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American Anthropological Association
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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is the world's largest organization of individuals interested in anthropology. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects through archaeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research; and to further the professional interests of American anthropologists, including the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and its use to solve human problems. Visit us at

AAA encourages members to contribute to this blog space. Views and opinions within the posts are that of the authors and are not the official Association position.

Entries by American Anthropological Association

Indiana O'Brien and the Raiders of the 'Maze'

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 4:21 PM

Over the last couple of days I've been attempting to fulfill a long-standing personal goal. This means that I've been frantically, frenetically and furiously working on the last two parts of my dissertation with not much else on my mind other than my children. Dissertations, much like children, are amazingly...

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Face-to-Face with Pope Francis

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 6:19 PM

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is chair of the Doctoral Program in Medical Anthropology at Cal-Berkeley. Scheper-Hughes was granted an audience last April when the Vatican brought together some 20 scholars, human rights activists, governmental, UN, and civil society leaders at the request of Pope Francis who asked them to examine human trafficking...

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The Long Journey to the U.S. Open

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 4:24 PM

The U.S. Open, the final of the four annual Grand Slams of the professional tennis tour, takes place in Queens, N.Y. from August 31st to September 13th (with qualifying rounds beginning the previous week). It often takes years of traveling to tournaments for players to get ranked highly enough to...

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Cultural Anthropology in Secondary Schools: An Essential Part of a 21st Century Education

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 3:47 PM

Cultural anthropology should be part of every student's secondary school education. Those who study anthropology know that the discipline cultivates resilience, persistence, confidence, openness, creativity, courage, patience, adaptability, perspective taking, empathy and self-control. Studying anthropology at the pivotal secondary school age of accelerated personal and intellectual development, when students are...

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The Confederate Flag and the Lives of Symbols

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 10:42 AM

Recent challenges to displays of the Confederate flag have created an ironic outcome; its presence is in fact more ubiquitous than before the challenges began. This resurgence is not just found among those championing the Confederate flag as a symbol of state's rights, or a symbol of a southern identity...

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Provoking the Past in the Greek Referendum

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 12:49 PM

By Daniel M. Knight, Durham University

On June 26th the Greek government announced a snap referendum on a new Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) austerity package, causing the European Central Bank to cap Emergency Liquidity Assistance. Capital controls were immediately imposed, restricting Greek account holders...

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The Iranian Nuclear Deal Is Overkill

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 6:58 PM

No one can claim that President Obama was not transparent in this masterful press conference. He answered every question, and even extended the press conference to answer more. It may take a sledgehammer to get the Republicans to take their fingers out of their ears and hear the clear facts...

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The Dangers of Kennewick Man's DNA

(7) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 3:10 PM

Dr. Chip Colwell is curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the author of the forthcoming Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America's Treasures (University of Chicago Press). Follow him on Twitter @drchipcolwell

An article in Nature...

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The Problem With Transgender Generality

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 4:39 PM

If the sensationalism that followed Caitlyn Jenner's revelation of herself as a transgender woman has something to teach us, it is not about the particulars of what it means to be transgender. Jenner, like each of us, has a gender identity that is too complex and individual to generalize about,...

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Depraved Hearts?

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Pem Davidson Buck teaches anthropology and sociology at the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in Kentucky.

Once upon a time police, they said, were a child's best friend; the friendly cop on the corner with the big belly and the funny hat patted lost kids on the head and returned...

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College Majors "Worth" Something

(18) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 4:42 PM

Dr. Alisse Waterston is an anthropology professor at CUNY and president-elect of the American Anthropological Association

Inside Higher Ed was exactly right when it predicted the newest report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce "will surprise exactly no one."

The Georgetown study on the economic value...

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Rest for the King, No Rest for Native Americans

(17) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 12:08 PM

Written by Chip Colwell

Today, the King of England will be deposited back into the earth. The public ceremony will be respectful and uncontroversial. Archaeologists will not write angry editorials, sign petitions or organize protests about Richard III, who died 530 years ago.

Richard III's body was a treasure house...

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Anthropology In Schools: Is There a Future?

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2015 | 3:41 PM

Written by Ed Liebow, AAA Executive Director

Racial bias is a documented aspect of police practice, in the United States and elsewhere. In Iraq, antiquities are irreparably damaged for ideological and financial gain, as is often the case in violent struggles. In West Africa,

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Why Does Heritage Become Hostage?

(3) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 3:56 PM

Written by Chip Colwell

In the early spring of 2001, dark rumors spread that the Taliban were systematically destroying thousands of ancient statues across Afghanistan. Reports soon confirmed an edict from Mulla Mohammad Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader.

"These idols have been gods of the infidels, who worshiped them and...

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The Middle Class (Thinks It) Knows Best: Daring to Intervene in Disadvantaged Households

(5) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 3:31 PM

Written by Susan D. Blum, Lizzie Fagen, Kathleen C. Riley

In a recent New Yorker article, Margaret Talbot discusses Providence Talks, a project designed to address the so-called "language gap" that, according to 30-year-old research claims, is directly related to an "achievement gap" at school. Generalizing from data...

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Research in the Public Interest

(2) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 4:41 PM

Written by Jeffrey H. Altschul, President, Society for American Archaeology and Monica Heller, President, American Anthropological Association

In a recent editorial published on Politico's website, Senator Rand Paul (R-TN) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) argue that public funds should only be used on "the...

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This Holiday Season Let's Replace Disparaging Slurs

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Written by Netta Avineri, Ph.D. and Bernard Perley, Ph.D.

'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.' Not true. Words have power.

We've all been on the receiving end of name-calling by insensitive childhood classmates. Some of us, however, have endured decades -- and some...

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Gloria Steinem vs. Prostitution in India

(1) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 5:45 PM

Written by Svati Shah

When Gloria Steinem went to India earlier this year, she documented her trip in a series of articles in the New York Times's (NYT) India Ink column. They were full of Steinem's revelations about the existence of feminism in India, and creatively described white guilt as...

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Congratulations to Anthropologist Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan's New President

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 3:47 PM

Written by Dr. Edward Liebow, Executive Director of the American Anthropological Association

The American Anthropological Association extends its warm congratulations to Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the newly elected president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Ghani, who has formed a unity government with his electoral opponent, Dr. Abdullah...

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Changing Our Response to Behavioral Health

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 9:33 AM

Written by Jennie M. Simpson

Robin Williams's death has saddened and shocked many of us, and as the many displays of mourning through social media indicate, Williams's death has deeply touched so many and brought to the fore much needed conversations about mental illness. Through his diverse work and career,...

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