Archive | July, 2015

The Challenge of Public Dissemination

9 Jul

Welcome to the AAA Blog

The following post was submitted by Elisa (EJ) Sobo, Professor of Anthropology, San Diego State University.

The New York Times recently featured an op-ed piece titled ‘Academics seek a big splash.’ In it, Noam Scheiber assesses recent changes in how scholars relate to the media. Concurrently, Huffington Post published ‘An anthropological approach to California’s vaccination problem,’ which concerned a forthcoming peer-reviewed anthropological article of mine regarding vaccine refusal. The essay, and news of it, spread quickly over the Web.

As Scheiber notes in the ‘big splash’ piece, although academics “once regarded the ability to attract attention with suspicion” we “increasingly reward it.” Our newfound interest in cultivating mass publicity is in part due to the fact that funding agencies like it when the work they sponsor is in the news. This “has led to a new model of disseminating social science research through the media.” When journalists…

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Archaeology Workshop: Avebury the Henge Years

6 Jul

Sounds like an amazing experience if you’re in southern England on 14 July!


On Tuesday 14 July the Curator of our Museum Dr Ros Cleal and I will be offering you the opportunity to step  into the world of the Avebury henge builders for the day. We’ll be sharing some of our latest discoveries; I’ll be taking you on a field visit to Avebury Henge and Stone Circles and Ros will be giving you the opportunity to see finds from the Museum collections that are normally behind closed doors.

Take a look at our events listings to find out more and to book yourself onto a journey into our ancient past.

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Where have I gone?

5 Jul

In 2011-2012 I was teaching 1-2 classes and loving the additional avenue of discussion provided by blogging. Somewhere along the way, my class load increased to 8 between Mt. Hood Community College, Washington State University-Vancouver, Clark College, and Ashford University. The students and classes, spanning all four fields of anthropology, at these institutions has been a lot of fun. But clearly, my blog production (which was never great) has slowed down.

If you’re interested in smaller doses of my scientific earnestness and geeky anthro enthusiasm – or want to share your ideas/discoveries – please check Facebook (Jay Fancher) or Twitter (@jfancherphd).

Go Anthro!


Charleston: Continuing the Conversation

2 Jul

Welcome to the AAA Blog

It has been two weeks since the mass shooting took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Makeshift memorials are still being placed on the grounds outside under the hot summer sun and, like the new floral arrangements that arrive daily, the horror remains fresh in our minds. As it should. The conversations on race and racism need not be pushed aside to make way for the next tragic event for that will come soon enough. It needs to continue and remain prominent in our headlines and our households until, as the Confederate flag is destined to be, racial intolerance is taken down once and for all.

Racial hatred need not exist. Through more than a century of anthropological studies on race and culture, we now understand that human behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. Our…

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