Archive for New York Academy of Sciences

NYAS @ WGF: Marshall Sahlins and “The Alterity of Value and Vice Versa”

Monday evening marked the first event in the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section Lecture Series for the 2013-14 academic year, as the Wenner-Gren Foundation and CUNY Graduate Center welcomed Marshall Sahlins, Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Sahlins, an eminent scholar in the field and author of such works as Culture and Practical Reason (1976) and Islands of History (1985), presented his paper “The Alterity of Value and Vice Versa”:

On the external origin of riches. Money (“magical property”) as the means rather than the antithesis of extended kinship. Scarcity as a function of value rather than value of scarcity. And other such contradictions of the deceived wisdom.

The Alterity of Value and Vice Versa (MP3)

(apologies for the hum appearing throughout the recording; due to logistical constraints, we were unable to secure a better recording.)

A list of upcoming installments of this lecture series.

NYAS Anthropology Lecture Series: 2013-14 Schedule

The Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences is the crossroads for four-field anthropology in the greater New York area. As in previous years, the Wenner-Gren Foundation offices will serve as the location for the section’s monthly lecture series. Below is a schedule of the talks that will occur over the coming academic year, subject to adjustment:

September 23: Marshall Sahlins (University of Chicago)“The Alterity of Value and Vice Versa” 5:00-6:30 PM @ CUNY Graduate Center

October 10: Kuru sorcery event with Shirley Lindenbaum (CUNY Graduate Center)

October 21: Barbara Rose Johnston (Center for Political Ecology, Santa Cruz, CA) with Melissa Checker (Queens College) as discussant

November 11: Herman Pontzer (Hunter College) with Susan Antón (New York University) as discussant

December 9: Shannon Dawdy (University of Chicago) with Zoe Crossland (Columbia University) as discussant

February 10: Becky Schulthies (Rutgers), with Sonia Neela Das (New York University) as discussant

March 24: The Brain Panel:  Rayna Rapp (New York University), Nicolas Langlitz (New School for Social Research), Daniel Lende (University of South Florida)

April 21: Audra Simpson (Columbia University)

Check back on our blog closer to the date of each talk to learn more about the speaker and get further information on the event arrangements!

NYAS @ WGF April 29th: Audio Now Available!

Dr. Ramon-Zayas & Dr. Colon

We would like to again thank Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas of Baruch College, CUNY and Edgar Rivera Colon of Columbia University for speaking at our offices on April 29th, presenting the final New York Academy of Sciences anthropology section lecture of the academic year, Cartography of “Racial Democracy”: Race, Affect, and the Production of Abject Subjects among Brazilians and Puerto Ricans in Newark. 

Listen to a recording of the talk now, the accompanying Q&A, and then tell us what you think!

NYAS @ WGF: April 29th

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

This upcoming Monday is the final meeting of NYAS’ anthropology section at WGF for this season. We will be welcoming Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas of Baruch College, CUNY and Edgar Rivera Colon of Columbia University to discuss Cartography of “Racial Democracy”: Race, Affect, and the Production of Abject Subjects among Brazilians and Puerto Ricans in Newark. 

In this presentation I consider the kinds of affective social entanglements and emotive practices required of US-born Latinos and Latin American migrants as they “learn race” in the US By focusing on the experiences of Brazilian and Puerto Ricans in Newark, I examine the impact of US racial projects on transnational individual’s affective worlds and perspectives on the emotional subjectivities of the racialized others they encounter. As demonstrated through ethnographic materials drawn from nearly a decade of fieldwork, Brazilian immigrants and US-born Puerto Ricans in Newark analyze unfamiliar racial situations through quotidian emotional epistemologies that serve as a cartography to navigate otherwise illegible social encounters. Assumptions about affect and its adequate expression guide Brazilian migrants and US Puerto Ricans to developed nuanced interpretations of how one “should feel” when the goal is to create an affective persona that is consistent with Newark’s neoliberal aspirations. Informed by transnational racial ideologies of “racial democracy,” my interlocutors develop complex social practices around performances of Blackness, understandings of socioeconomic hierarchies, and expectations of belonging on multiple scales, like the neighborhood, nation state, and the market. I am particularly attentive to how engaging in this process of “learning race” renders Brazilians and Puerto Ricans “street therapists” dedicated to observing and correcting “defective” (non-marketable) forms of Blackness, developing appropriate feeling rules, and, hesitantly embracing a neoliberal personhood.

The 7:00 PM lecture will be held at the WGF office on Park Avenue and will be preceded by a reception at 6:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided. It is free to attend this and all other events in this series, but registration is required in advance; please visit the NYAS website or call 212-298-8600.

NYAS @ WGF: “The Problem with Fundamentalism” (AUDIO)

Earlier this month, we hosted the penultimate installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology section’s 2012-2013 monthly meeting and lecture series. In what has proven to be a fantastic procession of fascinating subjects, we welcomed a panel of New York City-area scholars to discuss “The Problem with Fundamentalism (And Other Liberal Myths About Religion)”. Now the recording of the panel discussion and the following Q&A session are available for download. Enjoy, and tell us what you think!

