Author Archives: Baird Campbell

Baird Campbell is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Rice University. He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. His research explores the intersections of social media, self-making, and trans activism in contemporary Chile. His dissertation research was supported by the Social Sciences Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
A beige slide with a dark blue platypus on the left reads "COVID-19: Views from the Field" A Platypus roundtable with Ashley ThuthaoKeng Dam, Caitlyn Dye, Sonia Qadir, Rebekah Ciribassi, Kristina Jaconsen

Roundtable: “COVID-19: Views from the Field”

We’re wrapping up our five-part series, “COVID-19: Views from the Field,” with a pre-recorded roundtable. This roundtable brought our authors into conversation with each other, across continents and timezones, to discuss conducting—or not conducting—fieldwork in places not understood as COVID-19 “hotspots.” Check out the video here, and follow the links below to read the whole series, also available in the language of each field site. (read more...)

Text graphic that says Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Platypus Celebrates AAPI Heritage Month

In celebration and recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, take a look back at some of our favorite past posts from and about the region. (read more...)

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Meet Our 2020 Contributing Editors!

As we begin another exciting year here at Platypus, we’d like to introduce you to our new group of Contributing Editors. Contributing Editors are responsible both for producing and seeking out content for the blog. If you are interested in contributing something to the blog but aren’t sure how, reach out to the contributing editor who most closely relates to your proposed topic! (read more...)

hundreds of protesters surround and climb an obelisk to plant the mapuche flag against and orange sunset

Before They Erase It: Memory and the social media archive

This afternoon, I began to notice increasingly alarming images, posts, and tweets from my interlocutors in Santiago. It appeared that Santiago was on fire, and that the military was in the streets. Images of familiar streets and landmarks now felt doubly familiar, as their similarity to images taken during the coup of 1973 were undeniable. A quick Google search confirmed my fears; Piñera had declared a state of emergency in response to the student metro protests, that there were already deaths, disappearances, and torture reported, and that a curfew had been implemented. Switching over to Whatsapp, I sent frantic messages to my interlocutors and former host family to check that they were safe (they were.) However, it was clear that—even for seasoned activists—this felt different. Many recalled memories or iconic images of the 1973 coup, wondering if history might be about to repeat itself. As the day progressed, I began (read more...)

The words disability pride, filled with photos of people with different disabilities and their friends and families

Platypus Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In support of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, please enjoy some of our favorite posts engaging with understandings of disability! (read more...)

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Today, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), we bring you a compilation of some of our favorite past posts from the Spanish-speaking world. Happy reading! (read more...)

Una joven trans mira la cámara. Viste un abrigo azul marino, tiene tez bronceada, y pelo castaño claro, rapado en el lado derecho y largo en el lado izquierdo. Detrás de ella hay una gran planta verde.

Anti-Queer Violence, Bearing Witness, and Thinking with Algorithms on Social Media

In early June 2019, news began to break concerning the death of a Salvadoran transgender woman, Johana Medina León, of pneumonia, four days after being released from nearly six weeks in ICE custody. Before long, my Facebook feed was filled with stories detailing the persecution Johana faced in El Salvador because of her gender identity; her dangerous journey to the United States to seek asylum; and her final moments as she struggled to save her own life, as it became clear no one else would. She might have saved her own life, if she’d been given the resources. In El Salvador, Johana was a nurse. Johana’s death is tragic for many reasons, not the least of which is that had it not been for social media, it likely would have gone unnoticed. (read more...)

Una bandera arcoíris (de arriba para abajo rojo, naranjo, amarillo, verde, azul marino, y morado) con un triangulo al lado izquierdo que incorpora negro, care, celeste, rosado, y blanco

Happy Pride Month!

In support and solidarity with LGBTQIA+/Queer people around the world, we’re celebrating Pride Month with a collection of some of our most popular queer content from the blog. We take this moment to recognize the valuable contributions LGBTQIA+/Queer people make to our fields, our society, and our lives. Check out six of our favorites below! (read more...)