Voting happens here.
The voting has begun – the winners will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
Erkan’s Field Diary happens to be one of seven blogs that were nominated for the Most Excellent Anthropology Blog category (currently number three in results).
There are two more categories in this competition which is organized by Savage Minds. More info here: http://savageminds.org/2008/11/14/teh-savage-minds-awards-ceremony/
More Anthro news:
Here on Savage Minds we are gearing up for Levi-Strauss’s birthday. Strong has been posting LS quotes for the past few days, and we are hoping to get some high-octane people to talk about the event. All of this preparation, however, has really gotten me thinking about what it would mean to celebrate the Levi-Strauss centenary.
Who is Levi-Strauss to anthropologists today?
The Anthropology of YouTube
These are great materials to discuss issues pertaining to society, culture, technology, social interaction, social capital… and add some stuff on the digital divide as there is the common tendency to describe these things as if
The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) have started a blog discussion on Anthropology on Television that takes off from the BBC series Tribe, starring the adventurer Bruce Parry. Although I am an anthropologist specialising in contemporary media I must confess I only saw two episodes of Tribe (incl. the one about the Penan of Borneo; my own PhD fieldwork was among the Iban of Borneo) and even more of a painful confession: I actually enjoyed most of what I saw. This could be partly to do with the fact that when I’m watching TV or consuming a McHollywood film I tend to switch off the critical areas of my brain so I can enjoy the show, or at least try to.
Why don’t we think of anthropology as a form of connoisseurship any more? Is it because the word is simply to embarrassingly difficult to spell? Is it because connoisseurship has been written off in our discipline as exoticizing or objectifying? I personally think that anthropology as a form of connoisseurship is key understanding anthropology’s particularistic, idiographic approach. From Boas’s insistence on the particular to Levi-Strauss’s assimilation of the Boasian impulse to his own art connoisseurship, geeky obsession with the details has been central to our discipline. (I’d even add something about the British culture of quirky amateur enthusiasms that produced “The History and Social Influence of the Potato” but I’m afraid I don’t quite have it pegged). Connoisseurship as a process of cultivation is also about personal transformation—turning into someone who has ‘learned how to look,’ as art history textbook has it.
The time has come for academic professional associations, funding agencies, and universities to oppose the violation of international law and Iraqi sovereignty by the Pentagon’s Minerva Research Initiative. Both on this blog (here and here), and The Chronicle of Higher Education, we explored the ethical violations represented by the call to applicants for Pentagon social funding in studying documents that had been looted by U.S. forces and illegally removed from Iraq, and the fact that Iraq wants those documents back. We asked, given the concern of the American Anthropological Association for research ethics, how it could go ahead and declare that it was pleased with the Minerva Initiative only because the National Science Foundation agreed to offer part of the peer review for a small part of the money. In addition, the question was raised: is the Minerva Research Initiative asking foreign, notably American scholars to write Iraq’s history for Iraq? Why are Iraqis not being permitted to research and write their own history? Why do so many of us, with analytical tools sharpened by our study of political economy, history, Orientalism, postcolonialism, etc., let this grand colonial act pass without much in the way of public objection?
In today’s New York Times Mark Leibovich writes on the contrasts between Republican and Democratic events in “At Rallies of Faithful, Contrasts in Red and Blue.” Differences in dress, behavior, language, music and more are highlighted, with some recognition of the similarities too. But it was really this line from Leibovich that got my attention:
What can we learn from a close-in view of Democratic and Republican events at the end of a bitter, exhilarating campaign? It has become a cliché to say that the country is “divided,” but the anthropologies displayed at 11 campaign stops in recent days offer glimpses of partisan America.
By Eddie Choi
My speaking season begins every year at about the X’mas time. This year I am going to speak for the e-Academy hosted by Reed Exhibitions and then the World SME Expo organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council, followed by the
Girls wear makeup, go with their hair uncovered, drink, have boyfriends and premarital sex: For seven years, anthropologist Pardis Mahdavi has studied the sexual revolution in Iran, the Ventura Country Star reports.
Those actions could have brought harsh punishment and even jail time in the past. But now the sheer numbers of young people overwhelm the morality police, who must often turn a blind eye on offenders, she said during a lecture.
Many parents are onboard with the changes:
When, why and how are individuals moved by a piece of art in a museum or gallery? How can art change people’s lives? Anthropologist Sandra Dudley, and neuroscientist Rodrigo Quian Quiroga will develop a new, interdisciplinary approach to the perception of gallery art according to a press release.
The anthropologist explains:
The longer version of the title might have been:
How many anthropologies does the West need to produce before they become ‘World Anthropologies’?
The tradition of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects and abstract ideas has all of the shortcomings that we already know. Like “cultural extinction,” which suggests that cultures as ideas and practices can “die,” and having “died” can never “live again” without being a fake, a mock of the past “incarnation,” so too is there a problem with talking about the deaths and rebirths of anthropology.
By Daniel Lende
“You study sin,” my dinner companion said with a smile at a recent conference. I reached for my wine, and after a modest sip (really!), replied, “Vicio. In Colombia it’s called vicio. Vices.”
In Colombia vicio covers a whole range of activities—video games, playing pool, and yes, drugs. Even better, when vicio becomes the adjective “enviciador,” favorite snacks and sweets come into the picture. People start to eat, and it’s hard to stop until every piece of candy is gone.
Friedman and the limits of academic pluralism
Financial Times – London,England,UK
To see what is wrong with this statement, change it only slightly – “many colleagues are distressed by the notoriety of the Chicago School of Anthropology,
Robots, Robots, Everywhere – A Field Guide to Cyborg Anthropology
By Amber Case
Cyborg Anthropology is a set of mental models that can be applied to the examination of the interaction between humans and comptuers, and how the capabilities of our bodies are extended when they are uploaded into hypertext
New anthropology magazine appears to be OA
Anthropology Now will build on a growing commitment among anthropologists to make our research findings open and accessible to the world outside of the confines of the academy…. Comment. I’m guessing that this is OA, but I wish I could