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Debut Issue of Economic Anthropology – Greed and Excess

SEA LogoThe Society for Economic Anthropology’s newest journal Economic Anthropology is now available!

The inaugural issue of Economic Anthropology, formerly published as the SEA Monograph Series, is now available on AnthroSource. This collection of articles from the proceedings of the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2011 Annual Meeting Conference engages with and explores the concepts of “greed” and “excess” as accusations, ideas and behaviors that are shaped by social processes across time and place. Volume editors, Rahul Oka and Ian Kuijit note in their introduction that,

The articles in this collection are intended as just a first attempt to generate a broader conversation and move beyond accusatory judgments and folk concepts. Nonetheless, it is out hope that this issue will shed some new light on the ways and reasons that emotionally charged ideas and philosophies pertaining to greed and excess have emerged in past and present societies.

To access this exciting issue, login to AnthroSource.

Table of Contents

Economic AnthropologyIntroducing an Inquiry into the Social Economies of Greed and Excess – Rahul Oka and Ian Kuijt

Section I: History and Contemporaneity of Greed and Excess
System Failure: Institutions, Incentives, and Collective Folly – James Surowiecki
Greed Is Bad, Neutral, and Good: A Historical Perspective on Excessive Accumulation and Consumption – Rahul Oka and Ian Kuij

Section II: Ambiguities of Surplus: Can Marginalized Peoples Be Greedy and Excessive?
Land, Labor, and Things: Surplus in a New West Indian Colony (1763-1807) – Mark W. Hauser
Poverty and Excess in Binge Economies – Richard Wilk
The Social and Economic Production of Greed Cooperation, and Taste in an Ohio Food Auction – Jeffrey H. Cohen and Susan M. Klemetti

Section III: Who Shares the Surplus: “Greedy” Subsistence Producers inTransition Economies
Greed in a “Tribal” Economy? Acquisitiveness and Reciprocity in Lisu Society – E. Paul Durrenberger and Kathleen Gillogly
Boons and Busts: Asset Dynamics, Disaster, and the Politics of Wealth in Rural Mongolia – Daniel J. Murphy
Risk-Seeking Peasants, Excessive Artisans: Speculation in the Northern Andes – Jason Antrosio and Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld
Loci of Greed in a Caribbean Paradise: Land Conflicts in Bocas del Toro, Panama – Gayatri Thamp

Section IV: Entitled to the Surplus Greed and Excess among the Elites, Non-Elites, and the Nouveau Riche
The Potentiality and the Consequences of Surplus: Agricultural Production and Institutional Transformation in the Northern Basin of Mexico – Christopher Morehart
The Problem of Greed in Economic Anthropology: Sumptuary Laws and New Consumerism in China – Joseph Bosco

Section V: Some Perspectives and New Directions on the Anthropology of Greed and Excess
Folk and Scientific Concepts in the Study of Greed – Robert C. Hunt
The Rich Possibilities of Greed and Excess – Virginia R. Dominguez

Anthropology: the major, the career

During this week there has been quite the conversation about adjuncts and their working conditions in the press. These articles have lead to further conversation in the blogosphere in regards anthropology adjuncts and anthropology in academia in general.  Here is a round up of the conversations:


The Adjunct Scramble by Kaustuv Basu in Inside Higher Ed

How Universities Treat Adjuncts Limits Their Effectiveness in the Classroom, Report Says by Audrey Williams June in The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Closing of American Academia by Sarah Kendzior in Al Jazeera

Blog posts:

Less Than Zero Anthropology by Eliza Jane Darling on Zero Anthropology

Anthropology is the worst college major for being a corporate tool, best major to change your life by Jason Antrosio on Living Anthropologically

Anthropology minus one and counting and Academia, closed by Ryan Anderson on Savage Minds

From the conversations, there seems to two camps. One with a negative future on academia in general and the success of students pursuing a career in academia. The other with a positive outlook on the field of anthropology due to its versatility and broad scope of skills the discipline can provide; however, also recognizing that adjunct positions are challenging.

Is academia “less than zero” like Darling suggests?  Is academia what we make of it as Anderson suggests? Is academia in need of change in order to meet the needs of underemployed graduates as Antrosio suggests? Or perhaps a bit of them all?

Anthropology Report

Have you seen AAA member, Jason Antrosio’s Anthropology Report? This blog works to round up the best of the best in anthropology.

Jason describes the purpose of the blog:

Anthropology Report connects people searching for “What is Anthropology?” to real anthropology and real anthropologists. It compiles fresh and best updates from anthropology with public relevance. With the generous support of donors, Anthropology Report is one of the most “liked” anthropology blogs in the world. It is also one of the most international blogs in the world…It highlights the best and most recent updates from anthropology blogs, journals, books, and fresh news from real anthropologists. Google is now prioritizing freshness and frequent updates. Although anthropology bloggers and researchers typically work on a more thoughtful and slower time-cycle, a collective but edited selection can make a difference.

Check out Anthropology Report today!

Do you host a blog that you’d like to see highlighted here or on the AAA blog roll? Send the URL to Joslyn (josten@aaanet.org).

Science in Anthropology Session at AAA’s Annual Meeting

Click the play button to listen to the Science in Anthropology: An Open Discussion session (3-0430) at AAA’s Annual Meeting.

This invited roundtable session was sponsored by the Society for Anthropological Sciences, organized by Peter Peregrine (Lawrence U) and chaired by President Virginia Dominguez (U of Illinois). Roundtable presenters included Daniel A. Segal (Pitzer College), H Russell Bernard (U of Florida) and Jonathan M. Marks (U of North Carolina at Charlotte). The session was held on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 10:15 at the Palais de Congrès in Montréal.

This recording is also located in the American Anthropological Association’s iTunes library.

Additional coverage of the session:
Science in Anthropology: Humanistic Science and Scientific Humanism by Jason Antrosio of Living Anthropologically
Anthropologists Seek A More Nuanced Place for Science by Dan Barret of The Chronicle of Higher Education
Not Feeling the Kinship by Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed
Science and the Ring Species of Anthropology by A.P. Van Arsdale of A.P. Van Arsdale Biological Anthropology Lab
Twitter feed recap of the session by Caroline VanSickle

A special thanks to Augstin Fuentes for recording the session and collaborative effort by Dan Segal and Julienne Rutherford.

Did you write on this session? Leave your blog link as a comment to this post.


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