Around the Web Digest: Week of February 23

In the face of highly productive biological anthropologists, as well as the blog Somatosphere, I think I managed to curate a pretty well-rounded Around the Web Digest for this week. If you have a blog post or article that you would like mentioned next week, shoot it to me at or on Twitter. Of course, if this were any other blog, my first link would say, “Hey, go check out Savage Minds’ new design!” but alas, you’re already here. What I bet you didn’t know is: The whole site is back up, archives and all. I mean, look at this gem that I found from 2005! (Gawd, I wasn’t even a twinkle in my advisor’s eye.)

First up: “Commentary is a new forum for responses, elaborations, and reflections on material publishing in Cultural Anthropology.” Check out the first contribution, a response to Martin Holbraad, Morten Axel Pedersen, and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s “The Politics of Ontology: Anthropological Positions.” (Cultural Anthropology)

Anthony Stavrianakis presents two discussions by Todd Meyers and Kevin Karpiak on Demands of the Day: On the Logic of Anthropological Inquiry, which he authored with Paul Rabinow. (Somatosphere)

Marie-Pierre Renaud is releasing videos little-by-little from the Geek Anthropology session at AAA this past November. This week’s video features Charlotte Fillmore-Handlon presenting her paper, “Fan Fiction, Fan Autoethnography, and Everyday Life.” (The Geek Anthropologist) 

For those of you who, like me, only know that Michael Rockefeller (1) worked on Dead Birds and (2) went missing in an area where the inhabitants were known to be cannibals, this article sheds a lot of light on the theories of what actually happened. Otherwise, some people seem to think this article beats a dead horse. (Smithsonian Magazine)

The Belgian Museum of Central Africa pleads, “Come on! Colonialism wasn’t that bad!” (Reuters)

NatGeo Explorer Andrew Flachs would like you to know the sociohistorical and geopolitical context of your underwear. (National Geographic)

It turns out that the Khmer Rouge might have a hand in the current rise in diabetes in Cambodia. (PRI)

Medical anthropologist Peter Redfield writes about what humanitarianism means in a post-human world. (Somatosphere)

We use all kinds of assisted reproductive technologies, so aren’t we ready for three-parent babies if it means eliminating deadly mitochondrial diseases? Marcy Darnovsky says, “No way” and uses some dystopic language to express that opinion. I’m sorry, my biases are showing. (New York Times)

Guest blogger and Biological anthropologist Melanie Martin untangles the latest development in the Mommy Wars following new findings that there may be no effect of breastfeeding on the long-term health and wellbeing of children. (Mammals Suck…Milk!)

Biological anthropologist Katie Hinde wins teh interwebz, running what was probably the most engaging and thoroughly answered AMA that I have ever seen on Reddit. (Reddit)



As someone who has done professional service as an undergraduate, I cannot agree with Christopher Dana Lynn more that it leads to incredible networking opportunities. Fill the plate! (BANDIT)

No matter how much professional service you have on your plate, you’ll definitely have time to write that book if you do it way Kristen Ghodsee does, because Wow, does she make it look easy. (Savage Minds)

The more time you spend on your book, the less opportunity you’ll have to pull your 9mm on a student. Betcha didn’t think of that, did you Greg Hampikian? (New York Times)

Paul Stoller resisted and resisted but could resist no longer: Nicholas Kristof was just asking for a piece of his mind. (Will I mention Paul Stoller in every Digest? All signs point to “Yes.”) (HuffPo)

Whelp, now that Kristof’s face is surely covered in egg after two weeks of public academics proclaiming their existence, I predict this will be the next NYT op-ed to get railed by bloggers: I thought we dropped “developing nations” from the lexicon because it was ethnocentric, but Dayo Olopade suggests that we move in the opposite direction and switch to “fat” and “lean” nations. “If the world is progressively tightening its belt, it should aim for a notch marked, ‘Africa.’” I hope that someone points out this romanticization (with a side of fat-shaming) is still offensive. (New York Times)


Because I assume that every anthropologist is a fan of Joss Whedon (e.g. Buffy/Angel, Serenity/Firefly, Dollhouse, Avengers, etc.) – prepare to have your mind blown. (YouTube: Cracked)

Matt Thompson has put together this handy guide for those who would like to prepare their anthropological survival teams for the zombie apocalypse. My team includes Charlotte Lewis, Greg Graffin, and Vine Deloria – so one actual anthropologist, and she’s fictional. Well it was nice knowing you guys. (Savage Minds)

Dick Powis

Dick Powis is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, and is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. His research interests include men and childbirth, prenatal screening technologies, and reproductive health in urban settings in Senegal. Read more at