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The Arts

The Extraordinary Dakinis

A conversation with artist Rima Fujita | By Carole McGranahan, anthropologist

"I realized art was only a tool. You have to use the tool to serve the society or help others or do something.” — Rima Fujita

Brought together through their connections to Tibet, Carole and Rima met in person for the first time to discuss female strength and Buddhism, the ethnographic power of art, and Rima’s exhibition “Empowering the Extraordinary Dakinis” which runs through August 4 at Tibet House in New York City. read more

The Arts

The Extraordinary Dakinis

A conversation with artist Rima Fujita | By Carole McGranahan, anthropologist

“I realized art was only a tool. You have to use the tool to serve the society or help others or do something.”
— Rima Fujita

Brought together through their connections to Tibet, Carole and Rima met in person for the first time to discuss female strength and Buddhism, the ethnographic power of art, and Rima’s exhibition “Empowering the Extraordinary Dakinis” which runs through August 4 at Tibet House in New York City.

Carole McGranahan: Rima, I want to start by reading the short text that introduces your exhibition. It reads: “This exhibit presents artist Rima Fujita’s recent works exploring women’s spiritual roles through iconography, tales and figures from the Buddhist tradition and other spiritual cultures, as well as modern influences.” Can you tell me more about the impulse and the spirit behind this art?

Rima Fujita: For years, I’ve painted women and people often ask me, “Why don’t you paint men?” It’s a good question. I paint my dreams. In other words I paint the visions I see in my dreams, the dreams I have when I’m sleeping or in meditation. Women always appear in my dream and men hardly come visit me.

Carole McGranahan: And thus, they aren’t as present in the art.

Rima Fujita: Right. I’ve always painted women. Over the last several years, I started thinking that I wanted to do something to do with female power. Last year the exile Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India asked me to help them create their first sexual health book. It is called Rewa which means hope in Tibetan. They refer to it as a sex-ed book, but the content is actually about girls’ empowerment. Working on that project really finalized my desire to do a series about empowering women or female power. At the same time, I was thinking about Buddhism. People often tell me that I am a dakini, and I’m like “Oh, am I?” in a very skeptical sense. I started to read and study about dakinis and deepened my understanding of them as active, wrathful female spiritual guides or muses. I began to practice chöd, which is a meditation method linked to dakinis; it’s called cutting through the ego. That’s how I came up with this exhibition theme.

Carole McGranahan: Women’s participation and power is such a prominent theme in Buddhism right now, too, and especially in Tibetan Buddhism—the possibilities for women with debates over whether nuns can be fully ordained or sit for a “geshema” degree, the equivalent of a PhD, both of which have historically been limited to men.

Rima Fujita: Yes, there is gender discrimination in Buddhism and yet there are so many powerful goddesses. Why is there this discrepancy? All of these thoughts and experiences came together in this exhibition.

Carole McGranahan: The exhibition centers on six new paintings of yours, two linked trilogies that present different images and ideas about dakinis. Let’s talk about the first painting in the first trilogy, the one called “Chöd.”

#1

Above: Chöd

Rima Fujita: I saw this exact vision in my dream before I painted this. Sometimes people ask about why I have painted this or that, and a lot of times I have to say, “I don’t know.” I am painting an image I saw in my dream. What I like the most in this painting is the silver fox around her neck. It looks like a fur coat, like fox fur, but actually the fox is alive and is holding a skull filled with blood, which is a symbol of dakinis. I’m an animal rights activist so it was really nice to see the fox alive in my dream. In Japan, where I was born, dakinis always travel with silver foxes. I’ve never seen that in Tibetan Buddhism or in any other Buddhist tradition. I think it shows my background or heritage. I think that the woman standing in this painting is killing the woman on the ground, who is not a separate person but is herself. She is killing her own ego to have a beautiful transformation and a new rebirth.

Carole McGranahan: This is something that’s so striking in Tibetan Buddhist art, some of it looks really violent for people who aren’t trained in how to read it. The wrathful deities and fearsome ones are actually doing a lot of work to help people grapple with different emotional problems or the different vices, including ones of character and ego that we all struggle with. It’s so evident in all of these images.

I also find this painting, and all in these two trilogies, to be unique, beautiful examples of the Buddhist interconnectedness of things as well as intercultural connections between Japan, the USA where you have lived for over thirty years, and Tibet. Here we see dakini practice across these different strands and locations of Buddhism.

