The American Anthropological Association

This is THE website for anthropologists. It is the homepage of the largest professional association of anthropologists in the world. While in principle the AAA is intended to represent the discipline as a whole, there are a preponderance of cultural anthropologists (see below for the site of the professional society for archaeologists).  Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is the world’s largest organization of individuals interested in anthropology. Although there were several other American anthropological societies in existence at the turn of the 20th century, this new, national organization was formed “to promote the science of anthropology, to stimulate and coordinate the efforts of American anthropologists, to foster local and other societies devoted to anthropology, to serve as a bond among American anthropologists and anthropologic[al] organizations present and prospective, and to publish and encourage the publication of matter pertaining to anthropology” (AAA Articles of Incorporation). At its incorporation, the Association also assumed responsibility for the American Anthropologist, which was originally begun in 1888 by the Anthropological Society of Washington (ASW). By 1905, the journal also served the American Ethnological Society, in addition to the AAA and ASW. From an initial membership of 175, the AAA grew slowly during the first half of the 20th century. Annual meetings were held primarily in the Northeast and accommodated all attendees in a single room, the day-long affair concluding with a black tie dinner gala. Since 1950, its membership has increased dramatically, now averaging in excess of 10,000. Annual meetings draw more than 5,000 individuals, who attend over 300 sessions organized into a 5-day program. The AAA has been a democratic organization since its beginning. Although Franz Boas had initially fought to restrict membership to an exclusive group of 40 “professional anthropologists,” the AAA’s first president. W. J. McGee, argued for a more inclusive membership embracing all those who expressed an interest in the discipline. McGee’s vision still guides the Association today. Business affairs, likewise comprehensive with 24 Councilors selected from the membership, and Executive Committee of 9 in 1902, are now conducted by a 30-member Section Assembly representing each of the Association’s constituent Sections, and a 15-member Executive Board. This increase in representation reflects the growing diversity of the discipline, which is viewed by many as a source of strength for the Association and for American anthropology as a whole. In Richard B. Woodbury’s words, “. . .the AAA has remained the central society for the discipline, addressing with considerable success its increasingly varied interests and speaking for anthropology to other fields, the federal and state governments, and the public” (Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, 1994).

The Society for American Archaeologists

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) is an international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 7,000 members, the society represents professional, student, and avocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector. Since its inception in 1934, SAA has endeavored to stimulate interest and research in American archaeology; advocated and aid in the conservation of archaeological resources; encourage public access to and appreciation of archaeology; oppose all looting of sites and the purchase and sale of looted archaeological materials; and serve as a bond among those interested in the archaeology of the America

News and Events in Anthropology

Current news and findings in the four-fields of anthropology.

American Anthropological Association – Anthropology News

All the news and public discussion generated by the field’s largest professional association.  A great resource.

News in Anthropology
Look at Texas A&M University’s “Anthropology in the News” which contains links to articles relevant to anthropology. 1. After  reading some recent news articles, do you think anthropology is more or less relevant to your life? 2. Look at the variety of topics discussed.  3. Examine the first ten articles. Which subfield of anthropology does each article relate to most closely? 4. Browse the list of article titles. What are some of the current hot topics in the news about anthropology?

ScienceDaily – Anthropology

ScienceDaily is best known for showcasing the top science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations. These stories are selected from among dozens of press releases and other materials submitted to ScienceDaily every day, and then edited to ensure high quality and relevance.  This link will take you to the Anthropology section of the larger site.

The Scholarly Community in Anthropology

These links will take you to sites where anthropologists (and others) engage in discussing topics of interest to members of the various subfields and specializations in anthropology. There are a variety of discussion boards and, increasingly, community and individual blogs. Note that in order to gain full access (and certainly to contribute to discussions on these sites) some sites may require you to register. That would be up to you.

Internet Discussions about Anthropology: ANTHRO-L
ANTHRO-L is the Internet listserver that supports anthropology. People can subscribe to the list, and messages sent to the list are shared with all members. The list is a way for anyone, including students and professionals in anthropology to communicate with each other. Go to the archive for this listserver at (http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/archives/anthro-l.html). Look at the archives for the last two months. Skim the titles of the messages and read a few in order to determine what people are talking about. 1. What are some of the more popular topics currently being discussed among anthropologists? How do these current topics relate to the subdisciplines of anthropology? 2. Which topics do you find most interesting? 3. Are the connections between the topics and anthropology clear to you?

