Tag: Current IssuesPage 1 of 2

What if . . .?

Alma Gottlieb , September 7th, 2021


What if a country had a great public health system? What if that country had a veritable army of public health nurses? What if those public health nurses…


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Swan Lessons

Alma Gottlieb , September 4th, 2021


This past month, the swans have taken up residence in our local cove, for the first time in the six summers we’ve lived here. What could be a…


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A Tale of Two [Unvaxed] Women

Alma Gottlieb , August 21st, 2021


We needed to find a new plumber. I called around. The first business that seemed willing to clean our boiler and replace a problematic hose spigot had availability…


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Two Lessons I Learned about the Transfer of Power while Living in Africa

Alma Gottlieb , January 12th, 2021


1. The moment that any transfer of power occurs from one individual or regime to another is fraught—ritually, sociologically, emotionally. Why? This is a liminal period–“betwix…


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What Anthropology Teaches Us about COVID-19, Part 4: A Conversation with Physician-Anthropologist, Dr. Bjørn Westgard

Alma Gottlieb , May 12th, 2020


Recently, I checked in with Dr. Bjørn Westgard, to see how he was doing. Back in the ‘90s, Bjørn was enrolled in a wildly demanding, combined M.D./Ph.D. program…


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What Anthropology Teaches Us about COVID-19, Part 4: A Conversation with Physician-Anthropologist, Dr. Bjørn Westgard

Alma Gottlieb , May 12th, 2020


Recently, I checked in with Dr. Bjørn Westgard, to see how he was doing. Back in the ‘90s, Bjørn was enrolled in a wildly demanding, combined M.D./Ph.D. program…


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What Anthropology Teaches Us about COVID, Part 3: A Few Thoughts about Culture, and What We Can Learn from Artists . . . and the Homeless

Alma Gottlieb , April 16th, 2020


What is “culture”? Early generations of anthropologists offered all sorts of definitions. No matter what their specifics, the various definitions inevitably shared one feature: &#8220…


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The Blueberry Wars

Alma Gottlieb , August 1st, 2019


In elementary school, the first “robin red-breast” of spring signaled warmer days, colorful flowers, and a promise that the school year wouldn’t last forever. I considered robins m…


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Goose Lessons

Alma Gottlieb , June 28th, 2019


What can an anthropologist (who specializes in humans) learn from an unlikely species (like a goose)? Plenty, it turns out. My husband and I went goose-banding the other day,…


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When Women’s Laughter Keeps Men in Line

Alma Gottlieb , February 12th, 2019


Among the Mbendjele gathering-hunting people who live in the Republic of Congo, “women’s laughter manages to keep men in line.” Drawing from ethnographic research by Jerome Lewis, anthropo…


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Protected: To Be a Man Is Not a One-Day Job: A Conversation with Daniel Jordan Smith

Protected: Irish Writers, Anthropologically Speaking: An Interview with Helena Wulff

Doing Development the Right Way: A Conversation with Charles Piot

Alma Gottlieb , April 2nd, 2018


Anthropologist Charlie Piot has been conducting research on the political economy and history of rural West Africa for over thirty years. His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity…


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Everything You Thought You Knew about Orphans in Africa Is Probably Wrong

Alma Gottlieb , December 15th, 2017


Policy makers, development workers, orphanage voluntourists, missionaries, prospective adoptive parents: ignore this book at your peril.   “AIDS orphans” are commonly imagined as the…


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A Tale of Two (Ad) Campaigns

Alma Gottlieb , October 10th, 2017


For a while, the mega-global corporation, Unilever — owner of Dove beauty products — spoke thoughtfully to the world’s women. The 13-year-long “Real Beauty” campaign that…


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Do All African Immigrants Arrive Sick, Desperate, and Empty-Handed on the Shores of Europe? Ask Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg!

Alma Gottlieb , August 13th, 2017


The lives, status, and image of immigrants may constitute the single-most urgent human issue of our time.  In an arresting and captivating new study of Cameroonian mothers now…


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Is History Over? How Can Power be Soft? Ask Ulf Hannerz

Alma Gottlieb , July 19th, 2017


  The end of history The clash of civilizations The coming anarchy Soft power We’ve all heard these trendy mottos, and most of us have probably cringed. Anthropologists…


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Poems about Refugees

Alma Gottlieb , March 20th, 2017


Adrie Kusserow is one of an increasing number of anthropologist-poets.  Or maybe more anthropologist-poets are just willing to come out of hiding. Either way, I was delighted to…


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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 2: The Posters

Alma Gottlieb , March 1st, 2017


  Photo by Alma Gottlieb   Women (and some men) with signs, as far as the eye could see. In my first post about the Women’s March of…


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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 1: Finding Communitas, Feminist Style

Alma Gottlieb , January 23rd, 2017


(photo by Alma Gottlieb) The doors of our metro car opened and closed, opened and closed with increasingly alarming dysfunction.  On any other day, the many more dozens…


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The Story behind “A World of Babies”

Alma Gottlieb , December 10th, 2016


Interested in learning some behind-the-scenes stories about how “A World of Babies” came into existence? Check out a new interview with my co-editor, Judy DeLoache, and me in…


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An Open Letter to My Grandchildren

Alma Gottlieb , November 9th, 2016


Dear Dean and Mona,   At four years old and ten months old, you are both too young to understand why the grown-ups around you keep talking about…


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An Open Letter to My Children

Alma Gottlieb , November 9th, 2016


Dear Nathaniel and Hannah, I am sorry that my generation has failed you. We have bequeathed you a world that has too many problems, too much fear, and too much…


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Writing Ethnographies that Everyone Can Read

Alma Gottlieb , October 21st, 2016


Kristen Ghodsee’s new book, From Notes to Narrative: Writing Ethnographies that Everyone Can Read, was recently published by the University of Chicago Press (in 2016). The discipline of…


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