Rima Fujita: Yes, with exploring women’s power at the center of all of them. The second painting is called “Bliss,” and it looks like teardrops or raindrops perhaps coming down. The woman looks so serene and at peace, almost as if she is trying to receive this blessing from the heaven. To me, the rain looks like blood, and blood symbolizes women or life, because as a woman we deal with blood once a month. It’s part of our body. It’s part of our life, without blood we’re not alive. It really symbolizes female power. To me, it looks like this woman is so blessed with this rain of blood or shower of blood and visually it’s beautiful. It’s not grotesque. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces.

Above: Bliss

Carole McGranahan: In many cultures blood is something that is categorized as either very pure or very impure. It has power in its polluting aspects, and thus a woman’s menstrual blood can be incredibly potent.

Rima Fujita: I remember once, I was in Bali visiting all these beautiful Hindu temples, and at one temple the guard at the entrance door said, “You have to wrap with this.” He gave me a wrap to cover my legs, which was fine with me, but then he said, “If you’re having a period right now, you can’t go in.” I remember I was so upset. I thought, “How could you? How could you say such a thing?” but since I was a tourist I didn’t want to fight with a local tradition. So I did not say anything, but that made me think a lot about the whole issue. This was a long time ago, but what’s wrong with our periods? Why do you see it as a dirty thing? Why is it disgraceful? All those questions stayed with me for many years.

Carole McGranahan: One of the things that I see so powerfully in this exhibition is the Tibetan tantric religious practice of inversion so that menstrual blood is no longer polluting, but is instead seen as life affirming and life giving. It’s a source of power, so you’ll see deities standing in a pool of menstrual blood; here is the dakini world. I feel that your art is trying to open that conversation for folks not necessarily versed in Tibetan tantra, to invite people in to thinking about gender and bodies and power.

Rima Fujita: I hope so.

Carole McGranahan: I hope so too. The third painting in this trilogy is called “Cutting Through the Ego.”

Above: Cutting Through the Ego

Rima Fujita: This image is literally of the cutting through the ego meditation method. It shows the step-by-step method by which you visualize yourself, and then you chop up yourself physically, and then you put yourself back together. You imagine yourself as a small child and you put yourself back together as a small child into your brain.

Carole McGranahan: It’s a practice with a specific series of progressions and moves you make.

Rima Fujita: Which when you explain it sounds horrible.

Carole McGranahan: And violent.

Rima Fujita: Some people say that it’s very dangerous as well, but when I first did chöd meditation I loved it because, as an artist, I battle with my ego every day. It’s a constant battle and this meditation really helps me to reduce it. When I say ego, I mean a bad ego: negativity, fear, ignorance, attachment, all those negative forces. I don’t eliminate them entirely, but I can reduce them for the moment.

Carole McGranahan: I am struck by the woman in these paintings. It is the same woman across the six paintings (and in other works of yours too), and the same woman appearing multiple times in the individual paintings. In “Cutting Through the Ego,” she appears multiple times in full body, as just her head, as standing on another version of herself, and so on. There is a real sense of transformation, of purposeful transformation. And this sort of transformation is built into your artwork as well, into your style.

Rima Fujita: Working on a black surface is my signature style. My work started to be known for that particular style when I was in art school in New York. All I did was line drawings. Over and over I was doing all line drawings so I became really good at it. Whenever I drew or painted, my lines were perfect. It looked great, but to me when art is perfect it’s boring. I know most people strive for perfection, but coming from Japan, we have an aesthetics called wabi-sabi and what it means is you have to find beauty in imperfection because nothing is perfect in this world. Rather than striving for perfection, you appreciate something in front of you and you find beauty in it, or you give it meaning yourself. It’s a deep aesthetics that I respect all the time. I wanted to avoid drawing lines so I came up with this idea to paint the surface of the canvas. I paint the white surface black, and then I lay the colors and leave spaces which become black lines. This way I don’t have to draw lines and it creates a kind of quirky, uneven, unbalanced, but beautiful space of lines. That became my signature style. I’ve been doing this method for 25 years now.

Carole McGranahan: So the work has imperfections built in to it. Your art is constituted in that space of imperfection.

In some ways, anything that claims to be perfect, for me as an anthropologist that would be where I would stop and say, what is going on? Any time there are claims to some sort of perfect truth is where you pause and ask questions. Culture is a system of lived contradiction. We all have cultural frameworks for both making and making sense of the world, and these are both imperfect and impermanent too in a sense. I see your art as traversing several worlds and pulling in all of those contradictions and trying to think about them. The thing about that is it is not debilitating. You’re not paralyzed in forging ahead despite the contradictions involved. That is, in some ways the condition of life is accepting the imperfections. The imperfections don’t actually stop us. They’re part of our movement.

Rima Fujita: That is interesting. I never thought of it that way. I love it when other people can interpret my art.

