You hear a lot about “Marxism” these days. Mostly as a scare word. The big bad Socialism coming to ruin your good, American, life just like the Communist Red Scare of the 1950s. Problem is, almost no one talking about Marxism in the news right now is using the term even remotely correctly. So, what…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Marxism, A Shareable Social Media Essay
So, I’m taking some time to develop my upcoming Anthropology of Religion syllabus a bit more and it has me thinking about my “Genesis as Myth” unit. More specifically, about my lecture-discussion on the development of (absolute) monotheism in Christianity. Although most people now take it for granted, one of the strangest developments in the…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Angels, Demons, and Absolutism
It’s the holiday season and if nothing else, the message we’re all supposed to be embracing is something along the lines of peace and goodwill towards all people. It’s a nice sentiment, of course, but one we generally don’t spend too much time attempting to live up to the rest of the year. But why…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Why We Can’t Just All Get Along
Daniel C. Taylor begins his book “Yeti: The Ecology of a Mystery” with a story about footprints. More specifically, he begins with an account of the pseudoscientification of animal prints (usually snow leopard or bear) in the Himalayas into the now well-worn tales of the abominable snowman said to haunt the reaches of Mt. Everest…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Yeti or Not! Here We Come!
We live in rude times. But for those of use in the United States, an oppressive wave of individualism (culminating in the persona of Donald Trump) has been riding out our cultural commentary and news media for the past several years. Oppressive Individualism is nothing new to the West, however. It’s cropped up before in…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: The Chosen One and You
It’s an old post from Tumblr, but it just keeps turning back up in my social media feeds. Kind of like cultural appropriation. Yes, I’m going to talk about cultural appropriation here but let me actually start at the bottom of this post. We’ll work our way up from there. There’s one aspect of…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: The Bad Cultural Appropriation Penny
Someone sent me a question! Q: “In photos, I always see anthropologists wearing the same clothes as the people they study. Why do they do that? Is there some kind of rule about this?” A: Clothing is an important part of fieldwork. And by this, I don’t just mean planning for inclement weather or deciding…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Why Do Anthropologists Dress Like That?
Someone sent me a question! Q: So I’m reading this book, From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World by Marylin French. It’s in three volumes, the first (obviously) dealing with pre-history. Much of the evidence for claims made in that volume is based on, of course, the anthropological record. As I’m…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: Were Ancient Societies Matriarchal?
Earlier this morning, while scrolling through my typical line-up of news sources, I happened across an article whose basic gist had to do with the validity of art criticism. In short, the article was a reasonably standard polemic against the existence of art critics. The author took the position that there was no standing for…Continue reading The Rules of Engagement: Or, There is No Peer-Review in Popular Culture
Do you, like me, feel there’s something important missing from these ideas on Myth & Religion? Several things, I think. Can you help me name them? Can you say how you feel reading these words? I am fascinated, yet feel like something’s been taken from me. A little girl kinda feeling. “The world is full…Continue reading Anthro Mini-Lecture: When the Ancient World is Really Victorian