Celebrate World Anthropology Day with Your Voice!

In celebration of World Anthropology Day (Feb 16) send us a brief tweet (@thisanthrolife) with #whyweanth OR an audio clip (no more than 30 seconds) of why anthropology is important to you? What is its value? What does anthropology help you see or do? Why is anthropology good for the world?

Send in your submission by end of day Feb 15 and we’ll pick our favorites and share them in a compilation! So let’s here it for you…

Cooking Up an International Market for Quinoa – photo essay by Adam Gamwell and Corinna Howland on SAPIENS

Hey there in Anthro Land, we’re thrilled to let you know TAL’s Adam Gamwell and Corinna Howland have published a feature photo essay on everyone’s favorite food – quinoa on SAPIENS. The article digs into the creation of new dishes using agrobiodiverse quinoa and the challenge of working with international demand. You can check it out below. Please enjoy, share, and help us spread the good word!

Cooking Up an International Market for Quinoa

As always if you love TAL, please consider making a small donation to us securely over PayPal. Patreon coming soon! [wpedon id=”2386″ align=”left”]

FreeThink #1: TaL Back in the Studio! What’s Next??

IMG_8528Adam, Aneil, and Ryan are all back in the TaL studio for the first time in 18 months! And it feels good. Today we talk shop about where we’ve been and where we’re going with TaL. Check out the conversation on evolving the show content with new episode lengths and direction (same great content, shorter, more-digestible bites) and new minisodes based on Adam’s growing obsession with design and applied anthropology offering you practical ways to apply anthropological thinking and action to your daily life, and professionalizing our craft with new partnerships with the American Anthropological Association among others!

We’re super excited to be back for you and can’t wait to build this new season along with you!

Talking Anthropology: Podcasting and Its Potential for the Discipline (Part Two)

IMG_0369We’re back with another post from our friends at Teaching Culture blog! This time we explore podcasting and its potential for Anthropology. Here’s an excerpt, and be sure to head over to Teaching Culture blog for the full post!

“This second entry has been much more difficult for us to write than the first. We came in with an idea that this would give us an opportunity to concisely tell a story about the promises podcasting brings anthropology. Too soon we came to realize our narrative was as broad as it was vague. Rather than working entirely from an unpolished framework (this was only somewhat true, really), we came to realize that anthropology is difficult to define because it doesn’t have clear boundaries. By definition, anthropology is the study of all things, people, and social relations everywhere and everywhen. On the one hand, anthropology is the field that begins and ends with people at its very core. Yet, on the other hand, the boundaries between anthropology and, for example, astrophysics become blurred because it’s nothing more than one version of our own cosmology. As much as it is challenging, this openness is useful for anthropologists and the stories they can tell through podcasting.

IMG_0368For its part, podcasting is a flexible medium encompassing audio and video recording, and production can range from barely edited open-format conversations to fully produced episodes with edited interviews, sound effects, and sponsors. What links the diverse formats of this medium are the characteristics of a serial format, subscription-based service, and democratized production.

Employing audio recording in anthropology isn’t new. Many anthropologists use audio and video to record interviews with informants, their own thoughts or reflections, and occasionally the soundscapes of field sites. On many occasions audio and video are used in formalized settings to record lectures and talks. However, podcasting takes this one step further, moving into relatively uncharted territory to not only collect data, but deliver that data in a flexible narrative format to a discipline uncomfortable with fixed, rigid structures.

Drawing from these broad strokes we’ve found it most fruitful to put podcasting in conversation with anthropology and fieldwork to tease out how they might work together….”

Check out the full post here

Thanks again to Teaching Culture blog for hosting us! They are a great resource for educators interested in the social sciences, and especially anthropology.

Quick updates! TAL back in Boston! Burning Man mini-series, new articles, fresh episodes!

Hello dear listeners!

