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ToC: Current Anthropology

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  • Prof. B.V. Toshev
    Just Received (subscription): CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 4, 2011
      Just Received (subscription):

      CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)

      https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fliteratum%2Fpublisher%2Fjstor%2Fjournals%2Fcovergifs%2Fcurranth%2Fcover.png&t=1511371876&sig=Y8z2Np1kgzvHZhSuhqYhsg--~D

      Editor: Mark Aldenerfer

      Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the sub-fields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics.

      Impact Factor: IF(2008)=2.032; 5-Year IF=2.718; SJR(2009)=0.136

      Availability: I have an access to the whole massive of papers published from 1959 (Volume 1) to today (Volume 51).

      =======================

      ToC: Current Anthropology, Volume 52, Number 4, August 2011

      ========================

      D. Graeber. “Consumption” (p. 489)

      Notes: 38; References: 99

      Beginning in the 1980s, anthropologists began to be bombarded with endlessâ€"and often strangely moralisticâ€"exhortations to acknowledge the importance of something referred to as “consumption.” The exhortations were effective; for the past 2 decades, the term has become a staple of theoretical discourse. Rarely, however, do anthropologists examine it: asking themselves why it is that almost all forms of human self-expression or enjoyment are now being seen as analogous to eating food. This essay seeks to investigate how this came about, beginning with medieval European theories of desire and culminating in the argument that the notion of consumption ultimately resolves certain conceptual problems in possessive individualism.

      L. Leve. “Identity” (p. 513)

      Notes: 28; References: 128

      “Identity” is a key term for anthropological analysis today. This paper explores the challenge posed by modernist Buddhists in Nepal who participated in identity politics while grounding their claims to identity-based rights in belonging to a religious community defined by the doctrine that there is no such thing as a “self” in the conventional sense. Examining the sharp proliferation of identity-based discourses and claims in post-1990 Nepal in light of broader structural transformations associated with the globalization of neoliberal governance strategies and against the rise of a popular vipassana meditation movement, I suggest that the rise of ethnoreligious politics in Nepal at that time reflects the presence of a global “identity machine”â€"an apparatus that establishes not only the categories of identity recognized and claimed in democratic states but also, indeed, their very ontological foundations in liberal conceptions of self, citizenship, and social relations. Nepali Buddhists who claim religious rights while also engaging in practices that challenge the very idea of identity are at once participating in the ideological and institutional conditions of neoliberal modernity and also reworking these in unexpected ways. This paradox calls on anthropologists to study the processes that produce and extend particular ways of seeing and organizing the world rather than inadvertently naturalizing them.

      I. Gershon. “Neoliberal Agency” (p. 537)

      Notes: 33; References: 90

      This article addresses the challenges a neoliberal conception of agency poses to anthropologists. I first discuss the kind of self that a neoliberal agency presupposes, in particular a self that is a flexible bundle of skills that reflexively manages oneself as though the self was a business. I then explore the dilemmas this neoliberal agency poses to different scholarly imaginations. I conclude by proposing that a neoliberal agency creates relationships that are morally lacking and overlooks differences in scale, deficiencies that an anthropological imagination would be able to critique effectively.

      S.A. Rockefeller. “Flow” (p. 557)
      Notes: 17; References: 125
       
      “Flow” is a term that is frequently employed in anthropological discussions of globalization, although little attention has been paid to the word or the presuppositions and history it carries with it. The rise of this keyword has been surprisingly inconspicuous. In this article, I show some of the ways “flow” is employed in anthropological and other social science writing today, tracing its development through the works of Deleuze and Guattari and ultimately to the writings of the philosopher Henri Bergson. I then raise two important concerns regarding the use of “flow” to talk about globalization. First, I argue that as it is employed today, the term lends itself all too easily to a metaphysical dualism that can only impede our understanding of the dynamic nature of locality and global interconnections. Second, I argue that the term encodes what I call a “managerial perspective” that sees agency only in large-scale social patterns and institutions and that is largely unable to recognize individual agency or the significance of small-scale organization and phenomena.
       
