN to OUT and then click a country to populate with color data. Hover your mouse over the groupings of dots to pop-up the source country and headcount estimates (UK example, here).

2015-12-07

language + mannerisms to portray diverse voices on stage

Feature story this morning at National Public Radio's "morning edition" 
- intro: Through powerful monologues, Anna Deavere Smith has tackled race riots, integration and health care. In Notes from the Field, she's using her characters to explore the school-to-prison pipeline.

- or look for transcript 6 hours after air time

2015-11-21

language and cognition - color domains

example of Himba (Ethiopia) 5 part division of the spectrum, excerpted from infographic at http://cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/learning-languages.jpg?da557e
[creative commons lic.]

2015-11-13

USA Veterans' Day - parade photos 11-11-2015

Annual commemoration of the people who joined the military or were killed in wars, "Armistice Day" (in Europe: 11-11 at 11:11 a.m. --cessation of WW I in 1918) but in USA, "veterans' day."
The town's high school marching band and the local association of veterans, some in original uniforms or riding in original vehicles, are the main features in the event. Nearby school children come to watch, along with family or friends of those marching in the parade. When the weather is not inclement the people watching will be 100-200. But with rain or sleet or snow, with or without strong November winds, the people who attend and stay for the speech making [text of speech 2015] will be only a few dozen, very often.

2015-11-02

death & dying studies; video - San Diego 'death cafe'

A place to talk about end of life pathways - https://vimeo.com/144081072
Uploaded and accessed late October 2015

2015-09-02

customs of bodies; body parts

Current technology allows matching of body parts to bodies and their kin, but customs still play a leading role in assigning significance to the physical fabric of personhood.


excerpt, 
For centuries in Europe, some aristocrats had their bodies dismembered after death, in an echo of the practice of separating and distributing the body parts of Christian saints. Galileo's finger was removed from his hand 95 years after he died, and ended up in a science museum. Chopin's heart was separated from the rest of his body and buried in Poland. This veneration of limbs occasionally made its way Stateside, as well: Stonewall Jackson's arm has its own memorial.

2015-08-12

cemetery culture

Handling the remains of one's own dearly departed varies by century and language-group (ethnicity).
This photo in Finland seems to indicate cremation, judging from the compact arrangement of marker stones.
Curiously the granite material seems to signify eternal memory, but the metal identifier plates will oxidize and either fall off or decay before the stone is broken by natural processes. But whatever becomes of the markers in the course of time, at least for the duration that memories attach to the cremains planted there the function of marking memory will suffice.
Thumbnail attached

2015-07-09

classroom language of instruction (and textbooks; websites) - English?

concluding lines of blog article illustrated with campuses using English instead of own language in NL and KR,
https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/teaching-english-contentious-debate

What lessons can other countries learn from the debate in the Netherlands?

  • Internationalization of higher education does not necessarily imply the need to teaching in English
  • There has to be academic rationale for teaching in English rather than economic and ideological motivations
  • Decisions about teaching in English have to be considered in an open debate between internal and external stakeholders
  • Teaching in English is more than simply translating a course or program from one language to the other but must consider implications for content, teaching strategy and learning outcomes
  • Foreign language education should not focus exclusively on English and should find a stronger base in primary and secondary education
  • Teaching in English should not replace the importance of providing national and international students with opportunities to learn and use the local language and culture.


These arguments apply to countries where the national language has limited global presence but also in countries where the primary language is Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, and even English. The fact that half of the UK universities allow foreign students to use dictionaries during exams but not local students is an illustration of how absurd we are in addressing language issues in higher education.

2015-07-08

the people of each state in USA

patterns in the naming of babies during the 20th century,
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-united-and-divided-states-of-jennifer
Distinct pools of intermarriage seem to be indicated by the color representations of popular choices for baby names.

