So now twerking is cultural appropriation?

TWERK (Photo credit: mikeywally)

In the wake of Miley Cyrus’ apparently disastrous performance on MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards show, I’ve been seeing a lot of conversations (or more often, declarations) about twerking as a form of cultural appropriation. Twerking, according to what I’m reading, is intimately bound to black culture and when white women integrate it into their own dance performances, they are essentially stealing black culture — appropriating to themselves [Continue reading]

Sex: It’s What’s for Dinner

This essay was originally published Dec 14, 2005, at Savage Minds. Due to a server problem, Savage Minds’ archives are currently down, so I’m reposting this here.

Yam Yam Yam (Photo credit: cogdogblog)

The connection between eating and having sex is a fairly obvious one. Many of the words we use to describe sexual desire (hunger, voracious appetite) and sex acts themselves (eating out, munching), and even various body parts (my favorite: “the split [Continue reading]

Human Terrain in Oaxaca

This essay was originally published Jun 5, 2009, at Savage Minds. Due to a server problem, Savage Minds’ archives are currently down, so I’m reposting this here.

Mexico – troops in Calle de Revilladigego [i.e. Revillagigedo] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

For the past several years, my research has led me further and further into the world of counterinsurgency, military anthropology, human terrain, and other aspects of a military regime of knowledge. What [Continue reading]

In the Flesh In the Museum: Representations of Indians in American Natural History Museums

This long essay was originally published Aug 8, 2006, at Savage Minds. Due to a server problem, Savage Minds’ archives are currently down, so I’m reposting this here.

Ishi (1860-1916), last surviving member of the Yahi Indian tribe of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There are Indians in the Museum of Natural History,” writes Danielle LaVaque-Manty (2000: 71) “And there aren‘t any other kinds of people.” The particular Museum of Natural History LaVaque-Manty is speaking of [Continue reading]

Review of Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War in Critique of Anthropology

After a year-and-a-half, Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War has finally gotten reviewed in an academic journal. Dr. Heonik Kwon, author of several books and articles about the wars in Vietnam and Korean, as well as the forthcoming Columbia University Press book The Decomposition of the Cold War, writes in Critique of Anthropology:

Wax and other contributors to the volume should be congratulated not only for telling their colleagues about anthropology’s hidden past [Continue reading]

Whiteness as Ethnicity in Arizona’s New Racial Order

I’ve just posted a few comments on Arizona’s recent legislative attack on ethnic studies at Savage Minds. It started as a post for this site, but as I got into the argument it seemed more appropriate to post there. The nutshell version is: Traditional US history, literature, and civics classes are clearly in violation of Arizona’s new HB 2281, which prohibits courses that “promote resentment towards a race or class” or that “advocate ethnic solidarity”. [Continue reading]

The Shakers

Image via Wikipedia

In Part 2 of my “Introduction to Anthropology” series, I mention the Shakers, so I thought I’d post some information about them.

My favorite resource is the the absolutely stunning documentary film, Ken Burns’ America: The Shakers. The homepage includes a timeline of Shaker history, links to online resources about the Shakers, and a pair of video clips from the movie.

For further information on the Shakers, visit the homepage [Continue reading]

More Things My Language Told me to Say

(Follow-up to Things My Language Told Me To Say )

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Things My Language Told Me to Say

There is a debate going on at several blogs (starting at EmptyBottle and continuing at the heart of things , akma’s random thoughts , commonplaces , Ming the Mechanic , Ep [Continue reading]