Members in the News, October 2007
The debate over “human terrain teams,” or social scientists, including anthropologists, working with U.S. military/intelligence agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, has captivated the anthropology community and news media alike in recent months. Members in the News regarding this issue include Andrew Bickford, Kerry Fosher, David Price, Roberto Gonzalez, Marcus Griffin, Hugh Gusterson, Montgomery McFate, Felix Moos, James Peacock, Brian Selmeski, and Gerald Sider.
News coverage includes articles and interviews by the New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, the San Francisco Chronicle, and “The Diane Rehm Show” on WAMU 88.5 FM.
For links to member op-eds and news coverage on the issue, click here.
Nadia Abu El-Haj, assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College, was awarded tenure on November 2 after months of debate sparked by an online petition opposing her promotion. On October 2, 2007 the AAA Executive Board issue a resolution in opposition to the use of petitions to influence Ms. Abu El-Haj's bid for tenure. Click here for the New York Times article. Click her for a draft of the AAA resolution.
William Beeman, chair of the anthropology department at the University of Minnesota, published an op-ed in the Tehrain Times-Iran. Beeman counters the notion that Iran's domestic energy program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. He argues that US sanctions on Iran will be ineffective and will not be supported by the international community.
Keisha-Khan Perry, assistant professor of anthropology and African studies at Brown University was interviewed on NPR for a piece on the fight for social change across the African Diaspora. The piece explores parallels between African activism movements and the US Civil Rights Movement.
Tom Turrentine, a research anthropologist at UC Davis Institute of Transportation is getting media attention for his research on new plug-in hybrid sedans. The new hybrids under testing can run on both oil and gas fuel and are less expensive to run than the conventional hybrid. Read the AScribe news article.
Penny Verin-Shapiro of Fresno State University was profiled in a news story by the Fresno Bee for her research on the Wiccans of Central Valley, California. Sabina Maglioco of California State University, Northridge, also offered insight on the worldwide growth of paganism in the article.
Cathleen Willging and Elizabeth Lilliott of the PIRE Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest and Gilbert Quintero of the University of Montana were cited in a PR Newswire release for their research on cultural stereotypes and Latino youth substance abuse. The PIRE study shows that four cultural stereotypes-family, religion and spirituality, gender roles and socioeconomic factors impede Latino youths from seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addictions.
David Harrison, professor at Swarthmore College and Director of Research at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, appeared on talk shows and newspaper headlines all over the world—including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, the Australian, “Good Morning America” and “The Colbert Report.” Harrison answered questions about his recent book, “When Languages Die,” which points to five “hotspots,” or geographic regions, where native languages are gravely endangered. The book grew out of Harrison’s work for the National Geographic Society’s Enduring Voices Project.
The Colbert Report
Good Morning America
Eugenie S. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, was quoted in a New York Times article about a controversy over a creationist T.V. documentary hosted by Ben Stein, called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” According to the article, Scott, Richard Dawkins, and others were interviewed for the film, but not warned about the creationist bias of its content, or even the real title of the film.
Meredith F. Small, an anthropologist at Cornell University wrote an article for LiveScience.com discussing a recent medical study on sleep. Small quotes James McKenna, an anthropologist at Notre Dame, on his cross-cultural research on sleep, as a challenge to research that suggests seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night is the healthiest sleep pattern.
Janine R. Wedel, professor of public policy at George Mason University and a fellow at New American Foundation, called attention to the U.S. government’s growing use of private military contractors in a recent Op-Ed published in the Boston Globe. Wedel argues that the Blackwater scandal is just one part of a larger systemic problem that troubles U.S. military, intelligence and homeland security efforts.
"Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University who studies the impact of new media on human interaction, was quoted in a New York Times article on guerilla-style photographers hired to capture the surprise moment of marriage proposals. Wesch commented on the tensions of seeking fame and remaining authentic as it relates to archiving our lives on the Internet.