I believe there are things which exist that we don’t see. Black represents that world. My work is with the light on the black surface that lights these things so that we can see them. Rather than constructing, my work on the black surface is almost like a deconstructive method. I believe those images exist already because they come to me through my dreams. My job is to put the lighting on them so they can be seen.

Carole McGranahan: I love how you call that deconstructive. I wasn’t expecting an artist to talk about creating something as actually being deconstructive—but you’re right. You’re illuminating and bringing to life what’s already there.

Rima Fujita: My work is always deconstructive because I’m not creating something which doesn’t exist already. They exist somewhere. Those visions, I don’t create them. They come to me from somewhere. My job is to execute the paintings in those dreams.

Carole McGranahan: In some ways, that is similar to what an anthropologist does in finding the stories that are already in the world and that haven’t yet been told. Telling these stories, making this art, and then sending both out into the world and thinking about the work they do. Art can’t be only about the artist and scholarly work is never only about the scholar. Instead, there is a responsibility to think about what an essay or a book or a painting is going to do in the world once it is completed. This is the idea of the scholar and the artist being of service in some way.

Rima Fujita: My book projects are that for me too. Rewa and the others I’ve done about the environment, tuberculosis, folktales—they all combine art and stories in Tibetan, English, and Japanese. I make them for Tibetan refugee kids and have donated over 12,000 books to the community. Until I started making the books, I didn’t know the purpose of art. Eventually I realized art was only a tool. It was not the goal. You’re an artist, you have a talent, you have to use the tool to serve the society or help others or do something. Use your talent to be of service.

Carole McGranahan: As an anthropologist, I find myself turning more and more to art, especially to contemporary Tibetan art to understand the stories people are telling me or a particular historical moment or, say, Tibetans’ relationships to someone like Mao Zedong. Sometimes art is what I need to understand a particular cultural or historical or political moment. Art can provide ethnographic context not always found in the spoken or written word.

Rima Fujita: Art is so particular and personal. I really don’t expect to like or even understand my own art, and whatever viewers feel or interpret is up to them. I’m not the type to say, “Oh, this means this.” You can look at the same painting every day and see and feel it differently. You find something new each day.

Carole McGranahan: Even when it’s your own painting?

Rima Fujita: Sometimes I think, “Did I paint this?” I even said this at the opening for “Empowering the Extraordinary Dakinis.” To me art is something you communicate with the heart. The art of today has become too cerebral. It’s all about our brain, our intellect, you have to understand this and that and that. To me, if you hate it, that’s fine. Art is meant to talk to your heart or stir up some kind of emotion or memory from the past life, some karmic connection. To do so through here [touches her heart], not through here [touches head].

Carole McGranahan: Through your heart, not your mind.

Rima Fujita: Yes. Some people don’t communicate with art that way and that’s okay, because my art is not for these kinds of people. It’s okay. It’s a lot to take on. To me, my art is a success if I can make any kind of emotional connection with the viewer.

Carole McGranahan: I think we can call this exhibit a success.

Rima Fujita: Thank you.

Rima Fujita was born in Tokyo, lived in New York City for thirty-two years, and now divides her time in NYC, Southern California and Tokyo. She graduated from Parsons School of Design, and has exhibited her work internationally to much acclaim. As a founder of her organization, Books For Children she has created six books and has donated 12,000 books to the Tibetan refugee children in exile. As a descendant of the Last Samurai her creative aesthetics is strongly influenced by the philosophy of Bushido and Buddhism.

Carole McGranahan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado. She is author of Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War (Duke University Press, 2010), co-editor with Ann Laura Stoler and Peter Perdue of Imperial Formations (SAR Press, 2007), and co-director with Losang Gyatso of the Mechak Center for Contemporary Tibetan Art. Currently, she is researching and writing about refugee citizenship in the Tibetan diaspora in Delhi, Kathmandu, New York City, and Toronto.

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George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed. READ MORE

Mag-Rack
Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. READ MORE

anOther3
When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther Magazine READ MORE

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people. READ MORE

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape. READ MORE

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything. READ MORE

bbe
Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. READ MORE

lead_960
The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones. READ MORE

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process. READ MORE

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology. READ MORE

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE

IMG_1601
21 New Magazines Rated for Feeding Curious Minds

| by Arthurious /08.17.2016

It’s fascinating to see the printed magazine scene enriched with new voices and creative energy. I’ve scouted for some new titles—here’re 21 of them—read, dissected, and stress-tested by my bookshelf. The ratings represent the overall amount of curiosity you’ll be able to feed. READ MORE

proxy
Why big data is actually small, personal and very human

By Rebecca Lemov | Photo by Harald Sund/Getty/licensed by aeon.co /08.26.2016

READ MORE

A conversation with Barry Lord
A conversation with Barry Lord

/02.24.2015

The museum planner and thought leader joins the dots between culture and energy. READ MORE

