March 31, 2014

Blogging (Bio)Archaeology - Where do we go from here?

Doug's question this month for the Blogging Archaeology carnival is, "Where are you going with blogging or where would you like it to go?  My answer is pretty simple: I'd like to write more.

The latest incarnation of this blog coincided with my jump into a sort of public-facing science blogging (the whole "Gay Caveman" thing).  Since then, I've written a whole bunch of essays that I'm pretty proud of, like:

These posts all came out of a simple desire to learn more.  I did some research, summarized the most interesting points in each topic, and raised questions yet to be answered.  They're really simple essays, and they took a few days each to research, plan, and write.  But you'll notice that the last one I wrote was nearly two years ago.  This is because in the fall of 2012, I started a tenure-track position.  I have kept up with blogging as much as I can, particularly with regular features like my Bones reviews, the Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival, and Who needs an osteologist?, but I haven't posted new essays.

So what I want to do going forward is to find more time to write essays.  I actually have incipient post titles hanging out, unpublished, some with half-formed outlines, some with a simple research question, some with bibliography.  Here's what's currently in my "Drafts" folder:
  • Anthropologists Note that Women Are Like Cats.  This idea came from something I saw in either Cosmo or Glamour citing the ever-controversial Helen Fisher on how women arch their backs like cats to be attractive to mates or some such nonsense. I wanted to dismantle this kind of pseudo-bioanth nonsense, but I haven't gotten around to it.
  • Amputations in Antiquity.  I just thought it would be fun to check into the evidence for this, particularly in the Roman world, and write a summary post on it.
  • Roman Time and Space. This idea came to me when I started thinking about how we (in America, anyway) tend to talk about distance in terms of time.  For example, how far is it from your home to your work?  20 minutes?  How about from your city to the next major one?  2 hours?  I'm not sure if it's our car-based culture or something else that accounts for this conflation of time and space.  So I got to thinking about whether the Romans, the original car-based culture, did this as well.  But, again, I haven't had time (or the space?) to research this properly.
I wish I could say that I'll get around to these essays soon, but I'm two years into this job (and a semester behind because of maternity leave), so I have no idea when my schedule will free up to that extent.  Maybe next summer?  I can dream...


Sara said...

Every so often, I get an editor/someone of the textbook world who is interested in putting together a book for students. Have you thought of aiming for that - something like the Podelefsky & Brown reader?

Kristina Killgrove said...

Every year, Open Lab does either a real or an e-pub of the best science blog posts from around the internet. In that sense, it's a sort of reader. And I think one of Krystal D'Costa's blog pieces made it into an anthro reader recently.

But I'd never thought of turning any of these essays into a collection of any sort, even though I occasionally assign them to undergrads to read. I'll think about that for Bioarch this fall... using them as required readings could be interesting.

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