Archive for New York Academy of Sciences

NYAS @ WGF: Sarah K. Croucher and “Capitalism and Cloves”

We’ve just had another great season of NYAS Anthropology Section lectures here at the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and this upcoming Monday, April 28th, marks the final meeting for the 2013-2014 academic year. On this occasion we will welcome Wesleyan University’s Sarah K. Croucher, a historical archaeologist focused on race and colonialism in the 19th century, to present a talk entitled “Capitalism and Cloves: Islamic Plantations on Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar”

Plantation landscapes have been understood by historical archaeologists to be fundamentally part of the expansion of global capitalism. This talk explores this taken-for-granted assumption through the study of Islamic plantations on nineteenth-century Zanzibar. Through a combination of archaeological and historical data I explore how landscapes were understood by Omani settler colonists on the island during the 1800s, in the process questioning the manner in which capitalism and European culture are generally assumed to be synonymous.

This event will take place at the Wenner-Gren Foundation Building, 470 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor, New York (at 32nd Street). Dr. Croucher will begin her lecture at 7 PM, and a dinner and wine reception, free to students, will precede the talk at 6 pm. The event is free, but registration with NYAS is required.

NYAS @ WGF 3/24: Audio Now Available!

Left to right: Columbia's Brian Boyd, Daniel Lende, Rutgers' Genese Sodikoff, Rayna Rapp

Monday was the penultimate 2013-14 meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology section lecture series at the Wenner-Gren Foundation. We welcomed Daniel Lende of the University of South Florida and the popular PLoS blog Neuroanthropology, and New York University’s Rayna Rapp to discuss Culture and the Brain.

 

Now you can Listen to the audio of the talk and the following Q&A.

April 21st will see the final session of this season’s talks! Stay tuned for further details.

NYAS @ WGF: March Madness Double Feature!

March 2014 is a special month for our annual NYAS Anthropology Section Lecture series, as we’re offering a double-dip of great anthropological programming beginning Friday, March 21, when CUNY Graduate Center hosts Gavin Smith, Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto. And on the following Monday, March 24, join us at the Wenner-Gren offices for an after-work discussion with New York University’s Rayna Rapp and South Florida’s Daniel Lende on “Culture and the Brain”!

Here are the details:

 

Intellectuals and Counter-Politics: Between Reflexivity and Engagement

Friday, March 21, 2014 | 4:15 PM – 6:00 PM
The Graduate Center, CUNY, Room C415A

Dr. Gavin Smith (University of Toronto) argues that the forms capitalism takes is best seen in terms of the dominance of specific power blocs, rather than as an expression of neoliberalism — either as a form of governance or as a kind of capitalist market ideology. He suggests that in the major social formations the conditions for the reproduction of finance capital have to be secured by the hegemonic strategies of this fraction of capital. As a result, we have seen a shift from a kind of hegemony whose ideological authority rested on expansion through a population configured as ideally homogenous, to a kind of hegemony whose ideological authority rests on selectivity and distinctions among the population. The intellectual task for a philosophy of praxis has three foci: assessment of the conditions of possibility, of the potentialities for popular mobilization, and of appropriate strategic actions — identifying key points of leverage.

 

Culture and the Brain: A Panel Discussion

Monday, March 24, 2014 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

Rayna Rapp, New York University — “Big Data, Small Kids”

Dr. Rayna Rapp, in collaboration with Dr. Faye Ginsburg, has recently been examining cultural innovation in special education and the rise of disability consciousness. Together they have carried out fieldwork in scientific laboratories on brain research about learning, memory, childhood psychiatric diagnoses, and epigenetics. In this talk, Dr. Rapp tells the story of how she began tracking one set of scientists in a pediatric neuroscience lab looking at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Learning Disability (LD), and ended up watching the scientists construct international Big Data coalitions as part of a massive undertaking in brain mapping now ongoing across several continents.

Daniel Lende, University of South Florida — “Hooked on the Brain? On Using Neuroscience in Anthropology”

Dr. Daniel Lende areas of expertise include medical anthropology, the synthesis of biological and cultural anthropology, and applied anthropology. His research centers on behavioral health problems, particularly substance use and abuse. Dr. Lende is the co-founder of the Neuroanthropology blog and co-editor of The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology (MIT Press). Neuroanthropology is a new field that draws on neuroscience to examine anthropological questions. Using the case study of addiction, this talk will examine both the promise and peril of such an approach, and demonstrate how effective use of neuroscience requires both synthesis and critique.

 

As always, it is FREE to attend these events, but REGISTRATION WITH NYAS IS REQUIRED. Visit the links provided or contact the New York Academy of Sciences for more information.

NYAS @ WGF: Becky Schulthies Audio Now Available!

Monday evening, the Wenner-Gren Foundation welcomed Dr. Becky Schulthies of Rutgers University to present her talk “Re-registering Moroccans Mediatized Temporalities and the Politics of Recognition in State Storytelling” as the February installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section lecture series.

We are pleased to present an audio recording of the talk and following discussion with Sonia Neela Das of New York University.

