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Lecture
March 26, 2018

Is Extreme Inequality Inevitable? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the 99%

In many people’s minds archaeology is about the search for kings and queens, for treasure and luxuries. It seems as if archaeologists are on the side of rulers, at the expense of the everyday farmer and laborer. And so archaeological theories about social complexity are interpreted to say that human societies are on an implacable universal road toward exaggerated inequality: extreme inequality is inevitable. But is this true? Or can archaeologists illuminate places and times when society did not spiral into ever-widening inequality?

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January 29, 2018

Will Humans Survive our Assault on the Earth? A Message from Madagascar

Anthropologists are well aware that there are wars in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, areas where humans have existed the longest. But rarely do we suggest that the roots of these conflicts are competition for natural resources, ie, fighting for access to farming and grazing land and access to water. Madagascar has been populated by humans for only a few thousand years, yet a shocking portion of its natural resources has been destroyed. Today it is the 6th poorest country on Earth.

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November 13, 2017

Are Racism, Violence, and Inequality Part of “Human Nature”? Why Understanding Human Evolution Matters.

Many popular accounts of human evolution do a great job of conveying interpretations and perspectives which are entertaining, but often wrong. Such accounts offer incomplete, and at times toxic, portrayals of human biology and evolution that can be used to promulgate and perpetuate racist, misogynistic, and ill-informed views of “human nature.” We are left with perceptions and policies of what is “natural” in contemporary society that damage our capacity to challenge inequity, discrimination, and bias.

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October 23, 2017

Getting Talked into (and out of) Whiteness

Join us at the Wenner-Gren Foundation on October 23rd at 5:45 PM for the second lecture in the NYAS Anthropology Section's fall  lecture series, when Dr. Mary Bucholtz presents "Getting Talked into (and out of) Whiteness."  Dr. Angela Reyes from Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center will serve as the evening's discussant.

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September 25, 2017

The Refugee as a Political Figure for Our Time

The UNHCR refugee camp. Photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Join us at the Wenner-Gren Foundation on September 25th at 5:45 PM as we kick off the first New York Academy of Sciences lecture of the fall series. Ilana Feldman, Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University will be presenting, “The Refugee as a Political Figure for our Time”. Dr. Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor and Chair at the New School for Social Research will act as discussant.

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April 24, 2017

Unraveling Disciplinary Mind-sets

Join us Monday evening April 24th at 5:45 PM at The Wenner-Gren Foundation for the next installment of the New York Academy of Sciences lecture series. Laura Nader, Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley will be presenting, “Unraveling Disciplinary Mind-sets”. Dr. Nadia Abu El-Haj, Department of Anthropology, Barnard College/Columbia University will act as discussant.

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October 24, 2016

Re-Framing Punishment

Corridor at Sing Sing Prison. (New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_D47_OsP3)

Join us this coming Monday, October 24th, as the foundation welcomes Didier Fassin from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University, presenting his lecture "Re-Framing Punishment." Andrea Barrow from "Black Lives Matter" will serve as Discussant.

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November 30, 2015

The Zionist Left: Settler Colonial Practices and the Representation of the Palestinian Nakba in Northern Palestine

Based on a meticulous examination of archival material documenting the process of Zionist land accumulation and the expulsions of Palestinians from 1936 to mid-1950s, I argue that the 1948 Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of a process of settler-colonial expropriation. Instead, I claim that the mid-1930s signaled intensified efforts to expel Palestinian sharecroppers, a practice which culminated in the Nakba. In particular, I will discuss the case of a thickly populated closed frontier of Marj Iban ‘Amer (Jezreel Valley) region located in Northern Palestine.

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September 28, 2015

"We Are Not Red Indians" (We Might All Be Red Indians): Anticolonial Sovereignty Across the Borders of Time, Place and Sentiment

Three Pueblo Indian women displaying their ollas for sale at the railroad tracks, New Mexico, ca.1900.

In a 2004 interview Yasser Arafat, in a state of near confinement and exhaustion, reflected upon his incapacity to move without the immediate threat of assassination, about the Palestinian right of return, about American elections, and his achievements.

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