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"Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropologists in the United States have been trained in one of four areas: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. Anthropologists often integrate the perspectives of several of these areas into their research, teaching, and professional lives." - American Anthropological Association
In line with the approach offered by the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University, this library subject guide is organized around a four-field approach, with additional information on applied and practicing anthropology:
Featured Electronic Resource
Anthropological Fieldwork Online
This fully indexed, primary source database unfolds the historical development of anthropology from a global perspective, bringing together the fieldwork of early scholars, as well as contextualizing documents from the same time period, including correspondence, and subsequent writings that led to major publications such as draft manuscripts, lectures and articles. Scholars can trace the full scholarly process in all of its stages, from qualitative data gathering to analysis through publication, while cross-searching contemporaneous research from the most important scholars in the discipline.
Featured (recent) Anthropology Acquisitions
The Cleaners by
Call Number: QA76.9.A25 C53 2018 dvd (HSSE Media Collection)
Publication Date: 2018
Enter a hidden third world shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn't like: violence, pornography and political content. Here we meet five "digital scavengers" among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete "inappropriate" content off of the net. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts.
Bending the Arc by
Call Number: RA456.H3 B46 2017 dvd (HSSE Media Collection)
Publication Date: 2017
"A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists - including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl - whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history." - http://edu.tugg.com/products/bending-the-arc.
Skin deep: nina jablonski's theory of race
Call Number: GN197 .S55 2013 (HSSE Media Collection)
Publication Date: 2012
Students of evolution understand that when our ancient African ancestors lost their body hair and ventured out onto the hot savannah, their skin became dark to protect against UV radiation, while subsequent migration away from the equator yielded paler people. But in 2000, Penn State University anthropologist Nina Jablonski proposed a startling new theory as to why human pigmentation is so diverse. In this program, Jablonski suggests that skin color evolved mainly to allow for the production of vitamin D and folic acid, both necessary for reproductive success. Focusing on groundbreaking research and personal accounts of scientists around the world, the film takes a fresh look at the interplay between environmental adaptation and human skin tones.
Ancient Brews by
Publication Date: 2017-06-13
In Ancient Brews, Patrick E. McGovern takes us on a fascinating journey through time, back to the beginning when our ancestors were likely already experimenting with high-sugar fruits, honey, roots and cereals, herbs and tree resins to concoct the perfect drink.Early beverage-makers must have marveled at the magical process of fermentation. Their amazement would have grown as they drank the mind-altering liquids, which were to become the medicines, religious symbols, and social lubricants of later cultures.Interweaving archaeology and science, McGovern leads us on his adventures to China, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Scandinavia, Honduras, Peru, and Mexico. We share in his laboratory discoveries, including an early Neolithic "cocktail" from China made of wild grapes, hawthorn fruit, rice, and honey; an elite New World cacao beverage that gods and kings delighted in; and the Midas Touch of central Turkey. These liquid time capsules defied modern conventions by mixing wines, beers, meads, and botanicals together into heady, delicious extreme beverages.For the intrepid reader, homebrew interpretations of each ancient beverage and culturally appropriate matching meal recipes are provided, transporting our senses and imaginations "back to the future."
Publication Date: 2018-06-18
Video games exemplify contemporary material objects, resources, and spaces that people use to define their culture. Video games also serve as archaeological sites in the traditional sense as a place, in which evidence of past activity is preserved and has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology, and which represents a part of the archaeological record. This book serves as a general introduction to "archaeogaming"; it describes the intersection of archaeology and video games and applies archaeological method and theory into understanding game-spaces as both site and artifact.
Erotic Islands by
Publication Date: 2018-06-07
In Erotic Islands, Lyndon K. Gill maps a long queer presence at a crossroads of the Caribbean. This transdisciplinary book foregrounds the queer histories of Carnival, calypso, and HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. At its heart is an extension of Audre Lorde's use of the erotic as theory and methodology. Gill turns to lesbian/gay artistry and activism to insist on eros as an intertwined political-sensual-spiritual lens through which to see self and society more clearly. This analysis juxtaposes revered musician Calypso Rose, renowned mas man Peter Minshall, and resilient HIV/AIDS organization Friends For Life. Erotic Islands traverses black studies, queer studies, and anthropology toward an emergent black queer diaspora studies.
Imprint of Action by
Publication Date: 2018-11-12
Cultural heritage, which includes archaeology, is recognized as serving an increasingly important role in European societal development. But what exactly is the relevance of archaeology to present day citizens? Imprint of Action investigates the sociocultural impact of archaeology through public activities. These activities provide an ideal setting for research, as they represent a structured point of encounter between the public and archaeological heritage; in analysing them, aspects of people's connections to the past are revealed. As such this research forms an integral part of the NEARCH project (2013-2018). As a basis for analysis, survey data from three large-scale case studies - 'DOMunder' (Netherlands), 'You(R) Archaeology' (Cross-Europe), and 'Invisible Monuments' (Greece) was used. The analysis and interpretation of the case studies is based on a newly created methodological framework which finds its roots in the broader culture and arts sector. Results shows that activities encourage participation and interaction, which engenders sociocultural impacts on participants, most notably in knowledge increase, skill development, social relations, and happiness. Imprint of Action is the first large-scale study focussing entirely on sociocultural impact in archaeology and, as such, is explorative in nature; it provides unique insights into the workings of interaction and participation in archaeological events, and openly shares qualitative and quantitative research data with the expanding field. In doing so, Imprint of Action lies the foundations for further analysis of the societal impact of both large-and small-scale heritage projects and identifies the incontestable values of archaeological heritage to the public.
