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NEW! Anthropology News website

The Anthropology News website launched today!

Bookmark www.anthropology-news.org into your favorites.

Check in with the Anthropology News website often for exclusive online news, resources and commentary that compliments the print Anthropology News you already enjoy.

This month, in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the website features memorials and memorialization. Essays will be available at the Anthropology News website through October.

AAA Member Elected President of American Institute of Pakistan Studies

Congratulations to AAA member, Kamran Asdar Ali in the recent presidential election for the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. He will begin presidency of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies this fall.

Ali is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.

AAA Member, Johnnetta Betsch Cole Receives the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award at Smithsonian Event

Photo by: Frank Khoury

The Smithsonian Associates and the Creativity Foundation have named Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, author and educator, the recipient of the 10th annual Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award. Cole will discuss the role of creativity in her life and work with philanthropist, educator and documentary producer Camille Cosby Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in Ring Auditorium in the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.

The Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award honors and celebrates the world’s most creative thinkers and innovators in the arts, sciences and humanities, in both traditional and emerging disciplines. Previous recipients were Yo-Yo Ma, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Eric Kandel, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jules Feiffer, Ted Turner, Meryl Streep, Lisa Randall and Greg Mortenson. Tickets for the award ceremony and interview are $25 for general admission and $15 for Associate members. For tickets and information call (202) 633-3030 or visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

Cole is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation and study of the arts of Africa. Cole is also the board chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute, founded at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. The mission of the nonprofit institute is to create, communicate and continuously support the case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace through education, training, research and publications.

Cole gained national prominence in 1987 as the first African American woman president of Spelman College, which became the number-one ranked liberal arts college in the South under her leadership. Cole’s work in academia and anthropology, and her published work span more than four decades and reflect a deep and abiding commitment to racial and gender equality that is rooted in her upbringing. Cole will receive the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award for her richness of ideas and originality of thinking.

New PhD Program at George Washington University

In contrast to our recent post about schools closing anthropological programs, we are pleased to find the Anthropology department at George Washington University to be flourishing to the point that they need to expand to a PhD program in Anthropology.

George Washington’s Anthropology Department was established in 1892. Faculty train students in the fields of Sociocultural Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistic Anthropology and Biological Anthropology.

The department’s long-standing partnership with the Smithsonian and access to Washington, DC’s archival collections and influential policy-making institutions encourage intellectual creativity, effective communication and vigorous scholarship.

The department is seeking candidates with a strong background in anthropology or related disciplines. Contact Professor Richard Grinker or visit the website for more information. Applications will be accepted in the Fall of 2011.

AAA Member in the News

Paul Stoller, AAA member, is an anthropology professor at West Chester University. He regularly brings anthropology to the forefront by blogging for the Huffington Post. Dr. Stoller’s most recent post is about how his anthropological experiences have challenged him to manage his cancer diagnosis. Below are snippets from his post. Visit the blog for the complete story. Thank you Paul!

Photo courtesy of West Chester University

It was 10 years ago today that I was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells…I was informed that although follicular lymphoma — the most common sub-type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma — responds well to treatment, it remains incurable.

In one day my world was turned upside down. Until my diagnosis, I thought little about illness, and less still about my mortality. For years I had followed a healthful regimen. I ate lots of fresh vegetables, consumed only small amounts of red meat, drank moderate amounts of alcohol, exercised regularly and enjoyed a satisfying personal and professional life. I was not a prime candidate for cancer. And yet there I was, in a cold and sterile examination room — a relatively young man with an incurable disease. My life would never be the same.

After nine months of treatment, CT spans indicated that I was in remission — a strange place to be. In remission, you are — for the most part — free of symptoms, but you are not “cured.” Somewhere between sickness and health, you are told to come back every six months for CT scans to determine if you have remained cancer-free — or not…In remission, you get to be like a defendant in court, waiting for what seems like a life or death verdict — not an easy place to be.

There is, of course, no perfect way for cancer patients to deal with such existential upheaval. Some people in remission become more religious. Others may change their occupations, learn a new language, take up a new hobby or decide to travel more frequently. Because I’m an anthropologist, I attempted to cope with remission’s uncertainties by revisiting my experiences as a young researcher in West Africa, where I spent many years as an apprentice to a traditional healer. That process eventually resulted in a book about my confrontation with cancer, “Stranger in the Village of the Sick: A Memoir of Cancer, Sorcery and Healing,” in which I wrote about how West African ideas about illness and health helped me to confront cancer and cope with living in the sometimes confusing and always nebulous state between sickness and health — between what I like to call the village of the healthy and the village of the sick.

Read more…

Have you been in the media recently? Be sure to contact us! We’d like to add you to our Members in the News.

Anthropological Love Letters for Savage Minds

 It all started with a Valentine’s Day love letter proposal by Rex, blogger for Savage Minds. He challenged his readers to write a love letter to the discipline of Anthropology during the week of Valentine’s Day.

During this week, Rex suggested that the guys at the blog Neuroanthropology round up the collection of love letters. Maybe during their Wednesday round-up?

One particular love letter caught my attention due to the spirited adventure that begins this anthropologist’s journey to field work. Barbara King accepted Rex’s challenge by posting her love letter on her blog, Friday Animal Blog. Barbara’s adventure begins:
Twenty-six years ago, I arrived in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and as green as green could be. Oh, I knew my way around a testable hypothesis, and I had NSF funds banked towards my research. But I’d never been much of an outdoorsy type—had never even camped out—and there I was, tracking baboons day after day, through the bush, to record the behaviors of infants in two groups as they learned what items to eat from a smorgasbord of choices and how to process them skillfully. 

At the outset, I had to concentrate fiercely to distinguish one monkey from another, one type of grass species from another, one flowering plant from another. Because of this, some non-baboon events happening around me never made it past peripheral vision into the brain’s proper notice. 

I wondered one day why the Baboon Project’s Kenyan assistant, Raphael Mututua, was waving at me from across a wide open area, where he too was collecting data. I waved back, only to learn later that he’d been trying to alert me to the fact that a rhinoceros was lumbering right towards me. The poorly-sighted rhino veered out of my path by random luck, but I soon enough suffered other blunders involving near-misses with lions and mamba snakes.

Barbara continues her love letter with recollection of the people she interacted with in Kenya and the types of experiences that lead down the path of a crude metaphor for doing anthropology. For when Barbara practices anthropology, it always starts with agitated questions. No matter how modest my contribution, as I work, I feel connected to anthropologists past and present, people who, in Papua New Guinea or Paris, in Berlin or Boston, trained themselves to see the rhino lumbering in their path. To capture from our peripheral vision something strange and exciting about human meaning-making or its evolution, to move it front and center into our minds and join those minds up with others, is a challenge and a joy.

For Barbara’s complete love letter, visit Friday Animal Blog. But before you head over there, drop us a comment about why you love Anthropology or if you’ve accepted Rex’s challenge add the link.

Minority Dissertation Fellowship – DEADLINE APPROACHING!

The AAA invites minority doctoral candidates in anthropology to apply for the Minority Dissertation Fellowship of $10,000. It is expected that applicants will be in the “write-up” phase of the dissertation during the fellowship year. For additional information, please go to the AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program page.

The deadline for submissions is February 15th. All applications MUST be postmarked by this date.

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