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 ( or via Twitter @dtpowis.

After you.

First and foremost: Tomorrow at 1PM EST, AAA is hosting a webinar discussion (debate?) between the anthropologist Agustin Fuentes and the journalist Nicholas Wade, presumably about the things that Wade as mucked up in his latest book  that I won’t even link to here. (AAA Blog)

Check out Janelle Taylor’s thoughtful Fieldnotes essay, Care: Integration. If you or someone you know is a caregiver, you might find it particularly salient. (Cultural Anthropology)

Todd Meyers has authored the latest entry in Commonplaces, a series that I was afraid might be over, given that they skipped a week. Check out “Anesthesia.” (Somatosphere)

Adrienne Strong’s latest fieldblog discusses the liminal nature of the fieldworker – “not quite actor, not quite detached observer.” Because I’m a huge proponent of fieldblogging and live-fieldnotes, I highly recommend you give this piece a read, and follow Adrienne’s work. (Adrienne Strong)

Anthropologist Michael French Smith wonders: Would a preferential voting system, like that found in Papua New Guinea, do anything to clean up American campaign politics? (HuffPo)

Raining on everyone’s parade (again), Miia Halme-Tuomisaari would like to remind us that too much #HAPPY can be a bad thing – indeed, the commercialization of happiness has even proven to be deadly. (Allegra Lab)

“Rising star” sociologist Alice Goffman (Yeah, that Goffman.) has written a new book on policing in poor urban neighborhoods. (New York Times)

Anthropoliteia has opened a forum for anthropologists to discuss security in Brazil as the nation prepares for the World Cup. (Anthropoliteia)

Bananas, thrown at soccer players of color on the pitch as a racist taunt, are being reclaimed in photos on Twitter (#weareallmonkeys & #somostodosmacacos). (Al Jazeera)

There’s racism in the air. No really – people of color are exposed to more nitrogen dioxide pollution than white people. (Mother Jones)

Antu Sorainen decribes the process of gentrification in a number if vignettes. (Allegra Lab)

By demanding order we recognize patterns and view them through the myopic lens of our own culture. And so: Ancient Aliens. (The Geek Anthropologist)

Medical anthropologist Erica Caple James’ work on humanitarianism and Haitian immigrants has been profiled in MIT News. (MIT News)

In the face of travelling campus preachers, this UConn professor of anthropology defended his students like “bears defend their cubs” (with video). (Inside Higher Ed)

The adjunct crisis is not only an abuse of the workforce, it is an affront to academic freedom and it limits research output. The whole system of academia is spoiled by overreliance on adjunct labor. This is their protest. (The Atlantic)

At the intersection of capitalism and cultural appropriation, there lies this possibility: ayahuasca tourism managed by charlatan traditional healers – and someone was bound to get hurt eventually. (VICE)

A new study suggests that speaking multiple languages might affect your moral judgement. (Discover Magazine)

Pennsylvania is the most linguistically diverse state in America. (Slate)

Susanna Hast takes a positive psychological view of hair and the female body. (Allegra Lab)

Now in Tennessee: Women can be jailed for their pregnancy outcomes. (Salon)

Sociologist Janet Vertesi has gone to incredible lengths to hide her pregnancy from big data. (Salon)

I bet you’ve never asked yourself: Where was the first sperm bank? Berkeley, Cambridge, or L’institut Pasteur? Nope, nope, and nope. (The Atlantic)

I never imagined that I’d refer to CollegeHumor for educational material, but today, pigs fly. Here’s a damn good video on why American men are circumcised. (Probably NSFW.) (CollegeHumor)

When I was a kid, nerd culture taught me and my friends to ignore bullies and take solace in knowing that one day we’d have all the money and babes. Matt LeMay reminds us that as far as the latter are concerned, we’re entitled to nothing. (Medium)

This man wrote about the experience of re-humanizing and (to some extent) de-othering his wife’s killer, after meeting him in court. (Salon)

Here in Cleveland, there’s a stage play based on the Havasupai Indians’ case against Arizona State University, called “Informed Consent.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Beninese philosopher Paulin Houtondji talks about what “ethnophilosophy” means in an African context (in French). (Le Point Afrique)

There are two new electronic, open-access journals that have been announced this week, and they might be of interest to Savage Minds readers. First, Medicine Anthropology Theory is a journal of “health, illness, and medicine,” and is edited by Eileen Moyer and Vinh-Kim Nguyen. Second is αnalytica, a journal of philosophy of science. (MAT and αnalytica)

Also, there’s a new issue of the electronic, open-access journal Foucault Studies, the theme of which is “Foucault and Deleuze.” (Foucault Studies)

FYI: Here are some other great roundups by AnthropoliteiaSomatosphere, and STS Turntable.

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