PLACEMAKING788
On placemaking

An anthropologist’s perspective by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.11.2015

READ MORE

taste-road_799
A taste of the road

Ethnographer Bruno Moynié's road trip into the American South /08.25.2014

Imagine you are sitting down to eat, when all of a sudden you look up and see a bald, middle aged man, wearing a large skull ring and a dark t-shirt, who introduces himself to you with these words... READ MORE

Bangladesh_x788B
Cosmopolitan moments

Diversity through the lens of Colin Shafer /10.13.2014

Participatory Photography project “Cosmopolis Toronto” combines collaborative authorship between subject and photographer to create a visual metaphor for Toronto’s diversity. READ MORE

proxy
Why big data is actually small, personal and very human

By Rebecca Lemov | Photo by Harald Sund/Getty/licensed by aeon.co /08.26.2016

READ MORE ON www.aeon.co

spyvsspy_788
Spy vs Ethnographer

Understanding the lives of ethnographers through the lives of spies | By Carrie Yury /04.17.2016

I have a confession to make. I am a secret, impassioned lover of detective fiction. Although I began my academic career pursuing serious literature, these days, I don’t read the classics. Instead, I read whodunits. Cozies. Mysteries.READ MORE

UMD anthropolgy and sociology professor Mita Emad speaks to her class March 29, 2016 during a discussion using the Canadian magazine Peeps.
Peeps in the classroom

By Mitra Emad | Photography by Brett Groehler /04.19.2016

Professor Mitra Emad discusses how she and her class used Peeps Magazine as a resource this year.READ MORE

Peepsfinal_OPT
Soothe-sayers and storytellers

The healing capacity of narrative—by Emma Louise Backe /02.15.2016

When I cracked my head on the floor, words leaked out as quickly as blood from the wound in my scalp. Yet the damage from my brain contusion was as much internal as it was external. Blood seeped into my frontal lobe as I lay, head throbbing, in a hospital bed, ravaged by pain and fear of what had truly been broken in my injury.READ MORE

Rue Saint Denis,
© Boris Svartzman
Introducing Peeps Magazine Issue 02: Crossing Thresholds

From the Editors’ Desk | by Anya-Milana Sulaver & Aliah El-houni /04.17.2016

Every issue we create starts with an idea. It’s usually a great idea. And then it evolves into something we could never have imagined ourselves as the contributions we receive are put side by side.READ MORE

Lesbos_01LR
Shifting the global conversation on refugees

An interview with Sarah Green | By Monica Heller /03.30.2016

Recently, vast numbers of people have been moving across borders, catching global media attention and producing complex responses from countries- those which host these refugees, and those which refuse. The same phrase is used repeatedly in describing the exodus: refugee crisis.READ MORE

Brooklyn Orange tongue-2
Bricolage in a can

The story of one research team's journey into the brand culture of alcoholic energy drinks | By Gavin Johnston /03.24.2016

In its original formulation, Sparks was one of the first alcoholic beverages to contain caffeine. Its other original active ingredients included taurine, ginseng, and guarana, the backbone ingredients of traditional energy drinks.READ MORE

IUJP9OI22I_OPT
The changing face of Valentine’s Day

How Millennial values are redefining the landscape of love—Written by Megan Melissa Machamer /02.10.2016

Red roses, representing the color of passion. A pink box of chocolate to color code budding love and desire. A diamond necklace in a velvet, heart shaped box. You sit alone on your couch, frustrated that the last three commercials have not been directed at you—you are just trying to watch the game!READ MORE

IMG_3298_788
Peeps Magazine through academic eyes

A review of Peeps Magazine by Leslie Carlin and Simon Coleman, University of Toronto /02.09.2016

The University of Toronto Anthropology program has been interested in Peeps Magazine since we introduced ourselves to them with our Kickstarter campaign last June. When the issue finally dropped in November, the program kindly offered up the services of Drs. Leslie Carlin and Simon Coleman to provide us with some constructive feedback and their thoughts.READ MORE

IMG_32692_OPT
Why I love female superheroes

A close look at Supergirl and Jessica Jones—Written by Charissa Dechène /01.20.2016

In the summer of 2015, I bought a Supergirl keyring in the LEGO store in my hometown of Gouda, The Netherlands. The moment my eyes caught the keyring hanging on the wall I just had to have it.READ MORE

Xu_In-the-morning,-Chong-Xu-starts-to-prepare-the-online-order-system.-His-wife-is-watching-him.
Portraits of the post-Mao generation

