Around the Web Digest: Week of August 9


Apparently it’s National Tell a Joke Day… earlier this week I got to check out a satirical play about electoral politics here in Guatemala called Mi Candidato No Es Chafa (My Candidate’s Not Bootleg/Low Quality) that reminded me that humor is an incredibly complex cultural performance and true immersion is a moving target. Keep me up to date by sending me links to anything I should feature in this space at

In this post on Allegra Laboratory, a South Indian researcher reflects on her feelings of discomfort in doing fieldwork a little too close to home, which has forced her to a new level of introspection about her own relationship with traditional food practices and other overt signs of identity: Dis-orientalizing & Ethnographic Journeys Fieldnotes

As an interesting companion piece, this post featured on Anthsisters, Becoming a Responsible Maori Researcher, points to the fundamental paradigm shift that takes place when the researcher can claim or represent an internal perspective, invoking rich ties to the community.

A post on Anthro Doula seeks to open a conversation about how to have productive conversations about privilege with people who generally possess it:  Teaching Feminism to Teenage Boys

Somatosphere hosts this conversation on imagery (not necessarily visual imagery but various forms of representations) in anthropology, asking, “What would an imagistic — as opposed to a more conventionally discursive or didactic — anthropological mode of knowing necessitate?” It raises interesting questions about the nature of anthropological inquiry. For instance, is anthropology coterminous with the ethnographic investigation of the current world? Image as Method: Conversations on Anthropology through the Image

This post on the CASTAC blog argues that Foucauldean biopolitics might allow us to distinguish more clearly between the various projects (with varying levels of success, scientific foundation, and compassion) that collectively make up geoengineering: Making Rain and Letting Shine: Geoengineering’s Biopolitics 

In Jacobin Magazine, an anthropologist critiques the Sustainable Development Goals (which will replace the Millennium Development Goals). While they recognize the complexity of poverty and emphasize the importance of environmental stewardship, they fail to fundamentally challenge the accumulationist logic that underpins global capitalism: The Problem With Saving the World

This post on Culture Matters reviews The Alzheimer Conundrum: A Stubborn Conundrum

Archaeology magazine reports on Nicholas Reeves’ bold claim that Nefertiti might have been buried in a previously hidden chamber in Tutankhamun’s tomb. It’s speculative, it’s juicy, and the popular press is picking up on it: High-Tech Images Inspire New Thoughts on Tut’s Tomb

According to this post on PopAnth, trees preserve the carved names, dates and messages of WWII soldiers in Poland: Memories in the Forest: WWII and Archaeology

Finally, in navel-gazing news, Duck of Minerva features this post on our rising obsession with metrics like the h-index: Academia Isn’t Baseball

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).