Lessons on Social Difference from an Ancient Maya City | Ryan Collins | TEDxBrandeisUniversity

Hey Listeners, we wanted to share some news. As you have probably noticed, TAL has been slow to post as of late. Both Ryan and Adam have finished their dissertations (and Adam defends in one week!). But, TAL has remained busy behind the scenes developing and producing new content. In the meantime, we wanted to share that Ryan gave a TEDx Talk at Brandeis University in April. The talk is live on YouTube now! We’ve shared the video for you here, check it out.

TEDxBrandeisUniversity was great to let Ryan have this incredible opportunity. Sharing our passions and curiosity with public audiences is central to the goals of This Anthro Life. Ryan’s talk begins by asking what lessons we can learn from the ancient past on mediating social difference today. To answer this, Ryan defines social difference and how we recognize it in various forms. To balance social difference, Ryan also draws attention to the causes that bring communities together.

At the heart of this conversation are rituals of social solidarity – collective events which bring communities together under a common cause to express a core value. Today, such events are visible in the March for Science, the Women’s March, and other movements. Believe it or not, we see similar events having played out in the past as well. Studying such events, how rituals of social solidarity as well as communities changed, over long time scales can grant insight into how we can reflect on the causes which bring us together and inadvertently separate us.

If you enjoy this talk then you should also check out the other great talks from TEDxBrandeisUniversity which are all live now on the TEDx YouTube channel! This was an outstanding group and each of them deserve to be watched. Go check out the TEDx Youtube Chanel to show your support!

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About the Author
Anthropologist, archaeologist, educator, podcaster, espresso addict, and comic book enthusiast with a restless mind.