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: April 3rd

The 2013 Anthropology Section Lecture Series continues this upcoming Wednesday, April 3rd, for a special panel discussion featuring Omri Elisha of Queens College, Sophie Bjork-James of CUNY Graduate Center, Ayala Fader of Fordham University, and Rudolf Gaudio of SUNY Purchase College.

This panel seeks to generate a conversation on how scholarly and popular discourses about nonliberal religious movements shape and constrain scholarly projects. To write about religious mobilizations in the current moment is to enter a discursive terrain already shaping the types of questions possible to ask and imagine. How are scholars responding to this discursive terrain in their work?

The 7:00 PM talk will be preceded by refreshments at 6:00 PM. It is free to attend the event, but registration is required.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: February 25th

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 Anthropology Section Lecture Series continues next Monday, February 25th, when we welcome Norma Mendoza-Denton of the University of Arizona to our offices to discuss her work on American town-hall meetings in Citizen Rage: Town Hall Meetings and Constituent Disagreement in American Politics.

This presentation explores the various incarnations of the public sphere in Town Hall meetings conducted across the United States, including several conducted in Tucson, Arizona, where I have been collecting data on the political public sphere since 2000-2001. I focus on conflict talk, and examine several ways in which political figures handle public conflict and/or confrontations with constituents. Here I examine as a mini-corpus three different instances of naturally-occurring conflict-talk: one from a demonstration in Tucson, Arizona during a Town Hall meeting in 2000 by then-congressman Jim Kolbe, the predecessor to Gabrielle Giffords’ seat; one from a public meeting held in 2001 by Rudolph Giuliani, then mayor of New York City, with public transportation workers; and finally a town hall meeting held by Congresswoman Giffords in Sierra Vista, Arizona in 2009.  I note the interactional dynamics and shape of disagreements as issued by constituents and pay close attention to the responses of politicians in handling confrontation. Interactional management in these instances includes not only the issuing of speech routines such as “calm down,” (paradoxically further inflaming recipients) but also other aspects of the management of face-to-face interaction such as gaze withdrawal and gestural ambiguity.

Dr. Mendoza-Denton’s talk will be followed by a discussion by CUNY’s Jeff Maskovsky. The 7:00 PM talk will be preceded by refreshments at 6:00 PM. It is free to attend the event, but registration is required.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren 1/28 – Audio Now Available!

1646 Hapcott Map (John Carter Brown Library. Brown University)

The first NYAS Anthropology Section lecture of 2013 took place Monday evening with Syracuse University Professor of Anthropology Douglas V. Armstrong, who was on hand to discuss his archaeological work in the early modern English Caribbean. Download an MP3 of Archaeology of an Emerging Landscape of Power and Enslavement in Early 17th-century Barbados now, followed by a Questions & Answers session.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: 1/28

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

2012 has given way to 2013, and we continue on with our lecture series this month with a talk from Syracuse University Professor of Anthropology Douglas V. Armstrong. Dr. Armstrong has spent the last two decades writing on cultural transformation and the emergence of African-Caribbean communities in the early modern Atlantic world, and on January 28th we welcome him to discuss his recent work on the continuities linking historical slave-economy sugar production on Barbados and the modern-day late capitalist global order.

Archaeological and historical research in Barbados is exploring the transition from smaller scale farming to the capital and labor intensive agro-industrial complex that emerged by the end of the seventeenth-century.  The system of slavery that emerged on agro-industrial sugar plantations in Barbados in the mid-17th century set in motion the large scale exploitive system of plantation slavery in the British Caribbean and dramatically impacted social systems on a global scale, with particular impacts throughout the Americas and Africa.  This paper focuses on a combination of material and spatial data, including plantation maps and material culture recovered from early plantations in Barbados, to explore an emerging landscape of power, indenture, enslavement, colonialism, and capitalism.

Dr. Armstrong’s talk will be followed by a discussion headed by Christopher Matthews of Montclair State University.

The 7:00 PM lecture will be held at the Wenner-Gren office on Park Avenue and will be preceded by a reception at 6:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided. It is free to attend this and all other events in this series, but registration is required in advance; please visit the NYAS website or call 212-298-8600.

 

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren 12/10 – Audio Now Available!

Last night, we welcomed Dr. Silvia Federici, professor emerita at Hofstra University, to discuss the themes of her new volume of collected writings Revolution at Point Zero and forty-plus years of work on Marxist feminism, reproductive labor, and the nature of housework and social reproduction.

Download a recording of the talk and the following discussion featuring CUNY’s Sophie Statzel Bjork-James.

Federici’s lecture marks the final installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section Lecture Series at Wenner-Gren for the 2012 calendar year. We resume Monday evening, January 28, 2013 – details to follow!