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…

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…

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…

Fall Semester, 2018 Courses

I am very excited to have three new preps for Fall, 2018. Course overviews are below. LBST 2213: Now this is not a new prep as I have been teaching it for two years now. In the catalog it is listed as Science, Technology, and Society. I teach the course as an anthropology of science…