One of my favorite all-time historical novels is The Deceivers by John Masters. Published in 1952, the protagonist William Savage is an administrator in a remote district for the British East Indian Company. The book is set in 1825. Savage speaks four Indian languages, and has spent 19 years in the colonial service. As a colonial administrator, he is ?the law? in his district. But to do this, he lives in an Indian village, embedded in Indian cultures and languages. No garrisoned ?Forward Operating Base? with a VCR, pool table, video games, or other comforts of home for him!
Today we present an online essay by Barbara Rose Johnston that supplements her January Anthropology News print commentary, ?Water, Culture and Power Negotiations at the UN.? The print essay is now available on the AAA website and AnthroSource. We welcome readers to respond to both the print essay and online supplement through comments.
The Monthly?s online TV channel, SlowTV, is carrying the first annual Distinguished Lecture in Anthropology. Ghassan Hage presenting his talk, ?Anthropology and the passion of the political.? As SlowTV describes:
Anthropologist Wade Davis is National Geographic‘s “Explorer-in-Residence,” and deservedly so. His books about indigenous cultures are more exciting and stranger than any Indiana Jones adventure. I became a fan after reading his book about voudon and zombie culture in Haiti, called The Serpent and the Rainbow (skip the awful movie with the same name — it bears almost no resemblance to Davis’ book).
As we reported earlier, last week C-SPAN?s Book TV aired a session from the AAA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia that focused on the research of Ann Dunham, anthropologist and mother of President Barack Obama.
An independent group called the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team has led efforts to exhume graves and urged relatives to provide blood samples.
I am just about ready to give up on the idea that culture shock is an important part of anthropology?s method. What is the point of this concept? For some anthropologists, experiencing ?a different culture? or, to put it another way, ?cultural difference? is key to being an anthropologist. Why I?m not sure. I think a lot of it has to do with anthropology?s surge of babyboom growth, which accentuated some aspects of the discipline over others. It also rests on the insight?important, I?ll argue?that anthropology is valuable because fieldwork transforms the person who undertakes it in a valuable way. But to argue that it is culture shock that triggers this transformation is to focus on the bathwater and not the baby.
[Webshaykh?s note: Dr. Omar Dewachi, a recent graduate in anthropology from Harvard University writes about his experiences teaching medical anthropology in Beirut. Here is the first paragraph of his essay, which can be uploaded in full as a pdf at http://www.alterites.ca/dernier.html.]
Teaching at the Margins: Experiences of Anthropology and Medicine in a Middle Eastern Setting
by Omar Dewachi, Altérités 6(2):129-135, 2009………..
A Step Beyond Anthropology
New York Times
Though students are required to attend Goucher for two one-week residencies, most of the curriculum, drawn from ethnography, anthropology and social …
Innovation, Anthropology and Cultural Relativity
Where a sociologist might put together a questionnaire to understand what people think of an object, an anthropologist would immerse themselves in the