Anthropology’s Great Books, hipster drama, and more

by Emily

Sometimes, the internet is just too good to keep to yourself. Worth reading:

1) Anthropology’s landmark books – this is a treasure trove, with comments from anthropologists listing the 3 most influential books they’ve read. I, of course, want to go pick some up immediately, and keep checking the post for more.

2) Paul Mullins on sympathy for hipsters – when one of the contemporary archaeologists you most admire wonders why hipster hatred is such a popular sentiment, you READ it. He points out that people with prominent forums seem to be ranting against hipsters as an idealized market niche, but not actually asking people who would qualify about their viewpoints and experiences. It’s interesting to ask why they would do that.

3) Wade Davis’s review of The World Yesterday by Jared Diamond – I haven’t read Diamond’s book yet, but as a standalone piece, this article has some important things to say about the fraught position of evolutionary reasoning in anthropology. That’s a discussion I’ve been having a lot lately with scientifically literate non-anthropologists, so it’s an important thing to be able to recap for non-specialists, which this piece does admirably.  At the end, I think it comes a little close to implying that traditional societies exist to give “us” hope that there are different ways to live, when really they exist for their own sakes, but to be fair, Davis doesn’t say that outright.

4) Field books from the future – a little thought experiment from the National Museum of Natural History’s field book collection project.

5) Syllabi from Melissa Harris-Perry on the politics of environmental justice and Black political and religious thought – sometimes when you know something is important and interesting, but you aren’t sure where to start, it’s excellent to have resources like these. I’m immediately grateful for the second, since the A.M.E. Zion Church was pretty significant in my research site in the 19th century, and I am trying to learn more about its context in African American history.

6) Cultural Heritage Informatics  field school – this looks like a great opportunity, if you can do it, but even if not, the listed prerequisites seem like good free, DIY training suggestions on their own.