Smithsonian Magazine: Help Transcribe Field Notes Penned by S. Ann Dunham, a Pioneering Anthropologist and Barack Obama’s Mother

Smithsonian Magazine: Help Transcribe Field Notes Penned by S. Ann Dunham, a Pioneering Anthropologist and Barack Obama’s Mother. “The S. Ann Dunham papers, 1965-2013, were donated to the NAA in 2013 by Dunham’s daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. The donation included field notebooks, correspondence, reports, research proposals, case studies, surveys, lectures, photographs, research files and floppy disks document of Dunham’s dissertation research on blacksmithing, and her professional work as a consultant for organizations like the Ford Foundation and Bank Raykat Indonesia (BRI). Beginning today, the public can contribute to the NAA’s effort to transcribe Dunham’s field notes.”

Arizona State University: ASU researchers launch blog series exploring equitable research practices

Arizona State University: ASU researchers launch blog series exploring equitable research practices. “As public attention has turned to systemic inequities in institutional cultures like those in police forces, medical care, school systems and food production, some researchers at Arizona State University are turning their attention to academic culture to explore how researchers might embody more equitable research practices. This week, ASU postdoctoral scholar Schuyler Marquez launched a new series, ‘Embodying Reciprocity: Relationality and Redistribution in Anthropology,’ on the collaborative blog Footnotes, along with ASU doctoral candidate Taylor Genovese and University of Chicago doctoral candidate Sonia Grant.”

Data discoveries: could social media become a tool to study economic recovery? (Geographical)

Geographical: Data discoveries: could social media become a tool to study economic recovery?. “In flagrant disregard of government advice, many American citizens took to the streets in April to claim that draconian lockdown measures impinged on their civil liberties, and more prominently, their businesses. To combat the financial peril of small businesses, the UK government will have to borrow an unprecedented 38 per cent of the year’s GDP if social distancing measures are in place until the end of 2020, according to the Resolution Foundation. As uncertainty rages, it’s vital to understand how economies recover from crises.”

The University of Washington Daily: The complexities of the Anthropocene through multimedia, vampires, and pig farms

The University of Washington Daily: The complexities of the Anthropocene through multimedia, vampires, and pig farms. “Anna Tsing, professor of anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, presented a lecture Feb. 25 as part of the Katz Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities series. The talk featured insights from her new book ‘Feral Atlas and the More-Than-Human Anthropocene.’ Feral Atlas will also be appearing online as an interactive digital medium that explores ecosystems that have been changed and expanded by human facilitation.”

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says. “In a recently released edition of the Journal of Field Archaeology, Brown Assistant Professor of Anthropology Parker VanValkenburgh and several colleagues detailed new research they conducted in the former Inca Empire in South America using drones, satellite imagery and proprietary online databases. Their results demonstrate that big data can provide archaeologists with a sweeping, big-picture view of the subjects they study on the ground—prompting new insights and new historical questions.”

Phys .org: Anthropologist digitizes a changing culture from half a world away

Phys .org: Anthropologist digitizes a changing culture from half a world away. “In 2006, University of Virginia anthropologist Lise Dobrin received a document attached to an email from a man she knew in Papua New Guinea, where she had conducted fieldwork for her dissertation several years earlier. The document told the story of the history of the man’s village. He wrote that he was afraid if he didn’t write it, no one else would.”

H-Announce: Digitized Field Recordings of Lorenzo Dow Turner

H-Announce: Digitized Field Recordings of Lorenzo Dow Turner. “The project digitized close to 40 hours of field recordings made by African American academic and linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner, known as the ‘Father of Gullah Studies.’ The recordings were made between 1932 and 1952, and cover a variety of geographical locations, from Nigeria and Cameroon to Brazil, as well as locations within the United States, where Turner encountered native speakers of Yoruba, Igbo, Portuguese, English, Creole and Gullah among other languages and various dialects. Turner used these recordings as evidence to trace the linguistic and cultural connections between West Africa and the Americas.”

UCLA: Ethnomusicology Archive publishes 58 historical field collections online

UCLA: Ethnomusicology Archive publishes 58 historical field collections online. “Five years of planning and development across international waters have culminated in the online publication of 58 historical field collections held by the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive. The project, Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings, was a collaboration between the World Music Center at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, home of the archive, and Adam Matthew Digital, an academic publisher based in the United Kingdom.”

NewScientist: Humans across cultures may share the same universal musical grammar

NewScientist: Humans across cultures may share the same universal musical grammar. “While music seems to be everywhere, scientists haven’t previously found much evidence to suggest it has any universal features. The prevailing view is that music is so diverse that few, if any, universals exist. Settling the matter empirically has been difficult, because research often focuses on individual cultures and musical contexts, says Samuel Mehr of Harvard University. So Mehr and his colleagues decided to use data science to try to understand what was universal and what varied in music across the world. To do this, they developed a database containing around 5000 detailed descriptions of songs and their performances in 60 human societies.”

From birth to death: an archive of vanishing African rituals seeks a home (Reuters)

Reuters: From birth to death: an archive of vanishing African rituals seeks a home. “Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have traversed 44 of Africa’s 54 countries over four decades, documenting rituals used to mark milestones such as birth, death, and courtship, the graduation of girl to woman or the moment a warrior becomes a respected elder. Now their archive – comprising more than a million images, hundreds of artifacts and field diaries, and thousands of hours of video – is looking for a home.”

Ars Technica: Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology

Terrific article from Ars Technica: Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology. “For most of its history, paleoanthropology has been a science built out of superlatives. Headlines tell us about the oldest fossil. The most complete skeleton. The earliest modern human. These sorts of claims make it easy to assume that the science of human evolution is driven by discovery, and the superlative-laden Rising Star project is proof that there’s a never-ending interest in fossil hominin finds. But science is a social process, and, more than anything else, Rising Star has dared its fellow paleoanthropologists to re-examine how they’re going about the business of doing their science. Homo naledi has had enough cultural cachet to challenge the science of human evolution to be more open and accessible with its data.”

Inverse: Why Museums Need to Digitize Fossils to Understand Past Mysteries

Inverse: Why Museums Need to Digitize Fossils to Understand Past Mysteries . “For paleontologists, biologists, and anthropologists, museums are like the historians’ archives. And like most archives — think of those housed in the Vatican or in the Library of Congress — each museum typically holds many unique specimens, the only data we have on the species they represent.”

National Library of Australia Launches Daisy Bates Collection

The National Library of Australia: has a new Daisy Bates collection online (this links to a Facebook post.) “The controversial ethnographer Daisy Bates recorded many Aboriginal languages in the early 20th century, which would otherwise be lost today. Now her papers have been digitised and are available through the new platform Bates Online.”