The Ethnographer’s Dilemma [Part 2]: “the field”

“Our medium, our canvas, is “the field,” a place both proximate and intimate (because we have lived some part of our lives there) as well as forever distant and unknowably “other” (because our own destinies lie elsewhere).” (Scheper-Hughes xii) For ethnographers, “the field” is an environment where we spend countless hours participating in and observing…

Acknowledged but Unheard: The Absence of Children’s Voices in Water Insecurity

Steven Rhue // Children’s voices are all but absent from research on water insecurity or the condition where access to and benefit from affordable adequate, reliable, and safe water for health and well-being is unobtainable or precarious (Jepson et al.). This body of work has been dominated by the underlying assumption that a child’s experience…

Anxiety and acceptance: A ritual death under pandemic conditions

Miki Chase //  On Wednesday, October 7th, 2020, an unnamed Jain woman in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, died on her 64th birthday. Local news reported that she had recently been discharged from a private hospital, having recovered from coronavirus and tested negative following treatment for Covid-19. A doctor at the hospital, however, who pointed out that she had…

Little House in the Hood: Save the Bees, call me Mel

Cover Image: Self-Portrait by Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo 2020. Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo // What’s in a Name? I was born in the 1980s, an era filled with excess. Perhaps this is the reason I have always struggled with moderation. My generation was defined by drugs, MTV, and Melissas. From grade school to high school, I was one of a few…

The Ethnographer’s Dilemma: A New World Shaped by COVID-19

Steven Rhue // We are all adjusting to the realities of the pandemic. Undoubtedly, it has become the topic of numerous personal and professional discussions, as we navigate newfound challenges in uncertain times. As a student of anthropology and an ethnographer, I find myself in a world where the very foundations of generating rich qualitative…

“Young people never are what they were in somebody else’s day.”: Sex Education, Margaret Mead, and History

John A. Carranza // On October 29, 2019, the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved a new sex education curriculum that will teach students about gender identity and same-sex relationships, consent and interpersonal relationships, as  well as abstinence-plus (abstinence is the best way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but still conveys…

Write/Right About Your Body

Madeleine Mant // I teach Introduction to the Anthropology of Health to an exquisitely diverse group of second-year undergraduate students. The class is a gateway prerequisite to all upper-level health-stream courses, thus it necessitates a balance between the biological and sociocultural aspects of health anthropology. Students are exposed to the work of Gregor Mendel and…

Laughter Part 2: Is It Safe To Laugh Yet?

James Belarde // “It seems to me that you can know a man by his laughter, and if from the first encounter you like the laughter of some completely unknown person, you may boldly say that he is a good man.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Notes from A Dead House “A woolly mammoth and a saber-tooth…

Vague Ethnography and Healthcare Access

Liora O’Donnell Goldensher // In late 2017, I began full-time fieldwork towards a dissertation about contemporary professional non-nurse midwifery in the United States, joining the practices of several homebirth midwives. I organized my multi-sited approach with an eye to various of what those in my home discipline of sociology might refer to as “axes of…