I’ve been working on an article on the relationship between anthropology and the military, and Nikki Kuper, an honours student in our department, has been thinking about doing her honours thesis project on the Human Terrain System. So together, Nikki and I decided to put together an annotated bibliography of sources on the Human Terrain System, Minerva, and PRISP and post them here to Culture Matters so that others can benefit from them.
If you know of any resources or links that aren’t listed below (or if you spot any mistakes), please send me an e-mail (lisa.wynn[at]mq.edu.au) and we’ll add them to our list and credit you with the contribution.
–L.L. Wynn and Nikki Kuper
(via media anthropology) What is the purpose of organisations like the American Anthropological Association? What is the point of publishing articles? The free software movement forces anthropologists to rethink these questions, Christopher Kelty says in a conversation about anthopology and open access to scholarship.
Three ads from The Starfish Project. The Starfish Project, located at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, collects the unused HIV meds to support people who are HIV-positive in Nigeria. Found in Your leftovers can save lives in Africa
New Minerva article from Hugh Gusterson, plus congressional testimonies on HTS and national security research
By Maximilian Forte
Hugh Gusterson has a new article out titled, “Project Minerva Revisited,” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for August 5, 2008 — well worth reading carefully, since it contradicts and corrects some of the ways that the agreement between the National Science Foundation and the Pentagon have been presented to the public. It is one of the sharpest articles yet in spotlighting some of the serious limitations and contradictions of both the Minerva Research Initiative and the role played by the NSF, and the cosmetic gloss that has been applied by those promoting these initiatives.
In the Washington Post article for which I was interviewed (I am the “but”, appropriately at the end), there was a suggestion that a project critical of U.S. foreign policy should be submitted to test the openness of the Minerva Research Initiative and its Pentagon-funded counterpart at the National Science Foundation. I do not recall Maria Glod asking me to address this option, but my answer would have been that it is not a good idea, as clever of a challenge as it is. In the specific choice of research topic identified by Dr. David Vine, it too can be reverse engineered by military planners to make for better, more effective positioning of foreign military bases.
Anthropologist Diane Bell (Daughters of the Dreaming) is hitting the political scene in Australia running for the recently vacated seat of former foreign minister Alexander Downer. After the Rudd ‘apology’/ and on going ‘intervention’ it will be interesting to follow the campaign of an anthropologist who has worked closely both in legal and social contexts with Aboriginal people for several decades.
‘My media studies’ – the history and future of ideas
By John Hartley | August 4, 2008
Various people have been invited by the journal “TVNM” to write a short piece on the topic of “My Media Studies.” Contributors include: Manuel Alvarado, Sarah Berry, Charlotte Brunsdon, Milly Buonanno, Nick Couldry, Stuart Cunningham, Allen Feldman, Larry Gross, Heather Hendershot, Joke Hermes, Richard Maxwell, Vicki Mayer, Inka Moring, Horace Newcomb, Rune Ottosen, Arvind Rajagopal, Andrew Ross, Dan Schiller, Graeme Turner, Helen Wood and Barbie Zelizer.
I saw Savage Minds has a post up about having to say something about the Olympics. Funny because I had been thinking the exact same thing. Fortunately, my wonderful students have saved me. We were discussing gender today and one of my female students offered the following observation: "I just think its wrong when you see a man doing the floor exercise in gymnastics". That led to a really interesting discussion of our gender concepts, expectations, cultural constructs, and homosexuality around the world, and why Blades of Glory was a really funny movie. Sometimes, I really do love my students.
ks is the founder of kiwanja, an organisation, that helps non-profit organisations to make better use of information and communications technology in their work – of course with an anthropological perspective. “Anthropology is interestingly the area which raises the most eyebrows among delegates at conferences", he writes on his website.
Shihui Han and Georg Northoff have just published Culture-Sensitive Neural Substrates of Human Cognition: A Transcultural Neuroimaging Approach. This article will prove foundational for “cultural neuroscience,” a term Han & Northoff use near the end of the article. I highly recommend that everyone read the full version (pdf), but will outline and comment on it here.
Charity Goodman, an anthropologist who is a public health analyst for the U.S. federal government, wrote the below with some information about anthropologists working in U.S. federal agencies and she includes some excellent advice about what student anthropologists who aspire to working for the government should study. Though some of it is specific to working for the U.S. government, other things (like “get methodological and statistical training”) are relevant to aspiring applied anthropologists anywhere. I repost it with her permission.
Somatosphere is a new blog focusing on medical anthropology. Eugene Raikhel, a post-doc at McGill, is the primary blogger but there is also a group of contributing anthropologists.
I wasn’t, completely, joking about labeling desk doodles as wikis. A desk is an area with boundaries and yet it is free for editing..adding, erasing, building, growing, scrubbing. A far less confined space then the lines of text that this box requires of me. A piece of paper is a more freeing area of processing than this confined space. (Ah, two times the word confined.) I find that when I am prepared to write a paper, plan a presentation, or map out a semester course (the syllabus), I turn to my note pad to draw out the flow. I never start with the lines of text forced on me by this box…and my cursor moving and the letters lining up…straight and neat….neat and straigh.t..never curved..never free formed…never inserted on the side…at an angle….arrows pointing….smaller lines of text added…..just lines of text….straight and neat.