A photo essay of China’s much anticipated post-80s generation—Photos and text by Yuyang Liu /01.21.2016

In his work for Issue 01 of Peeps Magazine, Chinese photographer Yuyang Liu captured a day in the life of members of the much anticipated generation that anthropologist Graham Candy identifies as reputedly "only know[ing] of China’s rise in fame and fortune.”READ MORE

image-5_MainOpt_788
On the fall and rise of hands

Unraveling our ties to technology to remember the art of making things—By Elisabeth Bennett / Photography by Curtis James /12.10.2015

When we characterize younger generations today, perhaps what most differentiates them from others is their nativity and literacy in the digital age. We make much of this difference and contemplate how it affects and reflects language, brain development, and future innovation in technology.READ MORE

Wade_Inside_Portrait2_788_OPT
Authentic storytelling

An interview with Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade /12.10.2015

Cynthia Wade is an award winning documentary and commercial director known for intimate and gripping storytelling. Whether in a remote village in Cambodia or a conference room on Madison Avenue, Cynthia has been recognized for her ability to find and capture moving stories.READ MORE

IMG_5705_788
Mindful of the mosaic

The Sensuous Geographies of Ethnic Festivals—By Kelley McClinchey /08.25.2015

Ethnic festivals benefit individuals and communities; not only for the community at large, but for recent migrants, first generation, second, or even third generation community members. Ethnic festivals may begin and maintain themselves as grassroots events, but others generate widespread notoriety frequently becoming hallmark events.READ MORE

Print
Sound Advice

How names can shape consumer preferences—By Sam Maglio and Cris Rabaglia /07.28.2015

The study of language has the power to turn the average person into a mind reader. Take a look at the two figures above. If we told you that one of these shapes is called a kiki and the other a bouba, how would you match these names to the two shapes?READ MORE

Farm_778
The promise of big data

On bringing together two different approaches to research—By Tim Fisher /08.03.2015

As a curious six year-old, I studied each nook and cranny of the farm where I grew-up. I felt intimately familiar with every element of the landscape. Then, one day, my mother showed me an aerial photograph of the farm and it reshaped my understanding of the place where I lived. I now had two ways to see my world—an “on the ground” view that was filled with richness and nuance, and a view from above that helped me to place my understanding in a broader perspective.READ MORE

Baltimore-Uprising-Collage_788
The long and the short of it

Reflecting on narrative, grief and violence in the wake of Baltimore—By Sarah Stefana Smith, Cultural Analyst /08.03.2015

In late April, I watched from Toronto as Baltimore, a landscape I had weeks prior inhabited, bubbled over from the confines of ‘respectable’ grief and rage. I encountered the first of numerous broadcasts quite off guard. I was sitting in the lobby of a hotel where I often went to write to use the free wifi. In the background the television screen flashed “Violent Riots in Baltimore” as CBC anchors offered up detailed accounts of looting and burning in the streets. How is one supposed to feel when watching their home in conflict?READ MORE

Film Review-Mad Max: Fury Road
Breaking the princess complex

/06.24.2015

As a filmmaker and an anthropologist, I am always looking for films that explore popular topics from an unlikely point of view. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is such a film.READ MORE

Astronaut_portrait_Opt2_788
Marking territory in the infinite

/05.25.2015

As an anthropologist interested in outer space, I was immediately struck by the implications of taking a flag off of our planet.READ MORE

peeps_final_788
Changing the shape of fashion

The new power of the plus-sized market—By Cat Ashton /05.27.2015

In the fall of 2011, at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, I entered one of the clothing booths in the hope of finding a Christmas present for my mother. As I began to look over colourful sweaters and patchwork hoodies, the booth owner quickly moved to intercept me. “We don't have anything for you here,” he said. Mortified, I slunk away; the anger came later.READ MORE

AirBnB_02
My share of the sharing economy

Our cultural analyst and forum editor at Peeps reflects on her lived experience as part of the new Web 2.0-based sharing economy. /12.02.2014

READ MORE

Hong Kong, democracy and cultural myths / Peeps Forum / Photography by DM Chung
Hong Kong, democracy and cultural myths

By Graham Candy / Photography by DM Chung /10.13.2014

Myths are the way we make sense of our world, they are the stories we are told, and in turn tell to others. Myths provide a sense of purpose in a complex world, and fundamentally, hope for the future.READ MORE

SeparateMarch788
In defense of bias

On the nature of qualitative research—By Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.18.2015

Let’s talk about bias. I have it. You have it. As humans all of us have our own opinions towards virtually everything that comes across our plates in our daily lives, be it (literally) a menu option or (the more serious) potentially deadly first impression. And researchers, from the molecular biologist to the cultural anthropologist, are not excluded from this inherent trait.READ MORE

youthsoccer_main
Observations of an observer

A visual-ethnographer’s insights from the field—By Jacob Langvad Nilsson /10.13.2014

