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Help AAA Contribute to Huffington Post

HuffPost AAA Home Have you read Past President, Alan Goodman’s recent Huffington Post piece – Biophobia Not. Biology and Science in Anthropology?

AAA has a contributing relationship with The Huffington Post. AAA members are encouraged to contribute to this unique relationship. Blog posts should be written geared toward a public audience; a conversational, informal style is ideal. News-driven, topical posts perform best on the site. The post should be 500-8000 words in length. If you are interested in contributing a blog post for the Huffington Post, please contact Joslyn (josten@aaanet.org).

To submit a blog post please submit the following information via e-mail to Joslyn at josten@aaanet.org:

  • Name
  • Author biosketch (this will appear at the bottom of the article)
  • Title
  • Blog post of 500-800 words
  • Section the post should be categorized in (see list of Huffington Post sections by clicking “All Sections” on the menu bar)
  • Images are welcome (must be .jpg and a maximum of 500 pixels wide)

AAA reserves the right to refuse submitted posts or multimedia content for both the AAA blog and its contribution to the Huffington Post. Items submitted to the Huffington Post are subject to the Huffington Post editorial process. Huffington Post editors will determine to post or refuse the content. This process can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.

Click here for details.

Faster athletes, slower spectators and the Olympic marathon

Photo by Dave Catchpole

In the lead-up to the Olympics, AAA member Greg Downey wrote a piece on the Huffington Post, asking whether the Olympic movement has really succeeded in promoting “sport for all,” or has instead become an increasingly professional offering for a passive spectatorship. The marathon, in particular, is a telling case study, as it was run for the first time in the 1896 Olympics in Greece, the inaugural games of the modern Olymiad. He writes about the winner of that first marathon, Greek water carrier, Spyridon Louis:

And yet, at the same time that the margins between Olympic finishers may be a hair’s breadth, the gap between the athletes and the spectator public is growing. Spyridon Louis was a true amateur. His first ‘marathon’ was his qualifying race, about two weeks prior to his Olympic performance. Today’s Olympic contenders are dedicated professionals, physiologically worlds’ apart from most of the spectators, who are growing increasingly sedentary.
Sure, the number of amateur participants at marathons is swelling, but on average, marathon runners are going slower. It’s very hard to imagine today, especially in the Western world, that someone could run a sub-three-hour marathon in their second attempt, two weeks after their first marathon.

Read the entire piece on the Huffington Post. Downey also expands on his blog post over on his blog, Neuroanthropology.

AAA Huffington Post Debut – Mad Men

AAA launched a new blog on The Huffington Post. Read the inaugural post by AAA member, Robert Morais, on the new upcoming television season of Mad Men.

In Season Four of Mad Men, Pete Campbell and Don Draper read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by famed anthropologist Ruth Benedict in preparation for a pitch to Japanese Honda executives. Given their mining of anthropology for insight, a look at the show through an anthropological lens seems fitting. Client creative meetings, often dramatized in Mad Men, contain the defining attitudes, behaviors, and symbols of agency life, all of which we can decode when Season Five of Mad Men premiers March 25th.

Read the post and please share widely.

Are you an AAA member interested in blogging with us? Contact Joslyn: josten {at} aaanet {dot} org.

Stop Blaming Dharun Ravi: Why We Need to Share Responsibility for the Loss of Tyler Clementi

Mary L. Gray, AAA member, is an Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Associate Professor of Communications and Culture at Indiana University. She recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post on how tragedies, such as Tyler Clementi’s death, of bullying and harassment are particularly difficult in a homophobic society. Below is an excerpt. To view the entire article, click here.

Tyler Clementi’s death on Sept. 22, 2010 was one of several highly publicized youth suicides that fall. In several cases, media coverage and political discourse connected these tragedies to cases of on- and offline harassment saturated in homophobic sentiment. Research among students suggests that these hostilely charged environments are the norm rather than the exception. But rallying to punish Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student standing trial for 15 criminal counts, including tampering with witnesses and evidence, invasion of privacy, and bias intimidation of Tyler Clementi, does not do justice to Clementi’s life, nor does it move us one step closer to preventing another young person, like him, from turning to suicide.

Since then, states and school districts have rushed to crack down on bullies. As a result, a record number of anti-bullying policies are now on the books. However, we have no concrete evidence that such top-down policies prevent or counteract bullying, particularly so-called “cyberbullying” — harassment carried out via texting and online social networks. Worse yet, some research suggests that framing the problem as “bullying” actually works against youth reporting violence or identifying themselves as targets of it.

The politics of blame are a dead end. Instead, we need to build out an ethos of shared responsibility that could make a difference, literally, between life and death for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people.

Click here to read Gray’s article.

Care for Light Tea in Pennsylvania?

AAA Member, Paul Stoller, regularly writes editorials for the Huffington Post. In Stoller’s recent post, he draws attention to the quiet yet concerning issues that plague the Pennsylvania state-owned university system. Below is a excerpt of the published piece; click here for the complete article.

Governors like the ghoulish Rick Scott of Florida, or the sleepy-eyed Scott Walker of Wisconsin, have gotten a great deal of media attention for short-sighted, ideologically-driven policies that have undermined the quality of life for the citizens of those states. Education budgets have been cut, teachers, police and fire fighters have been laid off, and local services have been pared down. In Wisconsin, Governor Walker’s union busting agenda has sparked a grassroots movement to recall him as well as his lieutenant governor.

The high profiles and radical “Heavy Tea” policies of Scott and Walker have, indeed, provoked a large measure of “buyer’s remorse” and political resistance. Pennsylvania’s recently elected governor, Tom Corbett, seems to maintain a much lower profile than his counterparts in Florida and Wisconsin. His agenda, though, is pretty much the same as his publicity-seeking colleagues in the South and Midwest — cut spending to reduce budget deficits, avoid raising taxes, and grant businesses incentives — including tax incentives — to trigger job growth, none which has seemed to induce past or present economic prosperity in Florida, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. Indeed, Governor Corbett’s proposed budget is a particular noxious pot of Light Tea that will be difficult, if not impossible for most Pennsylvanians to swallow.

The dangers of such Light Tea is that at first it seems rather bland and doesn’t call much attention to itself, which means that people may little or no attention to its ultimate noxiousness. If you pay a bit attention to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget brew, you quickly see that he thinks that education, especially higher education, is expendable. In his 2011-12 budget and his budget freeze, Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities lost more than $112 million in Harrisburg funding. Put together, Governor Corbett’s proposed budget, if passed without revision, would mean that the state university system will have lost $175 million in funds since his 2010 inauguration.

Read the complete article here.

Earth Day Roundup

On this Earth Day, we’re celebrating anthropologists!  Many anthropologists have been newsmakers lately, so here is a media round up to add to your weekend read:

An article of interest to be featured this Sunday, April 24th in the New York Times Magazine, Obama’s Young Mother Abroad.

And, no Earth Day would be complete without a few ideas of how you could celebrate the earth’s special day. With the assistance of the Anthropology and Environment Section, here are a few things you can do to celebrate Earth Day!

  • Make tonight a movie night! Pick up an eco-flick to watch with your family and friends. Need some film ideas? Click here.
  • Pick 5 for Your Environment – An EPA challenge to take five simple steps to make changes where you live.
  • Eat locally grown foods! Anthropology students at Arkansas Tech University are serving up locally produced foods and mapping the local, sustainable  foodshed.

Anthropologists have amply documented that meaningful lives are lived on low-energy budgets.
-Thomas Love (Linfield College)

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.

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