997 episodes

Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books
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New Books in Anthropology New Books Network

    • Science
    • 4.3 • 43 Ratings

Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books
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    Duana Fullwiley, "Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science" (U California Press, 2024)

    Duana Fullwiley, "Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science" (U California Press, 2024)

    In Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science (University of California Press, 2024), Duana Fullwiley has penned an intimate chronicle of laboratory life in the genomic age. She presents many of the influential scientists at the forefront of genetics who have redefined how we practice medicine and law and understand ancestry in an era of big data and waning privacy. Exceedingly relatable and human, the scientists in these pages often struggle for visibility, teeter on the tightrope of inclusion, and work tirelessly to imprint the future. As they actively imagine a more equal and just world, they often find themselves ensnared in reproducing timeworn conceits of race and racism that can seed the same health disparities they hope to resolve. Nothing dynamic can live for long as a blank slate, an innocent tabula rasa. But how the blank slate of the once-raceless human genome became one of racial differences, in various forms of what Fullwiley calls the tabula raza, has a very specific and familiar history--one that has cycled through the ages in unexpected ways.
    Duana Fullwiley is an anthropologist of science and medicine at Stanford University. She is the author of the award-winning book The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa.
    Reighan Gillam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creation. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois Press).
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Casey James Miller, "Inside the Circle: Queer Culture and Activism in Northwest China" (Rutgers UP, 2023)

    Casey James Miller, "Inside the Circle: Queer Culture and Activism in Northwest China" (Rutgers UP, 2023)

    After the end of the Maoist era in the People's Republic of China, the rise of queer communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has generated growing public and academic attention. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in northwest China, Casey James Miller offers a novel, compelling, and intimately personal perspective on Chinese queer culture and activism. 
    In Inside the Circle: Queer Culture and Activism in Northwest China (Rutgers UP, 2023), Miller tells the stories of two courageous and dedicated groups of queer activists in the city of Xi’an: a grassroots gay men’s HIV/AIDS organization called Tong’ai and a lesbian women’s group named UNITE. Taking inspiration from “the circle,” a term used to imagine local, national, and global queer communities, Miller shows how everyday people in northwest China are taking part in queer culture and activism while also striving to lead traditionally moral lives in a rapidly changing society. The queer stories in this book broaden our understandings of gender and sexuality in contemporary China and show how taking global queer diversity seriously requires us to de-center Western cultural values, historical experiences, and theoretical perspectives.
    Casey James Miller is Assistant Professor of anthropology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He receives his PhD degree in anthropology from Brandeis University. His work focuses on the intersections between queer anthropology, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of Chinese culture and society.
    Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of state, the anthropology of time, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Andrew McDowell, "Breathless: Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India" (Stanford UP, 2024)

    Andrew McDowell, "Breathless: Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India" (Stanford UP, 2024)

    Each year in India more than two million people fall sick with tuberculosis (TB), an infectious, airborne, and potentially deadly lung disease. The country accounts for almost 30 percent of all TB cases worldwide and well above a third of global deaths from it. Because TB’s prevalence also indicates unfulfilled development promises, its control is an important issue of national concern, wrapped up in questions of postcolonial governance. Drawing on long-term ethnographic engagement with a village in North India and its TB epidemic, anthropologist Andrew McDowell tells the stories of socially marginalized Dalit (“ex-untouchable”) farming families afflicted by TB, and the nurses, doctors, quacks, mediums, and mystics who care for them. Each of the book’s chapters centers on a material or metaphorical substance - such as dust, clouds, and ghosts - to understand how breath and airborne illness entangle biological and social life in everyday acts of care for the self, for others, and for the environment.
    From this raft of stories about the ways people make sense of and struggle with troubled breath, McDowell develops a philosophy and phenomenology of breathing that attends to medical systems, patient care, and health justice. He theorizes that breath - as an intersection between person and world - provides a unique perspective on public health and inequality. Breath is deeply intimate and personal, but also shared and distributed. Through it all, Breathless: Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India (Stanford UP, 2024) traces the multivalent relations that breath engenders between people, environments, social worlds, and microbes.
    Andrew McDowell is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University. He has a Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from Harvard University. His research interests focus on care, contagion, pharmaceuticals, diagnosis, and inequality in North and Western Indian social worlds entangled with tuberculosis. His work has appeared in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Ethos, and The Lancet among other venues.
    Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of state, the anthropology of time, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.
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    • 1 hr 27 min
    Mónica M. Salas Landa, "Visible Ruins: The Politics of Perception and the Legacies of Mexico's Revolution" (U Texas Press, 2024)