2015-07-05

nvc - Non Verbal Communication (personal space)

Contributor in Ann Arbor, Michigan grew up in India where uses and expectations and allowances for personal space differ to USA ones, 

2015-06-10

chrono-culture, how to organize & communicate time

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/map-mondays-wtf-is-wrong-with-canada-s-time shows this map of calendrical systems in force across various national governments. Among these it seems that Canada accepts all and any syntax, which can lead to misunderstandings unless months and years are spelled out fully. After all 03-03-03 could mean very different things if year vs. month vs. day begins the string of numbers.

excerpt:
Endianness is the sequencing of bytes of digital data in computer memory. The term comes from Jonathan Swift's famous work, Gulliver's Travels. In the story, a society is divided on the lines of where they break their eggs. Those that use the big end are known as the Big-Endians, and vice-versa. While the matter may seem quite unimportant, it resulted in a civil war between the two sides, and the needless deaths of good people.

2015-06-04

book, Manhattan through a primatologist lens

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/31/410250338/rich-housewives-go-under-the-microscope-in-primates-of-park-avenue

excerpt of news story (transcript),
"It's a body-display culture," says Martin. "Sex ratios on the Upper East Side are quite skewed. There are more women than men. And so at a very basic level, it takes a lot to be noticed. And many women are courting and re-courting their mates."


Martin is a trained social researcher with a doctorate from Yale. She's studied anthropology and motherhood across the world. After her move uptown, Martin decided to aim her academic lens at a new tribe: the women of the Upper East Side.

Martin describes the findings in her new book, Primates of Park Avenue. She speaks with NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates about the new book, the controversial "wife bonuses" and going native on the Upper East Side.

2015-05-31

photo story, Death and Dying; remembering those now dead

This set of images from book 3 in the Memento Mori project shows how it can be surprising to see customs that connect people with their departed; surprising from a distance, but maybe less so when involved in that time and that place and in those relationships.

In the online introduction to the book, the author reflects on possible reasons why death has come to be segregated or estranged from most people's daily life; for example, the establishment of germ theory and association of corpse with contagion in some situations. There is also the marketing pressure for what is new, what is current, what is coming next rather than what has come before, with history and on a personal scale, with death.

2015-05-28

shaping skulls by infant wrappings

Illustrated article of the practices in various times and places of shaping skulls into oblong proportions, http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/head-space-artificial-cranial-deformation

2015-05-17

language localism in USA

from the weekly digest of "most emailed stories" at National Public Radio, npr.org

Look for the sample words given for each state, below, to see if you recognize any of them still alive today. 

2015-05-14

writing for public, general audiences

Anthropology can be bracing stuff, but too often it is read or viewed only be its own denizens.
This blog essay on the methods of New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell points the way to balancing data and drama; (excerpt)

when I use Gladwell with my students, it's as a reminder of the relationship between narrative and argument. Err too much on the side of narrative and you'll weave a captivating tale that might not hold together at the end. However, if you just pile on evidence
without providing a narrative through line, your reader can miss the bigger, brilliant point you are trying to make.

2015-05-03

visual culture of Type Font

Among the digest of "most emailed stories" at National Public Radio during the final week of April 2015,

2015-04-27

slang, a short-lived life

excerpt from http://www.npr.org/blogs/npr-history-dept/2015/04/23/401681334/7-lost-american-slang-words

Dingus, 1890s. A nebulous, unspecified object.
Example: Nineteenth century slang may have crescendoed in the 1890s with this report on a new game: Tiddledywinks. "You take a wink, put it on the dingus, press a tiddledy on the wink and make it jump into the winkpot. ... If you succeed, you are entitled to a difficiety and for every wink you jump into the dingpot, from the duwink you count a flictiddledy and you keep on operating the tinkwinkle upon the pollywog until the points so carried equal the sum total of the bogwip multiplied by the putertinktum and added to the contents of the winkpot or words to that effect and you have won the game." From the Tribune in McCook, Neb., on April 24, 1891. And, while writing about operating a coal stove, a Wisconsin person noted this in the Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 28, 1873: "We turned every dingus in the stove that was movable."