      Discussions (p. 579): 3 contributions;
       
      P. B. Beaumont. The Edge: More on Fire-Making by about 1.7 Million Years Ago at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa (p. 587)
      References: 93
       
      Located close to the Kalahari in central South Africa is a large dolomitic cave called Wonderwerk, in the stratified sediments of which there is evidence for fire-making that ranges from the end of the Later Stone Age to the very base of the Acheulean. That discovery is seen to be in accord with findings from four other regional sites, which together provide evidence that can be construed as support for fire-making over almost the same time span.
       
       
      H.L. Odden. The Impact of Primary Schools on the Differential Distribution of Samoan Adolescents’ Competence with Honorific Language (p. 597)
      Notes: 4; References: 52
       
      In the Western Polynesian society of Samoa, cultural learning and the acquisition of competency in many domains is substantially influenced by the hierarchical structure of social relations and interactions. From a population-level perspective, this pattern of intergenerational transmission of culture can generate differential distributions of competencies in many domains of cultural knowledge on the basis of children’s relative household rank. However, because the local primary school provides children with opportunities to learn without regard to their household rank, the possibility exists that it may act as a countervailing force in the distribution of cultural competency. This report examines this possibility through an analysis of children developing competency with the Samoan honorific lexicon, a basic yet important element of the larger category of respectful behavior that all adults in this culture are expected to acquire. A multiple-choice test of the Samoan honorific lexicon was administered to a sample of early adolescent schoolchildren aged 10â€"14 years () at a single rural primary school. Analysis of this data set supports the interpretation that the primary school functions to reduce the levels of variation in competencies across the population of children and thus operates as a leveling mechanism in this domain of cultural knowledge.
       
      Book & Film Reviews (p. 607): 6 reviews;
      Books & Dilms Received (p. 615).
    • Prof. B.V. Toshev
      Just Recieved (Subscription): CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press) [Journal Cover] Editor: Mark Aldenerfer Current Anthropology is a
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 17 2:13 AM

        Just  Recieved (Subscription):

        CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)

        Journal Cover

        Editor: Mark Aldenerfer

        Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the sub-fields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics.

        Impact Factor: IF(2008)=2.032; 5-Year IF=2.718; SJR(2009)=0.136

        Availability: I have an access to the whole massive of papers published from 1959 (Volume 1) to today.

        =======================

        ToC: Current Anthropology, Volume 52, Number 5, October 2011

        ========================

        E.B. Banning. So Fair a House: Goebekli Tepe and the Identification of Temples in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East (p. 619)

        Notes: 2; References: 303

        Archaeologists have proposed that quite a number of structures dating to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and B in southwest Asia were nondomestic ritual buildings, sometimes described specifically as temples or shrines, and these figure large in some interpretations of social change in the Near Eastern Neolithic. Yet the evidence supporting the identification of cult buildings is often equivocal or depends on ethnocentric distinctions between sacred and profane spaces. This paper explores the case of Göbekli Tepe, a large Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Turkey that its excavator claims consisted only of temples, to illustrate weaknesses in some kinds of claims about Neolithic sacred spaces and to explore some of the problems of identifying prehistoric ritual. Consideration of the evidence suggests the alternative hypothesis that the buildings at Göbekli Tepe may actually be houses, albeit ones that are rich in symbolic content.


        M. Carrithers, L.J. Bracken, S. Emery. Can a Species Be a Person?: A Trope and Its Entanglements in the Anthropocene Era (p. 661)
        Notes: 8; References: 121

        The notion that an animal species is comparable with a human person is unusual but significant in North Atlantic societies. We analyze this trope to make a case for rhetoric culture theory as a powerful form of anthropological analysis. The "species is person" trope has been woven with other tropes to make moral and cosmological arguments in the present geosocial era of environmental crisis. The trope stands against two others in North Atlantic societies, tropes that are themselves at odds: (1) other animal species are not persons but are means to our ends, and (2) each individual animal of a species is equivalent to an individual human person and so are ends in themselves. The "species is person" trope has been used to evoke the characteristically North Atlantic notion of sacred personhood to support action on behalf of human-distant species such as river-dwelling mollusks, species that unlike pandas or otters are not "charismatic." The use of the trope both to alter understandings and to initiate commitments to action demonstrates its effectiveness as reasoning but also the importance of this style of analysis.

