Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Extraterrestrials Land in Academia

Debbora Battaglia
The New York Sun

     Have extraterrestrial creatures become a legitimate subject of academic study? A group of anthropologists gathered on this planet Friday at Labyrinth Books to discuss beings with gourd-shaped heads and almond-shaped eyes. For more than a century, anthropologists have examined magic, witchcraft, and shamanism in far-flung cultures. Now these anthropologists have trained their eye on customs and beliefs a lot farther from home.

In the anthology "E.T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces" (Duke University Press), which was the subject of discussion that evening, these scholars have set aside the issue of whether or not aliens exist and examine what role belief in them plays in people's lives. "This book is about how people find and relate to one another around the idea of extraterrestrial life and UFOs," the book's editor, Debbora Battaglia, who teaches anthropology at Mount Holyoke College, said. The scholars who wrote for the book focus on how discussion and images of aliens reflect anxiety about issues such as technology and race.

More . . .

See Also: "Millions of Americans Believe That Extraterrestrials Regularly Visit Earth"


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