2015-03-02

wider anthropology - Anthro Day; also - 4 ethnography features

from March 2015 eNewsletter by email to member from E.L. of the American Anthropological Association

A Message from Executive Director, Dr. Edward Liebow

Response to February 19th, the first National Anthropology Day, was nothing short of amazing. A Congressional Proclamation was introduced to recognize the field. More than 80 college campuses, museums and organizations hosted events to participate in the day. Social media was on fire and we congratulate the student anthropology clubs at Minnesota State University - Mankato, El Camino College and Hunter College of the City University of New York, the selfie photo contest winners who each received $100 prizes. We are in conversations with our sister societies in physical, applied, and archeology, as well as the World Council of Anthropological Associations and the IUAES about expanding our horizons for next year. Mark your calendars: February 18, 2016.


from http://writersalmanac.org/ for March 2, 2015, regarding journalist and novel writer, Tom Wolfe:
In an essay published in 2007, Tom Wolfe argued that the newspaper industry would stand a much better chance of survival if newspaper editors encouraged reporters to "provide the emotional reality of the news, for it is the emotions, not the facts, that most engage and excite readers and in the end are the heart of most stories." He said there are exactly four technical devices needed to get to "the emotional core of the story." They are the specific devices, he said, "that give fiction its absorbing or gripping quality, that make the reader feel present in the scene described and even inside the skin of a particular character."

The four: 1) constructing scenes; 2) dialogue — lots of it; 3) carefully noting social status details — "everything from dress and furniture to the infinite status clues of speech, how one talks to superiors or inferiors ... and with what sort of accent and vocabulary"; and 4) point of view, "in the Henry Jamesian sense of putting the reader inside the mind of someone other than the writer."

[perhaps these same elements comprise best practices for ethnographers keen on conveying a multi-sensory experience of "being there"]

2015-01-11

excavating Place Names - what's in a name?

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-dark-history-of-seven-places-branded-by-bloodsheed
Tells stories of sadness connected to locations around the USA.

More well known is the Welsh town with the very, very long name of 
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch (or Llanfairpwll, or Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, or Llanfair PG, or just Llanfair as it is known by the locals) is on the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in Wales (Cymru). [source page]

or this lake in western Massachusetts

Then there is Keith Basso, "Place Names among the Western Apache," and his book, Wisdom Sits in Places, http://books.google.com/books/about/Wisdom_Sits_in_Places.html?id=NsiEAAAAIAAJ

2015-01-08

big sculpture - the young Mao Zedong

Pictured around 1925, http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/mao-nt-rushmore

This cultural meaning differs in some ways to the oversized heads grouped at Mt.Rushmore and to neighboring Plains Indian leader, Crazy Horse.

2014-11-25

entomophagy - Man eats bug

 [above story from travel publisher Lonely Planet]
 
Much of the world today, and surely even more in the past includes insects as food source - either seasonal find or cultivated supply.
Interestingly of the term itself, Internet declares first use of the word to date to 1975 (while the practice goes back much earlier).
 
See also visual authoring team of Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluzio 2010 Man Eats Bug, http://menzelphoto.com/books/meb.php

2014-11-12

author interview, "Lives in Ruins" (archeologists stories)

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/11/12/lives-of-archaeologists [radio story with author interview and links]
Essential reading for grad students and others committing to a life in archeology?

Book Excerpt: 'Lives in Ruins'

By Marilyn Johnson, http://www.marilynjohnson.net/new__i_lives_in_ruins__i__123545.htm

Chapter 1 Field School: Context is everything

Field school is a rite of passage. If you are studying archaeology, or even thinking about it, you need to apprentice yourself to an excavation specifically set up to help train field-workers. This usually takes place in a desert or jungle, a hot and often buggy place at the hottest and buggiest time of year. A century ago, field school meant signing on to a dig under the supervision of an archaeologist, who would teach you the fine art of excavating while hired locals did the hard labor. Now the locals work as translators, drivers, guides, or cooks, and the students do the heavy lifting, moving rocks and hauling dirt and slag—for instance, in a foul pit in Jordan that, back in the tenth century b.c., was a copper smelt. "I can't prove it," the lead archaeologist at that site told National Geographic, "but I think that the only people who are going to be working in this rather miserable environment are either slaves . . or undergrads." Students not only work without the prod of a whip, they pay for the privilege. Field schools got that school in their name by charging tuition, quite a lot of it, usually thousands of dollars. Where would archaeology be without these armies of toiling grads and undergrads? Are they the base of a pyramid scheme that keeps excavations going with their labor and fees?

