(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

(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

(R)anthropology Class: The Culture of Religion

It is no secret to my students that I am an atheist. It usually comes up early in my classes when I have to talk about cultural universals like religion, or when I have to explain why I don’t teach intelligent design (the secret code name for Christian creationism). I am also quick to reassure them… Continue reading