Youth are much more connected today than, say, 15 years ago. We are all more connected. And the same thing is happening in emerging markets, there are smart phones and internet cafes, and people know what is going on in other countries.READ MORE

shutterstock
What journalists get wrong about social science, according to 20 scientists

By Brian Resnick /01.26.2016

There's a constant conflict between social scientists and the reporters who cover them. It's derived from "a fundamental tension between the media's desire for novelty and the scientific method," as Sanjay Srivastava, who researches personality at the University of Oregon, tells me.READ MORE

Social-over-mobile__788x510
The EPIC2015 Conversation

By Maria Bezaitis, Alexandra Mack & Ken Anderson /01.28.2016

EPIC2015 was notable for so many excellent reasons. São Paulo enabled an influx of new participants and presenters from Latin America, expanding the community and conversation with new colleagues and stakeholders as well as new ways of thinking about people that develop out of different cultural perspectives.READ MORE

C52A8514_788
Making the strange familiar and the familiar strange

Stepping into the shoes of an ethnographer—By Megan Melissa Machamer /06.19.2015

READ MORE

about face
About Face

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? / By Patricia Marx /01.29.2016

If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul. An eerily high number of women there—and men, too—look like anime princesses.READ MORE

10299923685_5d317d852a_k
Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You

An old, but still very relevant article / By Peter Merholz /02.26.2016

Whenever I see a business magazine glow about design thinking, as BusinessWeek has done recently with this special report, and which Harvard Business Review did last year it gets my dander up. Not because I don’t see the value of design (I started a company dedicated to experience design), but because the discussion in such articles is inevitably so fetishistic, and sadly limited.READ MORE

1*j6o_QkSqzD0yvoJmEkYgeQ
A behavorial approach to product design

Four steps to designing products with impact—By Aaron Otani /01.08.2016

Understanding the psychology and science behind how people interpret information, make decisions, and take action enables us to deliver more effective designs.READ MORE

hack
The anthropology of hackers

By Gabriella Coleman /01.25.2016

A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term.READ MORE

Ballet dancers perform in Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia November 20, 2015. For theatregoers in St Petersburg, Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" demonstrates the global appeal of a Christmas classic. When the curtain rises at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, among the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, it's the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians playing the famous score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  REUTERS/Grigory Dukor   PICTURE 25 OF 31 - SEARCH "DUKOR NUTCRACKER" FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX1Y2RU
How the arts add to urban economies

Performing arts organizations like opera or ballet help to attract knowledge workers—By Richard Florida /01.08.2016

A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that the arts do in fact add to urban economies overall.READ MORE

2
An anthropologist unravels the mysteries of Mexican migration

Undocumented immigrants risk scorching temperatures, venomous creatures, and military surveillance to get into the U.S.—By Simon Worrall /01.08.2016

Despite the arduousness of the crossing and the high-tech surveillance systems arrayed against them, most of the survivors will attempt to cross again.READ MORE

17goffman-superJumbo-v3
The trials of Alice Goffman

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus /01.18.2016

Before the morning last September when I joined her at Newark Airport, I had met Alice Goffman only twice. But in the previous months, amid a widening controversy both inside and outside the academy over her research, she and I had developed a regular email correspondence, and she greeted me at the gate as if I were an old friend.READ MORE

Heroes-Bowie-Photoshoot
The death and mourning for David Bowie

By Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg /01.18.2016

"I was asked today if I would consider writing something about the death of David Bowie and about public mourning. This is awkward timing. The subject of mourning has become a vexed and maybe unwelcome one for me."READ MORE

Graduate-Institute-Geneva
Picture of a house—toward the ethnography of the academia

By Miia Halme-Tuomisaari /01.19.2016

There was a time when universities were modelled after churches. Today their designs echo temples of different kinds—namely corporate headquarters. In light of what is going on in the academia, this makes perfect sense.READ MORE

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr. Via SociologyAtWork.org
Dr Martin Luther King: “Public sociologist par excellence”

By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos /01.20.2016

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.”READ MORE

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 5.21.28 PM
Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

By Marie-Anne Suizzo / Photography by Natasha Mileshina /01.08.2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique.READ MORE

lead_960_Peeps
What was Volkswagen thinking?