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

eBook at amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Lives-Ruins-Archaeologists-Seductive-Rubble-ebook/dp/B00IHZNRQE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie

2014-10-01

abandoned civilization sites

2014-09-13

annual look at anthropology programs

Each year, the AAA compiles a comprehensive listing of academic programs, museums, government agencies, non-profits, and research firms to assist educators and students at all levels in locating information and resources. Search online nowAlternatively a soft cover copy of the 2014-2015 AnthroGuide can also be purchased for your library or college advising office through the AAA Online Store on AAA's website. Print copies are $70+S/H.
     Additionally, we want to hear from you in case you have suggestions for others who might benefit from hearing about the free resource! Please email any suggestions to help us reach parents and students who would like information on this resource. You can reach us at guide@aaanet.org [cross posting from O. Schmid at aaanet.org]

2014-07-09

cultural heritage (task force), Am.Anthro.Assoc.

created November 2013 at the American Anthropological Association [the following text comes from 2013 Annual Report]



AAA Creates CulturalHeritage Task Force
In an effort to respond to threats to both tangible and intangible heritage at both home and abroad (see sidebar), AAA, under the leadership of President Leith Mullings, created a Task Force on Cultural Heritage (TFCH) in November of 2013. The task force aims to offer critical guidelines on the many aspects of heritage management, preservation, and tourism with respect to the role of anthropology and other professionals in this arena, with the ultimate goal of increasing appreciation and understanding of cultural heritage in anthropological and public discourse and to assist the Executive Board in developing effective positions and practices on cultural heritage issues worldwide.

As noted by TFCH co-chair Susan Gillespie (U Florida) cultural heritage issues have become an increasingly important element of the cultural
landscape and loom large in the intellectual and political landscape for anthropology. These issues include continuing debates over preservation
and interpretation of historic materials, the growing heritage and tourism industries, challenges to the intangible heritage and property rights of
living communities and the loss of indigenous languages.

The task force is charged with the following:

Examining what "cultural heritage" means to different constituencies and how it relates to different areas of
anthropological inquiry in order to guide the implementation of AAA positions and practices.

Investigating how other professional associations are dealing with cultural heritage nationally and internationally and incorporate
their best practices in recommendations for new structures or formations that will allow the AAA to become and remain actively
engaged in cultural heritage issues.

Recommending ways to increase training in cultural heritage issues in undergraduate and graduate anthropology curricula and via
continuing education in other venues.

Identify sustainable means for coordinated collaboration among relevant AAA committees and sections as well as with other
professional organizations, trade associations and similar organizations involved with cultural heritage.

Recommending ways for the AAA to become a leading association for national and international dialogue and change regarding
cultural heritage, identifying the special or unique contributions the AAA can make in this regard. A blue-ribbon panel will be organized at
the 2014 AAA meeting in Washington, DC to bring together experts to contribute recommendations.

Helping to draft or coordinate advocacy letters and statements until such time as more permanent entities can carry out that task, and
devise guidelines and protocols for such letters and statements and Recommending initiatives to increase awareness of cultural
heritage issues and to educate the membership and the public about anthropological perspectives on cultural heritage and its
protection. The task force plans to have a regular column in www.anthropology-news.org to disseminate information on cultural
heritage concerns and analysis.

The task force is co-chaired by Susan Gillespie and Teresita Majewski, and other members include Sarah Cowie (U Nevada–Reno), Michael Di Giovine (West Chester U Pennsylvania), T. J. Ferguson (U Arizona), Antoinette Jackson (U South Florida), Rosemary A. Joyce (UC Berkeley), Morag Kersel (DePaul U), Richard Meyers (South Dakota State U), Stephen Nash (Denver Museum of Nature & Science) and Mark Turin (Yale U).

For more information on the TFCH, visit its webpage: www.aaanet.org/cmtes/commissions/Task-Force-on-Cultural-Heritage.cfm.

2014-07-04

death & dying, Pet Cemetery edition

Among the well-illustrated, rich subjects for articles at Atlas Obscura is death and dying (mortuary practices around the world).
But searching by country, language, culture or topic brings lots of food for thought at www.atlasobscura.com, too.

2014-06-29

land grab - Native America

interactive map shows timelapse of lands taken from earliest residents, http://hnn.us/article/156042

ossuary of Brno, CZ (50,000 souls)

Lots of pictures from wikimedia and a 3 min. video from city of Brno,

This website has an eclectic mix of visual articles from all corners of the world, searchable by topic or location.