Adam hanging with his cow friends

Adam hanging with his cow friends outside Puno, Peru

Just a quick update on where TAL has been and now is. Adam is back from Peru! After an incredible 18-month fieldwork excursion into the world of quinoa, agriculture, and gastronomy he’s back among the Bostonians he holds so dear. Stay tuned for some upcoming episodes on fieldwork, quinoa, and what’s coming next from Adam. hint: Burning Man is about to become an awesome series of episodes co-produced with longtime collaborator Ben Gebo.

Ryan recently finished his fourth(!) field season in Yucatán, Mexico and is moving hardcore into analysis and writing. He’s got an incredible story about Maya history, culture, and architecture to tell you through bricks, fire pits, ritual objects and more. Get ready.

Aneil is just back from preliminary fieldwork in London working with green bond financiers. Super interesting stuff. Time to talk about the future of finance.

This fall we’ll three be back bringing you new and fresh TAL episodes plus some new goodies. We have a second article coming out courtesy of our friends over at Teaching Culture Blog on the promise of the podcast medium for anthropology and social sciences. Will post the link as soon as it is out!


much love and very excited to kick up the fall 2016 season!

Adam, Ryan, and Aneil

Where’s TaL?

Hey folks,

Photo: Adam Gamwell

Photo: Adam Gamwell

As you may have noticed, things have been quiet around the TaL studios as of late. Well, we promise its all for a good reason! Each of your intrepid hosts are currently out and about in the world doing what we do best, or at least what we do pretty darn well :), – Fieldwork!

Adam (me) is currently in Lima, Peru researching quinoa among farmers and geneticists, Aneil is over in London, England working with finance institutions, Amy is a bit further south in Cameroon working with chimpanzees at sanctuaries, and Ryan is getting dirty figuring out the origins of the Maya in Yaxuna, Mexico.

Rest assured, TaL isn’t going anywhere. We are all just a bit busy collecting awesome new stories, prepping new conversations, ideas, and episodes!

As a quick taste, some of episodes being cooked up include:
Genetics and Genes
Colonizing Outer Space
The Ecomodernism Movement
Futurism and the Singularity

So there’s a bunch of cool stuff being cooked up in the TaL labs and we can’t wait to record it and share it with you! Also, be on the look out for some fieldwork reflections and new TaL publications on the way…


TaL Gets a Shout Out in new publication!

Hey Everyone,

As you may know,  one of the main goals for us here at This Anthropological Life is to make anthropology public – to make our methods, subjects, and ways of thinking accessible to everyone. We’re excited to let you know that This Anthro Life got a brief shout out in a new publication by Erin Taylor and Gaiwan Lynch titled “Showcasing Popular Anthropology” – a compilation of short articles published in newspapers and blogs. It includes contributions from Sarah Kenzidor, Joris Luyendijk, Keith Hart, Dori Tunstall, Susan Blum, Helen Fisher, Vito Laterza, Olimide Abimbola, Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, Greg Downey. At the back is a list of further reading to help you learn more about who is doing what and where.

American Anthropological Association Blog Post that links the booklet

Get the booklet here! 

Finally, thanks to Erin Taylor and Gaiway Lynch and the incredible team over at Popanth for their hard (and fun) work making anthropology more public!

Adam, Ryan, Aneil, and Amy


Photo Gallery Now Online!

Check out our new photo gallery! We’re happy to add another visual component to our Podcast project! See us in action! Who knows, maybe one day we’ll put out some video-casts! Click the image to the left or this link to check it out!


New Show Time for Season 4 of This Anthro Life! Premiering Sept 1 @ 11 am EST

TAL-Logo-Season-4.1-1400x1400Hi everyone!

We’re coming back to you after a few weeks’ break and gearing up for our best season yet!

Our new show time is Mondays at 11-12 EST on our regular partner station WBRS. Subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and coming to more sources!

To kick off Season 4, join us September 1st for an incredibly important public conversation about the recent controversy and social upheaval in Fergus, MO as we turn our anthropological lens to race relations, police brutality, militarization, protest, civil action, and academia’s response. To help us with this conversation we are joined by special guest Delande Justinvil.

Looking forward to sharing the airwaves with you.