On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy—By Jerry Useem /01.11.2016

One day in 1979, James Burke, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, summoned more than 20 of his key people into a room, jabbed his finger at an internal document, and proposed destroying it.READ MORE

design-thinking
‘Design thinking’ is changing the way we approach problems

Why researchers in various disciplines are using the principles of design to solve problems big and small. / By Tim Johnson /01.21.2016

Much of our modern life, it seems, has been designed in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it made perfect sense that the concept of “design thinking” finds its greatest expression here. At least that’s what I learned over lunch with Doug Wightman, one of design thinking’s foremost proponents.READ MORE

4164251472_a7e6d32028_o
Anthropology in business

For business, what do anthropologists bring to the party? / By Patricia Sunderland & Rita Denny /03.11.2016

READ MORE

Peeps-review-657x472B
A review of Peeps magazine

By Steve Watson /01.24.2016

I first came across Peeps magazine last year as a Kickstarter campaign and was immediately fascinated by the premise of a magazine built around anthropological research and insight.READ MORE

Susan_Forbes_021
Cultural Anthropologist Susan Kresnicka Reveals How Her Core Passions Help Hollywood Thrive

"I encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." / By Kathy Caprino /02.01.2016

Susan Kresnicka works at Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency Troika, spearheading their Research and Insights group.READ MORE

The-reception-of-the-diplomatique
The water-cooler problem

Company success and employee satisfaction depend on social ties that are hard to forge in a globalized era. / By Alexandra Mack /02.01.2016

George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed.READ MORE

Mag-Rack
Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite.READ MORE

anOther3
When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther MagazineREAD MORE

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people.READ MORE

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape.READ MORE

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything.READ MORE

bbe
Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media.READ MORE

lead_960
The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones.READ MORE

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process.READ MORE

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology.READ MORE

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE

IMG_1601
21 New Magazines Rated for Feeding Curious Minds

| by Arthurious /08.17.2016

It’s fascinating to see the printed magazine scene enriched with new voices and creative energy. I’ve scouted for some new titles—here’re 21 of them—read, dissected, and stress-tested by my bookshelf. The ratings represent the overall amount of curiosity you’ll be able to feed.READ MORE

proxy
Why big data is actually small, personal and very human

By Rebecca Lemov | Photo by Harald Sund/Getty/licensed by aeon.co /08.26.2016

READ MORE

A conversation with Barry Lord
A conversation with Barry Lord

/02.24.2015

The museum planner and thought leader joins the dots between culture and energy.READ MORE

PLACEMAKING788
On placemaking

An anthropologist’s perspective by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.11.2015

READ MORE

taste-road_799
A taste of the road

Ethnographer Bruno Moynié's road trip into the American South /08.25.2014

Imagine you are sitting down to eat, when all of a sudden you look up and see a bald, middle aged man, wearing a large skull ring and a dark t-shirt, who introduces himself to you with these words...READ MORE

Bangladesh_x788B
Cosmopolitan moments

Diversity through the lens of Colin Shafer /10.13.2014

Participatory Photography project “Cosmopolis Toronto” combines collaborative authorship between subject and photographer to create a visual metaphor for Toronto’s diversity.READ MORE

Curations

proxy
Why big data is actually small, personal and very human

By Rebecca Lemov | Photo by Harald Sund/Getty/licensed by aeon.co /08.26.2016

READ MORE ON www.aeon.co

IMG_1601
21 New Magazines Rated for Feeding Curious Minds

| by Arthurious /08.17.2016

It’s fascinating to see the printed magazine scene enriched with new voices and creative energy. I’ve scouted for some new titles—here’re 21 of them—read, dissected, and stress-tested by my bookshelf. The ratings represent the overall amount of curiosity you’ll be able to feed. READ MORE ON arthurious.com

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE ON xojane.com

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE ON aljazeera.com

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE ON fastcocreate.com

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process. READ MORE ON forbes.com

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape. READ MORE ON fastcodesign.com

4164251472_a7e6d32028_o
Anthropology in business

For business, what do anthropologists bring to the party? / By Patricia Sunderland & Rita Denny /03.11.2016

READ MORE ON americananthro.org

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE ON ucl.ac.uk

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology. READ MORE ON Forbes.com

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Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You

An old, but still very relevant article / By Peter Merholz /02.26.2016

Whenever I see a business magazine glow about design thinking, as BusinessWeek has done recently with this special report, and which Harvard Business Review did last year it gets my dander up. Not because I don’t see the value of design (I started a company dedicated to experience design), but because the discussion in such articles is inevitably so fetishistic, and sadly limited. READ MORE ON hbr.org

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Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. READ MORE ON noisey.vice.com

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The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people. READ MORE ON scientificamerican.com

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything. READ MORE ON aeon.co

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When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther Magazine READ MORE ON AnOtherMag.com

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Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. READ MORE ON 99percentinvisible.org