Linguistic Ethnography of a Multilingual Call Center by
Publication Date: 2019
‘This book provides a fresh and insightful exploration into how call centre agents develop and use language at work. The researcher was able to do this because of her unique position within this workplace: she being one of the agents herself. This allowed her to provide a deep ethnographic account of how agents are recruited, trained and managed in this call centre, where many previous studies have relied on less knowledge and understanding of the actual and nuanced work situation.’ —Jane Lockwood, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University This book presents an innovative institutional transpositional ethnography that examines the textual trajectory of “the life of a calling script” from production by corporate management and clients to recontextualization by middle management and finally to application by agents in phone interactions. Drawing on an extensive original research it provides a behind-the-scenes view of a multilingual call center in London and critiques the archetypal modern workplace practices including extensive use of monitoring and standardization and use of low-skilled precariat labor. In doing so, it offers fresh perspectives on contemporary debates about resistance, agency, and compliance in globalized workplaces. This study will provide a valuable resource to students and scholars of management studies, communication, sociolinguistics, and linguistic anthropology. Johanna Woydack is Assistant Professor at Vienna University of Business and Economics, Austria.
Publication Date: 2017-06-26
Drive the streets of Nairobi, and you are sure to see many matatus--colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or extravagantly colored, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama. In this richly interdisciplinary book, Kenda Mutongi explores the history of the matatu from the 1960s to the present. As Mutongi shows, matatus offer a window onto the socioeconomic and political conditions of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs, they reflect multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life--including, for example, rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, and popular culture--at once embodying Kenya's staggering social problems as well as the bright promises of its future. Offering a shining model of interdisciplinary analysis, Mutongi mixes historical, ethnographic, literary, linguistic, and economic approaches to tell the story of the matatu and explore the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world.
Maternal Death and Pregnancy-Related Morbidity Among Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America An Anthropological, Epidemiological, and Biomedical Approach by
Publication Date: 2018
This ambitious sourcebook surveys both the traditional basis for and the present state of indigenous women’s reproductive health in Mexico and Central America. Noted practitioners, specialists, and researchers take an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the multiple barriers for access and care to indigenous women that had been complicated by longstanding gender inequities, poverty, stigmatization, lack of education, war, obstetrical violence, and differences in language and customs, all of which contribute to unnecessary maternal morbidity and mortality. Emphasis is placed on indigenous cultures and folkways—from traditional midwives and birth attendants to indigenous botanical medication and traditional healing and spiritual practices—and how they may effectively coexist with modern biomedical care. Throughout these chapters, the main theme is clear: the rights of indigenous women to culturally respective reproductive health care and a successful pregnancy leading to the birth of healthy children. A sampling of the topics: Motherhood and modernization in a Yucatec village Maternal morbidity and mortality in Honduran Miskito communities Solitary birth and maternal mortality among the Rarámuri of Northern Mexico Maternal morbidity and mortality in the rural Trifino region of Guatemala The traditional Ngäbe-Buglé midwives of Panama Characterizations of maternal death among Mayan women in Yucatan, Mexico Unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and unmet need in Guatemala Maternal Death and Pregnancy-Related Morbidity Among Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America is designed for anthropologists and other social scientists, physicians, nurses and midwives, public health specialists, epidemiologists, global health workers, international aid organizations and NGOs, governmental agencies, administrators, policy-makers, and others involved in the planning and implementation of maternal and reproductive health care of indigenous women in Mexico and Central America, and possibly other geographical areas. .
Mourning Remains by
Publication Date: 2017-08-01
Mourning Remains examines the attempts to find, recover, and identify the bodies of Peruvians who were disappeared during the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency campaign in Peru's central southern Andes. Isaias Rojas-Perez explores the lives and political engagement of elderly Quechua mothers as they attempt to mourn and seek recognition for their kin. Of the estimated 16,000 Peruvians disappeared during the conflict, only the bodies of 3,202 victims have been located, and only 1,833 identified. The rest remain unknown or unfound, scattered across the country and often shattered beyond recognition. Rojas-Perez examines how, in the face of the state's failure to account for their missing dead, the mothers rearrange senses of community, belonging, authority, and the human to bring the disappeared back into being through everyday practices of mourning and memorialization. Mourning Remains reveals how collective mourning becomes a political escape from the state's project of governing past death and how the dead can help secure the future of the body politic.
Primate Research and Conservation in the Anthropocene by
Publication Date: 2019-01-31
This book takes a new approach to understanding primate conservation research, adding a personal perspective to allow readers to learn what motivates those doing conservation work. When entering the field over a decade ago, many young primatologists were driven by evolutionary questions centered in behavioural ecology. However, given the current environment of cascading extinctions and increasing threats to primates we now need to ensure that primates remain in viable populations in the wild before we can simply engage in research in the context of pure behavioural ecology. This has changed the primary research aims of many primatologists and shifted our focus to conservation priorities, such as understanding the impacts of human activity, habitat conversion or climate change on primates. This book presents personal narratives alongside empirical research results and discussions of strategies used to stem the tide of extinction. It is a must-have for anyone interested in conservation research.
Savage Kin by
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
In this provocative book, Margaret M. Bruchac, an Indigenous anthropologist, turns the word savage on its head. Savage Kin explores the nature of the relationships between indigenous informants, such as Gladys Tantaquidgeon (Mohegan), Jesse Cornplanter (Seneca), and George Hunt (Tlingit), and early twentieth-century anthropological collectors, such as Frank Speck, Arthur C. Parker, William N. Fenton, and Franz Boas. Like other texts focused on this era, Savage Kin features some of the elite white men credited with salvaging material that might otherwise have been lost. Unlike other texts, this book highlights the intellectual contributions and cultural strategies of unsung Indigenous informants without whom this research could never have taken place. Book jacket.