"The geopolitical anthropology of media

Posted by on November 2nd, 2009
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John Postill asks “What would a geopolitical anthropology of media entail? Lorenz interviews “anthropology song girl” and more from the world of anthropology…

The geopolitical anthropology of media

by John Postill

What would a geopolitical anthropology of media entail? In other words, how would one go about studying anthropologically (and not just ethnographically) the relationship between power, culture and geography in the emergence of contemporary media ecologies?

A tall order, to be sure. Just thinking aloud here, as demanded by the blog genre. I?m interested in comparing the  media trajectories of different geographical regions in the global South, e.g. South America, Africa, Southeast Asia.  But I don?t want this investigation to be just about the political economy of media in different states (Brazil, Nigeria, Malaysia, etc) ? although this would certainly be an integral part of the inquiry. What I have in mind is a study that lies at the intersection between geopolitics and a historical anthropology of media. I wish to explore questions such as:

Nancy Scheper-Hughes to Appear on ?Dan Rather Reports?


Nancy Scheper-Hughes with Dan RatherNancy Scheper-Hughes, medical anthropologist and director of Organs Watch, has shared with us a photo from her recent documentary film shoot in Maldova, Turkey and Israel with ?Dan Rather Reports.? The documentary will soon be available online.

?Potentially Dangerous Implications for the Practice of Anthropology Today?

from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte

[This is the first in a descending series of articles that will bring this blog to a close.]

Circle the Wagons!

If the ?nativism? that Adam Kuper alleges was spawned by the marriage of American post-modernism and radical political engagement means that only the native can speak for the native, then Kuper will have none of it. More than that, in ?Culture, Identity and the Project of a Cosmopolitan Anthropology? (Man, 1994, 29 (3): 537-554), Kuper warns us ? anthropologists, to be specific ? that nativism is an ?obvious challenge.? At risk is the whole anthropological enterprise, and the situation is urgent. We must regroup and reconnoiter.


Report: Modern Man Had Sex With Neanderthals
My Fox Boston
Professor Svante Paabo, director of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, recently told a conference at

Threats to World Heritage Sites

A release of the 2010 World Monuments Fund list of global architectural treasures at risk from urban development, tourism, neglect and bad planning.

New Virtual Issue of Cultural Anthropology: Security


If you?re a fan of Cultural Anthropology (CA), but four issues a year just isn?t enough, make sure you check out the journal?s website at http://culanth.org/

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea: A Life

by Jenny White

The great ethnographer, writer and observer of the Middle East, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea (BJ to her friends) passed away a few months ago (see here). The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of Texas at Austin where she and her husband, the anthropologist Bob Fernea, taught, recently held a conference in honor of her memory and prepared this video of her life.

Questions about Colonialism and Anthropology: Epistemology, Methodology, and Politics

from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte

At Ur, Ritual Deaths That Were Anything but Serene
New York Times
In planning for a new exhibition of Ur artifacts, which opened Sunday at Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Richard L. Zettler, the co-curator .

A changing anthropology? Some notes and quotes.

September 24, 2009, 4:01 pm

Filed under: A Changing Anthropology, What is anthropology?

Helping to define the ?anthropology? and ?change? parts of the thesis question, ?how is the internet fueling change in anthropology??:

Interview: Meet Dai Cooper from The Anthropology Song!

from antropologi.info – anthropology in the news blog by Lorenz

Dai Cooper?s Anthropology Song has fascinated people all over the world. Around 10 000 people have seen the video on YouTube so far, it was sent around via facebook, twitter, mailing lists, and was already shown in many anthropology classes. Maybe nobody has better explained what anthropology is all about.

I got curious and asked her if I may interview her for antropologi.info. I?m glad, Dai Cooper, who is now doing a Masters in Anthropology at University of Toronto in Canada, said yes. So here is the (email-) interview:

The ethnography of a stroke

from Ethnography.com by mark

I first heard of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor during an interview on Fresh Air, it is a great conversation (Listen to the interview, not just the text, it is more in depth than the TED talk you see here). Thanks to my friend Mariflora for bringing the TED link to my attention. How often do we get the emic on such a matter? Well worth watching and forming your own ideas from.

Her very interesting TED talk:

‘Culinary anthropology‘ with Andrew Zimmern
Minnesota Public Radio
On his hit Travel Channel series, Andrew Zimmern roams the world practicing what he calls “culinary anthropology,” eating everything from giant flying ants

Inequality, ‘Silver Spoon’ Effect Found In Ancient Societies
Science Daily (press release)
Societies where material wealth is most valued are therefore the most unequal, said Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, the UC Davis anthropology professor who .

Anthropologists Call for Improved Global Response to Animal-Borne Infectious
University of Arizona News (press release)
“This report is at once timely and groundbreaking,” said Nichter, who is a professor of anthropology and family and community medicine.


Anthropology Abroad: Studying Women’s Roles in the Military
LiveScience.com
By Margie Serrato , Texas A&M University Cultural anthropologist Margie Serrato learns how to properly drink tea according to Korean customs

Stanley Diamond & Claude Lévi-Strauss on the Nature and Future of Anthropology

from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte
Two relatively short articles from the 1960s that I found useful, especially in connection with the previous post, provide a number of insights that exceeded the scope of that post. I want to share some of my ?notes and quotes? from those two articles, with limited commentary aside from my headings ? think of it as an extended footnote to the last post.

Neurobiology and the literary imagination

from Somatosphere by Eugene Raikhel

This has been amply covered by the New York Times and Mind Hacks, but it fits so nicely into the interests of many of our contributors and readers, that I couldn’t resist mentioning it here: in the latest issue of n+1, Marco Roth has an excellent essay on “The Rise of the Neuronovel.”  In it he traces how–since the mid-1990s–novelists have increasingly drawn upon neurobiological explanations of human behavior in lieu of older psychological ideas about consciousness and work of the mind.  Following the rise of the neuronovel from Ian McEwan?s Enduring Love, published in 1997, to last year’s Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen, Roth’s argument seems to dovetail broadly with one made by Nikolas Rose over recent years: neurobiology is increasingly playing a role in popular culture previously played by psychoanalysis–the pool of knowledge which underpins our basic, taken-for-granted assumptions about the self.  However, unlike Rose, Roth views these new assumptions as basically reductionistic and ultimately comes to a very negative conclusion about the neuronovel:

SSOAR – The first Social Science Open Access Repository is online

from antropologi.info – anthropology in the news blog by Lorenz

(via media/anthropology and Open Access Anthropology blog) Where can I publish my papers online? A few weeks ago, I wrote about ResearchGATE and other initiatives. Now, SSOAR – the Social Science Open Access Repository is online. It is according to Kerim Friedman from the Open Access Anthropology blog, ?the first general Social Science Open Access repository we?ve found”.

“Technology” Plays Large Role in Wealth Inheritance
Media Newswire (press release)
A team of 26 anthropologists, statisticians, and economists based at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico amassed an unprecedented data set allowing 43

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