2014-06-08

anthro in public - blog of Forensic Anthropology

In today's miscellany of visual stories at www.atlasobscura.com was a story and link to the blog of anthropologist Dolly S. whose "Strange Remains" dwells on forensic subjects. Perhaps it is an example of anthro for wider, public consumption.

2014-05-03

powers of Time Lapse photos played back

Motion picture effect is created by recording still images and playing back as a sequence of frames.

Wedding ceremony being rehearsed [seen on 3 May 2014], http://vimeo.com/93689992
The search string, http://vimeo.com/tag:time+lapse will bring up a set of projects that depict the passage of time. Common themes are clouds moving, sun setting or rising, other weather phenomena developing, growth of plants such as flowers blooming. But occasionally something more directly anthropological appears, such as the ritual of wedding (rehearsal).

2014-04-13

material culture - photo project; rubbish from home

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/04/12/in-photos-taking-the-lid-off-america-s-trash-cans
is a short intro to the photo & written essays and includes link to project website, http://www.glad.com/trash/waste-in-focus
 
...photojournalist Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio's project called 'Waste in Focus'. The photo series looks at what eight families around the U.S. are recycling, composting and sending to landfill.

2014-01-22

View the world with these 40 surprising maps‏

Visual context for worldview in 40 maps: These visual treats will prompt lots of thinking and talking. Share with others keen on understanding the world and its people.

2014-01-13

lexical distances among European languages

short articles & links to ponder or prompt discussions

as seen in the January 2014 newsletter from www.nextvistalearning.org


Teacher GC explains that words are built from both meaning and structure,
and the importance of history in knowing why words are what they are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mbuwZK0lr8

...Google maps tool for visualizing changes over time. A new site, Timelapse, takes that tool and identifies a number of the most interesting spots, as well as a field for choosing a new spot to examine. ...click on "Explore the World" at the lower right of the gray area, just before the paragraph describing the tool gets going. The Dubai one is fascinating - zoom out enough to see the palm-frond-looking extensions into the gulf. http://world.time.com/timelapse/

...comparisons and simple research on countries around the world using the World Data Atlas, a free app from the Chrome Web Store. The data choices include GDP, unemployment, birth, death, and fertility rates, and much more. You'll have to use Chrome as your browser to get it, of course. http://goo.gl/6pOYcP

This video (~14 minutes) is a promotional piece for the service organization Rotary International, and speaks of the dust storms from the Gobi Desert and the economic future of Mongolia. http://vimeo.com/21202577 

Video by a girl telling about potatoes, sprouts, and chemicals that inhibit sprouts. It may well make you think about organic produce in a new way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exBEFCiWyW0

About approaching historical levels of inequality that could breed violent class conflict. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

For those who advocate for really high standards of testing subjects in school, consider where author Robert A. Heinlein set the bar.
   "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

2013-10-30

research abstracts on video!

[cross-post from blog.aaanet.org on Oct. 30, 2013]

...new video abstracts. Teresa Figueroa Sanchez comments on her Anthropology of Work Review article about "California Strawberries" and R. Brian Ferguson talks about his work, "Blood of the Leviathan." The latter (originally published in American Ethnologist) is part of a collection "On Violence" in Open Anthropology. So, what can video abstracts do that the written word does not? These short takes let authors personally explain their work. As visual documents, they provide a way for non-specialists to quickly understand the central themes. Students might well find these clips fascinating in terms of making research projects "real," by showing how these anthropologists came to their projects and how anthropologists craft their research.

2013-09-10

life on 24th July 2010 - collage documentary

Executive producer Ridley Scott of movie making fame lent his talents to this project the took in video clips from 192 countries, totaling 4500 hours of recording with contributors answering a few simple questions. The resulting 94 minutes gives a glimpse of life on the planet as told by its peoples.

2013-08-03

Fwd: Daily digest for August 3, 2013


Teaching Materials Exchange

Looking  for new ideas and materials for fall term? Check out AAA's new Teaching Materials ExchangeSearch by course, syllabus, keyword or even instructor. Or browse through the database of more than 90 syllabi and teaching tools.

