All posts by Dick Powis

Dick Powis has a B.A. in Anthropology from Cleveland State University where he began research on men, masculinities, and reproductive health in Senegal. He will be starting a Ph.D. program in Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis in Fall 2014. Read more at http://about.me/dickpowis

Around the Web Digest: Week of July 20

The anthroblogosphere is still a pretty quiet this week, but some (like Merrill Singer and Agustín Fuentes) have seemingly picked up some of the slack. Definitely give their articles a read, as they have some pretty important messages to impart. If you have an important messages to impart, preferably in the form of blogs or news articles, send them my way for next week’s digest at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis.

Right this way. Continue reading

Hobby Lobby: A Win for Ethnophysiology

An example of a good argument against the Hobby Lobby ruling.
An example of a good argument against the Hobby Lobby ruling.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby; they are free to deny the insurance coverage of certain contraceptives for their employees. Blogs have written about how this is a loss for women’s rights and a victory for women’s rights, a win for religious freedom and a loss for the religious, a win for corporate personhood, a loss for the LGBTQIA community, and a loss for conservatives. Whichever the case may be, Hobby Lobby is at the very least a win for ethnophysiology. Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of June 22

I’m currently participating and observing a family on vacation just outside of Macon, Georgia. I even gambled on last night’s NASCAR race (and won). Anyway, I was able to sneak away to provide this Digest of articles from the past week that I think you should read. If you have or write a blog or article that you’d like me to check out for next week’s Digest, please let me know by email (richard.powis@gmail.com) or on Twitter at @dtpowis.

Alright, y’all.  Continue reading

Plays Well in Groups – [Book Review]

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Plays Well in Groups: A Journey through the World of Group Sex
Katherine Frank. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2013. 406 pp.

“So, how did she…do her research?” This was a common response after mentioning to colleagues that I was reading a book “on the anthropology of group sex.” The critical intonation of the query comes from professional curiosity of these anthropology students and professors, and it is rooted in a (mistaken) assumption that the book is strictly ethnographic. Rather, Plays Well in Groups: A Journey through the World of Group Sex by Katherine Frank is an excellently researched collection of narratives – histories, current events, media studies, ethnographic works, and participant interviews – analyzed through a sex-positive and unifying anthropological lens. Frank’s task is drawing parallels between different forms and practices of group sex in general, while exploring deeper social, political, economic, and historical contexts in order to contrast them. Much of the book is about who has group sex and why, as well as who fears group sex and why. An overarching theme of the book is thus one that appealed to my interests: an emphasis on sexual taboo and transgression. Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of June 1

This week, because there was just so much to round up, I’m going to try something new. I’m fleshing out a new system here, in order to organize the articles that I share. Hopefully, this will help you find the articles you’re interested in, faster. You’ll find that the links below are now sorted into stories “by anthropologists,” “about anthropology,” and “for anthropologists.”

The stories by anthropologists (and friends) are generally going to be blog articles that are written by anthropologists, or at the very least, strongly related to anthropology (e.g. the articles by Anne Fausto-Sterling and Michael Eisen below).

The stories about anthropology are those that are not written by anthropologists, but feature particular anthropologists or the practice of anthropology.

The stories for anthropologists are articles that would be of interest to anthropologists. They may feature anthropological or sociological themes, news about anthropology blogs (e.g. revamps), or articles on academia and higher education.

As usual, if you come across or write an article that you’d like me to share next week, please email me at richard.powis@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at @dtpowis.

Without further ado… Continue reading

Who Majors in Anthropology? An Infographic and a Request

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A little irked by the tone and skepticism with which some ask the question, “What can you do with a degree in anthropology,” I’ve decided to address the quandary with an infographic. Often, I’m confronted with the assumption that after finishing my Bachelor’s in Anthropology, I would find myself behind a bar or waiting tables. From my perspective, my question is “What can’t you do with a degree in anthropology?” I’ve taken at stab at answering this question here (after the jump), but I want help from Savage Minds’ readers to find lesser-known examples of influential former-anthropology students. Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of April 27

Ladies. Gentlemen. I’ll be your host today, as we navigate some of last week’s most interesting pieces that the internet has to offer – to anthropologists anyway. Today, our selection is about 50% larger than usual. I can’t offer one article that stands above the rest, but like last week, there is a small selection: Pay special attention to the works of Janelle Taylor, Todd Meyers, and Adrienne Strong.

If you’ll allow me a moment of a reflexivity: I’m starting to notice a trend in my own posts – race, gender, reproduction – and I thought that perhaps I should move away from those topics as a way to provide a better, well-rounded digest…and then I decided that if you wanted something different, you’d tell me or find another digest – of which there are many. (And yet, there is no metadigest. Someone should get on that.) Anyway, if you have a blog post or news item that you think I should mention in my digest, please let me know by email (richard.powis@gmail.com) or via Twitter @dtpowis.

After you. Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of April 20

Hello folks. Here’s the news that you might have missed this week, if your 4/20 was as crazy as mine (which is to say, crazy with grocery shopping, house tidying, box packing, and the like. Oh drugs? No. I don’t have time for that.) Lots of news this week, but not a whole lot from the anthro-blogosphere. (We are a couple weeks from the end of the semester, so I imagine people are preoccupied for the moment.) If you have any news or blogs that you want to share with me, please, shoot me an email at richard.powis@gmail.com or hit up on Twitter @dtpowis.

Alright, let’s do this. Continue reading