Anthropology

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Anthropology

Four Stone Hearth Anthropology Carnival is Up

If you’re interested in anthropology on the net (or you write on the topic yourself) you’re not going to want to miss this monthly carnival. Go check out this months edition at Anthropology.net. Consider submitting a post to next months carnival by clicking here. Please thank the blog hosts for a terrific edition and feel…

How the Internet Enables Intimacy

In the latest TED Talk, anthropologist Stefana Broadbent suggests that the technologies of social media–such as blogs, facebook, and twitter–are actually promoting greater intimacy between people rather than sucking time away from social involvement as is often supposed. In this unnatural environment we’ve constructed, with regulated time schedules, overseers–er, I mean, bosses–and artificial friendliness mandated…

Grand evolutionary dramas about human origins capture our imagination and the stories provide context as to how we view ourselves. They are the scientific version of creation myths. However, unlike Adam and Eve being fashioned in the garden or humanity being vomited up by the giant Mbombo (as the Bakuba people of Congo believed), scientific…

Classical literature has judged Helen of Troy harshly. Because she chose Paris after having children with Menelaus, her chroniclers condemn her for the destruction of a great society. In Homer’s Odyssey the bard writes: Helen would never have yielded herself to a man from a foreign country, if she had known that the sons of…

Aldous Huxley wrote in his Collected Essays that, “Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” In Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World, Stanford historian Londa Schiebinger highlights the role that such intentional ignorance played in the dissemination of knowledge (and the lack thereof). Whether this…

Over the years anthropologists have had a good deal to say about notions of power and inequality. For example, the late CUNY anthropologist Eric R. Wolf took his early experiences working with peasants in Puerto Rico to explore these larger questions in the global system. In the opening to his book Envisioning Power he wrote:…

An Anthropologist in District 9

Inexplicably, a UFO appears over one of Earth’s remote cities. Hovering a few hundred meters above the terrified citizens, a government mission to board the craft is executed only to find the strange beings living in disease and desperation. A decision is made to save their lives and relocate the aliens to the city’s outskirts.…

The Evolution of Potty Training

This will be my first foray into baby blogging (technically it’s my second, however the first ended up being somewhat accidental). What I hope to explore through these posts will be child development through the lens of anthropology and primatology as I observe my child going through various stages. I first wanted to explore a…

Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “Where there’s marriage without love there will be love without marriage.” His affairs are well known in American history, however this founding father may have been stating a truth extending to evolutionary history as well. Christopher Ryan (author of the forthcoming Sex at Dawn) offers some thoughts on the role of…

For this week’s Friday Follow I wanted to highlight two excellent sources for anthropology news and opinion. Greg Laden’s Blog is my go to for informed commentary and daily entertainment. I’m constantly impressed by his prodigious output as well as his thoughtful and informative content. A must read is his recent post on the natural…