Admissions Fraud and the SAT: Hidden Implications

As you are well aware, there is a huge college admissions scandal that has been brought to life. Forbes calls it “The Worst Crime In College Admissions History Exemplifies The Worst Parenting“. Affluent parents are bribing their children’s way into prestigious universities, falsifying records and SAT scores, faking athletic performance, etc. Much of the light…

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…

Book Review: “How to Think Like an Anthropologist”

After each semester I evaluate what did and didn’t work in my classes. I didn’t teach Introduction to Anthropology for Fall 2018 so I had an extra semester to think about what I wanted to do with the course moving forward. I have decided to move on from using a textbook (despite the fact that…

Spring 2019 Introduction to Anthropology Syllabus

Intro to Anthropology (ANTH 1101-001) UNC Charlotte, Spring 2019 Mon/Wed/Fri (10:10-11:00am) in Rowe 161 Instructor: Adam Johnson Office Hours: M/W 12:30-1:30pm ajohn344@uncc.edu by appointment in Barnard 244A This syllabus contains policies and expectations I have established for this course. Please read the entire syllabus carefully and refer to it regularly throughout the semester. Course Description…

Decolonizing Primatology: Part I

We all have texts that are formative in our academic, professional, spiritual, personal, mental, and philosophical lives. There are a few books that I can point to as turning points in my intellectual life. For example, Orientalism by Edward Said, Le Suicide by Émile Durkheim, Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas, Why I’m Not a Scientist by Jon Marks are all…

Revisiting Geno-colonization: Senator Warren and “Native DNA”

I woke up this morning to the news that Senator Elizabeth Warren has released a DNA test “providing strong evidence” that she has a Native American ancestor 6-10 generations ago (I’ll unpack that later). While I appreciate Senator Warren’s take-down of banking executives and much of her politics, this is a misguided tug-of-war with Trump….

The Value of Anthropology: My Story

Dr. Agustín Fuentes argues that it is human creativity that is the defining characteristic of our species ( see my review of The Creative Spark here: Book Review- The Creative Spark). I agree with his position and there is no better way to see this than to focus on one of the most stark expressions of our…

Biology, Race, and “Orientalism”

Edward Said published Orientalism in 1978 and is highly influential, both in post-colonial studies and social theory. Said argues that through the construction of the ‘Orient’ (the East) and the other the ‘Occident’ (the West) defines itself. Western representations of the orient are merely a pseudo-intellectual endeavor of justifying and exalt its own existence instead of a sincere…

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…

Last Day of Summer I

Yesterday was the last day of the first summer session. I taught a section of LBST 2213 (anthropology of science) and I had students reflect of the semester and write things on their boards that they found interesting or important. I wanted to share their boards with you (with a little exposition). When the students…