About Anthropology Now

Welcome to Anthropology Now!

Why Anthropology Now?

A common misconception about anthropology is that it only deals with far away places and the distant past.  In reality, anthropology is the holistic study of people in all times and all places; biology, culture, language – all aspects of being human!  It emphasizes the ongoing study of humankind; new discoveries and anthropologically-relevant events occur every day.  This blog is dedicated to exploring how anthropology – the science of humanity – helps us understand and interpret our global world.  Now.

About Jay

My name is Jason M. Fancher (call me Jay).  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with an ever-growing range of fascinations and a propensity to dream big.  Jedi knight, starship captain, and archaeologist were among my top career choices as a kid.  Eventually conceding that only one of these is a “real job,” I chose archaeology.  Archaeology is a subfield of anthropology, which combines the best aspects of many of my interests: the rigorous discipline of science, a big picture perspective (global, past, present, and future), yet a focus on the human species and our interconnectedness with the rest of the natural world.

I completed B.A. degrees in Theatre Arts (Film) and Anthropology at Humboldt State University in 1998, an M.A. in Anthropology at Washington State University in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology at WSU in 2009.  My doctoral dissertation is an ethnoarchaeological study of Aka and Bofi foragers of the Central African Republic.  This research explores how observing hunting and butchering behaviors of modern African pygmies can help us better interpret animal bones discarded by prehistoric hunter-gatherers.

My professional interests include: hunter-gatherer studies, evolutionary ecology, zooarchaeology, and vertebrate taphonomy.  In addition to academic research, I enjoy teaching and sharing anthropological perspectives with non-specialists and the general public.

I am currently teaching anthropology (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics) at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon.  For me, this is “living the dream” because I get paid to have fascinating discussions about anthropological topics with students.  Ask them, I can relate anything to anthropology and they keep me on my toes with good, thought-provoking questions.  Unfortunately, these introductory classes are too brief to cover everything.  This blog is a chance for our discussion to continue beyond the end of the quarter.  I welcome former students, current students, or anyone interested in anthropology to read and comment.



7 Responses to “About Anthropology Now”

  1. jayfancher 12/13/2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Months after starting this blog, I Googled “Anthropology Now.” Evidently, the title is not as original as I’d hoped! There is a print magazine with the same title among many others. Also noticed this particularly cynical search suggestion from Google: “I have a degree in ANTHROPOLOGY NOW what?” 🙂

  2. A.H. 02/09/2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Thanks for this blog. As a senior citizen, I love reading anthropology articles. Anthropology was my minor in college, major, the M.A. in English/creative writing. Many of my published novels have an anthropologist as the main character. There is so much joy in the subject of anthropology. I write a daily online news column on nutrition and health and am interested in the anthropology of nutrition. Annie. http://www.examiner.com/nutrition-in-sacramento/anne-hart

    • jayfancher 02/09/2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Hi Annie, You’re welcome! Very glad to hear of your love of anthropology. I’ve always thought of it as a joyous and illuminating discipline too. That’s why I’m so positive about it (and am sometimes surprised when people are hostile toward anthropology or feel threatened by it – usually because they’re afraid that anthro findings contradict their religious beliefs in some way).

      The anthropology of nutrition is something I am very interested in. We are in the unprecedented position of having so many food options that we are able to pick and choose options based on their nutritional value. If anything, our health is threatened by having so many subsistence options (many of them unhealthy).

      I’ll be sure to check out your nutrition writing and novels!



  3. Richard Cassidy 05/12/2014 at 1:51 pm #

    My name is Richard Cassidy. I am on the Friends of Vista House at Crown Point board of directors. We are partnering with the Troutdale Historical Society to increase our membership. Our joint theme is : Let us help you to become your family expert in the Columbia River Gorge.

    In April, were had our first in a series of presentations about various aspects of the Gorge. The April topic was the Bretz Floods of the Columbia. The presentation generated several questions about pre-Clovis or Clovis people who lived in the floodway of the Bretz floods that were, therefore, washed away.

    I am looking for an archaeologist guest speaker to address this topic. Is this topic something that you could do? If not, do you have any suggestions as to who I could ask? We don’t have a date for a presentation set. We are flexible and would leave it up to the availability of the speaker.

    What is the best way to communicate with you further?

    • jayfancher 05/15/2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Hi Richard, I sent you an email. Hope you received it. Take care, Jay

  4. Eric 05/31/2015 at 1:39 pm #

    I have a story you might like for the blog, if you could contact me. Thanks. Eric

    • jayfancher 06/04/2015 at 6:37 am #

      Hi Eric, I sent a message to your WSU email regarding the story. Take care, Jay

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