It was such a pleasure to give a book talk at FGCU because I was hosted by two of my favorite people in the world. Dr. Nate Pipitone (Psychology) and Dr. Max Stein (Anthropology) hosted my talk, but my favorite part was just getting to watch them in action and talk research. Nate and I went to grad school together. We were both members of Gordon Gallup's Evolutionary Psychology Lab and did a study together at one point on self-deception and mating success. I wrote about the study in my book, though I wish we'd pursued that thread and did more research. Our second study was so confusing that we never published on it, but after hanging out for a few days, I see our research interests are still in complete overlap, and I want to find a way to do some research with him again. Rule of thumb: When you find collaborators you work with well, keep them in your inner circle and find more ways to collaborate. Do as much as much as you can with them and you will be a happier academic.
Max was once a student of mine. I was on his MA and PhD committees, he was my research assistant in Costa Rica for a field season, we co-authored two papers together, and he ran my lab when I was on my first sabbatical back in 2017. I regret not being able to attend his wedding, but I am so proud of what he accomplished in our program, in his personal life with his cool AF family, and in his job as an Anthropology professor at FGCU. I remember when Max popped into my office as a first year MA student to introduce himself. I was standoffish because it annoyed me, but as I've always told him and all students after, my annoyance was my problem. He was among the few students who ever put themselves out there and made themselves known to all of us. Getting a PhD is not easy, but he did many right things, and that was one of them. I have always respected him for getting his needs met and handling us, as faculty, and all our bullshit that we put on students to see if they can rise to the occasion.
I loved talking to their students. I got to meet with Max's "Medical Anthropology" course at 9am, and I pulled out a tattoo lecture to riff on just in case they were quiet. I needn't have bothered; they'd read my book and had questions the whole class period! It was awesome!! And most of the students who asked questions in both classes came to the lecture. Oh, I went to Nate's "Drugs and the Brain" class and riffed with them right after. As I told Nate and Max knows from experience, I love riffing on pop culture and anthropology with students.
I've gotta work on the talk. It's needs to be updated because I drone on and on in some places without enough imagry, and lord knows I've got tons. Too many tables and graphs. But people liked it, I sold some books, and I gave some autographs (I have to work on that too, make it funny or dorky or something).
Auburn Talk This Friday
Auburn University's Anthropology Department was kind enough to invite me to give a talk about my new book, so my wife and I will be headed down this Friday to do that and hanging a bit with our son Jagger, who is a sophomore at Auburn. Please join us if you're in the area!
Book Reading at Ernest & Hadley
I gave a reading of sections of my new book Transcendental Medication: The Evolution of Mind, Culture, and Healing last week at local bookstore Ernest & Hadley. E&H is owned and run by Easty Lambert-Brown, Ian Brown, and their daughter. Ian is a retired anthropologist and my colleague and former department chair, and Easty is his wife and proprietor of Borgo Books Press. They were kind enough to host my first book reading on September 27. I enjoyed the reading and am available for readings or academic talks!
Here are some photos from the event.
Curse of Self-Awareness
I’m writing a book proposal for my work on dissociation, and it’s hard not to include every pop culture reference as I come across them. So, for the time being, I’ll place this right here. A great nod to Gordon Gallup’s hypothesis that mirror self-recognition is indicative of self-awareness, from Big Mouth. My students turned me on to this show, so I’m watching it with my teenage son. He, of course, has already watched both seasons twice, but it’s a nice opportunity to bond and is funny as shit.
Christopher D. Lynn
I am a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama with expertise in biocultural medical anthropology.