The Long Life of the Nacirema
An article that turned an exoticizing anthropological lens on US citizens in 1956 began as an academic in-joke but turned into an indictment of the discipline.
The Accents of Our Bodies: Proxemics as Communication
American language educator Max Kirch suggests that adopting the nonverbal habits of another culture gives one’s behavior a "foreign accent."
Vampires and Public Health
At the end of the nineteenth century, the people of Rhode Island were drained by a mysterious force that caused them to slowly waste away.
Muslim Women and the Politics of the Headscarf
For many women, wearing the hijab was—and is—an element of piety, but it's been coopted into a political symbol.
The Linguistics of Cooties (and Other Weird Things Kids Say)
The game of cooties lets children learn about the idea of contagion, but kid culture and wordplay aren't meant for adults.
The Life and Times of Franz Boas
The founder of cultural anthropology, Franz Boas challenged the reigning notions of race and culture.
Did Humans Once Live by Beer Alone? An Oktoberfest Tale
Some scholars have suggested that humans first started growing domesticated grains in order to make not bread, but beer.
How Language and Climate Connect
While we’re losing biological diversity, we’re also losing linguistic and cultural diversity at the same time. This is no coincidence.
Baking Vs. Roasting
We cook bread, meat, and vegetables much the same way: in our ovens. So why do we say we "bake" bread, but we "roast" meat and veggies?
Edward S. Curtis: Romance vs. Reality
In a famous 1910 photograph "In a Piegan Lodge," a small clock appears between two seated Native American men. In a later print, the clock is missing.