Savage Minds – Notes and Queries in Anthropology [a blog]
Savage Minds is a collective web log devoted to both bringing anthropology to a wider audience as well as providing an online forum for discussing the latest developments in the field. We are a group of Ph.D. students and professors teaching and studying anthropology and are excited to share it with you. You can find out more about the contributors by clicking on the ‘about’ pages on the right for each of us. The title of our blog comes from Lévi-Strauss’s book Pensée Sauvage. And yes: those are pansies on the mast head.

Anthropology.net [a blog]
Anthropology.net’s mission is to create a cohesive online community of individuals interested in anthropology. This website intends to promote and facilitate discussion, review research, extend stewardship of resources, and disseminate knowledge. To serve the public interest, we seek the widest possible engagement with all segments of society, including professionals, students, and anyone who is interested in advancing knowledge and enhancing awareness of anthropology.

Antropologi.info [a blog]
Antropologi.info is edited by Lorenz Khazaleh, a social anthropologist with thesis about Saami ethnopolitics and field work among HipHop-artists in Basel, Switzerland. He is currently working as journalist in Oslo. This blog/board has a good deal of more European-based information.

PopAnth [a community blog]

PopAnth, or Popular Anthropology. What is it? How do we do it? What do we mean by it? PopAnth translates anthropological discoveries for popular consumption. Academia does a lot of good work researching, decoding and understanding human societies – past and present. We discover all kinds of really cool stuff about human nature and culture. Anthropology can help us understand who we are as individuals and as a global society.  However, our discoveries are often locked away in academic journals. We take anthropology’s collective knowledge and translate it for mainstream audiences, much in the way that popular science books, tv shows and trivia quizzes make even the hardest of sciences accessible. We strive to provide you with the best of anthropology in a format that makes you go, ‘Wow! I didn’t know that!’ Our cross-cultural stories aim to help you discover things about yourself and the world you live in.

Overviews & Tutorials

Sites in this category will primarily aim to answer questions about the various fields of anthropology as well as provide a variety of tutorials, including interactive exercises. Please note that you may encounter information that is at odds with that which you learn in any course. This is a reflection of natural differences, disagreement, and debate within any scientific field.

Anthropology Tutorials
This site provides some very accessible tutorials organized by sub-field. It was created and is maintained by Dr. Dennis O’Neil in the Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California.

Anthropology: From Wikipedia
A broad overview of the field on the widely used Internet encylopedia known as “Wikipedia.” Please note that many scholars do not embrace Wikipedia as a wholy reliable source of information. Nevertheless, the information can be useful and the site provides numerous links to other sources.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology

Sociocultural Theory in Anthropology
Sociocultural Anthropology has been through dramatic changes in the last 30 years. This site provides resources for student and professional anthropologists interested in learning more about the discipline and its recent history. Graduate students in the Indiana University Anthropology Department’s annual Proseminar in Sociocultural Anthropology have written these pages as part of their class work beginning in 1995. The sections of the website explore different ways to think about the spatial, temporal, and intellectual dimensions of sociocultural anthropology (including some sociolinguistics). Taking an anthropological approach, the site looks at how sociocultural anthropologists organize themselves into groups, how the discipline has changed over time, and at the individuals who have been influential in the discipline.  http://www.indiana.edu/~wanthro/sociocultural_theory.htm

Race: Are We So Different? A Project of the AAA
A useful site, especially when we look more in-depth at these issues when reading Chapter Five in Kottak. Looking through the eyes of history, science and lived experience, the RACE Project explains differences among people and reveals the reality – and unreality – of race. The story of race is complex and may challenge how we think about race and human variation, about the differences and similarities among people.

Research & Data Sources

These links will take you to sites where (generally) reliable anthropological research and data are available. Note that some sites will permit you to search archives of publications and possibly view abstracts as well as full text but may restrict printing or dowloading some materials.

The Human Relations Area Files
A potentially very useful resources to all students, especially those who opt to write an ethnology (cross-cultural comparision) for the Research Paper Assignment. Please note that you will need to access the eHRAF (electronic version) through a subscribing library (such as Marshall University’s Drinko Libarary) as an authenticated user. The Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF) is an internationally recognized organization in the field of cultural anthropology. The mission of HRAF is to encourage and facilitate worldwide comparative studies of human behavior, society, and culture. Founded in 1949 at Yale University, HRAF is a financially autonomous research agency of Yale. HRAF produces two major collections (the HRAF Collection of Ethnography and the HRAF Collection of Archaeology), encyclopedias, and other resources for teaching and research. Click on one of the areas above for more information.