Don't forget to submit your materials to share as well.

2013-07-30

languages & power in R.South Africa

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/power-language-or-language-power

excerpt
...Although South Africa's Constitution recognises eleven national languages, English – spoken as a home language by only 9.6% of South Africans – has become the language of power; it is the language of government, business, the media, and academia. African languages do not share the same status as English and, to a lesser extent, Afrikaans, which still retains some prominence partly because of its privileged status under apartheid. A degree or course in English at university will help a graduate in accountancy to find a job. Proficiency in isiXhosa (spoken by 16% of South Africans) or Sepedi (9.1%) probably will not.
....

2013-07-27

regional USA - Michigan language & map sense

http://melbel.hubpages.com/hub/Michigan-Accent [local accents around the state of Michigan]

http://melbel.hubpages.com/_mas/hub/You-Know-Youre-From-Michigan-When [USA areas seen from Michigan-centric viewpoint]

see the included illustration,
 
 


2013-07-23

scenes from London Anthropology Day 2013

photos online at flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/raieducation/with/9308899412/
Since 2005 this national event has welcomed recent college students, those about to enter college and those recently graduated to discover some of the fields and tasks of anthropology as it is offered at the departments around the U.K.

 See Also, L.A.D. on Facebook; as well as the Youtube channel for RAI, including the 5 minute overview of the recent A-Level exam for precollege courses in anthropology offered in the U.K., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR6kJk8n1DA


Here the pages from the new brochure about the A-Level programme.

Write the education officer for further details, education [at]therai.org.uk



2013-06-06

google maps for tribal stories (Memory Places)

Not just for U.S.A. Civil War conflict sites, but also in the people of the Amazon to annotate the online maps with "les lieux de memoires" (memory places that Pierre Nora first described in 1993):
 
minute 23:20 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMBJ2Hu0NLw

2013-05-23

San Francisco, CA (underwater) archeology - Whaling Ship

Breaking the Candace: The 300 Spear Street Project
     The Candace was a whaler built in Boston in 1818 that was discovered buried beneath San Francisco that was excavated by Dr. Jim Allan and
archaeologists from William Self Associates,  Fresh from a voyage to the Arctic, the Candace limped into San Francisco leaking badly.  It was
condemned and never sailed again.
     The archaeological investigation revealed not only the Candace but also a ship breaking yard where Chinese laborers dismantled vessels and recycled
their component parts.  All these aspects of 19th century life in San Francisco are covered in the three galleries that comprise the online exhibit.  Breaking the Candace features a video introduction by Dr. Allan, slideshows, an interactive poster, site plans, a PDF version of the report, and video footage of the wreck being lifted from the site.

Tour the exhibit by clicking the link at the MUA, http://www.themua.org/

2013-03-14

glimpse of Earth - online movie "Overview"

Someone in a radio show this week mentioned the online movie, "Overview."
Here it is, 19 minutes of ....wow. http://vimeo.com/55073825
When Apollo 8 went to orbit the moon and come back, the visual impression of seeing the world defined against the blanket of stars and black infinity was a powerful look in the collective mirror of humanity in all its glory, vanity, disaster and hope.
The people interviewed offer lots of food for thought to teachers & students alike.

See also the trailer for their movie now in development about life on earth as one people, [3 min.], http://vimeo.com/60234866

2013-03-07

online "Saving 10,000 lives" at YouTube

On March 6, 2013 the director, Dr. Rene Duignan, presented his 51 minute movie about the high rate of suicide in Japan to members of the news media & the National Diet. He documents the problem, the causes, the solutions, and the social consequences. Mental health professionals, researchers, teachers, friends and family members may benefit from this open discussion of a difficult topic.

http://tinyurl.com/saving10000 [full movie just uploaded], http://www.saving10000.com [website, including trailer for movie]

2013-03-01

New short film: The Huala of China's Sanchuan Region

See the huala (trance mediums/ shamans) among the Mangghuer people of the Sanchuan Region, on the northeast Tibetan Plateau. The movie is intended for a general, rather than an academic, audience, so please feel free to share the link with your students, neighbors, grandmas, etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUjLwtix2_U

The Gods Incarnate - The Huala of China's Sanchuan Region

This film is about ordinary people who incarnate deities. These people are called huala in the Mangghuer language. Huala are found in the Sanchuan Region, on the northeastern Plateau, in China
 [G. Roche]

2012-12-17

rock song of USA, Japan cliches

Here is a highly polished, context-free, series of icons and stereotypes presented in the form of a music video from USA expat in Japan, A. York.