    Mónica M. Salas Landa, "Visible Ruins: The Politics of Perception and the Legacies of Mexico's Revolution" (U Texas Press, 2024)

    The Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) introduced a series of state-led initiatives promising modernity, progress, national grandeur, and stability; state surveyors assessed land for agrarian reform, engineers used nationalized oil for industrialization, archaeologists reconstructed pre-Hispanic monuments for tourism, and anthropologists studied and photographed Indigenous populations to achieve their acculturation. Far from accomplishing their stated goals, however, these initiatives concealed violence, and permitted land invasions, forced displacement, environmental damage, loss of democratic freedom, and mass killings. 
    In Visible Ruins: The Politics of Perception and the Legacies of Mexico's Revolution (University of Texas Press, 2024), Mónica M. Salas Landa uses the history of northern Veracruz to demonstrate how these state-led efforts reshaped the region's social and material landscapes, affecting what was and is visible. Relying on archival sources and ethnography, she uncovers a visual order of ongoing significance that was established through postrevolutionary projects and that perpetuates inequality based on imperceptibility.
    Mónica M. Salas Landa is an Associate Professor of anthropology and sociology at Lafayette College.
    Reighan Gillam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creation. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois Press).
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    • 52 min
    Alan H. McGowan, "The Political Activism of Anthropologist Franz Boas, Citizen Scientist" (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2024)

    Alan H. McGowan, "The Political Activism of Anthropologist Franz Boas, Citizen Scientist" (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2024)

    Alan McGowan delves into Franz Boas’s dual identity as both a scientist and a political activist, shedding light on how his work transcended academic boundaries to make a profound impact on society. In The Political Activism of Anthropologist Franz Boas, Citizen Scientist (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2024), McGowan provides a comprehensive overview of Boas’s career, from his groundbreaking research on cultural relativism to his advocacy for social justice and racial equality. By drawing on a wealth of primary sources and historical documents, he paints a vivid portrait of Boas as a multifaceted figure whose work was deeply intertwined with his political beliefs. Uncovering the intricate connection between his scientific endeavors and political beliefs, McGowan illuminates how Boas used his platform as an anthropologist to challenge societal norms and advocate for those on the fringes. Furthermore, the book offers valuable insights into the broader implications of Boas’s legacy. By emphasizing Boas’s commitment to antiracism, cultural relativism, and social justice, the author underscores the enduring relevance of Boas’s ideas in contemporary discussions on race, identity, and inequality. McGowan’s insightful analysis and engaging narrative style make this book a valuable resource for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the intersection of science, politics, and social change.
    Alan H. McGowan is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at The New School. Prior to coming to The New School, he founded and was president of the Gene Media Forum, an arm of the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University. Previously, he was for twenty years the president of the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information, a major bridge between the scientific community and the media. His research interests focus on the intersection between science and technology and social issues, including ethics, politics, and the economy.
    Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of state, the anthropology of time, hope studies, and post-structuralist philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.
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    • 49 min
    Wendy Pearlman, "The Home I Worked to Make: Voices from the New Syrian Diaspora" (Liveright, 2024)

    Wendy Pearlman, "The Home I Worked to Make: Voices from the New Syrian Diaspora" (Liveright, 2024)

    In 2011, Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom. Brutal government repression transformed peaceful protests into one of the most devastating conflicts of our times, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions. 
    The Home I Worked to Make: Voices from the New Syrian Diaspora (Liveright, 2024) takes Syria’s refugee outflow as its point of departure. Based on hundreds of interviews conducted across more than a decade, it probes a question as intimate as it is universal: What is home? With gripping immediacy, Syrians now on five continents share stories of leaving, losing, searching, and finding (or not finding) home. Across this tapestry of voices, a new understanding emerges: home, for those without the privilege of taking it for granted, is both struggle and achievement. Recasting “refugee crises” as acts of diaspora-making, The Home I Worked to Make challenges readers to grapple with the hard-won wisdom of those who survive war and to see, with fresh eyes, what home means in their own lives.
    Wendy Pearlman is professor of political science at Northwestern University. She speaks Arabic and is the author of five books on the Middle East, including We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.
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    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

dkd84 ,

Engaging and informative

This podcast covers a wide range of books, and the conversations are really interesting.

TricksterCoyote ,

Great podcast! Great info!

I love hearing about new books coming out in anthropology! Thank you for sharing!

Busyprofessorseeksshortpodcast ,

Mixed feelings

I like the range of books you cover in the series. However, I'd appreciate a much shorter show. To actually concentrate on an hour long not mindless show, I'm using time I should just be reading. A succinct 20 minutes would be better and allow listeners enough to either get the book and read or move on.

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