Monthly Archives: May 2013

Beauty as Propaganda

As Thursday approaches my excitement grows: I have the honor to teach a course in propaganda alongside my usual menu of theory and research classes. We juicily extract the essences of meaning from campaigns intended to sway your thoughts, part … Continue reading

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Wrapping your Head around Sovereignty

A dinner party conversation turned to Indian sovereignty. The diners knew little about policies, and asked me how tribes can exist as nations within nations. The answer is sovereignty—a pretty hard concept to wrap your head around. A tribe can … Continue reading

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Temper: Tantrum or Tantra?

My sister pitched temper tantrums when she was little. Martha would throw herself on the floor, pound her fists and wail like a banshee. Timing seemed to make no difference: we could be at home, at the beach or out … Continue reading

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What you don’t know about the Boston Tea Party

Sometimes we approach history with doubt, especially when it comes to stories about Native Americans. In grade school I heard North America was largely unpopulated until settlers arrived: a story quite different than the ones my relatives told. Reading about … Continue reading

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Mind Different from Brain?

Consider the mind, rather than the brain. I asked readers in the last blog to think about the mind rather than the brain because Samuel Morton’s skull measurements in the 1860s asserted that American Indians have smaller skulls, hence smaller … Continue reading

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Brain Full of Buckshot

In the Wild West soldiers could earn a dollar for every American Indian skull they collected. Skulls were then shipped back east so scientists could study them. One of the collectors, Samuel G. Morton, used skulls to extrapolate on personality … Continue reading

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Nip and Tuck for Your Brain

You can get a prescription to enhance your libido and lengthen your eyelashes, so why not a pill to help your memory? That’s the discussion around our dinner table: should doctors prescribe drugs that could improve cognitive skills?

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