Wednesday, December 29, 2010

homo sapiens sapiens from 400,000 years ago instead of 200,000?

via yahoo news this week; includes a few "related content" stories at the foot of this feature story from Israel,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fall issue of AnthroNotes (Smithsonian Inst.)

Table of Contents, fall 2010 includes:

Tourists and Strangers: An Anthropological Perspective by Lyra Spang

Going Native: The Anthropologist as Advocate by Robert Laughlin

Backyard Ethnography: Studying Your High School  by Carolyn Gecan

Being a Refugee: Humanitarianism and the Palestinian Experience by Ilana Feldman

Friday, December 17, 2010

anthro mix of insider-outsider viewpoints

anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who had this to say about his mentor at Penn, Frank Speck:
 Great ethnologists do more than record: they reveal…they entered their subjects emotionally,
 intellectually, then revealed what they experienced within…What was needed, he said, was
 the power of language, harnessed to humanistic ends 'by men who, if such exist, possess both
 the scientific mind and the literary touch'.

[source] Edmund S Carpenter.  1991. "Frank Speck: Quiet Listener."
In: The Life and Times of Frank G. Speck, 1881-1950.
Roy Blankenship, ed. Philadelphia: U Pennsylvania Publications in Anthropology, Pp.78-83.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

kerfuffle - What is Anthro... Science or Humanities?

excerpts from some well considered responses to the early December exchanges on blogs and op-ed columns of NYTimes, which ultimately led to statement by the American Anthropological Association on Monday, December 13:
[W. Beeman] Nor do we beat our breasts over the investigative excesses of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The world is a very different place than in the colonial era, and anthropologists, like all seekers of knowledge, must shake off the past and move forward trying to pursue our discipline--the most humanistic of the sciences and most scientific of the humanities and social sciences.
[H. Lewis] ...Indeed, it was the founder of American anthropology, Franz Boas, who most fully exemplified the scientist engaged in the struggle for human rights.