Tag anthropology

There Are No Non-Believers

Agustín Fuentes— We all believe. But we are not all religious. Belief is an evolved capacity that incorporates our neurobiology, our behavior, our cultures, our histories, our individual development and experiences. This enables humans to live in the here and now, in the moment, in the material world, and to

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The Boasian Circle: Intellectual Kinship and Racial Privilege

Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Lorado Wilner— The circle of scholars, authors, and intellectuals who shaped, and were shaped by, the anthropologist Franz Boas is wide and varied. Indeed, the intellectual legacies of this “Boasian Circle” cross disciplines, national boundaries, and hemispheres. Boas and his intellectual network provide a lens to

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Against the “Ascent of Man”

James C. Scott— Historical humankind has been mesmerized by the narrative of progress and civilization as codified by the first great agrarian kingdoms. As new and powerful societies, they were determined to distinguish themselves as sharply as possible from the populations from which they sprang and that still beckoned and

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Ep. 59 – The Psychology of Human Societies

We’re all part of groups, large or small, but how and why do humans form groups and societies? We look at how cognition influences society and what it means for our understanding of the world.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify

Ep. 47 – A Cultural History of Extraordinary Bodies

How have we used size to judge people over time? What is the history of size in popular culture? Lynne Vallone discusses how bodies both big and small influence our perception. Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud

Ep. 39 – The History of Fishing

A look at the history of fishing from ancient civilizations to modern times and the problems caused by overfishing

What Has Santa Got to Do With Climate Change?

Jessica Barnes and Michael Dove— An August 2012 edition of The New Yorker magazine adopted an unseasonal topic for its front cover: Santa Claus. In the illustration, Santa is slumped on the ground against a striped pole, cheeks flushed, under the yellow orb of a bright sun. In place of

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Upside Down with Arctic Art

The woman’s face is devoid of features, and she has no fingers or toes. Her legs extend from wide hips but taper into a V, and her arms taper into nothingness down her sides. Her stomach, breasts, and buttocks are full, even suggestive of steatopygous, a condition that this woman’s

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Dame Mary Douglas remembered

Anthropologist Dame Mary Douglas, described in the New York Times as a woman “whose influence ranged beyond the traditional questions of her field to examine areas as diverse as kosher diets, consumer behavior, environmentalism and humor as she described how humans work together to find shared meaning,” passed away in

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