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How to teach anthropology in a pandemic?

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“… a deadly pestilence is in our town, strikes us and spares not, and the house of Cadmus is emptied of its people while Black Death grows rich in groaning and lamentation… Raise up our city, save it and raise it up… If you rule this land… better to rule it full of people than empty. For neither tower nor

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Teaching Resources

Bending the Odds: Pedagogy and Dialogue in Large Lecture Courses

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As academics in large public research universities, I am always amazed that when we speak of an ideal pedagogy, we speak about our small intimate seminars where we have the time and resources to experiment with 25 students or less. In my 13 years of teaching, I look forward to those settings when I get to teach one small undergraduate …

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Teaching Medical Anthropology

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In the decade since becoming a full time professor, medical anthropology has been one of my core courses. I have taught it seven times.  Although the basic structure of the course remains similar, emphases have shifted over time. Perhaps I can best highlight the evolution of the course through a discussion of readings I use since readings are the backbone …

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#SoComplicatedSyllabus – Check it out and please contribute!

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“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject…Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” said Donald J. Trump on Monday, February 27, at a press conference. This was his answer to a question about the then-seemingly stalled, but as of now reinvigorated, plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care law that …

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Experiments with pedagogy: Call for contributions

As teachers, we are increasingly called upon to promote student-centered learning and to build stronger links between teaching and disciplinary research in order to foster a culture that allows students “to take a research-based approach to their lifelong educational development” (Sproken-Smith & Walker, 2010). Scholars, academic administrators and institutions increasingly promote “inquiry-based learning”, a term referring to pedagogical …

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The Afflictions Series: an Interview with Ethnographic Filmmaker Robert Lemelson

When Robert Lemelson, an anthropologist, filmmaker, and research professor at UCLA, recently visited the George Washington University to speak at a conference on how ethnographic films can help us understand torture, I had to request an interview. I confess—I have long been a fan of Lemelson’s films, which I have seen screened at meetings as large as those …

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