African sailors changed the world. West African Lébou, Kru, Fante, and many others were highly skilled at crossing the rough surf of the Atlantic seaboard and had elaborate trading networks along the coast. When Europeans began visiting the continent, they lacked the same skills and so hired these canoe men to carry them safely to shore and load and unload their cargo. African mariners were employed by slave ships to convey captives out to the deep water. Appropriating their skills, Europeans also engaged such men to go on longer voyages as deep-sea sailors, cooks, and translators. Many other Africans carried boating experience with them into slavery, knowledge that could later help them to escape and make lives for themselves in one of the most egalitarian professions of the time. African sailors served in navies around the Atlantic world; they became pirates and privateers, hunted whales, and made voyages of discovery. The African diaspora, born on the rolling waves of the Atlantic, became closely tied to the sea as both the scene of slavery and its fight for liberation.
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African Sailors in the Atlantic World
The Anthropology of Policy
Noémi Lendvai-Bainton and Paul Stubbs
The anthropology of policy as a field emerged in the 1990s in recognition of the need to understand and critically interrogate policies as important sites of classification, disciplining, and production of order and change. The anthropology of policy has developed as a critical strand challenging mainstream policy studies, public administration, and political science by insisting that the work of policy is always political. Policy worlds are seen as inextricably linked to power relations just as much as politics itself; indeed, the border between policy and politics is highly permeable. A wealth of literature that has been produced in the early 21st century has highlighted the complexities of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the deeply fragmented, unruly worlds of policy. A linear, stagist, and one-dimensional understanding of policy time fails to take account of the multiple, uneven, and contradictory temporal claims of policy. An emphasis on policy performance and affect has also highlighted the ways in which policies are always unfinished as they are mediated and translated, refused, inhabited, and reworked by those they summon. In the context of heightened policy mobility and movement, the importance of the idea of policy assemblages has emerged. Assemblages, animated by actors and actants, are always a heterogeneous combination of discourses and practices existing through unstable and contingent spatiotemporal orderings. Spaces of solidarity and fragility, policy assemblages are key sites for the making and unmaking of both hierarchies and possibilities. A critical tradition of the anthropology of policy needs to be built upon in order to offer a contribution to a broader decolonial turn. There is a need to deconstruct colonial assumptions, emphasize the relevance of colonial legacies, and develop decolonial approaches to understanding the policy world much more than has been the case thus far. In addition, there are questions not only concerning the “what” but also the “who” of an anthropology of policy. Activist anthropology plays an important role in terms of antiracism, counterhegemonic world-making, and policy otherwise, with new imaginaries and possibilities going beyond the general academic critique of a neoliberal, postneoliberal, and postdemocratic world. The challenges of big data, technological change, the crisis of democracy, and new forms of authoritarianism and angry politics all highlight the continued importance of anthropological approaches to policy.
A People-Centered Urban Recovery Strategy for Karantina (Beirut, Lebanon) in the Aftermath of the Beirut Port Blast
Howayda Al-Harithy and Batoul Yassine
On August 4, 2020, a huge blast at the Port of Beirut, Lebanon, devastated the city and severely impacted people’s lives. Accordingly, the urban recovery team at the Beirut Urban Lab in the American University of Beirut immediately mobilized its resources and expertise to respond to the blast. Based on the early observations of the team, some of the typical practices and challenges associated with post-disaster responses were identified. The Lebanese government was largely absent and did not provide a recovery plan for the devastated neighborhoods next to the Beirut port. As such, public institutions played a limited role and failed to position themselves as the custodians of the common good. The efforts of many actors on the ground—for example, nongovernmental organizations that provided emergency relief and short-term humanitarian aid—were also not coordinated and lacked a shared vision and a common framework. The de facto postwar reconstruction approach that was previously adopted in Lebanon was primarily physical, in which buildings were the focus. Accordingly, the Beirut Urban Lab provided an alternative, based on its approach to urban recovery that is people-centered, holistic, and multilayered; it stressed the need for long-term sociocultural and economic recovery. The Lab worked on different initiatives, from collecting and sharing data to coordinating with multiple partners, establishing an Observatory of Reconstruction, carrying out spatial interventions, and proposing a neighborhood-scale urban recovery strategy. The urban recovery strategy focused on one of the neighborhoods next to the Beirut port, Karantina, to serve as a pilot. This urban recovery strategy adopted the participatory City Development Strategy (CDS) model and combined it with the citizen science method to maximize community engagement. The Lab’s work in Karantina demonstrates the importance of CDSs as strategic planning models that should be part of urban recovery at a neighborhood scale. As opposed to the dominant approaches to postwar reconstruction in Lebanon, they aim to enhance participation and engagement with local community groups. The paper also details the steps of the proposed urban recovery strategy in Karantina and explores ways to sustain it on the long-term in situations of compounded crises like in Lebanon.