The American Folklife Center
The twentieth century has been called the age of documentation, and folklorists and other ethnographers have taken advantage of each succeeding technology, from Thomas Edison’s wax-cylinder recording machine, invented in 1877, to the latest digital audio equipment, in order to record the voices and music of many regional, ethnic, and cultural groups, in the United States and around the world. Much of this priceless documentation has been assembled and preserved in the American Folklife Center’s Archive of Folk Culture, which founding head Robert W. Gordon, in 1928, called “a national project with many workers.” As we enter the twenty-first century the American Folklife Center is working on the critical issues of digital preservation, Web access, and archival management. On this Web site you will find not only an introduction to the activities of the American Folklife Center and its Archive of Folk Culture but also news about programs and activities, online presentations of multiformat collections, and other resources to facilitate folklife projects and study. The American Folklife Center aims to be the national center for folklife documentation and research, and this Web site offers a virtual destination for those who cannot visit the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C

History & Culture: National Park Service Cultural Resources
National Park Service archeologists, architects, curators, historians, and other cultural resource professionals work in America’s nearly 400 national parks to preserve, protect, and share the history of this land and its people. Beyond the parks, the National Park Service is part of a national preservation partnership working with American Indian Tribes, states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, historic property owners, and others who believe in the importance of our shared heritage – and its preservation.

United States Census Fact Finder
A great source of demographic data and maps derived from the data of the United States Census. In American FactFinder you can obtain data in the form of maps, tables, and reports from a variety of Census Bureau sources. From the Main Page find links to data in American FactFinder and other Census Bureau sites. You will find data and maps on the most popular topics for their area by clicking on the following buttons from the Main Page.

American Ethnological Society
The American Ethnological Society is the oldest professional anthropological organization in the United States. Founded in 1842 to encourage research in the emerging field of ethnology, its stated goal was to foster “inquiries generally connected with the human race.” Today the AES, a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), is a thriving group of nearly 4,000 anthropologists who organize an annual meeting, publish the journal American Ethnologist, and carry on a variety of activities to promote scholarship on “ethnology in the broader sense of the term.”

Becoming Human
A fascinating site which explores human origins and evolutionary history and theory generally. Of particular interest is the slick documentary they have produced. There is also an “Paleo News” section with the latest news of relevance to physical anthropology. The Institute of Human Origins (IHO) conducts, interprets and publicizes scientific research on the human career. IHO’s unique approach brings together scientists from diverse disciplines to develop integrated, bio-behavioral investigations of human evolution. Through research, education, and the sponsorship of scholarly interaction, IHO advances scientific understanding of our origins and its contemporary relevance. Combining interdisciplinary expertise and targeted funding, IHO fosters the pursuit of integrated solutions to the most important questions regarding the course, cause and timing of events in human evolution.

Augusta Heritage Center
Augusta was the historic name of West Virginia in its period of earliest settlement. In 1973, “Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops” was the name given to a summer program that was set up to help preserve the Appalachian heritage and traditions. In 1981, Davis & Elkins College became the sponsor of the program, renamed Augusta Heritage Center. In the years since then, it has flourished and grown. Augusta Heritage Center is a non-profit organization known nationally and internationally for its activities relating to traditional folklife and folk arts of many regions and cultures.

United Nations – World Heritage Centre
This is a site of interest for the remarkable examples of what we might call the “cultural resources” of significance to all humanity. The World Heritage List includes 851 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. These include 660 cultural [Cultural site] , 166 natural [Natural site] and 25 mixed [Mixed site] properties in 141 States Parties. As of November 2007, 185 States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention.

Society for Applied Anthropology
The Society for Applied Anthropology aspires to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives and methods in solving human problems throughout the world; to advocate for fair and just public policy based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of anthropology as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field. The Society pursues its mission and purpose by (1) communicating theories, research methods, results, and case examples through its publications and annual meetings; (2) recommending curriculum for the education of applied anthropologists and other applied social scientists at all levels; (3) promoting and conducting professional development programs; and (4) expressing its members’ interests– and anthropological approaches in general–to the public, government agencies, and other professional associations. Through these activities, the Society strives to be a premier professional organization for anthropologists and other applied social scientists and with colleagues throughout the world.

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
A useful site for looking into the varied ways that anthropological theory and methods are applied to practical problems and issues. Founded in 1983, NAPA strives to promote the practice of anthropology, both within the discipline and among private and public organizations. NAPA continues to grow as anthropologists engaged in practice have developed broader professional opportunities both inside and outside the Academic realm. There are currently more than 1,000 NAPA members, working in both the private and public sectors. These members receive NAPA Bulletins, directories, professional mentoring, networking opportunities, and discounts on NAPA-sponsored workshops. NAPA members use anthropological training to address current issues related to: public health; organizational and community development; information technology systems; housing; social justice; law; the media; marketing; environmental management; and, the arts.

