Anthropology Magazine

Lessons From Mars—and Jamaica—on Sovereignty


  • Counterpoint

    Rays of sunlight shine down over hills covered in lush green foliage.

    Lessons From Mars—and Jamaica—on Sovereignty

    The billionaire space race thrives on romantic ideas of colonizing “the last frontier.” An anthropologist looks to Jamaican histories of colonization to show why such narratives are so dangerous—and offers an alternate vision of Black freedom in the Sovereign State of Accompong.

  • Dwelling

    Three people stand on at the bottom of a hill covered in brown grass with a white house at the top. Two cut long, brown plant stalks while the third person observes.

    These Unheralded Workers Are Helping Prevent the Next Wildfire

    In Southern California, an anthropologist’s research aims to illuminate his late father’s work of weed abatement. He’s learning how crews of migrant Latinx workers bring deep environmental knowledge to stop destructive fires at the wildland-urban interface.

  • Borders

    A panicked crowd presses against a desk with several people sitting behind computers in a small room.

    How Bureaucracy Conceals Obligations to Afghan Refugees

    Tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. during a 20-year war were recently left behind in Afghanistan, despite promises to keep them safe. Anthropological research sheds light on how paperwork and logistics serve as convenient covers for the U.S. to escape its moral obligations.

  • Identities

    A person in a blue shirt and white, wide-brimmed hat holds a child in one arm. In the background, a person in a pink shirt sits behind a crate.

    Confronting Anti-Blackness in “Colorblind” Cuba

    In the 1960s, Fidel Castro’s revolutionary Communist government claimed to have eradicated racism in Cuba. An anthropologist explores how racial hierarchies persist despite these official narratives, shaping family dynamics and significantly limiting opportunities for Afro-Cubans.

  • Decoded

  • Op-Ed

    Four people wearing light-colored, wide-brimmed hats and holding hoes stand on dry dirt in an open area surrounded by small green shrubs.

    Climate Migrants Are on the Move—And the U.S. Needs Their Help

    A U.S. anthropologist who works in Guatemala argues that opening the Mexico-U.S. border must become a political priority in the fight against climate catastrophe—in part because people in the U.S. have much to learn from those who hold different values, perspectives, and knowledge.