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…

Becoming Inia and Dolphin

The Amazon River Basin is one of the richest river systems in the world, covering more than 7-million square kilometers. This system contains more than 5600 species of fish and is home to large predators such as caiman, giant otters, and arapaima. Many of the species that occupy the Amazon River and its tributaries are…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…