Open Access Publications

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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Department of Anthropology.


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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Woman the hunter: The physiological evidence
    (American Anthropologist, 2023-09-04) Ocobock, Cara; Lacy, Sarah
    Myths of “Man the Hunter” and male biological superiority persist in interpretations and reconstructions of human evolution. Although there are uncontroversial average biological differences between females and males, the potential physiological advantages females may possess are less well-known and less well-studied. Here we review and present emerging physiological evidence that females may be metabolically better suited for endurance activities such as running, which could have profound implications for understanding subsistence capabilities and patterns in the past. We discuss the role of estrogen and adiponectin as respective key modulators of glucose and fat metabolism, both of which are critical fuels during long endurance activities. We also discuss how differences in overall body composition, muscle fiber composition, the metabolic cost of load carrying, and self-pacing may provide females with increased endurance capacities. Highlighting these potential advantages provides a physiological framework that complements existing archaeological (Lacy and Ocobock, this issue) and cultural work reassessing female endurance and hunting capabilities as well as the sexual division of labor. Such a holistic approach is critical to amending our current understanding of hu(wo)man evolution. Land Acknowledgment: The University of Notre Dame is on the traditional territory of the Haudenosauneega, Miami, Peoria, all of the Bodéwadmik Potawatomi peoples, and particularly the Pokégnek Bodéwadmik/Pokagon Potawatomi. The University of Delaware occupies lands vital to the web of life for the Lenni Lenape and Nanticoke, who share their ancestry, history, and future in this region.
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    Woman the hunter: The archaeological evidence
    (American Anthropologist, 2023-09-04) Lacy, Sarah; Ocobock, Cara
    The Paleo-fantasy of a deep history to a sexual division of labor, often described as “Man the Hunter and Woman the Gatherer,” continues to dominate the literature. We see it used as the default hypothesis in anatomical and physiological reconstructions of the past as well as studies of modern people evoking evolutionary explanations. However, the idea of a strict sexual labor division in the Paleolithic is an assumption with little supporting evidence, which reflects a failure to question how modern gender roles color our reconstructions of the past. Here we present examples to support women's roles as hunters in the past as well as challenge oft-cited interpretations of the material culture. Such evidence includes stone tool function, diet, art, anatomy and paleopathology, and burials. By pulling together the current state of the archaeological evidence along with the modern human physiology presented in the accompanying paper (Ocobock and Lacy, this issue), we argue that not only are women well-suited to endurance activities like hunting, but there is little evidence to support that they were not hunting in the Paleolithic. Going forward, paleoanthropology should embrace the idea that all sexes contributed equally to life in the past, including via hunting activities.
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    Futurity Beyond the State: Illegal Markets and Imagined Futures in Latin America
    (Latin American Politics and Society, 2022-10-21) Dewey, Matías; Thomas, Kedron
    This collection of articles features field-based research on illegal markets across Latin America, with special attention to the expectations and representations of the future that surround and emerge from people’s involvement in illegal economic activities. In contrast to explanatory models in the social sciences that are oriented toward the past and the present—where “an outcome is explained by previous events, leading causally to what is being observed in the present” (Beckert and Suckert Reference Beckert and Suckert2020, 2)—we are witnessing renewed interest across various disciplines in the future, understood as a temporality that is socially produced, circulated, and experienced. Scholars in anthropology, sociology, and political science are now documenting the ways that people imagine the future and orient themselves in practice toward potential opportunities and outcomes. Futurity has emerged as a keyword that refers to an affective phenomenon with concrete and specific manifestations and significant implications for everyday life.
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    Anti-Racist Struggle - Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by Peter Wade, James Scorer, and Ignacio Aguiló. London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 2019. Pp. 220. $32.00 paper; $26.00 e-book; free pdf.
    (The Americas, 2021-09-23) Guerrón Montero, Carla
    The image of Latin America and the Caribbean as “race paradises” lingers in the popular imagination and even in some academic settings. This book offers a powerful rebuttal of that stereotypical depiction by engaging with the prevalent racism that has historically permeated the region, which its editors and authors interpret as a product of long-standing colonial and postcolonial practices of domination and inequality in the global world order.
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