        N. Rapport. The Liberal Treatment of Difference: An Untimely Meditation on Culture and Civilization (p. 687)
        Notes: 2; References: 79

        John Stuart Mill's liberal vision included a notion of "civil advancement" whereby the free expression of a diversity of opinion would result not only in an initial collision of difference but also in an eventual consolidation as truth. The work of this article is to explore the ways and extents in which such liberalism can translate into a cosmopolitan anthropology. Is toleration of difference the appropriate anthropological ethic, or can one hypothesize a liberal "magnanimous" overcoming of difference? In a wide-ranging discussion, the voice of Mill is juxtaposed against those of C. P. Snow, Ernest Gellner, Stevie Smith, and Karl Popper. Much commentary would suggest that liberalism is passe. A political context dominated by renascent particularisms, militant religions, and resurgent ethnicities spells the collapse, it is told, of any Enlightenment project of liberal-humanist universalism. "Cultures are not options." Notwithstanding, the argument is made here that as "opinion" grades into "knowledge," so "culture" grades into "civilization" and local community (polis) into global society (cosmos). Difference may become a step along the way to a recognition of universal human truth.

        =======================
        P. Kockelman. Biosemiosis, Technocognition, and Sociogenesis: Selection and Significance in a Multiverse of Sieving and Serendipity (p. 711)
        Notes: 26; References: 121

        This essay theorizes significance in conjunction with selection and thereby provides a general theory of meaning. It treats processes of significance and selection in conjunction with processes of sieving and serendipity and thereby systematically interrelates the key factors underlying emergent forms of organized complexity. It theorizes codes in conjunction with channels and thereby links shared cultural representations and networked social relations. And it develops the consequences of such conjunctions for various domains at various scales ranging from biosemiotic processes such as animal-signal systems and natural selection to technocognitive processes such as lawn mowers and Turing machines. In part, it is meant to meaningfully reframe the relations among the linguistic, biological, cultural, and archeological subfields of anthropology. And in part, it is meant to show the nonreductive relations between the concerns of anthropologists and a variety of allied disciplines: linguistics and psychology, cognitive science and computer science, and evolutionary biology and complexity theory.

        M.N. Burton-Chellew, R. I.M. Dunbar. Are Affines Treated as Biological Kin?: A Test of Hughes's Hypothesis (p. 741)
        References: 16

        Affines (or "in-laws") have long been recognized within anthropology as a special kind of kin. Evolutionary biology, in contrast, has typically treated affines as though they were unrelated: only direct genetic kinship counts. However, Hughes argued that Hamilton's concept of inclusive fitness naturally includes affinal kin as kin because true kin and their affines share genetic interests in future generations. We test this proposal by asking whether affinal relatives are treated more like biological kin or unrelated friends in terms of perceived emotional closeness. We show for a sample of contemporary Belgians that affines are indeed treated more or less the same as biological kin of similar nominal relatedness and not at all like unrelated friends. These findings suggest that Hughes was right in his reinterpretation of Hamilton and that affinal kinship needs to be considered in biological studies of human kinship.

        D. Nettle, K. Panchanathan, T.S. Rai, A.P. Fiske. The Evolution of Giving, Sharing, and Lotteries (p. 744)
        References: 52

        A core feature of human societies is that people often transfer resources to others. Such transfers can be governed by several different mechanisms, such as gift giving, communal sharing, or lottery-type arrangements. We present a simple model of the circumstances under which each of these three forms of transfer would be expected to evolve through direct fitness benefits. We show that in general, individuals should favor transferring some of their resources to others when there is a fitness payoff to having social partners and/or where there are costs to keeping control of resources. Our model thus integrates models of cooperation through interdependence with tolerated theft models of sharing. We also show, by extending the HAWK-DOVE model of animal conflict, that communal sharing can be an adaptive strategy where returns to consumption are diminishing and lottery-type arrangements can be adaptive where returns to consumption are increasing. We relate these findings to the observed diversity in human resource-transfer processes and preferences and discuss limitations of the model.

        Book & Film Reviews (p. 757): 6 reviews (Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives; Society of the Dead: Quita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba; The Magic Children: Racial Identity at the End of the Age of Race; Gandhi's Children; A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School; Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World?).

        Books & Films Received (p. 765).
        =========================
        If you are interested in some of the articles mentioned above, do not hesitate to tell us it
        =======================

      • Prof. B.V. Toshev
        Just Recieved (Subscription): CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press) [Journal Cover]
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 20 10:30 AM

          Just Recieved (Subscription):

          CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)

          Journal Cover

          Editor: Mark Aldenerfer

          Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the sub-fields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics.