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The water-cooler problem

Company success and employee satisfaction depend on social ties that are hard to forge in a globalized era. / By Alexandra Mack /02.01.2016

George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed. READ MORE ON sapiens.org

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Cultural Anthropologist Susan Kresnicka Reveals How Her Core Passions Help Hollywood Thrive

"I encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." / By Kathy Caprino /02.01.2016

Susan Kresnicka works at Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency Troika, spearheading their Research and Insights group. READ MORE ON Forbes.com

about face
About Face

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? / By Patricia Marx /01.29.2016

If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul. An eerily high number of women there—and men, too—look like anime princesses. READ MORE ON newyorker.com

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The EPIC2015 Conversation

By Maria Bezaitis, Alexandra Mack & Ken Anderson /01.28.2016

EPIC2015 was notable for so many excellent reasons. São Paulo enabled an influx of new participants and presenters from Latin America, expanding the community and conversation with new colleagues and stakeholders as well as new ways of thinking about people that develop out of different cultural perspectives. READ MORE ON epicpeople.org

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What journalists get wrong about social science, according to 20 scientists

By Brian Resnick /01.26.2016

There's a constant conflict between social scientists and the reporters who cover them. It's derived from "a fundamental tension between the media's desire for novelty and the scientific method," as Sanjay Srivastava, who researches personality at the University of Oregon, tells me. READ MORE ON vox.com

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The anthropology of hackers

By Gabriella Coleman /01.25.2016

A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

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A review of Peeps magazine

By Steve Watson /01.24.2016

I first came across Peeps magazine last year as a Kickstarter campaign and was immediately fascinated by the premise of a magazine built around anthropological research and insight. READ MORE ON stackmagazines.com

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‘Design thinking’ is changing the way we approach problems

Why researchers in various disciplines are using the principles of design to solve problems big and small. / By Tim Johnson /01.21.2016

Much of our modern life, it seems, has been designed in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it made perfect sense that the concept of “design thinking” finds its greatest expression here. At least that’s what I learned over lunch with Doug Wightman, one of design thinking’s foremost proponents. READ MORE ON universityaffairs.ca

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr. Via SociologyAtWork.org
Dr Martin Luther King: “Public sociologist par excellence”

By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos /01.20.2016

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” READ MORE ON sociologyatwork.org

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Picture of a house—toward the ethnography of the academia

By Miia Halme-Tuomisaari /01.19.2016

There was a time when universities were modelled after churches. Today their designs echo temples of different kinds—namely corporate headquarters. In light of what is going on in the academia, this makes perfect sense. READ MORE ON allegralaboratory.net

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The death and mourning for David Bowie

By Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg /01.18.2016

"I was asked today if I would consider writing something about the death of David Bowie and about public mourning. This is awkward timing. The subject of mourning has become a vexed and maybe unwelcome one for me." READ MORE ON warwick.ac.uk

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The trials of Alice Goffman

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus /01.18.2016

Before the morning last September when I joined her at Newark Airport, I had met Alice Goffman only twice. But in the previous months, amid a widening controversy both inside and outside the academy over her research, she and I had developed a regular email correspondence, and she greeted me at the gate as if I were an old friend. READ MORE ON The New York Times

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What was Volkswagen thinking?

On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy—By Jerry Useem /01.11.2016

One day in 1979, James Burke, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, summoned more than 20 of his key people into a room, jabbed his finger at an internal document, and proposed destroying it. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

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Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

By Marie-Anne Suizzo / Photography by Natasha Mileshina /01.08.2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique. READ MORE ON theconversation.com

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An anthropologist unravels the mysteries of Mexican migration

Undocumented immigrants risk scorching temperatures, venomous creatures, and military surveillance to get into the U.S.—By Simon Worrall /01.08.2016

Despite the arduousness of the crossing and the high-tech surveillance systems arrayed against them, most of the survivors will attempt to cross again. READ MORE ON nationalgeographic.com

Ballet dancers perform in Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia November 20, 2015. For theatregoers in St Petersburg, Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" demonstrates the global appeal of a Christmas classic. When the curtain rises at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, among the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, it's the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians playing the famous score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  REUTERS/Grigory Dukor   PICTURE 25 OF 31 - SEARCH "DUKOR NUTCRACKER" FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX1Y2RU
How the arts add to urban economies

Performing arts organizations like opera or ballet help to attract knowledge workers—By Richard Florida /01.08.2016

A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that the arts do in fact add to urban economies overall. READ MORE ON citylab.com

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A behavorial approach to product design

Four steps to designing products with impact—By Aaron Otani /01.08.2016

Understanding the psychology and science behind how people interpret information, make decisions, and take action enables us to deliver more effective designs. READ MORE ON Medium.com