Archive for New York Academy of Sciences

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!

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.