          Impact Factor: IF(2008)=2.032; 5-Year IF=2.718; SJR(2009)=0.136

          Availability: I have an access to the whole massive of papers published from 1959 (Volume 1) to today.

          =======================

          ToC: Current Anthropology, Volume 52, Number S4, October 2011

          ========================

          The Origins of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas

          T.D. Price, O. Bar-Yosef. The Origins of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas: An Introduction to Supplement 4 (p. S163)

          References: 68

          This introduction to the symposium and to this issue of Current Anthropology attempts to provide some sense of the topic, the meeting itself, the participants, and some of the initial results. Our symposium brought together a diverse international group of archaeological scientists to consider a topic of common interest and substantial anthropological import—the origins of agriculture. The group included individuals working in most of the places where farming began. This issue is organized by chronology and geography. Our goal was to consider the most recent data and ideas from these different regions in order to examine larger questions of congruity and disparity among the groups of first farmers. There is much new information from a number of important areas, particularly Asia. Following a review of the history of investigation of agricultural origins, this introduction summarizes the results of the conference. There are at least 10 different places around the world where agriculture was independently developed, and the antiquity of domestication is being pushed back in time with new discoveries. Our symposium has emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to such large questions in order to assemble as much information as possible. We anticipate that the results and consequences of this symposium will have long-term ripple effects in anthropology and archaeology.

          O. Bar-Yosef. Climatic Fluctuations and Early Farming in West and East Asia (p. S175)

          References: 171

          This paper presents a Levantine model for the origins of cultivation of various wild plants as motivated by the vagaries of the climatic fluctuation of the Younger Dryas within the context of the mosaic ecology of the region that affected communities that were already sedentary or semisedentary. In addition to holding to their territories, these communities found ways to intensify their food procurement strategy by adopting intentional growth of previously known annuals, such as a variety of cereals. The Levantine sequence, where Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene Neolithic archaeology is well known, is employed as a model for speculating on the origins of millet cultivation in northern China, where both the archaeological data and the dates are yet insufficient to document the evolution of socioeconomic changes that resulted in the establishment of an agricultural system.

          A.N. Goring-Morris, A.  Belfer-Cohen. Neolithization Processes in the Levant: The Outer Envelope (p. S195)

          References: 135

          The Near East is one of those unique places where the transition(s) from hunter-gatherers to farmers occurred locally, so it is possible to observe the whole sequence of these processes within the region as a whole. We discuss the archaeological evidence pertaining to those transformations within the Levant, presenting the particularistic local changes in settlement patterns and the character of the different communities juxtaposed with the landscapes and environmental background. The asynchronous developments clearly reflect the mosaic nature of the Levant in terms of specific local environmental conditions that influenced the scope and pace of Neolithization processes.

          A. Belfer-Cohen, A.N.Goring-Morris. Becoming Farmers: The Inside Story (S209)

          References: 135

          Neolithization processes in the Levant differed from those in Europe. A major population growth was already occurring in the former at the onset of the Late Glacial Maximum. Population growth was not linear but rather reflected local circumstances, both external and internal. In addition to changing environmental conditions, the social implications of growth in community sizes within specific areas should be taken into account. The solutions and mechanisms that people devised during the transition to agriculture in order to counter the stresses stemming from those developments pertain to the tempo and scope of the changes as well as to endemic traditions.

          M.A. Zeder. The Origins of Agriculture in the Near East (p. S221)

          References: 115

          The emerging picture of plant and animal domestication and agricultural origins in the Near East is dramatically different from that drawn 16 years ago in a landmark article by Bar-Yosef and Meadow. While in 1995 there appeared to have been at least a 1,500-year gap between plant and animal domestication, it now seems that both occurred at roughly the same time, with initial management of morphologically wild future plant and animal domesticates reaching back to at least 11,500 cal BP, if not earlier. A focus on the southern Levant as the core area for crop domestication and diffusion has been replaced by a more pluralistic view that sees domestication of various crops and livestock occurring, sometimes multiple times in the same species, across the entire region. Morphological change can no longer be held to be a leading-edge indicator of domestication. Instead, it appears that a long period of increasingly intensive human management preceded the manifestation of archaeologically detectable morphological change in managed crops and livestock. Agriculture in the Near East arose in the context of broad-based systematic human efforts at modifying local environments and biotic communities to encourage plant and animal resources of economic interest. This process took place across the entire Fertile Crescent during a period of dramatic post-Pleistocene climate and environmental change with considerable regional variation in the scope and intensity of these activities as well as in the range of resources being 

