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…

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…

A Brief History of Race in the Western Thought

Race, as a concept, has important ontology in American society. In order to understand the relationship between race, genetic research, and the American class structure, it is necessary to first understand the historical production of race. The following section does not intend to be a comprehensive history of race but merely highlight trends in Europe…

What is Anthropology?

Since this is a blog that looks at the world through an anthropological lens, then I think this is the logical place to start. I teach intro to anthropology and the first thing I have my class do, before the obligatory syllabus trek, is to fill out a notecard. I ask them their major, their…