(R)anthropology Class: Revitalization Movements

Around 1870, when colonization of the western United States by Europeans and their descendants was reaching its zenith, a movement that came to be known as the Ghost Dance began appearing in Native American communities. Taught by a Paiute spiritual leader named Wokova, the Ghost Dance was a ritual meant to cleanse the spirit, promote… Continue reading

Race and Privilege: Embracing Discomfort

I’ve written before about race. I focused on how race, as biology, is not real. But the events of the past few days [minutes, hours, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia…] make it painfully clear that race has tremendous relevance as a cultural, social, political, and economic construct. In that sense, in the sense of… Continue reading

(R)anthropology Class: Cultural (Mal)adaptation

There are about as many different definitions of culture as there are cultural anthropologists. Much ink has been spilled by people attempting to refine the concept to make it account for all the detail and nuance of the human experience. In my classes, though, I don’t have that kind of time, so we keep things… Continue reading

Shifting Perspective: The Efficiency Trap

A few months ago I wrote about the privilege of having the time and money to make homemade bread. I haven’t stopped thinking about the changes that have occurred in the world, and in modern capitalist culture in particular, that have made what used to be a basic daily task into something we no longer… Continue reading

Shifting Perspective: House and Home

Several weeks ago I impulsively started looking online at local houses for sale and began fantasizing about owning property again. In 2011, I walked away from the condo I’d purchased in 2005 for $196,000 because it had dropped in value to somewhere around $40,000. So with a foreclosure on my record, and a deliberate one… Continue reading