Napoleon Chagnon, Anthropologist, Dies at 81


Napoleon Chagnon, a cultural anthropologist whose extensive field research created a classic in anthropology but also drew sharp criticism from his peers, has passed away. In memory, we republish an interview with Dr. Chagnon from Academic Questions.

How Anthropology Was Corrupted and Killed

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood writes on how the American Anthropology Association's bandwagon vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions is a step toward toward the death of another academic discipline.

How Anthropology was Turned from Intellectual Discipline into Political Activism

George Leef

This week's Pope Center Clarion Call essay discusses the politicalization of anthropology.

Majoring in Anthro

Jay Nordlinger

A lament for a field.

Ferguson and the Decline in Anthropology

Peter Wood

NAS president and anthropologist Peter Wood observes the American Anthropological Association masking the truth to promote an ideological agenda.

The Long PC Battle in Anthropology

Peter Wood

Ideological extremism roars out against Napoleon Chagnon, author of Noble Savages.

Elegies, Part 1

Peter Wood

Reforming higher education is not just about nostalgia for the past.

Signs Made Here

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reflects on what lies between Rutgers and Princeton.

Skepticism and Tradition

Peter Wood

Higher education should balance skepticism with respect for tradition.

Were Samoans Promiscuous?

Peter Wood

Peter Wood revisits the anthropological Mead-Freeman controversy over Samoa and considers Paul Shankman

Delete Science from Anthropology?

Ashley Thorne

Last week Peter Wood, by discipline an anthropologist, was one of the first to analyze the implications of the American Anthropological Association's proposal to define "science" out of anthropology. He wrote:

Absent its scientific basis, anthropology would be little more than colorful travel literature (travelogues) occasionally mixed up with political hucksterism and theoretical obscurantism. But anthropology has never been only a science, and it ought to be sufficiently broad-minded to embrace the poetics of culture and some of its music as well.

After Peter published his piece on the story, it was covered by Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education and a number of blogs, including, picked it up.

Anthropology Association Rejecting Science?

Peter Wood

A look at the implications of the American Anthropological Association's proposal to define "science" out of anthropology.

New Scholarship in Anthropology...No Comment

Peter Wood

Allah Made Us, Birth Models, Dancing from the Heart, Red Lights, With Shaking Hands

Enchanting Sustainability

Peter Wood

Shock and awe come to the university.

Letter from Jakarta

Saera Fernandez

The observations of a young anthropology student in Indonesia are relevent for several reasons to the contemporary American experience.


Peter Wood

The endless injunction in schools and colleges to

Activists Only: Reading Between the Lines of an Academic Job Ad

Peter Wood

U Mass Amherst is looking for a new linguistic anthropologist who fits with the university's politically correct policies and its commitment to a "racialized" outlook. Where does such a job description leave qualified non-minority applicants? Where does it leave anthropology students?

She Do the Plagiarists in Many Voices: An Anthropologist's New Rationale for Academic Dishonesty

Peter Wood

It seems the Internet generation of students has a novel excuse for plagiarism: "I was exploring the ever-changing version of my self." In a world of Wikipedia, YouTube, Blogspot, and Second Life, can authorship be "fluid"?