139 episodes

Life is complicated, but we love simple answers. AI and robotics are changing the nature of work. Emojis change the way we write. Fossil Fuels were once the engine of progress, now we're in a race to change how we power the planet. We're constantly trying to save ourselves...from ourselves. This Anthro Life brings you smart conversations with humanity’s top makers and minds to make sense of it all. We dig into our creative potential through design, culture, and technology. Change your perspective. Crafted + Hosted by Dr. Adam Gamwell. From Missing Link Studios in Boston, MA.

This Anthro Life Adam Gamwell

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 66 Ratings

Life is complicated, but we love simple answers. AI and robotics are changing the nature of work. Emojis change the way we write. Fossil Fuels were once the engine of progress, now we're in a race to change how we power the planet. We're constantly trying to save ourselves...from ourselves. This Anthro Life brings you smart conversations with humanity’s top makers and minds to make sense of it all. We dig into our creative potential through design, culture, and technology. Change your perspective. Crafted + Hosted by Dr. Adam Gamwell. From Missing Link Studios in Boston, MA.

    The surprising truths wild horses teach us about the power of ritual, social durability, and surviving the Anthropocene with John Hartigan Jr.

    The surprising truths wild horses teach us about the power of ritual, social durability, and surviving the Anthropocene with John Hartigan Jr.

    In today’s episode Adam and Astrid Countee are joined by multispecies anthropologist John Hartigan jr. John is an anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In his latest work, Shaving the Beasts: Wild Horses and Ritual in Spain, John studies the social lives of wild horses in Spain and Catalonia and the Spanish ritual dating back to the 1500s of “Rapa das Bestas”- in which villagers heard wild horses together into public ceremonial rings and shave their manes and tails. Why is an anthropologist studying horses you ask? John’s work dives into the complex social lives of these horses, what happens with human ritual causes violence and social breakdown - in this case amongst horses - and asks the question of how we can learn about human culture from other species?

    In this episode we focus on:


    What studying nonhuman species like plants and horses tells us about being human

    How to do rapid ethnographic fieldwork

    How the sociality of humans shapes and is shaped by other species

    Why ecology needs anthropology and vice versa


    Where to Find John Hartigan:

    John Hartigan Jr. is an anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Austin who focuses on multispecies ethnography, media, and race. He has done fieldwork in Spain, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Detroit, Michigan. Hartigan’s latest book is Shaving The Beast: Wild Horses and Ritual in Spain, in which he explores the ritual of rapa das bestas in Galicia, Spain where villagers heard wild horses together to shave their manes and tails. Through multispecies ethnography, Hartigan tells the story of this ritual through the horses’ eyes, experiencing the traumatic event as he tells the story of the horses and their society. Hartigan has also authored Care of the Species: Cultivating Biodiversity in Mexico and Spain (2017), Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit (1999), Odd Tribes: Toward a Cultural Analysis of White People (2005), What Can You Say? America’s National Conversation on Race (2010), and Aesop’s Anthropology: A Multispecies Approach.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/aesopsanthro



    Music: Epidemic Sounds

    Tilden Parc - The Weekend (Instrumental Version)

    Nebulas [ocean jams]

    Episode Art:

    Leave a Review for our Book Give Away!

    This Anthro Life - Anthropology Podcast | Podchaser

    ‎This Anthro Life on Apple Podcasts


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    • 53 min
    The Ghost in the Machine is Not Who You Think: Human Labor and the Paradox of Automation with Mary L Gray

    The Ghost in the Machine is Not Who You Think: Human Labor and the Paradox of Automation with Mary L Gray

    BOOK GIVEAWAY!! Leave a Review of This Anthro Life for a chance to win a copy of Ghost Work! Leave us a written review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser by May 8, 2021, and email us a screenshot (so we know it's you) at thisanthrolife@gmail.com.

    We'll randomly pick four winners out of the group from anyone who submits a review by May 8th, 2021.  Now just a heads up: We're only counting serious reviews where you write something thoughtful. We'll take five stars of course if you want to just help out, but please no writing "I'm just doing this to get a free book." Feel free to share what you love about the podcast, why you find it valuable, How long you been listening or what keeps you listening? Remember, reviews help others discover the show and help us shape the content based on what you find valuable, so thanks for participating, we can't wait to hear from you!

    Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/this-anthro-life-216403

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id871241283

    Mary Gray is an anthropologist whose work explores how technology informs work, a sense of identity, and human rights. Gray applies these concepts as the Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and as the Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Additionally she remains in a faculty position at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Gray has also authored books such as In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth and Out In the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America but her most recent book, coauthored with Siddharth Suri Ghostwork: How to Stop Silicon Valleyfrom Building a New Global Underclass focuses on how task based work is being utilized by bigger businesses and how this represents a change in the way we conceptualize work.

    In this episode we focus on:


    What is Ghost Work?
    The gap between what a person can do and what a computer can do
    Algorithmic cruelty
    The future of work and what that means for contract labor
    Tech not as devices, but as conduits for social connection
    How to bring empathy into the workplace


    Where to Find Mary Gray:

    Website:https://marylgray.org/

    Twitter:https://twitter.com/marylgray

    Linkedin:https://www.linkedin.com/in/marylgraymsr/

    Music: Epidemic Sounds


    Dylan Sitts - Ice Cold Beverage

    91 Nova - Lushwork

    Blue Steel - Up Here


    Episode Art: Adam Gamwell

    Photograph in Episode Art: Adrianne Mathiowetz

    Episode Production: Elizabeth Smyth, Sarah McDonough, Adam Gamwell


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    • 59 min
    Becoming a Business Anthropologist and Mastering the Tools of the Trade w/ Oscar Barrera

    Becoming a Business Anthropologist and Mastering the Tools of the Trade w/ Oscar Barrera

    Oscar Barrera is a Business Anthropologist based out of Veracruz, Mexico who brings a global mindset to helping businesses turn hurdles into opportunities for positive change. He is an expert in innovation, change management, and strategy. In this episode in partnership with Experience By Design podcast cohosts Adam Gamwell and Gary David dig into Oscar's story to learn the steps he took in moving from academia to business. We also dig into


    follow along case stories of how Oscar used the social sciences to help businesses see and solve organizational problems, find new marketing opportunities, and help people craft new narratives that empower them to be the heroes of their own stories
    why we believe it is not only ethical to bring the social sciences into business, but why it is fundamentally necessary to do so
    how to get started learning the world of business

    This episode is jam packed with great stories and advice!

    Connect with Oscar on LinkedIn

    Oscar's website (Spanish): Antropología Corporativa


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    • 52 min
    They're not Binging TV, they're Feasting: Rethinking Media, Honor and American Culture with Grant McCracken

    They're not Binging TV, they're Feasting: Rethinking Media, Honor and American Culture with Grant McCracken

    Take a walk with anthropologist and consultant Grant McCracken and host Adam Gamwell, as they discuss Grant's new book The New Honor Code: A Simple Plan for Raising Our Standards and Restoring Our Good Names and dig into Grant's uncanny ability to excavate and weave together (American) culture, media, and storytelling, and pull out provocative insights like the need to get more anthropologists and cultural experts into the C-Suite, how we might re-invent honor in the contemporary world, and how setting anthropology free from the academy can reshape it and make the field better for it.

    In The New Honor Code, Grant draws together ideas from Elizabethan England, insights found while hanging out in people's living rooms interviewing them about their television watching habits for Netflix, the rise of celebrity culture as the closest thing we have to honor today - and why that's a problem - and the seemingly uncrossable gap between American boomers and millennials/GenZ.  In mixing all these ideas together, he asks what is honor, why did it seem to disappear from our culture and what would it look like to create a system of honor in contemporary United States that would dissuade people from acting badly with impunity. 

    We dig into all these topics in this episode and Grant has some great advice for any social scientist looking to go into consulting or business or if you're in business, how we can be more savvy and practical about infusing anthropological mindsets and thinking into organizations without hitting people over the head with it, especially if they find the idea of culture confusing. 


