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Category Archives: Class Discussions

The Ethnography of Chewing Gum Chewers?

Fast Company magazine, famous for its early coverage of corporate anthropology*, has a short piece this month (subscription may be required) on the research that went into Wrigley’s new gum ‘5’. The descriptions of the participant-observation research are fantastic: The development of 5 came out of a management edict to make a splash among image-conscious […]

Whose Truth in BC Museums?

TheTyee.ca asks that question this week. To answer it, they look at the recent experiences of three British Columbia museums: the UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA); Haida Gwaii Museum (Skidegate); and, the Royal BC Museum. The answer? Museum of Anthropology director Anthony Shelton says: “We want to be provocative, while also being respectful.” Sphere: Related […]

15 Minutes at a Breakfast Joint

Technology blogger Rob Hyndman gives us his fifteen minute observation of a Toronto-area breakfast spot. My students should take note.

The Challenge of Wikis in the Classroom

I learned today, via the Mail and Guardian Online, about a Wiki designed by the Conservative and Religious Right in the US. Called Conservapedia, this wiki gives me a terrific counterpoint to Wikipedia in my classroom struggles to point out that wikis, like any source of information, have biases. Conservapedia was setup to refute directly […]

Shorts: Arch’al Damage in Stanley Park; Murals in the ‘Leg’ Spur Debate

My BC Anthropology class noted these articles during class discussions: 1) Storms, cleanup take toll on ancient native sites (Vancouver Sun) – Article discusses the impact of recent wind storms on archaeological sites in Stanley Park. 2) Paintings considered insensitive and racist (Vancouver Sun) – Debate over the continued presence of ‘historical’ murals in the […]

Evolution, Primates, and Religion

From Salon.com comes an interview with anthropologist Barbara King. The topic is the origins of religion and interview is prompted by King’s new book, “Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion.” King observes that non-human primates show empathy and meaning-making in their social actions. She draws conclusions about religion by analogy, suggesting […]

Special Issue of Anthropologica: ‘The New Anthropology of Sexuality’

Anthropologica, the journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), has published a special issue devoted to research on gender and sexuality. The table of contents lists these articles: “The New Anthropology of Sexuality” (Andrew P. Lyons and Harriet D. Lyons) “The Power of Excess: Royal Incest and the Ptolemaic Dynasty” (Sheila L. Ager) “‘Bisexuality’ and […]

Vodou in San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle has published an interview with a New Orleans Vodou priestess.  The conversation is set in the context of the Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and the place of religion in times of crisis. Sphere: Related Content

Native Education and the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis

An editorial in the Weekend Vancouver Sun reviews the postive and negative spins put on the recent announcement from the Provincial Government granting control of native education to First Nations communities. Titled “Language and Culture: First Nations Education Can Embrace Two Worlds” the story notes that the First Nations Education Accord has been publicly lauded […]

What Do You Mean When You Say You Are Religious?

The Waterloo Record describes the results of research by University of Waterloo professors on Statistics Canada’s religion statistics. Among the findings: More than half of Canadians who do not attend religious services regularly practise some religious rituals — meditation, prayer or reading religious texts — at home or other location at least once a month. […]