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…

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….

Don’t Lose Sight

I’ve been working on a different post but this one seemed more context-appropriate and I am giving another pass over Kinji Imanishi’s A Japanses View of Nature: The World of Living Things. The next post will explore Imanishi’s contribution to ecology and the introduction of niche construction before it was popularized biology by Waddington and Lewontin in the…

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…

Book Review: Not in Our Genes

I’ve been slacking on writing book reviews and so I need to get back to it so the next several posts will be just that (unless something happens in the news that warrants some interrogation). My next foray into reviews will be a book that I hold in very high regard. It’s a book I…

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…