Around the Web Digest: Week of March 23

You guys. There were so many good articles this week. Excellent, excellent articles. I was pretty overwhelmed, to be honest, especially when I was trying to select the one article that I wanted to highlight this week. I can’t put them all up, but I think I’ve picked some of the best (or at least thought-provoking). As always, if you have any links that you want to share, please send them my way at or on Twitter @dtpowis.

To the Digest!

I really love what they’re doing over at Somatosphere with the Commonplaces series (if you can’t tell). I somehow forgot to add last week’s article to the digest, so just this once (yeah, right), I’ll break my own rule about putting up an article that was not from this week. Here is Nima Bassiri’s great piece on ontology and neurology. (I’m resisting the urge to put the two words together.) (Somatosphere)

This one: If you read only one article from this list, read Emily Martin’s excellent essay for Commonplaces on the utility and history of the table in anthropological fieldwork. (Somatosphere)

Tables are also pretty useful in Dungeons & Dragons. Nicholas Mizer’s paper from the Geek Anthropology session at AAA 2013 is online and awaiting your consumption. (The Geek Anthropologist)

If you’re into games of the video variety, Casey O’Donnell reflects on ten years of ethnographic fieldnotes on the Game Developers Conference. (CASTAC)

Anthropoliteia has been KAH-RAZY busy this week and I can barely keep up. First off, be sure to familiarize yourself with the exciting new changes that will be rolling out. I highly recommend reading Yağmur Nuhrat’s fantastic guest piece on policing in Turkey. I’m not going to round up their whole website – there is SO MUCH MORE – but lastly I would like to mention their very cool collaboration with writers from Allegra Lab on the most noteworthy events that have occurred in Ukraine thus far. (Anthropoliteia/Allegra Lab)

A short essay by Ghassan Hage discusses the selective permeability of so-called globalized borders. (Allegra Lab)

Witch-doctors in Central African Republic are defense contractors. (Vice News)

Marshall Sahlins has a written a follow-up to his The Nation article, China U, in which he critiques the American universities (and his in particular – University of Chicago) that provide capital to the Confucius Institutes – and it’s right here on Savage Minds. (Savage Minds)

Paul Stoller has defended the public university (an institution that I admittedly love and hate, depending on the day), and compellingly so. (HuffPo)

Adam Fish and John Carter McKnight have provided their take on the increasingly popular opinion that social media is a “gateway drug” to some dystopia saturated in the marketing and personal data. (I’m a Millenial, so I dream of the day that I own an electric drill that uploads data to Facebook.) (Savage Minds)

Krystal D’Costa has written two excellent pieces at Anthropology in Practice – the first on how “hyper-connectivity” has altered our work day, and the second on how it enables my introversion. (Anthropology in Practice: First and Second)

Ellen DeGeneres is a hero to many, but it looks like she might be getting a little big for her britches (if you’ll forgive the cliché). This week, in response to her stance on seal hunting, an Inuk filmmaker has launched a Twitter campaign to create awareness: there are people in this world to traditionally rely on seals for food and clothing. (HuffPo)

She isn’t the only celebrity going too far this week. Satirizing his egregiously over-the-top gesture for face-saving cultural competency, Stephen Colbert took a dig at Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, but might have taken it a little far. Love him or hate him, at the very least there was collateral damage. (Washington Post)

I’m not really saying anything new here, but Paul Ryan could use an anthropology class or two. (New York Times)

Corporations are apparently desperate to hire anthropologists. (From here, I’d say they aren’t that desperate.) (Business Insider) 

“Our caring has been weaponised against us.” David Graeber explains how empathy is the “curse of the working classes.” (The Guardian)

Ever feel like you don’t deserve the awards or recognition that you’ve received? You aren’t alone; it’s called Impostor Syndrome, and women in academia are particularly susceptible. (Chronicle Vitae)

Share your data! (Pacific Standard)

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

2 thoughts on “Around the Web Digest: Week of March 23

  1. Dick, just a word of appreciation. You are doing a brilliant job and one especially important to me, since you are providing something I have been looking for for a very longer time, access to fresh and noteworthy work that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. Many, many thanks.

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