The presentation includes a playful, self-aware, ironic or parodic dimension.
But as an example of a Cultural Production, it is heavily laden with popular, commercial or commoditized meanings.

2012-12-03

Mayan calendar talk, end of 2012 viewpoint

2012-11-30

small town photo albums online - social analysis & visual anthro fodder?

http://miserybay.usanethosting.com/wordpress/category/features/album/

Comes from the weekly online newspaper, The St. Johns Independent, or sjindy.
Citizen reporters supply some of the photo sets.
And while there is little context or captioning, still there is some social & cultural information that can be extracted from these sources.
To locate this county seat in middle Michigan, USA, map search by postal (Z.I.P.) code 48879.
The population is about 7,000 and in 2006 it celebrated 150 years since its foundation in 1856.

2012-10-10

wiki to add your anthro data to (sharing with others)

The American Anthropological Association has started a Wiki, http://anthroregistry.wikia.com/wiki/Wiki_Content, and we're reaching out to everyone for any feedback and contributions you might be able to provide. The goal of this wiki is to help researchers locate anthropological source materials.

One of the effects of the web has been to create myriad crevices and crannies of information. Did you know that Frederick Starr's notebooks, http://anthroregistry.wikia.com/wiki/Starr_Congo_Expedition (12 volumes of field notes) have been put on line?

Do you have a website of ethnographic or anthropological source materials you'd like people to know about? Add it to the wiki<http://anthroregistry.wikia.com/wiki/Wiki_How-To> and help others benefit.

Have you deposited your personal papers in an archive? Building on the efforts of the Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records<http://copar.org/>, we are turning to anthropologists to join together and share information about the location of field notes, photographs, sound recordings, and other primary sources.

The wiki is the perfect place to promote your own research and discover interesting new materials. You can ensure that the location of your ethnographic materials isn't lost or forgotten simply by typing up and publishing a n=
ew page on the wiki. The registry needs you though. This is a crowd-sourced effort so it relies on the efforts of individual anthropologists to identify their research. We encourage you to test it and add your own entries. Al=
ready the wiki houses information on fascinating research such as the Khipu Database and the Tsimane Amazonian Panel Study. We hope you can help your colleagues identify intriguing projects that might otherwise be easily overlooked. We hope you can help your colleagues identify intriguing projects that might otherwise be easily overlooked. This is a cutting-edge tool for the new era of anthropology and the 21st century anthropologist!

2012-09-08

promoting Native ways - Miss Navajo annual event

Forget The Heels: What It Takes To Be Miss Navajo

KJZZThink moccasins, turquoise jewelry and sheep butchering. The competition tests Miss Navajo hopefuls on their knowledge of traditions and language, connecting them with a heritage many of their parents were removed from. "It's an essence of who you are ... who your community is," one contestant says.
[via National Public Radio 8 Sept 2012, Weekend/Saturday edition]

2012-05-21

Egyptian Archaeology, podcast 'academic minute'

In today's Academic Minute, the University of Toronto's Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner describes some recent finds from an archaeological excavation in Abydos, Egypt. Wegner is assistant professor of Egyptian archaeology in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at Toronto. She also serves at Project Director for the North Abydos Votive Zone Project. Find out more about her here. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.




Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2012/05/21/egyptian-archaeology 
Inside Higher Ed 

2012-05-15

language play

Several relevant programs, both current and archived online:

1. Talkin' About Talk is a collection of fascinating insights into language:  a series of 52 little essays--conversational in tone, light and anecdotal in style--that encourage language study and invite listeners to look further into the subject of each essay.  The series, part of the 2005: The Year of Languages celebration, was co-sponsored by the College of Charleston (SC) and the National Museum of Language.  The material was written by a wide-ranging group of experts, including some of the most well-known linguists in America.  The architect and voice of Talkin' about Talk is Dr. Rick Rickerson, professor Emeritus at the College of Charleston.  Brief biographies of the authors can be found on the College of Charleston website:  www.cofc.edu/linguist

