Around the Web Digest: Week of April 19

I practiced writing “Dr. Rebecca Nelson” a few times but it still doesn’t flow naturally… The anthropology blogs seemed a bit quiet this week, which makes sense for this time of year. It’s also possible that I missed some good pieces (something you can remedy by sending me links at

This Past Horizons post summarizes an Open Access article suggesting that Caribbean architecture that could be flexibly rebuilt might provide a model for aid workers providing disaster relief: Humanitarian Decision Makers and Archaeologists Should Collaborate 

This “GradHacker” post on Inside Higher Ed is not specifically anthropological, but it might be of interest if you’re new to academic conferences and networking: Preparing for Conferences. We can forgive them for the title of the section and the use of “hacking” to refer to any kind of daily activity…

In this Anthropology News post, an anthropologist working for the VA (US Department of Veterans Affairs) describes the adaptations she has made from her graduate career to her work in the public sector: Transitions within Public Sector Anthropology

While I was exploring Anthropology News, I also came across this interesting post on how the code of ethics may not be particularly applicable to anthropologists working in the private sector: “Do Some Good” and Other Lessons from Practice for a New AAA Code of Ethics

This fascinating article in New Republic is about how international adoptions are causing heartache in the Marshall Islands, due to differing understandings of what adoption entails. It was written by a journalist, not an anthropologist, but I came across it through an anthropologist friend, so that should count for something: “Do You Understand That Your Baby Goes Away and Never Comes Back?” 

Similarly, this is a not-explicitly-anthropological Wall Street Journal article that has popped up in my feeds. How far can I push this weekly digest? Am I drunk with power now that I have my Ph.D.? The title speaks for itself: China Says Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers

Given our recent struggles with the blog sporadically going down and all of the unsung work Kerim has been doing behind the scenes to keep it running smoothly, this presentation posted on How to Be an Anthropologist resonated with me: Aligned Anxieties: Rethinking Critiques of the Internet through the Anxieties of Web Professionals. She writes that we (incorrectly) assume that web platforms “are already properly functioning, which is often supported by the clean designed interfaces that mask the complex mess behind them.”

The past is being desecrated in Turkey, prompting reflections on the Armenian genocide in this Anthropology Now post: Burying Minority Istanbul: Last Glimpses of the Cosmopolitan City 

DigVentures profiles a quintessentially British dish in another installment of the Archaeologist’s Cookbook. Missing, however, is an account of why they’re served in newspaper: The Astonishing History of Fish and Chips

This CASTAC post raises some really interesting questions about what it means to “decolonize” the design process for something like this app to help people track their tinnitus triggers: Decolonizing Design Anthropology with Tinn

Somatosphere is introducing a new series focusing on how disability worlds interact with other inhabitable worlds. The introduction points out that disability has been marginalized by recent political and economic developments, yet also made central to development projects. Sounds ontological… let’s see what happens! Inhabitable Worlds: Troubling Disability, Debility and Ability Narratives 

See you next week!

Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson is the executive director of América Solidaria U.S. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on volunteer tourism in Guatemala and how it is opening up new avenues for tourists and hosts to develop more cosmopolitan understandings of the world (as well as opening up new forms of friction over the circulation of knowledge).

2 thoughts on “Around the Web Digest: Week of April 19

  1. Rebecca, I quite enjoyed reading both “Transitions within Public Sector Anthropology” and “’Do Some Good’ and Other Lessons from Practice for a New AAA Code of Ethics.'” They arrived on my desktop at a serendipitous moment when I was reading Johannes Fabian’s recent piece in HAU and provided yet another reminder of the gaps that divide high theory in the academy from the world beyond the ivory tower’s walls in which so many of us must now find employment. When Fabian asserts that his old nemesis positivist-pragmatist social science has disappeared, I don’t know whether to chuckle or cry.

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