Application of One Health Principles to the Control of Antimicrobial Resistance
Meghan F. Davis
One Health interventions that address human, animal, and environmental health domains are critical for controlling the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These interventions can target upstream conditions, such as prevention strategies like vaccination or policies, to restrict antimicrobial use in humans, animals, and plants, with a goal to reduce the selective pressure that can drive the emergence and expansion of drug-resistant pathogens. Downstream, environmental hygiene initiatives can target transmission pathways between people and animals to limit exposure to drug-resistant pathogens. Holistic, transdisciplinary approaches that address the factors driving antimicrobial use in people, animals, and the environment hold promise to help curb the global challenge of AMR.
John MacGinnis and David Michelmore
A Review of Alternative Water Supply Systems in ASEAN
Cecilia Tortajada, Kristopher Hartley, Corinne Ong, and Ojasvee Arora
Climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and growing water demand across all sectors are stressing existing water supply systems, highlighting the need for alternative water supply (AWS) systems. AWS systems are those that have not typically existed in the traditional supply portfolio of a given service area but may be used to reduce the pressure on traditional water resources and potentially improve the system’s resilience. AWS systems have been used for decades, often where traditional systems are unable to maintain sufficient quantity and quality of water supply. Simpler forms of AWS systems, like rainwater harvesting, have been used for centuries. As human population and water demand have increased, AWS systems now play a larger role in the broader supply portfolio, but these systems alone are not able to fully resolve the increasingly complex mix of problems contributing to water stress. Entrenched challenges that go beyond technical issues include low institutional capacity for developing, operating, and maintaining AWS systems; monitoring water quality; more efficiently using available resources; and establishing clear responsibilities among governments, service providers, and property owners. Like traditional water supply systems, AWS systems should be developed within a sustainability-focused framework that incorporates scenario planning to account for evolving natural and institutional conditions. In ASEAN, the adoption of AWS systems varies among countries and provides context-specific lessons for water management around the world. This article provides an overview of AWS systems in the region, including rainwater harvesting, graywater recycling, wastewater reclamation, desalination, and stormwater harvesting.
Asset Pricing: Cross-Section Predictability
Paolo Zaffaroni and Guofu Zhou
A fundamental question in finance is the study of why different assets have different expected returns, which is intricately linked to the issue of cross-section prediction in the sense of addressing the question “What explains the cross section of expected returns?” There is vast literature on this topic. There are state-of-the-art methods used to forecast the cross section of stock returns with firm characteristics predictors, and the same methods can be applied to other asset classes, such as corporate bonds and foreign exchange rates, and to managed portfolios such mutual and hedge funds. First, there are the traditional ordinary least squares and weighted least squares methods, as well as the recently developed various machine learning approaches such as neutral networks and genetic programming. These are the main methods used today in applications. There are three measures that assess how the various methods perform. The first is the Sharpe ratio of a long–short portfolio that longs the assets with the highest predicted return and shorts those with the lowest. This measure provides the economic value for one method versus another. The second measure is an out-of-sample R 2 that evaluates how the forecasts perform relative to a natural benchmark that is the cross-section mean. This is important as any method that fails to outperform the benchmark is questionable. The third measure is how well the predicted returns explain the realized ones. This provides an overall error assessment cross all the stocks. Factor models are another tool used to understand cross-section predictability. This sheds light on whether the predictability is due to mispricing or risk exposure. There are three ways to consider these models: First, we can consider how to test traditional factor models and estimate the associated risk premia, where the factors are specified ex ante. Second, we can analyze similar problems for latent factor models. Finally, going beyond the traditional setup, we can consider recent studies on asset-specific risks. This analysis provides the framework to understand the economic driving forces of predictability.
