2012-2013: Crossroads


Recent developments have made the internal and external boundaries of anthropology increasingly nebulous. The growing specialization of subfield niches raises questions about what holds together anthropology’s “sacred bundle”, while interdisciplinary collaboration poses questions about what constitutes the essence of the discipline. To investigate these issues—at once classic and novel—this year’s colloquium series turns to scholars who negotiate intersections in their work. Some speakers study topics that bridge the discipline’s four subfields, carrying on the legacy of previous generations in fresh ways and exploring the unique opportunities that new developments have opened up. Other speakers study topics that lie at the crossroads of anthropology with other disciplines including biology, psychology, and law. In every case, the speakers present new answers—and new questions—regarding the paths that our discipline may take at this pivotal moment.



9/17  From History to Biology and Back Again
Nadia Abu El-Haj
Barnard College
9/24  Anthropologies of Language: Saying Goodbye in—and to—Nepal
Laura Ahearn
Rutgers University
10/1  Entanglement: Does Human Evolution Have Directionality?
Ian Hodder
Stanford University
10/15  Everyday Encounters with Diversity: Anthropology Goes to School
Betsy Rymes
University of Pennsylvania
10/29  The Quick and the Dead: Genes, Movement and Landscape
Kim Williams
Temple University
11/12  Multi-Modal Signalling in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)
Joanna Setchell
Durham University
11/19  Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge
Kamari Clarke
Yale University
11/26  The Political Machine: Sense, Sensibility, and Sentiment in the Late Bronze Age Caucasus
Adam Smith
Cornell University


1/28  African Integrative Genomics: Implications for Studies of Human Origins and Disease
Sarah Tishkoff
University of Pennsylvania
2/11  Cultural Conquests and Genetic Change in Native North America: Evidence from Ancient and Modern DNA
Deborah Bolnick
University of Texas at Austin
2/18  Disciplinarity as an Ethnographic Object
Rena Lederman
Princeton University
2/25  Behavioral and Hormonal Aspects of Male-Female “Friendships” in Baboons
Ryne Palombit
Rutgers University
3/18  Displaced and Barely Visible: Using Archaeology to Understand Homelessness
Larry Zimmerman
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
3/25  Aging Populations and the Alzheimer Enigma
Margaret Lock
McGill University
4/8  Bayesian Anthropology: On the Relation between Meaning, Mathematics, and Meat
Paul Kockelman
Columbia University
4/15  Meditations on Blood (in Museum Room 345)
Nichole Carelock & Noah Tamarkin
University of Pennsylvania
4/22  The Injury of Nostalgia or, The Stories a Gang Tells About Itself
Laurence Ralph
Harvard University


* organizers: Jennifer Brown, Utpal Sandesara, Nick Iacobelli,  Susannah Fishman, Andrea Spence-Aizenberg, Margaret Corley .

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