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The 2014 Rockstar Anthro Year End Review!

From the time I thought of starting this blog, I’ve had a few false starts, but 2014 was my first full year as ‘The Rockstar Anthropologist’ and it was AWESOME!
Here a few of my favorite posts!
My Favorite in a Series
I have to start with my first series of posts. I did a 4 part series on the African burial grounds in NYC. Part 3, ‘The Resurrection Man’ was my favorite. Long story short, the Medical College of Georgia buys a slave named Grandison Harris to dig up fresh graves and deliver the cadavers to the school. Click on the image of Harris below to read more!
My Favorite Trip
This year I became a NASA Socialista! I had the glorious opportunity to get some credentials and head to NASA in Florida to tour the facility and see a launch. The launch, unfortunately, was scrubbed, but I still had a great time! It was my 1st time getting a chance to interact with NASA, I met some amazing people and space enthusiasts, and expanded my studies into human- robot interactions and futurism! Check out the post ‘The Rockstar Goes To NASA

My Favorite ‘Art Reflects Culture’ Piece
Lots of people like art. Some like history. Others, are culture folks. In any case, it can be sometime difficult to see how those subjects intersect and reflect each other, so I used Picasso’s famous work, Guernica, along with a dance piece by Martha Graham to talk about how culture- fear, events, expectations, even dissent, is reflected and communicated through art. Don’t remember that piece? It’s a good thing you can click on this link to jog your memory
My Favorite Osteology Post
Although I have a back ground in culture and media, many of you know that my graduate studies have been in bioanthropology! This meant that I would often share my research and homework with you all. My favorite bone post was about a really simple bone that often doesn’t get a lot of attention. It was called “Can We Talk About That Bone Floating Around In Your Neck?’ It was about the hyoid bone. It was part osteology, touched on some forensic anthropology, and was fun to write.
My Favorite Television Related Post
Based on an episode of ‘Scrubs’, I wrote about Cotard’s Syndrome. It’s a rare mental illness in which the individual believes that they do not exist in this world as an actual being, or is in the process of decaying or losing bodily organs. Crazy right?! Read ‘He’s Not Sleep Walking; He Thinks He’s Dead’: Walking Corpse Syndrome

From 'Scrubs' My Lucky Charms episode
From ‘Scrubs’ My Lucky Charms episode

My Life Changing Moment
I didn’t actually post about this because I was pretty overwhelmed when it happened. I still may post about it in the New Year, but I will talk about it now. At the beginning of December, I attended the American Association of Anthropology annual meeting. It was my first time attending a professional conference and I regret that I waited so long to do it. I can be really easy to stay on campus and focus on one’s own research, especially when student budgets often force things like a conference into the luxury category, but I now understand the necessity of such conferences. It gave me an opportunity to actually meet many of the anthropologists who I admire and whose work I often reference. I had an opportunity to really connect the practice and the importance of presenting papers and poster sessions. I got a chance to set in motion academic action plans and get incredible feedback regarding my career and professional development.
But even more transformative, was for the first time, I had a chance to interface with the Association of Black Anthropologists. I joined this group section about 1 1/2 years ago, but never really interacted with the group. Attending the section meeting and learning about the various group initiatives made me feel out of place and disconnected. I remember thinking, “I can’t believe what I have been missing!”
In DC at the AAA 2014 Meeting
In DC at the AAA 2014 Meeting

In the college that I’m in, I actually haven’t met any other Black anthro grad students. We may be missing each other, but it’s not a large group. In any case, I really want to find more ways to connect with the ABA community going forward. The highlight of my trip to the conference was participating with the community of anthropologists- students, professors, men, women, black and white, in the die-in protest against police brutality and institutional racism.
In all, this year has been full of ups and downs, ends and beginnings. So, I guess it was pretty much what a year tends to be. I had an amazing time with the blog, being a part of an awesome community of science and social science communicators, visiting tons of cool places and getting to know such outstanding people on and off line!
What’s ‘The Rockstar Anthro’ Plan for 2015?!
It’s pretty simple: I plan to do more cool sh**! And I’m hoping that you continue to join me on that journey! Thank you for an awesome year. I wish all my supporters, peers, friends, and followers joy, fortitude and perspective in 2015! I hope your days are filled with blessings and awesome science! Enjoy the 2014 pics from my phone!

Happy Friggin’ New Year!

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