Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Looking for Iron Age locations

The dry summer days show off structures ordinarily not visible at ground level, or even like this from the air when all is well watered at other seasons and even during the summer of a typical rainfall year. Here are a few structures in the vicinity of Eire's giant New Grange stone building of millennia ago, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythicalireland/41635425520/in/explore-2018-07-16/

No doubt these will contribute to the mapped locations and finds across the hilltops through the British Isles around the time that implements and weapons of iron overtook the weaker points of bronze (admixing copper with tin) and before that the artifacts of copper alone.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

dry weather reveals subsurface structures (aerial view; drone uses)

Low tide lines in the long-term water cycle, as well as droughts bring opportunities for Space Archaeologists and aerial spotting of human activity in places normally obscured by water tideline or surface vegetation. Here are examples of crop marks in the fields around Wales:

Cropmarks 2018 (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

anthro eye in the private sector - seeing what people say & do

The power of empirical, fieldwork-based observation and participant-observation has been recognized in companies big and small, USA and other countries' businesses.
This June 2018 radio story features a conversation with future anthropologists seeking possible careers away from campus settings. The time mark for the Anthropology segment is 4:13 to 7:01

~~from Marketplace featuring Rebekah Park (ReD) and Elizabeth Briody (Cultural Keys).

Sunday, June 10, 2018

ancient role of grandmothering - radio story, June 2018

Babysitters, tuber-diggers: Studies show the rise of grandmas helped babies thrive — and evolve

For decades, a "man the hunter" theory of early humans prevailed, with the image of societies and interactions revolving around bagging big game. But new research suggests that women likely brought home a lot more food. When grandmothers were added to the mix, babies ate better and may have developed better social skills to manage their multiple caregivers.

"Human children are adapted for cooperation … in ways that apes aren't," says a psychologist.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

language, identity, existential environment

Perils of speaking (and speaking about) Tibetan language and society; whether linguistic fluency, social proficiency, or cultural literacy,

Friday, May 11, 2018

what happens when country shifts print from Cyrillic to Latin-based alphabet

Kazakhstan's commitment to change, following the 1928 example of Turkey's own shift from Arabic script to Latin-based alphabet.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

thinking like an anthropologist - why? how?

Early February release of "How to Think like an Anthropologists" by Matthew Engelke.

Radio segment discussion by Barbara J. King, http://wuwm.com/post/how-think-anthropologist-and-why-you-should-want

and screenshot attached from eBook page with cover and blurb.

Thanks to author Engelke for bringing anthro to wider and wider audiences!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

migrating from NE Asia to North America - news story

Two infant remains from the last Ice Age excavated in Alaska; DNA patterns suggest many Asia linkages and various branches sometime after settling in N. America, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/03/575326694/ancient-human-remains-document-migration-from-asia-to-america

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

annual whale hunt - contrasting documentary viewpoints

Japan Times (7 Sept 2017) gives a good overview of "Whale of a Tale," the newly released story with builds in local villagers point of view for the annual killing in the Taiji cove that was forcefully presented by the lenses of "The Cove." Excerpt of online news article follows, with URL to full article and movie URL.

    The anthropological foundational ideas of point of view and context are well illustrated by both documentaries.

..."Quite simply, I was fascinated by the controversy," Sasaki tells The Japan Times, "but I was also pained by what I felt was a very one-sided way of viewing things.
     "'The Cove' showed us what the Taiji fishermen were doing to dolphins in a way that made any counter-arguments difficult if not impossible. As a filmmaker based in the United States, I knew that using hidden cameras and bypassing authority is a very effective way to make a documentary, but I wouldn't call that journalism. And there were a lot of misleading passages and untruthful depictions in that film.
     "And as a Japanese I could understand how the people of Taiji felt betrayed and outraged. Their response was to try and cover things up, or put up a wall of silence and hope the foreigners would go away. Well, the foreigners were never going away. Unless the Taiji locals spoke up about their side of the story, things were going to get worse."
     Sasaki dedicated six years to meticulous research and interview and says she now feels like something of an expert on cetaceans, the scientific classification for sea mammals.
     Taiji has gotten a little wiser, too. It has gradually opened itself up to overseas media and protesters that routinely visit the town. In fact, all the attention has given the local economy a bit of a boost — what could be more appropriate for the digital age than "outrage tourism"? Also, last month Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen visited the town of Klaksvik in the Faroe Islands with hopes of forging a sister city relationship. Fishermen there share the same practices and methods of hunting.

google map link
flickr, photos search
movie page, www.okujirasama.com 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

film - So Long Asleep: bringing some of the 1940s forced laborers' mortal remains back to Korea

---[Pr. David Plath writes, 6/2017] 

So Long Asleep (60 minutes) follows an international team of East Asian volunteers as they excavate, preserve and repatriate the remains of Korean men who died doing slave labor in Hokkaido during the Asia-Pacific War. On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war we travel with them as they carry 115 sets of remains on a pilgrimage across Japan and over to Korea for reinterment in the Seoul Municipal Cemetery. Using a dark past to shape a brighter shared future the project offers an upbeat model for remembrance and reconciliation that could be adapted widely.
     The film and the repatriation project are featured in a 4-page special segment of the Spring 2017 issue of Education About Asia.
     See the DER website to view a trailer. Dialogue is in English, Korean and Japanese; in the DER edition the dialogue carries English subtitles. Separately, project participants have prepared editions with subtitles in Korean and in Japanese. For the Korean version, contact Professor Byung-Ho Chung (bhc0606at gmail) and for Japanese contact Professor Song Ki-Chan (kichans at hotmail).