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    • 43 min
    How to Manage Social Conflict, Communicate Effectively and Find Common Ground with Jeremy Pollack

    How to Manage Social Conflict, Communicate Effectively and Find Common Ground with Jeremy Pollack

    In January 2021 armed rioters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing and politically fomented insurrection. It was an apex of years of divisive and condemnable rhetoric and fear-mongering used to stoke insecurities and desperate action. How do we ensure this never happens again? Or how do we dismantle the social structures that feed hate, fear, and contempt? What this event, and on the flip side, our celebration of Martin Luther King jr. Day (when we recorded this episode 1/18/21), reveal is that understanding what leads to social conflict and how to manage and resolve conflict is more essential than ever. Today Adam Gamwell and Astrid Countee talk with conflict management expert and author Jeremy Pollack about healing a divided nation by learning to talk with our neighbors more. We dig into:


    Why humans need help managing conflict
    Cognitive and perceptual biases that prevent us from communicating clearly with one another
    How to communicate clearly around fears and intentions to find common ground
    How to understand and disarm Worldview defense
    That we need to start talking to our neighbors more! 
    The importance of local leadership in modeling intergroup communication and shared goals

    Jeremy Pollack is the Founder of nationwide conflict resolution consulting firm Pollack Peacebuilding Systems and author of the new book Conflict Resolution Playbook: Practical Communication Skills for Preventing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict. Jeremy is a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Conflict and Negotiation, and an expert on human conflict with an academic background in social psychology, evolutionary anthropology, negotiation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremypollack1/

    https://www.facebook.com/pollackpeacebuilding/

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3K6m_0bO31lD7JUc0th_vQ/featured

    https://pollackpeacebuilding.com/




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    • 57 min
    The Hidden World of Sh*t (a farewell to 2020)

    The Hidden World of Sh*t (a farewell to 2020)

    Language warning. We use the word sh*t a lot in this episode, since it is, in fact all about poop. 

    To wrap up this crappy, some may even say s****y year, host Adam Gamwell and intern Elizabeth Smyth discuss the origin of the word shit, how the way we defecate is culturally constructed, what our poop reveals about us, and so much more in this New Year’s Eve mini-episode of This Anthro Life. Farewell 2020, it’s been real.

    In this episode we dig into:


    What poop tells us about culture and our biology

    Whether to sit or squat?

    Poop’s superpower for healing gut microbiota and potential energy source

    How poop in space might tell us if we are, in fact, extraterrestrials ourselves


    Also check our new blog Voice and Value where we dive deeper into all things human: Voice and Value – Medium

    Articles referenced:


    The History of Poop Is Really the History of Technology

    Poop Worlds: Material Culture and Copropower (or, Toward a S****y Turn)

    Poop (Somatosphere)

    How Fossilized Poop Gives Us The Scoop on Ancient Diets

    Watching What We Flush Could Help Keep a Pandemic Under Control https://nyti.ms/2J2MJaa

    Human feces from the developing world could power millions of homes


    Follow this Anthro Life on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

    Twitter: This Anthro Life Podcast (@thisanthrolife) / Twitter

    Instagram: This Anthro Life Podcast (@thisanthrolife) • Instagram photos and videos

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisanthrolife/

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/this-anthro-life-podcast

    Website: This Anthro Life

    Music: Epidemic Sounds

    No Regrets - Guy Trevino

    Basmati - Farrell Wooten

    Episode Art: Liz Smyth


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    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
66 Ratings

66 Ratings

denathompson ,

Fantastic Podcast!

I get excited every time I see there’s a new episode. Interviews are engaging and conversational in ways that no other anthro podcast is. As an anthro undergrad who is trying to figure out my future, this podcast has helped give me a language for talking about my interests. I got my current internship at a major tech company because I learned how to talk about my anthro major (in part through listening this podcast) in applied contexts. I’m really fascinated by issues around the future and meaning of work—which is why I loved the recent ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ in episode. Also definitely recommend this podcast for anyone with a curious mind!

Aurorii ,

Engaging and insightful

I love this podcast. It helps keep me engaged with Anthropology in a way that is consumable, insightful, and illuminating. I love starting my day listening in as I learn more about the world around me through an anthropological lens.

My favorite part is the high level overviews of books and research that helps me feel that I am still engaged with anthropology. I can’t recommend this podcast enough!

Roser kuly ,

Love it!

I’ve listened to every episode. Very interesting.

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