          E. Weiss, D. Zohary. The Neolithic Southwest Asian Founder Crops: Their Biology and Archaeobotany (p. S237)

          References: 113

          This article reviews the available information on the founder grain crops (einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, barley, lentil, pea, chickpea, and flax) that started agriculture in Southwest Asia during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, some 11,000–10,000 years ago. It provides a critical assessment for recognizing domestication traits by focusing on two fields of study: biology and archaeobotany. The data in these fields have increased considerably during the past decade, and new research techniques have added much to our knowledge of progenitor plants and their domesticated derivatives. This article presents the current and accumulated knowledge regarding each plant and illustrates the new picture that emerged on the origin of agriculture.

          J-D.  Vigne, I. Carrere, F. Briois, J. Guilaine. The Early Process of Mammal Domestication in the Near East: New Evidence from the Pre-Neolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic in Cyprus (p. S255)

          References: 118

          Recent archaeological investigations on Cyprus have unveiled unsuspected Late Glacial and Early Holocene (twelfth–tenth millennia cal BP) pieces of the island's human history. Based on a review of the archaeological data and of the final results of the archaeozoological analyses of Sector 1 of the prepottery site at Shillourokambos, this paper examines how Cyprus improves our understanding of the process of mammal domestication in the Near East. Early introduction of controlled wild animals and then of early domestic lineages provides information about the modalities of the domestication process on the mainland. This information emphasizes the importance of technical skills, of local opportunities and adaptations, and of long-distance and increasing exchanges in the larger Near East area. Cyprus was a recipient of wild or domestic taxa from the continent through recurrent introductions, but it was fully part of the wider area of incipient farming, as seen in local innovations such as the intensive hunting/control of wild deer and boar or local domestication of wild/feral goats. The transition to farming during the tenth millennium appears to follow an unstable and opportunistic Early and Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B phase of low-level food production based on rapidly changing combinations of hunting, control, and breeding.

          D.J. Cohen. The Beginnings of Agriculture in China: A Multiregional View (p. S273)

          Notes: 2; References: 128

          By 9000 cal BP, the first sedentary villages, marking the Early Neolithic, are present in Northeast China, North China, and the Middle and Lower Yangtze regions, but plant and animal domesticates do not make a substantial contribution to subsistence until after several more millennia, when domesticated millet or rice agricultural production is finally in place. While archaeobotanical approaches have been the primary focus of recent studies, this paper looks specifically at the cultural developments in these four regions leading up to the emergence of agriculture in each. It is hypothesized that agriculture does not emerge independently in each of these regions but rather in interrelated steps through variable forms of interaction and information and social exchange within and between these regions. Interaction is currently evidenced through shared forms of material culture and by parallel and contemporaneous cultural developments.

        • Prof. B.V. Toshev
          Just Recieved (Subscription): CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press) [Journal Cover] Editor: Mark Aldenerfer Current Anthropology is a
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 8, 2011

            Just Recieved (Subscription):

            CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)

            Journal Cover

            Editor: Mark Aldenerfer

            Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the sub-fields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics.

            Impact Factor: IF(2008)=2.032; 5-Year IF=2.718; SJR(2009)=0.136

            Availability: I have an access to the whole massive of papers published from 1959 (Volume 1) to today.

            =======================

            ToC: Current Anthropology, Volume 52, Number 6, December 2011

            ========================

            J.C.  Monroe. In the Belly of Dan: Space, History, and Power in Precolonial Dahomey (p. 769)

            Notes: 12; References: 152

            The kingdom of Dahomey arose on the Slave Coast of West Africa in the tumultuous era of the slave trade. This essay explores elite architectural strategies designed to cope with political instability in this period, particularly the role of urban landscape planning and resettlement schemes in the creation of political order. Attention is directed toward the role of palace construction campaigns across the Abomey Plateau, the core zone of Dahomean political power. Drawing on multiple lines of evidence (archaeological, oral, and documentary), I argue that the production of space was centrally important for crafting orthodox histories of dynastic origins and gerrymandering social identities vis-à-vis the emerging state, providing new insights into the sources of political authority in West Africa in the Atlantic era, as well as into the complex intersections between space, power, and "history making" in the past.

