Archive for New York Academy of Sciences

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!

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: 12/10

After a Thanksgiving Break, the New York Academy of Sciences anthropology section resumes its lecture series this coming Monday, December 10th, with a talk from Silvia Federici, professor emerita at Hofstra University. Federici, feminist scholar, activist and author of Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, will discuss the ongoing neoliberal restructuring of the global political economy and reproductive labor, focusing on the crises that “new enclosures” are producing in our everyday lives, and the struggles that women internationally are making, in responseto it, to create new forms of social cooperation and reproductive “commons.” Sophie Statzel Bjork-James of the CUNY Graduate Center will act as a discussant following the talk.

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 10/22 – Audio Now Available!

On Monday evening, we hosted another stimulating installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section lecture series. On this occasion, we welcomed American University’s Dr. Rachel Watkins, to discuss her work on Normative Analytical Frameworks and Studies of Identified Skeletal Collections. 

As promised, a MP3 of the talk is available below, as well as a recording of the Q&A session that immediately followed.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren 10/22: Dr. Rachel Watkins

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren 10/22: Q&A

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: 10/22

Image courtesy American University College of Arts and Sciences

As October rolls to a close, we look to continue our young season of New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section lectures this coming Monday evening, when we’ll welcome American University’s Dr. Rachel Watkins, associate professor of anthropology, who will discuss “Normative Analytical Frameworks and Studies of Identified Skeletal Collections: Some Considerations”. Watkins aims to shed light on the ways in which physiological data are incorporated into ideas about social theory and its relationship to human biology.

Audio now available!

 

This paper examines the normative temporal, spatial, ethnoracial and distributional frameworks to which identified skeletal populations are subjected. A brief review of several identified skeletal collections illustrates current efforts toward developing contextualized human biology studies. At the same time, these studies are used to examine how categories in which data continue to be organized are suggestive of static and/or typological classification schemes. In doing so, the discussion addresses how these normativities undermine critical and humanistic approaches to studying human biology. This includes how the continued privileging of normal population distributions obscure the social, political and historical moments reflected in non-random distributions within and between identified skeletal collections. In the broadest context, this paper illustrates how studies of identified human skeletal collections are playing an increasingly prominent role in the integration of social theory into human biology studies.

As always, the evening will begin with a reception with refreshments at 6:00 PM, with the lecture to follow at 7:00 PM. The meeting is free to attend, but registration with NYAS is required. 

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: 9/24 – Audio Now Available!

As promised, here’s a recording of Monday night’s talk by Dr. Sandra Morgen of (University of Oregon) on “the Anthropology of DeKeynesification” hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Section and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Political Anthropology & Tracing the Genealogy of American Anti-tax Ideology

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: 9/24

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The 24th of September marks the opening of the New York Academy of Sciences’ monthly anthropology section lecture series for the 2012-13 season. To start off a program of talks that we hope will be just as successful as last year’s, we welcome Dr. Sandra Morgen of the University of Oregon to discuss political anthropology and trace the genealogy of American antitax ideology.

 

This public lecture explores how the concepts of “deKeynesinization” and “taxpayer identity politics” help make sense of the contours and resonance of right-wing politics in the U.S. today. The velocity of Tea Party activism that astonished many observers in 2009 was less surprising to scholars whose research has examined the history and/or varieties of anti-tax activism in the U.S. since the 1970s. I situate the political salience and production of taxpayer resentments and identities in the larger agenda of deKeynesinization. I use this concept to highlight and theorize the destructive dimensions of neoliberalization, i.e., the political project of undermining the assumptions, policies and institutions of the liberal, Keynesian state. Drawing on my and others’ research on tax politics, and on battles over public employee compensation and collective bargaining rights, I demonstrate how both the subject of taxes and taxpayer subjectivities provide valuable lenses through which to understand contested meanings and values about social provisioning, the public sector, and the State in contemporary politics.

As always, the 7:00 PM lecture will be hosted at the Wenner-Gren Foundation offices, preceeded by reception at 6:00 PM. The lecture is free to attend, but registration is required. 

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: Ben Zimmer and “The New Language Detectives” [AUDIO]

Discussant Melissa Checker (Queens College), Speaker Ben Zimmer (Thinkmap, Inc./Boston Globe), Discussant and section co-chair Rudolf Gaudio (SUNY Purchase), and co-chair Jeff Maskovsky (CUNY Graduate Center)

This past Monday evening brought to a close the 2011/2012 season of New York Academy of Sciences lectures at the Wenner-Gren Foundation. We’ve had a great line-up of speakers all year long, and closing out the order we welcomed Ben Zimmer, former scribe of the “On Language” column in the New York Times, to share his thoughts on investigating linguistic phenomenon in a data-driven age.

Download a MP3 of the talk now!

Listen to Discussants Melissa Checker and Rudolf Guadio.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren: April 30, 2012

Image courtesy benzimmer.com

The last Monday in April marks the final 2011/2012 meeting of the Anthropology section of the New York Academy of Sciences at the Wenner-Gren Foundation. We’ve had a great range of presenters this season, and for this last session we welcome the first presentation dealing explicitly with linguistic anthropology. Ben Zimmer of ThinkMap, Inc. and the Boston Globe, best known for previously penning the column “On Language” in the New York Times, will discuss the emergent linguistics of digital communication – and the new tools used to study it – with discussants Melissa Checker of Queens College and Rudolf Gaudio of SUNY Purchase.

The New Language Detectives:

Investigating Linguistic Phenomena in a Data-Driven Age

New data-driven techniques of analyzing language have emerged in recent years, opening up lines of inquiry that were previously seen as unapproachable. What linguistic “signatures” do we leave when we open our mouths or type on the keyboard? What subtle cues do we give each other when we change from one style of speaking or writing to another? And how can we plot the large- and small-scale changes in language usage to reveal fresh insights, applicable to fields as diverse as legal investigation, literary analysis, and political marketing? I will tour some of the avenues that researchers are exploring, with powerful new tools at their disposal: both the “microscopes” that can track the smallest shifts in variations in our language and the “telescopes” that can expose the evolution of talk and text over the historical long haul. In their own ways, the “micro” and the “macro” analyses promise to illuminate how we express ourselves and how people come together to build language through social interaction.

As always, the talk will be preceded by a reception and refreshments one hour prior to its commencement at 7:00 PM. Attendance is free, but please contact the New York Academy of Sciences (212-298-8600) in order to register prior to the event.

We will post an audio recording of Mr. Zimmer’s talk in the days after the event. Check out audio from previous NYAS meetings at Wenner-Gren.

NYAS @ Wenner-Gren 3/26

This past Monday marked the second-to-last Spring 2012 meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences’ Anthropology section. Medical anthropologist Dr. Merrill Singer of the University of Connecticut was on hand (with Brooklyn College’s Patricia Antoniello acting as discussant) to discuss “Syndemics and the Contemporary Global Health Transition”.

Listen to a MP3 of the talk now.