All posts by Dick Powis

Dick Powis is a graduate student in Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include men and childbirth, prenatal screening technologies, and reproductive health in urban settings in Senegal. Read more at http://about.me/dickpowis

Around the Web Digest: Week of August 24

If, like me, you’ve been living under a rock this week, here are some things you may have missed. (From the size of this list, I feel like I missed a lot.) If you have something that you’d like me to feature next weekend, please send it to me at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis.

A new anthropology MOOC is starting up on edX, called World101x: Anthropology of Current World Issues. (World101x)

Gerhard Hoffstaedter, course director of World101x, has written on the immigration from the perspective of Australia’s own crisis. (HuffPo)

Also, be sure to check out the World101x interview with anthropologist-journalist-blogger Sarah Kendzior. (YouTube)

While you’re on YouTube, a full length video of the documentary on Bourdieu, “La sociologie est un sport de combat,” was uploaded this week (in French, no subtitles). (YouTube)

Continuing in the theme of legendary French theorists, the audio of a lecture by Durkheim was also made available this week (in French). (Urban Demographics)

Stephen T. Casper discussed neuroscience, Ferguson, and the concept of “contagious shooting.” (Somatosphere)

Jennifer Carlson sat down with John Hartigan, anthropologist and director of the Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at University of Texas at Austin, to talk about the use of multispecies ethnography in his work. (CASTAC Blog)

Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne described the long history of Africa’s reputation as a “dirty, diseased place.” (WaPo)

Around the Web Digest: Week of August 17

Here’s a recap of what you might have missed this week. If you have something to send me for next week, shoot me an email at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis. Classes start this week for me, and I know they’ve already started for some of you. If you’re teaching a course with a Twitter component, tell me about it! If you have articles or blogs that you’re linking your students to, let me know! I want to see what kinds of class discussions are springing out of the blogosphere.

Until then, let’s see what we have from last week. Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of August 10

Between the crisis in Gaza, the militarization of Ferguson, and the death of Robin Williams, this has been a rough week in the news. At least Rick Perry is being indicted. Also, as of today, I’ve been writing these digests for six months, and it’s been a blast. Thanks for your help and support. If you have a blog article or something that you think should be in next week’s digest, send it me at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis.

Check out what you may have missed last week. Continue reading

On Being Fed Up: Blackness, Resistance, and the Death of Michael Brown – [An Invited Post]

[This invited post is submitted by Discuss White Privilege, an anthropologist who has written extensively to refocus the academy’s critique of racism on itself. We respectfully ask that you review our Comments Policy before responding below. Thank you. –DP]

Homeland Security: Fighting Terrorism Since 1492
I just read the Michael Brown post [by Uzma Z. Rizvi] while in a Black hair salon in East Oakland, where my African friend is getting her hair done (behold: transnationalism, diaspora!). I found the shirt pictured [above], worn by an older Black man exiting the salon, poignant in light of the article mentioning the Department of Homeland Security, and Prof. Rizvi’s statement about the inescapablity of being judged on the color of one’s skin. I wonder how many White anthropologists, reading what Prof. Rizvi has written about racism and the absence of benefitting from White privilege, are really willing to reckon with the implications of this admission, or care about the deep pain of racism they know they will never experience, especially in relation to racial profiling and brutalization by police–which as Prof. Rizvi rightly notes, occurs, especially to bodies coded Black, regardless of education and class (though low socio-economic status clearly exacerbates such racist encounters and outcomes).

Continue reading

Around the Web Digest: Week of July 27

Happy Monday, dear readers. (Yes, there is such a thing.) As I mentioned, I’m in the midst of an interstate relocation, so thank you for being patient while I take extra time to round-up what I can for the digest. I’ve been getting a lot of good suggestions and feedback on links to share. Please keep them coming, and I’ll start giving you hat-tips. Just email me an article at richard.powis@gmail.com or on Twitter at @dtpowis.

Let’s see what we have…  Continue reading

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