Thursday, December 22, 2011

radio on Fridays, "Science Friday" each week

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"the Indians" and "the colonists" in 1750s N. America

Discussion of interaction between colonists in North America and the native peoples, as written in Fur and Fortune: in Part III (after the French and Indian wars of 1750s-60s) the narrator (of the audio book version) refers to "The Indians." And yet this catch-all phrase sweeps together groups big and small, ones friendly and hostile to "The Europeans" or to "The English Speakers." Elsewhere there are some smaller categories such as Five Nations or Algonkian tribes. But it would probably be more true to experience of those on the ground at the time to refer to themselves not as categories of some abstract Nation (which is the label we organize citizens by today) but according to their location, local leader or some other term of limited scale. For the author perhaps the analytical goal of grouping anonymous souls into competing interests is useful, but probably this corresponds little to the local experience that motivated and guided the people being so labeled. Forever there is a tension between analytical abstraction and anonymity on the one hand and names and faces of individual lives and significance on the other hand.

[reference, Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America]


Friday, December 9, 2011

grouping the colors according to one's language/culture

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

underwater cultural resources (conference reports)

The Inaugural Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage begins next week in Manila, Philippines (
The Museum of Underwater Archeology will post the proceedings online (over 80 presentations and posters) at the MUA's new research tool website in the coming weeks,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

underwater archeology - diver's photos

The MUA is excited to announce a new research tool based on experimental crowd-sourced image collecting. In an effort to capture the changes over
time on an in situ shipwreck, sport divers and archaeologists have contributed photographs of a single wreck over the span of several years.
Our goal is to recruit additional images from divers who have visited the site. As the image collection grows so too will the opportunity to study
site formation processes over time.

Our inaugural shipwreck subject is the SS Yongala, submerged in Australian waters. Some of the submissions received so far lack detailed information
regarding the specific area of the wreck pictured. We strongly encourage anyone with additional knowledge of individual photos, the wreck in
general, or further images to contribute to contact us at . We will also consider creating additional galleries
to highlight other appropriate wrecks if there are a sufficient number of submissions.

This is an experimental project for the MUA; we will continue to refine the look and feel of the tool based on the level of public participation.
The gallery can be viewed by clicking on the link on the home page here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

what is anthropology about?

October 2011 the department of anthropology at University of South Florida was threatend with closure, so graduate students there created a beautiful response to answer the question, "what is anthropology for? [relevance]:

Monday, August 22, 2011

amazon basin & archeology sites world-wide (Google "street view")

Using the well tested array of cameras facing in multiple directions, Google Streetview goes to the Amazon ecozone as well as to cultural heritage sites worldwide,

APPLIED ethnography of the libraries in Illinois

Here is an example of using anthropology to answer some basic questions of the Taken-for-granted contexts that we find ourselves immersed in unreflectively.
[excerpt] The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project -- a series of studies conducted at Illinois Wesleyan, DePaul University, and Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois's Chicago and Springfield campuses -- was a meta-exercise for the librarians in practicing the sort of deep research they champion. Instead of relying on surveys, the libraries enlisted two anthropologists, along with their own staff members, to collect data using open-ended interviews and direct observation, among other methods.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

radio story from the annual Crow Fair (5-day festival in S.E. Montana)

2011-08-10 096 Crow Fair I: Gathering the Tribes

A century ago the six Crow Reservation Districts came together for a cultural gathering with other Great Plains tribes. The Crow Fair honors that tradition with a "giant family reunion under the Big Sky." Every third weekend of August the Apsaalooke Nation puts on a five-day festival in southeastern Montana, with a parade, Pow Wow, rodeo, and traditional and fancy dancing. In 1977 a team of NPR producers and recordists spent a week collecting sounds and interviewing people at this annual event. This early ambient sound-portrait breathes with the arts and activities of the Crow people.