Stay tuned to the blog for announcements regarding the next and future installments of the lecture series!

Main lecture / discussant comment

Q&A

NYAS @ WGF: Becky Schulthies and “Re-Registering Moroccans”

image courtesy wikimedia commons

The 2013-14 New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section lecture series resumes for the first talk of the new year on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM, as we welcome anthropologist Becky Schulthies of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and discussant Sonia Neela Das of New York University. Drawing on her research on the anthropology of media reception and the impact of satellite television on family interpretive strategies and domestic cultural production in Morocco, Dr. Schulthies will be presenting a discussion entitled “Re-Registering Moroccans: Mediatized Temporalities and the Politics of Recognition in State Storytelling.”

The talk examines the process by which a Moroccan television producer re-vitalized a public market story-telling register (rhymed prose way of speaking) associated with proverbs and the wisdom of old folks as a vehicle for modernist liberal messaging. It also describes what several instances of Moroccan audience uptake while watching this program reveal about the salient qualities of re-registering.

This event will take place at the Wenner-Gren Foundation Building, 470 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor, New York (at 32nd Street). A dinner and wine reception, free to students, will precede the talk at 6 pm. The event is free, but registration with NYAS is required.

NYAS @ WGF: Herman Pontzer Audio Now Available!

Hunter College CUNY’s Dr. Herman Pontzer’s recent talk on energetics and functional morphology last month was a rousing success, and now you can listen to the talk for yourself.

Download the lecture now and the following Q&A with discussant Dr. Leslie Aiello!

NYAS @ WGF: Erupting Ruins: Dialectics of the Urban Landscape

"Plan of a Large & Elegant Residence in the Second District" image courtesy Historic New Orleans Collection

The final NYAS Anthropology Section meeting lecture of 2013 (but not of the season!) is upon us, as we welcome the University of Chicago’s Shannon Lee Dawdy and discussant Meredith Linn of Barnard College 7:00 PM Monday, December 9th, to discuss her ethnohistorical research of French New Orleans with Erupting Ruins: Dialectics of the Urban Landscape.

Using the examples of surprising — even disturbing — archaeological preservation in my field site of New Orleans, I explore what it means to understand the landscape as dialectical. Forgotten plantation houses beneath the city’s warehouse district and the sunken remains of bawdy taverns expose non-continuous series of ruptures, disasters, abrupt shifts, but also the unaccountable continuity of unconscious structures.

I argue that the urban landscape is comprised of compacted ruins that both structure and undermine present-day spatial experiences.

A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm. Attending the meeting is free, but registration is required. Please contact NYAS to reserve your place.

 

NYAS @ WGF 11/11: Herman Pontzer

image courtesy New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology

On Monday, November 11, the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section and the Wenner-Gren Foundation welcome Herman Pontzer, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College, City University of New York. A researcher interested in linking energetics and functional morphology to ecology in the great apes and humans, Dr. Pontzer will be presenting a talk entitled “Life in Slow Motion: Energetics, Aging, and Evolution in Humans and other Primates” featuring WGF president Leslie Aiello as discussant.

Energy is the currency of life, and understanding how humans and other organisms use energy reveals a lot about our evolved strategies for growth, reproduction, and aging. This talk will examine human and ape energy expenditure from a comparative and evolutionary perspective. Surprising new results show that physical activity accounts for only a small portion of the diversity in energy expenditure among mammals. Instead, evolved differences in life history — the pace of growth, reproduction, and aging — play a much larger role in shaping our metabolism.

The 7:00 PM talk will be preceded by a reception at 6:00 PM. As always, NYAS events are free to attend, but registration is required. Please contact NYAS to reserve your spot today.

NOTE: The audio of this lecture will be recorded and may be posted on the WGF website, blog and/or social media accounts. If you choose to participate in the discussion, you are presumed to consent to the use of your comments in these recordings.

NYAS @ WGF: Kuru Sorcery audio now available!

Last week, the Wenner-Gren Foundation hosted the second session of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section lecture series, welcoming anthropologist Shirley Lindenbaum of the City University of New York and a panel of discussants to re-examine her landmark ethnography Kuru Sorcery: Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands on the occasion of its 35th anniversary.

Listen to the talk now!

NYAS @ WGF: Nuclear Disaster, Environmental Health, and Human Rights in the Marshall Islands

image courtesy American University Dept of Anthropology

Come join us for the third installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section Lecture Series at Wenner-Gren TONIGHT at 7:00 PM, when we welcome environmental anthropologist Barbara Rose Johnston, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Political Ecology.

Environmental anthropologist Barbara Rose Johnston discusses methods, findings, ethical quandaries, and political outcomes from her work documenting the consequential damages of nuclear disaster and advocating for the human right to a healthy environment. This talk is illustrated with case-specific examples from her service as an expert advisor to the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, a civil society advisor supporting a UN Special Rapporteur investigation into nuclear testing, toxic waste, environmental contamination and continuing human rights abuse, and a civil society delegate at the UN Human Rights Commission 21st session.

A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm. Attending is free, but registration is required.