Science as an Orientalizing Field

Science is a Western form of knowledge production and can be divided into three forms: 1) science as a set of methods for investigating the world we inhabit, 2) the pool of knowledge containing the data and conclusions drawn by science, and 3) a social institution through which empirical studies of the world are carried…

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…

Religion and politics in the US: How the Christian Right moves away from Jesus

Along with an anthropology degree, I also completed a degree in philosophy with a focus on philosophy of religion. My primary interests in that are theodicies (excuses for why an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good god could let bad stuff happen), and how religion interacts with social institutions. This usually manifests itself as an exploration of the…

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…

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…

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…