            P.J. Sheppard. Lapita Colonization across the Near/Remote Oceania Boundary (p. 799)

            Notes: 7; References: 214

            The Lapita colonization of Remote Oceania involved rapid expansion from New Guinea across one-tenth of the circumference of the earth. Implicit in most discussions of this phenomenon is a standard wave-of-advance model founded on demographic growth and the economic advantage provided by food production. The Lapita movement is also routinely embedded within a much larger narrative of the expansion of Austronesian languages and peoples out of Southeast Asia into Island Melanesia and ultimately east through East Polynesia. Although this simple narrative is very attractive, as more data become available, the details of segments of the "Austronesian" expansion require revision in order to reconcile the data from archaeology, linguistics, and biology. This paper looks closely at recent data on the Lapita portion of the "Austronesian" expansion and concludes that it is best explained as a leapfrog rather than a wave-of-advance movement out of New Guinea into Remote Oceania. This has important implications for those interested in modeling linguistic and biological variation in the region and highlights the potential importance of historical accident over process in our understanding of culture history.

            E. W. Holman, C.H. Brown, S.Wichmann, A. Muller, V.Velupillai, H. Hammarstrom, S. Sauppe, H. Jung, D. Bakker, P. Brown, O. Belyaev, M. Urban, R. Mailhammer, J.-M. List, D. Egorov. Automated Dating of the World's Language Families Based on Lexical Similarity (p. 841)

            Notes: 3; References: 126

            This paper describes a computerized alternative to glottochronology for estimating elapsed time since parent languages diverged into daughter languages. The method, developed by the Automated Similarity Judgment Program (ASJP) consortium, is different from glottochronology in four major respects: (1) it is automated and thus is more objective, (2) it applies a uniform analytical approach to a single database of worldwide languages, (3) it is based on lexical similarity as determined from Levenshtein (edit) distances rather than on cognate percentages, and (4) it provides a formula for date calculation that mathematically recognizes the lexical heterogeneity of individual languages, including parent languages just before their breakup into daughter languages. Automated judgments of lexical similarity for groups of related languages are calibrated with historical, epigraphic, and archaeological divergence dates for 52 language groups. The discrepancies between estimated and calibration dates are found to be on average 29% as large as the estimated dates themselves, a figure that does not differ significantly among language families. As a resource for further research that may require dates of known level of accuracy, we offer a list of ASJP time depths for nearly all the world's recognized language families and for many subfamilies.

            M. Wolf-MeyerNatural Hegemonies: Sleep and the Rhythms of American Capitalism (p. 876)

            Notes: 17; References: 113

            American capitalism finds its force and legitimacy in hegemonic understandings of nature and society, especially as expressed in human biology. In this article, I address the ways American capitalism depends on the deployment of sleep and wakefulness within the institutional contexts of school and labor, with particular attention to the recent medicalization of sleep disorders. Across American institutions and social science literature, I argue that sleep, like capitalism, has been discursively ascribed the powers of inevitability and universality, rendering them both transhistorically natural. To make these claims, I draw on ethnographic research in sleep clinics with scientists and clinicians, interviews with disordered sleepers, and textual and policy analysis. In conclusion, I offer suggestions toward elucidating the historical and continuing biopolitical projects of capitalism.

            B. Alberti, S. Fowles, M. Holbraad, Y. Marshall, C.  Witmore. "Worlds Otherwise": Archaeology, Anthropology, and Ontological Difference (p. 896)

            Notes: 12; References: 96

            The debate concerning ontology is heating up in the social sciences. How is this impacting anthropology and archaeology? What contributions can these disciplines make? Following a session at the 2010 Theoretical Archaeology Group conference at Brown University ("`Worlds Otherwise': Archaeology, Theory, and Ontological Difference," convened by Ben Alberti and Yvonne Marshall), a group of archaeologists and anthropologists have continued to discuss the merits, possibilities, and problems of an ontologically oriented approach. The current paper is a portion of this larger conversation—a format we maintain here because, among other things, it permits a welcome level of candor and simplicity. In this forum we present two questions (written by Alberti and Witmore, along with the concluding comments) and the responses of five of the Theoretical Archaeology Group session participants. The first question asks why we think an ontological approach is important to our respective fields; the second, building upon the first set of responses, asks authors to consider the difference that pluralizing ontology might make and whether such a move is desirable given the aims of archaeology and anthropology. While several angles on ontology come through in the conversation, all share an interest in more immanent understandings that arise within specific situations and that are perhaps best described as thoroughly entangled rather than transcendent and/or oppositional in any straightforward sense.

