Arch Support

Published: November 21st, 2011

BU profs seek to unlock mysteries of the human foot
By Amy Sutherland

Last winter Jeremy DeSilva and Simone Gill met over coffee to talk shop about how the human foot works. DeSilva is interested in prehistoric feet, how their anatomy changed when our ancestors gave up tree climbing for walking upright. Gill studies modern feet, specifically how obesity might affect them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

Published: October 5th, 2011

Thomas Barfield introduced the audience to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He showed how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan’s rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets.

Read the rest of this entry »

10 Years Later: Islam in the U.S.

Published: October 5th, 2011

Robert Hefner, professor of anthropology and director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University, discusses the state of Islam and Muslim society in the U.S. since the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Read the rest of this entry »

The World, Post 9/11

Published: October 5th, 2011

BU faculty and staff on what’s changed in decade since
Edited by John O’Rourke

By sheer coincidence I was teaching Sophocles’ Antigone in my course on conflict resolution on that fateful September day that changed the world—alas not for the better, at least not so far in America.

Read the rest of this entry »

One Class, One Day: Studying What You Eat

Published: July 13th, 2011

CAS course examines how food defines culture
By Amy Laskowski

Class by class, lecture by lecture, question asked by question answered, an education is built. This is one of a series of visits to one class, on one day, in search of those building blocks at BU.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Science of Anthropology

Published: May 18th, 2011

BU anthropologists on whether the field is a science
By Rich Barlow

The decision by the American Anthropological Association last fall to delete three references to “science” from its long-range plan drew volcanic eruptions from some outraged anthropologists. According to a New York Times report, the plan, which had said the AAA aspired “to advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects,” now says its goal is “to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects.”

Read the rest of this entry »

African Language Scholar Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Published: May 18th, 2011

CAS prof sheds light on centuries-old written language
By Susan Seligson

When he was growing up in Senegal, Fallou Ngom spoke six languages. He has applied his fascination with language toward cultivating knowledge of, and respect for, a written derivative of Arabic script called Ajami. Although long ignored by colonial powers and the West, Ajami is found in villages all over Senegal, Guinea, and Niger, where it remains a leading written language of commerce, legal documents, journals, even poetry.

Read the rest of this entry »

Professor Cheryl Knott featured at NSF.org

Published: February 15th, 2011

For the last 18 years, Cheryl Knott of Boston University has been racing the clock. While she researches orangutans in the rainforests of Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo, the numbers of this magnificent ape steadily plummet.

The outlook for orangutans–one of human’s closest relatives–is dire because there are only a few tens of thousands of them currently left in the wild, and they are found in only two places: the Sumatran rain forests, where they are critically endangered; and the Borneo rain forests, where they are endangered. The decline of the Sumatran and Bornean populations of orangutans is caused by varied threats, such as illegal logging, the conversion of rain forest to palm oil plantations and farmland, poaching and the pet trade.

Read the rest of this entry »

We Are Told to Call It Chicken: Airline Food & How to Fix It

Published: December 24th, 2010

BY Corky White @ The Atlantic

I’m sick and tired and I am not going to take it anymore. A week ago on YouTube I saw a horrible thing: extruded chicken mass, like piles of pinkish silly putty spiraling out of a faucet. This is the stuff that goes into your chicken patties and nuggets. I gagged and thought, “We’ve reached the bottom of the food chain, we are worse than bottom-feeders.”

Read the rest of this entry »

After a hard day’s work in Afghanistan…

Published: October 7th, 2010

… Petraeus reads about Afghanistan. After spending 16-plus hours each day running the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, American General David Petraeus tries to thumb through a few pages of a book each night before his eyes close and it falls to the ground. The most recent topic? Afghanistan of course.

Read the rest of this entry »