COVID-19 and the Failure of Neoliberalism in the Face of Crisis

We are firmly set in the middle of a global pandemic at the moment. As it currently stands, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting just under 300,000 confirmed cases and 13,000 deaths as of March 22 with no sign of slowing down. This pandemic has demonstrated severe flaws in the system in the United…

Big Bend: Narratives of Isolation

“Splendid Isolation, the Big Bend…” is how the National Parks Services introduces Big Bend National Park on its website. My partner and I recently took a several day trip to Big Bend and, I have to say, it was truly splendid. Many of the sights and experiences I had were unlike anything I had experienced…

AES 2020 Abstract: Mediating Multispecies Relations Through Western and Indigenous Conservation

Western notions of modernity have situated human society apart from nature, which encompasses those spaces and beings that are unmodified and unsullied by human activity. The Western conception of nature/society can be contrasted with that of the Cofán—an Indigenous people of Amazonian Ecuador and Colombia—who identify as tsampini can’jen’sundeccu (dwellers of the forest). The Cofán…

The Liminality of Grief in Trauma

As time continues to press forward after the April 30 shooting at UNCC, I have continued to reflect, think about my experience, and discuss the experiences with others that were there and beyond. The summer is over and I am required to be around people more frequently. I am in a new city, meeting new…

White Men and Their Toxic White Fragility

It has been several months since the shooting in my classroom at UNC Charlotte where two of my students were killed, four were physically injured, and an untold amount of long-term mental, emotional, and spiritual harm was perpetrated. It is terrifyingly wide-spread the consequences of the shooting have been. It hasn’t just affected me; my…

Born to Be Cute: Charisma and Niche Construction

As a multispecies ethnographer and evolutionary anthropologist, I am interested in the ways in which ecological interaction between various taxa affects their selection pressures and evolutionary trajectories. I spend much of my time thinking about niche construction–the ways in which organisms modify their own and others’ evolutionary niches (Laland et al. 2016)–and how we as…

The Story of a Mass Shooting Survivor and Anthropologist

  On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science (Syllabus), was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured. I will not share their names as to protect them, although that information is available elsewhere. I will use broad terms…

Hummingbirds are Nature’s…

One of my passions is studying multispecies entanglements. As an anthropologist, the ways in which human activities affect the lives of other living organisms are of central interest but the ontological relationships of other organisms goes deep. A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with my partner (who is a gender scholar) and…

Populations, Race, and The Sorites Paradox

The sorites paradox (also called the paradox of the heap) refers to a particular logical contradiction that arises from the analysis of vague terms (Sainsbury, 2009). Terms like ‘heap’, ‘bald’, ‘tall’ all fall into this category. We know a tall or bald person when we see one but what are the necessary and sufficient conditions…

Science as a Structure of Violence

The study of human diversity and subsequent racialisation of people has been examined and critiqued but has escaped interrogation as an institution by which structural violence is enacted. Works such as Is Science Racist? (2017) by Jonathan Marks have evaluated science as a means of reproducing culturally held racist beliefs and justifying subordination through cultural…