            R.M. Hayden. Deleuzean Delusions and Imaginary Ethnography: A Comment on Biehl and Locke (p. 913)

            References: 15;

            Book Review Forum (p. 915): Religion in the Emergence of Civilization: Catalhoyuk as a Case Study (4 contributions);

            Book and Film Reviews (p. 921): 2 reviews (War Becomes Academic; Living Juarez: Collateral Damage in Mexico's Drug War).

             
          • Prof. B.V. Toshev
            Just Recieved (Subscription): CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press) [Journal Cover] Editor: Mark Aldenerfer [[faculty_first_name]
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 20, 2012

              Just Recieved (Subscription):

              CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ISSN 0011-3204 (Chicago University Press)

              Journal Cover

              Editor: Mark Aldenerfer

              [faculty_first_name] [faculty_last_name]

              Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the sub-fields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics.

              Impact Factor: IF(2010)=2.449

              Availability: I have an access to the whole massive of papers published from 1959 (Volume 1) to today.

              =======================

              ToC: Current Anthropology, Volume 53, Number 1, February 2012

              ========================

              M. D. Frachetti. Multiregional Emergence of Mobile Pastoralism and Nonuniform Institutional Complexity across Eurasia (p. 2)

              Notes: 5; References: 233

              In this article I present a new archaeological synthesis concerning the earliest formation of mobile pastoralist economies across central Eurasia. I argue that Eurasian steppe pastoralism developed along distinct local trajectories in the western, central, and (south)eastern steppe, sparking the development of regional networks of interaction in the late fourth and third millennia BC. The “Inner Asian Mountain Corridor” exemplifies the relationship between such incipient regional networks and the process of economic change in the eastern steppe territory. The diverse regional innovations, technologies, and ideologies evident across Eurasia in the mid-third millennium BC are cast as the building blocks of a unique political economy shaped by “nonuniform” institutional alignments among steppe populations throughout the second millennium BC. This theoretical model illustrates how regional channels of interaction between distinct societies positioned Eurasian mobile pastoralists as key players in wide-scale institutional developments among traditionally conceived “core” civilizations while also enabling them to remain strategically independent and small-scale in terms of their own sociopolitical organization. The development of nonuniform institutional complexity among Eurasian pastoralists demonstrates a unique political and economic structure applicable to societies whose variable political and territorial scales are inconsistent with commonly understood evolutionary or corporate sociopolitical typologies such as chiefdoms, states, or empires.

              S.L. Rubenstein. On the Importance of Visions among the Amazonian Shuar (p. 39)

              Notes: 75; References: 179

              This essay involves a set of speculations concerning the role plant-granted visions play in the formation of the Shuar subject. It also reflects on the need for an ethnography of secrecy and the ineffable. In both these tasks I seek to engage psychoanalytic theory. Jacques Lacan’s distinction between the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic helps analyze the relationship between the discourse and the silence of the unconscious. His essay on the “mirror stage” is useful for thinking about bourgeois subjectivity. Nevertheless, I argue that premissionization Shuar did not go through the mirror stage. First, I argue that Shuar practices effected the colonization of the Symbolic by the Real, in contrast to bourgeois culture, in which the Symbolic colonizes the Real. Then I explore the role of desire, violence, and speech in the construction of different kinds of power. Pierre Clastres’ work helps to explore how these two cultures clash and articulate on the colonization frontier, while psychoanalytic theory adds to Clastres a theory of the subject. Ultimately, this article is an experiment in acknowledging the psychic unity of humanityâ€"while at the same time illuminating the differences between the state and societies against the state.