An extended essay by Pr. Chung about the project appears in Asia-Pacific Journal; Japan Focus online magazine, as well, http://apjjf.org/2017/12/Chung.html

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

nanotechnology to trace antiquities

Story about microscopic particles suspended in water and applied to cultural relics that attract smugglers and buyers.
Maybe just the news of this fingerprint tracking feature will dampen the interest of smugglers; or they will will use an expendable person to take the risk?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sonic Japan - audio recordings around the society

Sound recordings bring listeners up close to the immediacy of the context and events at hand. The Sonic Japan project has collected a variety of settings to let you explore the many cultural places around the society and language of the Japanese islands. Thanks to the initiative of colleagues in Australia, Japan, and the USA, this project has taken full form. Details of method, funding, contributors and links to follow via Twitter, Facebook, or the collection itself at Soundcloud can be found at http://sonicjapan.clab.org.au/about and this website also groups the recordings to browse by map, by places list, and by cultural theme. The soundcloud address is https://soundcloud.com/sonicjapan/

Sonic Japan is a collection of sound recordings made in Japan that enables listeners to traverse an array of themes pertaining to everyday life through a ...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

anthropology in 10 minutes or less (Youtube channel)



Anthropology in 10 or Less: Your Basement Based Source for Anthropological Inquiry

My name is Michael Kilman and I am an anthropologist. I lecture at several universities and last year, after searching YouTube for Anthropology Videos, I realized that someone needed to make them. As a result, as of January of 2017 I launched a new YouTube Series called Anthropology in 10 or Less. 

This show will explore the four fields of Anthropology, which include: Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistic Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology. Each episode will focus on a specific topic within these four fields and cover the topic in less then 10 minutes, making Anthropology more accessible to the general public and as a teaching tool, or study tool for students.  

Follow Michael Kilman on Patreon: Read posts by Michael Kilman on the world's largest platform enabling a new generation of creators and artists to live out their passions!

Friday, January 13, 2017

accents on website, finding yourself

It seems like everyone else has an accent, but from their point of you it is you yourself who sounds *not from around here." The project described here lets users hover across the many languages there.
article source credit, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/use-interactive-map-hear-accents-around-world/

There are many websites that exist just to stoke your curiosity. Localingual is one of them.

Land on the website and a colorful world map takes up your screen. There is no mention of what exactly this map is for, but let your mouse travel around the map and ratchet up your speakers. Travel to any country in the world and listen to the unique accents of that country!


The website came from the mind of a world traveler. David Ding is a former Microsoft engineer fascinated by dialects and languages. His backpacking trips allow him to experience both. So he took this interest and started the site as an encyclopedia for languages:

My dream for this site is for it to become the Wikipedia of languages and dialects spoken around the world.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

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.

Friday, September 23, 2016

putting archaeology online - "virtual tudors"

The high value ship, The Mary Rose, has formed an online source for getting to know the  period and place from which it comes.


A skull, the team add, can offer a number of insights. "You can estimate the sex of an individual, you can estimate the ancestry of an individual and you can certainly diagnose the pathology of an individual: things like scurvy and a number of other conditions," said Nick Owen, a sport and exercise biomechanist also from Swansea University.

At the heart of the project is a technique known as photogrammetry. For each of the skulls, around 120 high resolution photographs were painstakingly taken from many different angles, with the in-focus sections digitally stitched together to produce the final, state-of-the-art, 3D models.

Friday, July 29, 2016

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.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

marking languages still vigorous today

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.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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

Sunday, January 10, 2016

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]

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

what's so great about human language?

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


 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.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

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).

Monday, December 7, 2015

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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

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.]

Friday, November 13, 2015

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 will be only a few dozen, very often.

Monday, November 2, 2015

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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.

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

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,

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the people of each state in USA

patterns in the naming of babies during the 20th century,
Distinct pools of intermarriage seem to be indicated by the color representations of popular choices for baby names.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

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, 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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.

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.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

book, Manhattan through a primatologist lens


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.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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

Sunday, May 17, 2015

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.

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. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

visual culture of Type Font

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

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."

Monday, March 2, 2015

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"]

Sunday, January 11, 2015

excavating Place Names - what's in a name?

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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?


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