Center for Public Anthropology
Basically the vision of Rober Borofsky. Of particular interest is the immense database of reviewed journals in anthropology – See the link to “Anthropology Journal Archive Project.”

Sites Particular to West Virginia

Council for West Virginia Archaeology

The only professional organization of archaeologists working in the mountain state.  It is the source for all things specifically archaeological in West Virginia, both prehistoric and historic, with useful contact information, addresses and links, for whatever interests students in this field and this area.  It also includes informative discussions on the issues of the day.

West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office

This is the web site for the latest information on events across West Virginia dealing with the state’s past, from exhibits, to lectures, to workshops.  It also features contacts to reach if you have any questions regarding old sites, already discovered, or ones you may have found yourself.  There are useful links to historic preservation concerns generally.

Collected Sites of Interest to Anthropologists

These are generally sites that list other sites (by category) which are of interest to anthropologists. Please note that there may be sites which, strictly speaking, I would not encourage you to visit. If you find anything questionable, let me know.

Anthropology Resources on the Internet
The name says it all. Allen Lutins set this site up in 1995 (the early days of the Internet). It was then the first such anthropology directory. Bernard-Olivier Clist took over the site’s administration and maintenance in January 1999 and went on developing its contents and its new graphics. It is a fairly comprehensive list of Internet resources which are directly and primarily of anthropological relevance. In order to retain manageability, sites which only tangentially deal with anthropology, such as native issues, “primitive art”, history, etc. are omitted.

Anthropology Web Links
Again, the name says it all. It was created and is maintained by Dr. Dennis O’Neil in the Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California.

Resources for Students
A range of resources for students with interest in a career within anthropology. Assembled by the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

Applied Anthropology
This website provides links to job opportunities and career preparation sites.

Career Resources in Anthropology
Teeming with information and resources, this is a site for students who want to know more about anthropology careers in general.

The National Association of Student Anthropologists
The National Association of Student Anthropologists addresses the concerns of students and encourages them to get involved as young anthropologists.

Coursework Resources

These sites are intended to be of general help to you in completing different aspects of course requirements

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet
From the Sheriden Library at Johns Hopkins University. The Internet offers information and data from all over the world. Because so much information is available, and because that information can appear to be fairly “anonymous”, it is necessary to develop skills to evaluate what you find. When you use a research or academic library, the books, journals and other resources have already been evaluated by scholars, publishers and librarians. Every resource you find has been evaluated in one way or another before you ever see it. When you are using the Internet, none of this applies. There are no filters. Because anyone can write a Web page, documents of the widest range of quality, written by authors of the widest range of authority, are available on an even playing field. Excellent resources reside along side the most dubious. The Internet epitomizes the concept of Caveat lector: Let the reader beware. This document discusses the criteria by which scholars in most fields evaluate print information, and shows how the same criteria can be used to assess information found on the Internet.hns Hopkins University.

Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial
Essential to writing your research paper. This tutorial grew out of the experience of the Teaching Library at UC Berkeley, beginning in 1995, in offering beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses on using the Internet’s resources to find information. Evaluating web pages skillfully requires you to do two things at once: 1. Train your eye and your fingers to employ a series of techniques that help you quickly find what you need to know about web pages; 2. Train your mind to think critically, even suspiciously, by asking a series of questions that will help you decide how much a web page is to be trusted. This tutorial is organized to combine the two techniques into a process that begins with looking at your search results from a search engine or other source, follows through by investigating the content of page, and extends beyond the page to what others may say about the page or its author(s).

Anthropological Media – Audio and Video Files

Sites with a variety of media such as still photos, pronunciation audio files, and streaming media of interest to the study and practice of cultural anthropology.

Doing Anthropology: Thoughts on Fieldwork From Three Research Sites
A useful, short movie produced by MIT’s Anthropology Department which gives a good sense of the fundamentals and variety of ethnographic fieldwork. Cultural Anthropology is a social science that explores how people understand – and act in – the world. But what, exactly, is it that Cultural Anthropologists do? How do they approach their research? In this 8 minute film, three members of MIT’s Anthropology Department, Stefan Helmreich, Erica James, and Heather Paxson, talk about their current work and the process of doing fieldwork