Battlefield and Conflict Archaeology
Douglas D. Scott
Battlefield or conflict archaeology is a specialized field within archaeology that focuses on the study and archaeological investigation of conflict and conflict-related sites. It combines archaeological techniques with historical research to investigate and interpret the material remains of past conflicts. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the events, tactics, and human experiences associated with warfare and conflict throughout history. By studying conflict sites, archaeologists aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the anthropology of warfare, including the social, cultural, and technological aspects of conflict. Their work contributes to our knowledge of military history, human experiences in times of conflict, and the preservation of related heritage sites.
The Biafran War
Ogechukwu E. Williams
From the onset of Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960, the nation was an uneasy union of numerous ethnicities whose ethnic rather than national allegiance had become entrenched in Nigerian politics under British colonial rule. These ethnic divisions came to the fore following a military coup on January 15, 1966, that became increasingly interpreted in the Muslim Hausa-dominated northern region as an Igbo coup against northerners. The coup worsened anti-Igbo sentiments in the north and resulted in repeated massacres of Igbos in the region. The widespread killing in the north continued unchecked by a new northern-led federal government that had come into power during a countercoup on July 29, 1966. When the government reneged on agreements it had made in Ghana regarding a confederal system of governance that guaranteed regional autonomy, eastern Nigeria seceded to form Biafra on May 30, 1967. Two months later, Nigeria declared war on Biafra, resulting in a conflict that lasted for thirty months. Although the war was initially regarded as merely another conflict in the Third World, Biafra propaganda, promoted by a Swiss media establishment, Markpress, ensured that the war and its image of starving children became common knowledge across the world. Markpress’s successful media campaigns resulted in the mobilization of many international organizations in a massive humanitarian effort to save Biafra and Biafran children. The war remained in a stalemate between 1968 and 1969 until the federal government made one final push in June 1969 that reduced Biafran territory to about one hundred miles by the end of that year. The war ended shortly after on January 12, 1970, following Biafra’s surrender to Nigeria. Shortly after, Nigeria implemented a “no victor–no vanquished” policy to prevent summary punishment of participants in the war. The government’s postwar policy has been criticized for excluding Igbos from key political and economic roles and potentially stoking reemerging demands in the east for Biafra.
Ceremonial and Subsistence Water Use
Dale Whittington and Michael Hanemann
Water for cultural and religious purposes, referred to as ceremonial and subsistence (C&S) use, is a distinctive feature of many Indigenous and other communities. Whether this constitutes a legitimate claim for water for an American Indian Tribe in the United States was litigated in the context of a trial to determine the federal government’s obligation to reserve water for Indian Tribes whom it had settled on reservations during the 19th century. Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1963, the amount of water the federal government was obligated to provide was defined as the quantity of water that could be used to grow crops profitably on the reservation. In 2001, the Arizona Supreme Court adopted a new definition, for Arizona, namely the amount of water that ensured the reservation would be a permanent homeland. However, parts of this 2001 ruling were contradictory and seemed to support the profitable irrigation standard. What the Arizona Supreme Court actually meant was not put to the test until the Hopi water rights trial in 2020. The Hopi Tribe’s water rights claims included a claim for new water to replace diminishing local water supplies in order for the Tribe to continue cultivating traditional varietals of corn and other crops. Hopi agricultural practices date back at least a millennium and are a central part of Hopi culture and religion. The crops are used in cultural and religious ceremonies and are not sold commercially. The Hopi claim for water for irrigation to support C&S cultivation was opposed by the other parties to the case and was rejected by the court.