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.
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.