Around the Web Digest: Week of July 5

I’m brimming with conference energy from the Guatemala Scholars Network meeting this last week in Antigua, Guatemala, so this post will be longer than usual. Thanks for reaching out with links and suggestions at

Language Log featured this Open Letter to Terry Gross, host of NPR’s Fresh Air, that I found useful as a reminder that just because privilege goes unmarked, it shouldn’t necessarily be seen as the norm or default. (In other words, it’s not “speech” and “gay speech,” it’s “straight speech” and “gay speech”).

Along similar lines, thank you, Society for Linguistic Anthropology, for pointing out that young women are blamed for creating “annoying” vocal aberrations like uptalk and vocal fry, just as women are blamed for not “leaning in” in the workplace: (Socio-)Phonetics in the News. (Also, as an aside, radio host Ira Glass exhibits more vocal fry than anyone I’ve ever heard).

If, like all of my students, you’ve read Abu-Lughod’s great article of the same name, this Allegra Laboratory review won’t be surprising. I’m glad to hear she takes on Kristof and WuDunn’s problematic Half the Sky movement, though: Review: Do Muslim Women Need Saving? 

I like the approach in this Teaching Culture post to embracing and working with new media culture (the same way my friends and I explicitly discuss how to use Wikipedia as a tool to find sources in the beginning stages of research rather than demonizing it): Thinking About and With “Selfies” in the Classroom

This is another post in the series at The Geek Anthropologist but I’m linking to the repost on Anthropologizing to encourage you to check it out over there: Anthropology Blogging 101: Anthropologizing 

The AAA blog points out that gaining popular attention may have an effect like that old “Telephone” game in distorting public perceptions of your research: The Challenge of Public Dissemination 

Born This Way: Society, Sexuality, and the Search for the Gay Gene: I’m excited that this article came out in The Guardian because I’ve long felt that our way of talking about sexuality in the US has become too solidified around the “born this way” narrative, which has been useful in combating homophobia. It seems to reflect the experiences of many but not all.

Dadthropology gives us a refreshing cross-cultural look at parenting, as in this post: The World’s Most Badass Fathers 

The Forbes bioarchaeology column provides some interesting historical context for a group of soldiers that suffered a gruesome death hundreds of years ago: Mass Grave Reveals Ottoman Soldiers Fought to the Death in 16th Century Romania 

I had never heard of a Chaîne Opératoire so this Material World post was as informative methodologically as it was pedagogically for me:  Unleashing the Chaine Operatoire: Students’ Experimentation with an Old Methodology 

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).

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