In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now moving into the Fall and Winter Seasons. This period of time is also when Vitamin D deprivation increases unless individuals increase their daily intake of Vitamin D3 supplementation.
Please listen to this Mentza conversation to learn more about the relationship between autoimmune diseases and Vitamin D deprivation.
My state legislature, along with those of some other states, continues to cut funding to higher education. Anthropology is one of the subject areas that is on the bubble.
My institution requested that I create, for a campus careers day, a presentation on careers that require Anthropology. The video shown below provides a sampling of those careers.
However, Anthropology is for more than just a career. Anthropology courses provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to live in a globalized, inter-connected world no matter what their career goals may be.
As an Anthropologist, I try to create activities and projects for students in my college classes that encourage them to learn more about themselves and others. Last semester, I decided to take that a step further by having the students do a Capstone Project that would also serve the community.
On the first day of class, the students are randomly assorted into groups. The name of each group is that of one of the world’s remaining foraging populations. Their first activity is to learn about the group and share that information with their fellow group members. They will sit with their group members throughout the semester and do activities with their group.
The Capstone Project is the final group activity. Each group is assigned a different aspect of a current refugee crisis. Using an anthropological perspective, they must research that crisis. From their research, they create a slide presentation that will be shown to the class during the final exam period. All students evaluate each presentation as part of their final exam grade.
During the semester break, I select from the information the groups have gathered to create a blog page devoted to that refugee crisis. The page is part of a new blog devoted to Refugee Crises. Each semester, students will study a new crisis and new pages will be added to the blog.
This Capstone Project provides students with a tangible result that helps embed in their memories the most important theme of Anthropology: Build Bridges, Not Walls.
Last Fall, I encouraged everyone to watch the Netflix series Cleverman. This fall, the second season dropped. It continues to be a great series with a strong anthropological focus.
Season 2 focuses on forced acculturation. Forced acculturation is a process driven by the group in power and is enacted on a group that is to be stripped of all power and cultural identity. In the United States, white men in power did this to slaves and to the First Nations. Forced acculturation continues to be used by those in power to maintain their control.
If you have not yet watched Season 1, set aside a 12-hour stretch because you will find it hard not to binge through Season 2. Each season has six episodes. I look forward to there being a Season 3 of Cleverman.
As an anthropologist, I’ve read a few ethnographies. They are generally fairly dry and academic. I’ve also read a few ethologies of primate behavior, which tend to be much more entertaining. I recently finished a book that manages to successfully blend both ethnography and ethology:Primates of Park Avenueby Wednesday Martin.
Martin does an excellent job of incorporating the data gleaned from participant-observation (she moved into the habitat of Park Avenue East and interacted on a daily basis with the women there) with the behavioral insights informedfrom research done by primatologists on the other great apes (humans are a type of great ape) and monkeys. Her scientific study of New York City women in the 0.1% shows that even the wealthiest women living in one of the wealthiest cities in the world are really not far-removed from our primate cousins.
Primates of Park Avenueis an enjoyable, fast read that demonstrates how an anthropologist with an interest in primatology views her fellow humans. Frankly, there is a little chimp/bonobo in all of us.