• On caregiving and love
PBS carried an interview with Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University medical anthropologist and psychiatrist. Kleinman describes his family life since his wife developed Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. The disease brought her dementia and blindness, and Kleinman became her primary caregiver. He comments that last year’s health care debates in the U.S. paid almost zero attention to caregiving: “And yet this is what families are going to face in the future.”
• LGTB rights on campus
Students taking the class “Sexuality and Eroticism,” taught at Rutgers University by anthropology instructor Robert O’Brien, were inspired to organize a protest against harassment of LGBT students.
• On interethnic relations in Russia
The popular Russian talkshow, “Matter of Principles,” included Valery Tishkov, director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, along with three other panelists. He emphasized access to power or resources as the basis for conflict and hatred.
• Angolan youths’ role in the independence movement
Speaking at the 4th International Meeting of Angolan History, Angolan cultural anthropologist Carlos Serrano described the importance of young nationalists in Angola’s struggle for independence from the Portuguese in the 1940s.
• Farewell to bullfighting
Starting in 2012, bullfighting will be banned in Catalonia. The Financial Post quotes Carrie Douglass, professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia, who sees the ban as a statement of separateness from Spain.
• The boy with the amber necklace
The skeleton of a teenage boy has been found near Stonehenge. He was wearing and amber necklace and hailed from the Mediterranean region according to analysis of some tooth enamel.
• Also a long way from home
A skull with the features of an Aboriginal Australian has been found in a cave in Brazil and dated at 11,000 years ago. Professor Walter Neves, in PLoS One, argues that the finding means there were two waves of migration to the New World including one from Southeast Asia. Maciej Henneberg, an anthropologist at the University of Adelaide posits that more than just one or two waves, people probably arrived through many, continuous flows.
Shannon Lee Dawdy of the University of Chicago was named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. An assistant Professor of Anthropology, she is a historical anthropologist and archaeologist concentrating on the Atlantic World after 1450. Her recent fieldwork on garden and hospitality sites in New Orleans informs her current book project, Patina: An Archaeology of Everyday Aesthetics, which seeks to understand the connections between aesthetics and social life.