Social Complexity: The Game!

I’m a long-time fan of games – card games, board games, and video games. I suppose this is an increasingly common thing as we live in a golden age for indie games. This is as true for board and card games as it is for video games. Recently, I began working on a game concept and design to simulate the ways human groups of differing social complexity might interact in time and space. Thus, Social Complexity: The Game was born. (more…)

Pedagogy, Engaged Anthropology, and Zombies

I love zombies! Not only are zombies popular, but in the immortal words of Levi-Strauss, zombies “are good to think with.” Zombies stand (stagger?) as powerful metaphors supporting everything from emergency preparedness to invasive species education. Scholars draw on zombies as part of an engaged pedagogy to spark student interest. This includes Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies and Harman’s Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. I have also joined the horde by using the zombie apocalypse to teach geospatial analysis. Anthropologists have studied zombies for decades and I draw on this rich tradition as part of my freshman seminar to introduce students to anthropology with an exploration of zombies past, present, and future.

Zora Neale Hurston’s immortal photo of Felicia Felix-Mentor, a zombie from Haiti.

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Digital Storytelling in the Classroom (AAA 2012)

My participation at this year’s annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings centered on delivering on paper and serving as a discussant. The paper, which I presented as first author with UF’s Clarence Gravlee, was titled “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Techniques for an Engaged Anthropological Pedagogy.” I also served as the discussant for a session titled “Borders and Crossings by Land, Sea, and Air: Geospatial Advances in Anthropological Research.” You read the abstract for the paper below. Update: several of the ideas presented in this year’s paper were (eventually!) published as part of the chapter titled “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Technologies for an Engaged Anthropological Pedagogy.” (more…)

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