“A dysfunctional ethnic and tribal brawl has been the norm in Afghanistan for centuries. Afghanistan is a mess. ” Who said that? A frustrated U.S. military officer? No, a professor of anthropology, Robert L. Moore.
In his article Tribes, Corruption Ail Afghanistan in The Ledger he shares his concerns about the difficulties for “us” (=the U.S. military) to “push this contentious country into the 21st century” and turn it into a “normal, stable country” that will be “governable in the way that most nations are”.
In the recent issue of Imponderabilia Heid Jerstad criticizes the lack of anthropological research on climate change. Climate change is only present on the margins of anthropological research, Jerstad claims. A similar critique was formulated by Simon Batterbury in his article Anthropology and global warming: the need for environmental engagement.
So-called honor killings take the wind out of a form of cultural relativism that I refer to as absolute cultural relativism. According to absolute cultural relativism, anything that goes on in a particular culture, and is justified within that culture, cannot be questioned or changed by insiders or outsiders. For insiders, such questioning is cultural heresy; for outsiders it is ethnocentrism.
from American Anthropological Association by Dinah
BERKELEY — George Alphonse De Vos, a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, …
from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte
Previously we read here of the testimony by a Col. Martin Schweitzer, Commander, 4 / 82 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, United States Army, before the House Armed Services Committee, Terrorism & Unconventional Threats Sub-Committee and the Research & Education Sub-Committee of the Science & Technology Committee , on 24 April 2008. He repeats statements there that have been very widely circulated among numerous articles about the Human Terrain System (HTS), and how it has saved lives, according to his testimony from his experience in Afghanistan. In actuality, when forced to provide evidence for his claim, Schweitzer wrote to Price, “admitting that no such studies verifying these often repeated claims exist (and even if they did, they would be complicated by confounds of changes in other conditions) and that this claimed reduction is a loose estimate.”
“Ask the indie professor” is the name of a new series in the Guardian. The indie professor in question is Wendy Fonarow. At a music festival she was recently introduced as “the world’s only professor of indie music”.
In this weekend’s LA Times Angela Garcia reflects on the ubiquity of addiction and its attendant crisis in New Mexico’s Espanola Valley, where she conducted fieldwork for her recently released book The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession along the Rio Grande (University of California Press, 2010). Garcia, a medical anthropologist at UC Irvine, notes that the Espanola Valley “has the highest per-capita rate of heroin-related deaths in the United States,” a situation which many residents view as linked to the region’s “history of land loss, which reaches back to the colonial era and continues today,” (Garcia 2010).
Materiality and Cultural Translation: An Interdisciplinary Exploration
Held at Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, May 3-4, 2010
A Report and Discussion
By Ruth B. Phillips (convener; Art History, Carleton University)
and Aaron Glass (participant; Anthropology, Bard Graduate Center)