Monday, July 21, 2008

A Dinner Encounter with The Other? The Anthropophagy Map

From Strange Maps comes a really fun map and a series of teachable moments. The Anthropophagy (human cannibalism) Map. Time for some critical thinking. Discuss the differences between human consumption for protein purposes and ritual cannibalism (think Marvin Harris). What meanings are attached to acts of ritual cannibalism (think Sanday)? Discuss the historical evidence supporting the production of this map. In what ways is the production of this map contingent on the assumption that other people "walk on their heads" (think Arens)? What definitive archaeological evidence do we need to argue for anthropophagy (think coprolites). Did Idi Amin (a reported practioner of anthropophagy) really count as human? Did the use of the phrase "she's a man eater" by Hall and Oates, reference a probable case of anthropophagy? Does this discussion go better if we use the French spelling with the more feminine and dimunitive "ie" for the term, anthropophagie?

Newbies to teaching intro courses, you will be asked to explain these issues, better bone up on them. *groan*.

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