The Thrill of Discovery

Whether exploring a ruined tomb by torchlight, submerging to great depths in search of lost ships, or sending lone robot emissaries to search the stars, human experience is shaped by discovery. More than being a thrill, discoveries challenge our outstanding paradigms and force us to reexamine our understandings of the world. Join in as your TAL hosts Adam Gamwell, Ryan Collins, and Aneil Tripathy bring recent discoveries to the forefront and examine why the unknown is so evocative.


Return of the Ethnographers

Start your week off by tuning in to the TAL crew, the entire TAL crew, back from fieldwork (albeit briefly) as we talk about our experiences in ethnography, archaeology, and excessive note taking! In this exciting episode Amy, Adam, Aneil, and Ryan all share what fieldwork is for them, fun experiences, and the challenges of traveling to new social worlds. This is anthropology in action.

© Ben Gebo Photography

© Ben Gebo Photography

Back from the Field: Syncing into Holly Walter’s Research Part 2

Holly Walter’s joins TAL in the studio to share her experiences and insights into Shaligram  stones! Her fieldwork took her from Kathmandu to Mustang on a pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of trekkers, tourists, and pilgrims. Braving rivers and traveling treacherous mountains all with limited wifi, Holly recounts her experiences and plans to return. Tune in to find out more!


Applying, Designing, and Bringing Anthropology to the Public

Welcome back listeners new and old to the new and exciting season of This Anthropological Life! This season we at TAL have a lot of new content and exciting interviews ahead. To bring everyone up to speed, tune in to our first episode of the new season focused on applied anthropology. What is ‘applied’ anthropology? How can anthropology be ‘designed’ and what role does the public play? Join Aneil Tripathy, Ryan Collins, and guest host Ilana Cohen as they discuss these questions and what makes them relevant to everyday life. Check it out!


Where’s TaL?

Hey folks,

Photo: Adam Gamwell

Photo: Adam Gamwell

As you may have noticed, things have been quiet around the TaL studios as of late. Well, we promise its all for a good reason! Each of your intrepid hosts are currently out and about in the world doing what we do best, or at least what we do pretty darn well :), – Fieldwork!

Adam (me) is currently in Lima, Peru researching quinoa among farmers and geneticists, Aneil is over in London, England working with finance institutions, Amy is a bit further south in Cameroon working with chimpanzees at sanctuaries, and Ryan is getting dirty figuring out the origins of the Maya in Yaxuna, Mexico.

Rest assured, TaL isn’t going anywhere. We are all just a bit busy collecting awesome new stories, prepping new conversations, ideas, and episodes!

As a quick taste, some of episodes being cooked up include:
Genetics and Genes
Colonizing Outer Space
The Ecomodernism Movement
Futurism and the Singularity

So there’s a bunch of cool stuff being cooked up in the TaL labs and we can’t wait to record it and share it with you! Also, be on the look out for some fieldwork reflections and new TaL publications on the way…


TaL Gets a Shout Out in new publication!

Hey Everyone,

As you may know,  one of the main goals for us here at This Anthropological Life is to make anthropology public – to make our methods, subjects, and ways of thinking accessible to everyone. We’re excited to let you know that This Anthro Life got a brief shout out in a new publication by Erin Taylor and Gaiwan Lynch titled “Showcasing Popular Anthropology” – a compilation of short articles published in newspapers and blogs. It includes contributions from Sarah Kenzidor, Joris Luyendijk, Keith Hart, Dori Tunstall, Susan Blum, Helen Fisher, Vito Laterza, Olimide Abimbola, Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, Greg Downey. At the back is a list of further reading to help you learn more about who is doing what and where.

American Anthropological Association Blog Post that links the booklet

Get the booklet here! 

Finally, thanks to Erin Taylor and Gaiway Lynch and the incredible team over at Popanth for their hard (and fun) work making anthropology more public!

Adam, Ryan, Aneil, and Amy


Syncretism in the Land of Sacred Stones w/ Holly Walters

Sometimes ethnographic investigations are pretty straight forward. Sometimes, its like getting submerged in a ball pit with the task of sorting all of the colors, figuring out which ones are older than the others, and grappling with any surprises (and there will be surprises) that come your way. Join us as we talk with Anthropologist Holly Walters on her dissertation work at Muktinath, Nepal and learn about the sacred stones that draw people in as well as spreading out across the globe. Coastal-rocks

Unearthing the Past: Interview w/ Ryan Collins

Ever wanted to know what its like to be an archaeologist? Can you really dig a whole and interpret the past with the materials you find? Is anything about Indiana Jones accurate? 1175038_10102258229731362_1470730094_nTune and listen to host Ryan Collins talk about his experiences with Archaeology and research in Ancient Mesoamerica as part of our TAL Fieldwork series!

Alpine Skiier

Skiing in the Snow

Relating back to our episode on Buried in Snow, Brandeis anthropology MA student Katherine Peterson comes on the show to talk to Ryan and Aneil about her experience growing up in a New Mexico ski town and being a ski instructor. As always, we dive into an anthropological conversation about the nature of fun and learning, initiation rites, and the archaeological history of skiing.

Human Endurance w/ Ben Gebo

Join us for our 50th episode! Return guest host Ben Gebo joins Adam, Aneil, and Ryan as we uncover the human quest to endure, and to push ourselves to the limit. From marathons to surviving evolution, we tackle time and space to bring you an incredible story of the human will to find, and surpass, our own limits. Episode 50