Tag: Linguistic AnthropologyPage 1 of 2

A Strange Past Returns Strangely

Alma Gottlieb , March 3rd, 2022

The last time I heard anyone utter the name, Przemysl, I must have been ten or eleven years old. In his thickly Yiddishized English, my maternal grandfather must…


Ten Treasures (and a Bonus): A Selection of Anthropological Gems You Might Have Missed from the Past Few Years

Alma Gottlieb , January 26th, 2022

I began interviewing authors of fabulous new anthropology books for this space back in 2016. While completing 11 interviews, I also amassed a backlog of more terrific books…

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Why “is this fascism?” is the wrong question: a foray into the everyday life of political concepts

Guest Contributor , March 11th, 2021

Street art, Oaxaca City, Mexico. 2007. Photo: Ryan Anderson. By Louis Philippe Römer Activists, politicians, and public intellectuals have turned to the word “fascism” to analyze the intensified…


Dialogues on Artificial Intelligence

Teodor Zidaru-Bărbulescu , February 12th, 2021

In December 2020, a group of social scientists gathered virtually at the LSE Department of Anthropology to discuss the relationship between data science and the social sciences. We…


Farmer Talk

Chelsea Horton , January 13th, 2021

Facing language problems in Peru’s new coffee economy During a recent trip to the Andean-Amazonian foothills of Southern Peru, I hiked out to a remote corner of the…

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The Poetics of Internet Memes

Emma Louise Backe , August 3rd, 2020

By Kai Blevins I believe in low theory in popular places, in the small, the inconsequential, the antimonumental, the micro, the irrelevant; I believe in making a difference…

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Sign Languages as Disaster Entertainment

Chelsea Horton , June 19th, 2020

Sign language interpreters have become social media celebrities of our coronavirus moment. But signing is not a form of light entertainment; it should be lifesaving information. Dutch health…

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Stars—They Talk Just Like Us! 

Chelsea Horton , February 20th, 2020

How an Instagram-based gossip franchise allows celebrities to manage the authenticity of their public personae. They go to the market! They pump gas! They explore the park! One…

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Tea Fit for a Queen

Chelsea Horton , February 20th, 2020

Tea sipping has a distinctly queer pedigree. To serve tea properly, one must be skilled in the art of verbal delivery.  During last summer’s Women’s World Cup, Alex…

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BONUS EPISODE: Faire une anthropologie multilingue, avec Monica Heller et Émilie Urbain: TFS in French

The Familiar Strange , October 30th, 2019

Monica Heller est professeure en anthropologie linguistique à l’Université de Toronto (Canada). Émilie Urbain est professeure adjointe de linguistique au département de français de l’Université Carlet…

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“Yes, We Can” and the Power of Political Slogans

Adam Hodges , October 21st, 2019

“Hey Joe, instead of saying, No we can’t,” retorted Senator Kamala Harris to Vice-President Joe Biden. “Let’s say, Yes, we can.” With that single line, Harris resurrected an…

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What to Call US Border Detention Centers?

Adam Hodges , August 5th, 2019

The controversy over the term “concentration camps” stems from the connotations it carries, setting up analogies that risk hyperbole and overlook the complexities of historical comparison. The governm…

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Speak the Names of Those Who Were Lost

Adam Hodges , April 10th, 2019

Naming can dignify, disparage or even deny one’s social standing. Days after the horrific attack on the Christchurch mosque in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about…

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Government Of, By, and For the Trolls

Adam Hodges , December 20th, 2018

Countering Trump begins by recognizing his role as troller-in-chief. The United States and the world have now spent two years trying to figure out how to deal with…

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A Demagogue’s Words Matter

Adam Hodges , November 2nd, 2018

Trump’s immigration metaphors set a divisive tone from the top. Trump wields demagogic rhetoric like a marketing tool, ramping up prejudicial appeals in the closing days of the…

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Speaking with Silence

Adam Hodges , October 23rd, 2018

Silence can be a powerful communicative tool in today’s political landscape. Words take center stage in the verbal sparring of the Twitter age. Against the backdrop of Trumpian…

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Re-enacting memories by Elinor Ochs

Elinor Ochs , September 17th, 2018

One way to ‘think with dementia’ is to phenomenologically shift from ‘memory’ to ‘remembering’ and to mine ‘remembering’ for its qualities and potentialities as socio-culturally limned experience. Whe…


Reclaiming “Allahu Akbar” from Semantic Pejoration

Adam Hodges , August 1st, 2018

Allāhu akbar, the Arabic phrase meaning “God is the greatest,” has gained connotations in US public discourse that differ vastly from its meaning among Muslims. Understanding this process…

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The Word: Rhetorics of Resistance in Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale

Emma Louise Backe , July 25th, 2018

By Emma Louise Backe Dolores Abernathy—titular host in HBO’s Westworld series—spends most of the second season with a gun on her hip and a constellation of blood spattering…

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How “Fake News” Lost Its Meaning

Adam Hodges , June 6th, 2018

Collins Dictionary named “fake news” its 2017 word of the year, an easy choice given the word’s “unprecedented usage increase” of 365 percent over the previous year. Collins…

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#MeToo Holds Lessons for Political Resistance

Adam Hodges , May 10th, 2018

How to Stop the Normalizing of Trump. Remember when everyone feared the “normalization” of a Trump presidency? Well, it’s gotten to the point where the US president can…

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A Theory of Propaganda for the Social Media Age

Adam Hodges , April 9th, 2018

Intertextuality and the propagation of disinformation Propaganda typically refers to manipulative techniques and misleading messages used to gain public acquiescence for a political cause, especially …

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The Anthropology/Poetry Nexus–An Interview with Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

Alma Gottlieb , January 15th, 2018

Can artists and social scientists inhabit the same universe? Melisa (“Misha”) Cahnmann-Taylor embodies that nexus. Her advanced degrees include an MFA in poetry . . . and a…

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The Storm After Maria

Anna Babel , November 7th, 2017

Puerto Rican Aftermath Puerto Ricans are US citizens. Puerto Rico is a colony. The tensions encompassed by these two facts were extremely clear in the federal response to…

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