Part one of two. Listen…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

bronze age - so many dolmens on the SW Korean peninsula has an option for English and Japanese, too. The site dates to 2001, so there is not a lot of video, blog feedback or panoramic views and maps, but it does introduce this wealth of ancient society, quoting that 19,000 of the world's known 55,000 dolmens are located in the Jeollanam-do (sw province) of South Korea.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

socio-linguistics, American English: Getting on well, thanks

** American English: Getting on well, thanks **

The debate over the use of Americanisms has divided readers of these pages in recent weeks. Here, American lexicographer and broadcaster Grant Barrett offers an American perspective.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Politicization and Archaeology

Fears About Politicization of Israeli Archaeology

The heads of four major archaeological institutes at Israeli universities have written to Limor Livnat, the country's culture minister, to ask that she withdraw proposed changes to the Antiquities Authority Law, Haaretz reported. Currently the chair of the Antiquities Authority Council must be a scientist who is a member of the Israel's National Academy of Sciences. Livnat has argued that the pool of candidates isn't large enough, and she wants to be able to select someone after consulting with the National Academy of Sciences, but not necessarily from that body. The academic institute leaders argue that this shift is an attempt to put a right-leaning scholar in charge of the council and its work.

[from Inside Higher, ]

Monday, July 18, 2011

crossing Neanderthals and H.Sapiens Sapiens 35,000 years ago?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

naming a baby - what does it mean or indicate?

Naming Trends And How Parents-To-Be Face 'Baby-Name Hostility'

[excerpt] from radio,
When people find out they're expecting, choosing a name for their baby can be one of their most stressful tasks.
Part of that stress is because there has been a "baby-naming revolution" over the last half-century, says Laura Wattenberg, who wrote The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

archeology; graffiti; Israel

Archaeologists Unscramble Ancient Graffiti In Israel

June 19, 2011 Tomb graffiti is "a spontaneous verbal outburst" that can help archaeologists learn more about ancient communities. The history sleuths decipher the messages and learn about the personal and private lives of ancient Jews.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

London Anthro Days 2011; also at U.Manchester

University of Manchester School of Social Sciences
'Discover Social Anthropology': 30th June 2011
This is a departmental open day to enable teachers and 6th form students to discover what social anthropology and its new A-level is all about and can mean for their teaching/studies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

linguistics quirk, "foreign accent syndrome"

wherein a damage suffered to a specific spot in the language processing region results in systematic shifts in vocal production so that the person gives the impression of speaking with a foreign accent:
When Karen Butler went in for dental surgery, she left with more than numb gums: She also picked up a pronounced foreign accent. It wasn't a fluke, or a joke — she'd developed a rare condition called foreign accent syndrome that's usually caused by an injury to the part of the brain that controls speech.
Butler was born in Bloomington, Ill., and moved to Oregon when she was a baby. She's never traveled to Europe or lived in a foreign country — she's an American, she says, "born and bred."

Monday, May 9, 2011

online journals of anthropology around the world

...web listings for most of the anthropological journals in the world.  This information has been placed on the World Council of Anthropological Associations webpage
The journals are listed under "Publications," with some 500 journals in all, a proportion of which offer free access to all of their articles on-line.

Monday, April 25, 2011

local identity - Cornwall in England

via radio on April 25, 2011:
In England, Cornwall Pays No Mind To Royal Wedding
Prince William, who's second in line to the British throne, is marrying Kate Middleton on Friday. The images and voices that will fill the airwaves that day will portray a kingdom full of loyal and joyous subjects. But in Cornwall, where the map says it is part of England, they don't feel very English.

Monday, April 11, 2011

toys and gender and language

Gender stereotypes woven into language of toy ads

(word cloud to visually represent which words are most often used to market/package toys)

