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Great anthropologists who fought fascism

Some of you who — unlike me — have not had family members murdered by nazis or had every synagogue in their home town firebombed in the same night may now be learning about antifa for the first time. But although it’s making waves in the media now, antifascist action has a century-long history which includes many anthropologists, who have fought fascism not by writing letters to the New York Times or retweeting an animated .gif but by putting their lives on the line.

Ethnographic Films: A Family of Resemblances

This is the third post in my series on the definition of “ethnographic film.” In the first post I laid out the basic approach I am using: one based on Umberto Eco’s model of listing a “family of resemblances” rather than offering a strict test of a film’s “ethnographicness.” In the second post I showed how this would work in practice, based on a rough sketch of the “family of resemblances” I will be outlining in more detail here.

Two Native American students conduct research in Petrified Forest National Park in June 2015 as part of a field school project. Fort Lewis College’s Archaeological Field School
As practices associated with the use of ayahuasca grow in popularity, so do concerns about the appropriation of Indigenous traditions. Barbara Fraser

Jens Kossmagk gazed into the darkness and saw a black jaguar staring back at him. As he watched the wild cat, he slowly became the animal—he felt his cheekbones widen into feline features, his nails lengthen into savage claws.

The Ku Klux Klan and the Value of Shame

A recent Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, drew close to 1,000 counterprotestors. Steve Helber/Associated Press
Robert Lowie just destroyed A.R. Radcliffe-Brown in one must-see letter

When it comes to Internet Drama, nothing beats the paper letter. Anthropology’s founders did not lead isolated lives. “American cultural anthropology” corresponded with “British social anthropology” and the “Année Sociologique” all the time. I’ve blogged before about Marcel Mauss talking trash about Malinowski with Radcliffe-Brown. But for pure in-your face, the winner has got to be Robert Lowie’s response to A.R. Radcliffe-Brown.

 

Faigelman is a cultural anthropologist; she uses this discipline and research methodology to decode human behaviour. Decoding facilitates an approach to business innovation that is predictive. Putting human behaviour at the centre of marketing research .

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