              P.A. McAnany, S. Parks. Casualties of Heritage Distancing: Children, Ch’orti’ Indigeneity, and the Copán Archaeoscape (p. 80)

              Notes: 2; References: 120

              The archaeological park of Copan, located in western Honduras, was a seat of Classic Maya dynastic power and currently is the nexus of a complex intersection of the past with the present. While the monumental core of Copán is protected by World Heritage status, archaeological remains outside park boundaries are increasingly under threat of destruction. This situation is exacerbated by forces of alienation that distance Ch’orti’ Maya peoples from pre-Hispanic cultural heritage and a national identity that valorizes a Classic Maya past but not contemporary indigenous peoples. Such heritage distancingâ€"evident in a public school curriculum that undervalues the precolonial pastâ€"has negative consequences for the conservation of cultural heritage in the Copán Valley. Examined here is a collaborative education program that balances heritage education with site conservation and creates space for a dialogue about the value of the past. Designed for Ch’orti’ children living near Copán, the initiative employs creative and participatory methodologies, which are considered in reference to the tensions within what is referred to as the Copán “archaeoscape” and in light of the indigenous politics of Honduran Ch’orti’ communities. The long-term impact of this education initiative bears upon the future of an indigenous archaeology within the Maya region.

              Robert Woods Bliss, Visitor standing beside Stela 4 in the archaeological park of Copán, Honduras, 1935, Dumbarton Oaks, Pre-Columbian Photographic Archives, PC.RWB.1935.171

              A.E. F. Rudzik. The Experience and Determinants of First-Time Breast-Feeding Duration among Low-Income Women from São Paulo, Brazil (p. 108)

              References: 36

              While the ability to breast-feed is virtually universal among women, the experience of breast-feeding is particular to each woman and is influenced by her social, economic, and personal circumstances. This paper explores quantitative and experience-focused ethnographic data on the experiences of low-income women from the eastern periphery of the city of São Paulo, Brazil, who were breast-feeding for the first time. The prospective, longitudinal data collection method involved repeated in-depth interviews with a group of 65 women, from the end of pregnancy through the first 12 weeks postpartum. Multivariate statistical analyses of the quantitative data revealed that older age, lower interpersonal satisfaction, and unplanned pregnancy shortened the period of exclusive breast-feeding and increased women’s likelihood of having begun supplementation by 12 weeks postpartum. Ethnographic data analysis exposed the meanings of breast-feeding and motherhood for women who had experienced unplanned pregnancy and helped to shed light on the dramatic influence of unplanned pregnancy on women’s breast-feeding practice.

              S.J. Macfarlan, M. Remiker, R. Quinlan. Competitive Altruism Explains Labor Exchange Variation in a Dominican Community (p. 118)

              References: 59

              Smallholder farmers rely on labor exchange to generate agricultural work when cash is rare and credit unavailable. Reciprocal altruism, biased by genetic kinship, has been implicated as the mechanism responsible for labor exchange; however, few empirical tests confirm this proposition. Competitive altruism could be operating if people differ in ability and use this information as a criterion for partnership selection. Labor exchange data are presented from a Dominican smallholder village over a 10-month period within the village’s primary cash economic opportunity, bay oil production. Results indicate that competitive altruism better explains variation in labor exchange relationships and group size than reciprocal altruism and kinship, suggesting the presence of a biologic market for male exchange relationships. Bay oil laborers vary in altruistic behaviors, causing reputations for altruism to emerge. Men with reputations as high-quality altruists generate larger labor groups in bay oil production than do poor-quality ones. Larger groups induce bargaining wars, causing men to compete through altruistic acts, which allows high-quality individuals to discriminate potential partners for labor exchange relationships. Men with better reputations achieve more same-sex reciprocal partnerships but not a greater incidence of conjugal partnership, suggesting that male altruism is intra- but not intersexually selected.

              Discussions (p. 125): 7 contributions

              Book and Film Reviews (p. 138): 6 reviews (Pilgrimage and Household in the Ancient Near East; In the Time of Oil: Piety, Memory and Social Life in an Omani Town; Buddhist Approaches to Human Rights: Dissonances and Resonances; The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind; Sex Panic and the Punitive State;Which Way Home).

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              THE BELOGRADCHIK SOCIETY FOR LOCAL HISTORY AND FOLK STUDIES
              IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE IN LOCAL HISTORY: COLLECTING, PRESERVING, DISSEMINATING
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