Anthropology Beyond the Tap: From Flint, Michigan to California’s Central Valley

By Alexa Becerra-Almendarez, Emily Wolff, and Lemual Wheatley § Imagine you are thirsty. You go to the sink to pour yourself a glass of water, but you stop abruptly; your drinking water is contaminated. Residents of Flint, Michigan have become all too familiar with this problem. Recently, their drinking water was found to contain levels of […]

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Drought and Culture: From the Yard to the Farm

By Alfred Lopez, Yeng Vang, and Chong Vang, California State University, Fresno § We hurriedly walked through a middle-class Fresno, California neighborhood. The City of Fresno and Fresno County are located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley: a major hub of industrial agriculture and one of the most drought-affected areas of the state. We wanted to […]

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Ground Truthing the Central Valley: Introduction to the Series on Student Environmental Ethnographic Journalism

By Dvera I. Saxton, California State University, Fresno, with contributions from Victoria Sanchez § In September of 2014, upon first arriving to Fresno, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dvera I. Saxton attended a conference hosted by an organization in California’s Central Valley that works with communities to help them identify and challenge environmental injustices. They do especially important […]

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Who Is Afraid of CRISPR Art?

By Eben Kirksey, University of New South Wales § Originally published in Somatosphere A crowd-sourced Indiegogo funding campaign that raised over $45,000 for do-it-yourself gene editing kits in December, asks: “If you had access to modern synthetic biology tools, what would you create?”  This campaign, which aims to democratize science “so everyone has access,” was launched by […]

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Plantworlds in West Papua

By Sophie Chao, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia § First published in Anthropology & Environment Society’s section of Anthropology News Rejecting human exceptionalism and exploring the subjective lifeworlds and particular agencies of non-human species with whom human existence is intertwined, the multispecies turn challenges us with the possibility of biocultural hope in the blasted landscapes of the Anthropocene (Kirksey et […]

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On Rust

By Stephanie McCallum, University of California, Santa Cruz § Recent scholarship in anthropology has addressed infrastructure not in its fully functioning capabilities, but as it falls apart (e.g. Chu 2014). In a similar vein, here I attend to rust as a manifestation of infrastructural deterioration. Based on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork (September 2013 – October 2014) […]

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Between Obsolescence and Necessity: The Abiding Nature of Dhalao Infrastructures in Urban India

By Aman Luthra, Johns Hopkins University § If you happen to frequent the broad tree-lined avenues of Chanakyapuri—an upscale neighborhood in New Delhi, India dominated by diplomatic missions and state government offices—you might see Mukta, as I did during the course of my dissertation fieldwork in Delhi from September 2012 to November 2013. Riding atop a […]

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Poetry in the Anthropocene

By Autumn Sharp, University of Kent § I’ll only ask questions I don’t want to know the answers to “Jupiter’s gravity slings long-period comets out of harm’s way, while nudging some asteroids closer to Earth. And, in 1770, Jupiter took aim on Earth – but missed.”     –Deborah Byrd for EarthSky, Nov 25, 2015 1 There is […]

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Museums and Ecology: The Story of “Little Frog” (Ranunculus paucifolius)

By Joanna Cobley, University of Canterbury § One botanical specimen collected in the late nineteenth century provides the starting point for this commentary on “museums and ecology.” What can this small endemic buttercup on the verge of extinction that lives on a limestone slope at an altitude of 760 meters tell us about human-environment relationships, preservation […]

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What the Seed Knows of the Soil

By Kay E. Lewis-Jones, University of Kent §   Attending to the Seed On a December afternoon in the upper west side of Manhattan, a group of people sat in a darkened room and tried to think like seeds. In their hands they held their mentors – Acer rubrum seeds from a park across the street – […]

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