Friday, April 8, 2011

linguistic fun. FW: LOL

LOL around the world

  • mdr (and derivatives)
French version, from the initials of "mort de rire" which roughly translated means "dying of laughter"
  • חחח‎/ההה
Hebrew version. The letter ח is pronounced 'kh' and ה is pronounced 'h'. Putting them together makes "khakhakha"
  • 555
Thai variation of LOL. "5" in Thai is pronounced "ha", three of them being "hahaha"
  • asg
Swedish abbreviation of the term Asgarv, meaning intense laughter
  • mkm
Afghan abbreviation of the Dari phrase "ma khanda mikonom", which means "I am laughing"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

mapping Online Dating word choices

Visualizations of online dating language,

R. Luke DuBois... became fascinated with the language used in the profiles. So he overlaid data from 19 million online dating profiles onto US maps.
[interview with Turnstyle magazine] ...In addition to color-coded maps by gender, he also scanned a Rand-McNally Road Atlas into his computer and replaced the city names with unique words. "Not the word people used the most [in their dating profiles] – but the word that was used uniquely in that place – the word that shows up there more than anywhere else," said DuBois.  The atlas maps are labelled with 20,000 unique words. He rattled off some combinations:
Dallas – "rich"     Houston – "symphony"     Santa Cruz – "liberal"
Atlanta – "God," "company," "coca," "jazz," "protestant"

GIS and underwater archeology - example from Florida

David Conklin, a recent graduate of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, describes his work at Little Salt Spring in Florida.  David used GIS and videography to produce a photomosaic image that could be used for recording context within an excavation level.
Clicking the link on the home page of the Museum of Underwater Archeology,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

pronunciation and identity - British Regions

[excerpt] ...This is because US audiences tend to identify the British accent with notions of social standing and refinement rather than geographical location, according to London-based film critic Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter magazine, who spent 30 years living in North America.

"I'm from Kent, and people would ask me if I knew the Beatles," he says. "They think a British accent is like that of Alistair Cook. They aren't particularly conscious of regional differences.

"To them, an English accent is, basically, one that connotes class."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

about endangered languages (UNESCO Redbook project)

sample entry for VULNERABLE level of endangerment within the boundaries of Peru (62 languages endangered; 10 of these at the vulnerable level; example - the Quechua spoken in and around Cusco)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

qualitative methods (ethnography) book

via the Council for Anthropology and Education (Am.Anthro.Assoc section):
Subject: [CAE_listserv] RE: Book for Qualitative Methods
...At the risk of being immodest, I would recommend the second edition of "Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research," which is book one of the seven volume, exhaustive, Ethnographer's Toolkit. Book One is designed to be a comprehensive overview of qualitative and ethnographic research, from when it's appropriate through how to collect AND analyze data to issues of interpretation and ethics specific to such data. Jean J. Schensul and I have authored the entire series, minus book four, which is an edited volume of chapters describing cutting edge supplementary ethnographic methods, written by various authors who are experts in the use of those specific techniques.

The first edition of the entire Toolkit (1999) is available from Altamira Press, which is a division of Rowman and Littlefield. They also are publishing the second edition of the Toolkit; Book One is done and available for purchase; Books 2-5 (conceptual frameworks (2), essential data collection techniques (3: interviewing, observing, participant observation, and confirmatory ethnographic surveys), complementary data collection techniques and issues (4), and data analysis and interpretation (5)) will be available in early summer, and the final two books, Ethics and Relationships in the Field, and Team Research and Research Partnerships, will be available in fall. The latter two books are entirely new for the second edition, as are a number of the chapters in book 4.

Take a look at Book One; I think that it's what you would want for your course; I've used it myself for the same purpose and students loved the profuse examples and the reading level. We attempted to keep the content at a very high level, but make the text itself quite accessible. So while it's a "primer", we didn't dumb it down

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

big archeology in Indiana
It's 1988. Workers building a road in Mt. Vernon, Ind. damage an ancient burial mound, causing a treasure trove of silver and copper to pour from the ground.  A bulldozer operator decides to grab some of the treasure. He ends up in prison for looting.
It sounds like the plot of an Indiana Jones film, only it's not a movie. The treasure belonged to a mysterious and advanced culture that flourished in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. nearly 2,000 years ago. Because it predates the written record, this prehistoric culture doesn't have a Native American name but in the 1800s, archaeologists dubbed it the Hopewell Tradition.

An exhibit of artifacts from the Hopewell site, curated by the Indiana State Museum and on display at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Ind. through Jan. 14, is raising some fresh questions about these ancient Americans.


[opening excerpt from radio on Jan. 3, 2011]