Around the Web: Year in Review 2014


As 2014 comes to a close, I thought I’d take up the annual task of rounding up the best of Savage Minds and the anthroblogosphere. First, some fellow Savage Minds authors will share their favorite posts from the year. As the Around the Web curator, I’ll list the posts (from SM and elsewhere) that stood out for me. Then, I’ll show some of the submissions that we received from our readers. Finally, we’ll review some of the best blogs and articles that have provided an anthropological perspective on the 2014’s current events.

Let’s go!

Savage Minds Authors:


Spring 2014 Writing Group

Fall 2014 Writer’s Workshop

Ferguson: Anthropologists Speak Out

Tear Gas, Ferguson, and Anti-Black Racism: Interview with Kalaya’an Mendoza, Amnesty USA Senior Organizer


The Soul of Anime [Book Review]

Anthropology Fluxx


No funding? Don’t do it! (on getting a PhD in anthropology)

What Comes After the Public University?

Understanding the risks and resisting the Kool-Aid: An interview with Karen Kelsky about student debt

Anthropology: It’s still a white public space – An interview with Karen Brodkin (Part 1)

Return to Grantlandia


Doing Anthropology in Public

Strategy of Condescension

The Semiotics of Bubble Tea

The Ethnographic “Shooting Ratio”

Economy Such Complex, Culture Much Simple

Guest Bloggers: 

Matthew Timothy Bradley: Linguistics, Anthropological Linguistics, and Linguistic Anthropology

Nick Seaver: Computers and Sociocultural Anthropology

Isaiah Silver: Anthropologists Should Embrace BDS

Uzma Z. Rizvi: Thinking about Michael Brown and the African Burial Ground

Sara Perry: What Archaeologists Do

Irma McClaurin: Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) and Anthropology

My picks from Savage Minds and Around the Web:

Who Majors in Anthropology?

11 Cutting-Edge Thinkers that Anthropologists should be Paying Attention to Right Now!

Alexei Yurchak: Little Green Men: Russia, Ukraine, and Post-Soviet Sovereignty (Anthropoliteia)

Sarah Kendzior: The Peril of Hipster Economics (Al Jazeera)

Sarah Kendzior: The Minimum Wage Worker Strikes Back (Medium)

Reader Submissions:

Alex Posecznick: Anthropologists as Scholarly Hipsters (Savage Minds)

Sean Mitchell: The Politics of Violence and Brazil’s World Cup (Anthropoliteia)

Emma Louise Backe: The History Behind “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (The Geek Anthropologist)

Marie-Pierre Renaud: The (Fake) Geek Girl Project (The Geek Anthropologist)

Robert Martin: Got Milk, Got Unwanted Hormones? (Psychology Today: How We Do It)

Agustin Fuentes: The Real Reason Sexual Violence is so Widespread (Psychology Today: Busting Myths About Human Nature)

Alex Golub: The History of Mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic (The Appendix)

Emma Louise Backe: Fantasy and the Female Body (The Geek Anthropologist)

Paul Stoller: The Scholar’s Obligations (Huffington Post)

Carole McGranahan: “I Love Polyandry, Yo”: Tibetan Refugee Citizenship and the Politics of Culture (Allegra)

Daniel M. Goldstein: Illegality: Provocation (Cultural Anthropology)

Jemima Diki Sherpa: Three Springs (whathasgood)

Current Events:

Ninno Koskenalho: What is going on?! #Ukraine Crisis Timeline (Allegra)

Jon Marks: The Genes Made Us Do It (In These Times)

Politics of Ontology (Cultural Anthropology)

Ebola in Perspective (Cultural Anthropology)

#SAFE13 (PLoS One)

Sarah Kendzior: The Telegenically Dead (Al Jazeera)

To cap it all off, I save the best for last. There were some very cool projects to come out of the anthroblogosphere this year – collaborations, ongoing series, curated collections, writing groups – but in my opinion the very best is the Commonplaces collection featured on Somatosphere. While it was technically launched in late 2013, it was in 2014 that we watched it take shape, delivering on the promise to “itemize the technological present” in the form of essays, ideas, musings, and thinkpieces by leading scholars in medical anthropology, as well as science and technology studies. Very well done, and I look forward to seeing how it further develops.

So, I know that there is a lot more out there, e.g. Piketty, Sochi, the World Cup, Scottish independence referendum, Cuba, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, #BringBackOurGirls, and #BlackLivesMatter all come to mind. Let me know in the comments below what articles stood out for you in 2014, whether they relate anthropological perspectives on current events, new developments in anthropology, or even just musings about old ideas. What did I miss?

Thank you all for a great year! Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!

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