2. A Way with Wordshttp://www.waywordradio.org/
Recent Episodes
Like A Bad Penny (full episode) (May. 07, 2012)
And The Horse You Rode In On (Apr. 30, 2012)
Shank of the Evening (full episode) (Apr. 22, 2012)
Going All-City (full episode) (Apr. 14, 2012)
The College Slang Party (full episode) (Apr. 07, 2012)
Him and I or Him and Me? (full episode) (Mar. 30, 2012)
Rock Scissors Paper (full episode) (Mar. 26, 2012)
Mute Point (full episode) (Mar. 20, 2012)
The Uncanny Valley (full episode) (Mar. 12, 2012)
The Bee's Knees (full episode) (Mar. 03, 2012)
Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It (full episode) (Feb. 25, 2012)

3. Weekly, The World in Words [30 minutes consisting of 3-5 minute segments]
http://www.theworld.org/category/podcast/the-world-in-words-podcast/

4. Long-form audio essays, This American Life
 Recent Episodes
464: INVISIBLE MADE VISIBLE 5.14.12
  This week, the radio debut of the episode we just did live on stage and streamed to theatres all over the country: including guests David Rakoff, Tig Notaro, Glynn Washington and many others.
463: MORTAL VS. VENIAL 4.27.12
  Religion makes it pretty clear what differentiates mortal sins from venial ones. Mortal are the really bad sins and venial the lesser ones. But in our everyday lives, it can be really difficult to...
462: OWN WORST ENEMY 4.13.12
  Stories of people who can't seem to stop getting in their own way — sabotaging everything from their romantic relationships to their physical health. Featuring a new radio drama by Jonathan...
461: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN FOR OFFICE 3.30.12
  For anyone who has ever heard the term "Washington insider" and felt outside — we are with you. So this week, we go inside the rooms where the deals get made, to the actual moment that the...
460: RETRACTION 3.16.12
  We've discovered that one of our most popular episodes contained numerous fabrications. This week, we detail the errors in Mike Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn, which makes iPads and other...
459: WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY 3.2.12
  All across the country right now, local and state governments are finding they can't pay their bills. Schools are losing teachers, street lights are going dark, garbage is piling up in public parks,...
458: PLAY THE PART 2.17.12
  Stories of people who decide to flip their personalities and do the exact opposite of what they normally do. Pictured: Louis Ortiz, Obama impersonator. A documentary about him is raising money on...
457: WHAT I DID FOR LOVE 2.10.12
  Love makes us do crazy things. But not this crazy. This week for Valentine's Day we have stories of people going to extremes as they fall in love, chase love down, and try to make sense of it—...
456: REAP WHAT YOU SOW 1.27.12
  Alabama's new immigration law aims to make life so difficult for illegal immigrants that they will "self-deport." And in a way it's working. Immigrants are fleeing Alabama...but not just the...
455: CONTINENTAL BREAKUP 1.20.12
  If you're like us, when the words "European debt crisis" pop up in the news you feel a little worried, and a little like taking a nap. Turns out, there's a story behind this story. One that's filled...
454: MR. DAISEY AND THE APPLE FACTORY 1.6.12
  NOTE: This American Life has retracted this story because we learned that many of Mike Daisey's experiences in China were fabricated.

5. Personal statements of belief, arranged thematically by major topics; current series and the original 1950s series available for download in audio or text, http://thisibelieve.org 

6. Storycorps.org travels around the country making archives of conversations between family and friends. The program name hints at the public service work of Peace Corps from 1961 onward, and now also AmeriCorps (service performed inside the USA). This website also carries technical details for the annual National Day of Listening (the Friday after Thanksgiving each November).

7. Video-based project of Native American languages and society at http://ourmothertongues.org 

8. PDF pages and 146 youtube.com entries for the National Geographic Society's sponsorship of the Enduring Voices project to document and promote indigenous languages close to extinction.

archeology from satellites


In today's Academic Minute, Jason Ur of Harvard University explains how archaeologists are using declassified satellite images to locate previously unknown ancient sites. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

link: http://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2012/05/15/satellite-archaeology