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NVU Professor of Anthropology Publishes First Application of Social Network Theory on Polyamory

Northern Vermont University Professor of Anthropology Janet Bennion will present a guided discussion on the efficacy and ethics of polyamory versus monogamy on The Stoa, a digital discussion space. The conversation follows the publication of her article Polyamory in Paris: A social network theory application in the December 2, 2020 edition of the journal Sexualities. The article is “the firstJanet Bennion application of social network theory on polyamory in the world,” Bennion said.

During The Stoa digital conversation, Bennion will explore “the way Western culture often labels monogamy as superior, though cross-cultural and historical ethnographic data state otherwise.”

Professor Bennion was also one of 40 international scholars invited to take part in a virtual conversation with renown American theoretical linguist Noam Chomsky through The Stoa in November. Chomsky, whose work from the 1950s revolutionized the field of linguistics, is also a philosopher who has been thinking about how to create forums for improving democracy around the world for years. For Bennion, the key takeaways from the conversation included the ideas that: “In a true and open and free society, we have to not only tolerate other voices, but engage in discourses with people we disagree with. And that to tackle the ecological and societal challenges we face we need to develop broad and unorthodox coalitions.” On which, Bennion shared, “Chomsky was surprisingly hopeful.”