Anthropology roundup: Rabinow also joins the boycott debate…

I am Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. I write to urge you to watch this important new video where anthropologists who know something about the matter demonstrate how an academic boycott is ultimately personal.
I am against the boycott. The distinction between a small community of anthropologists, the Israeli university system, and the Likud government must be drawn and defended. Otherwise, the most minimal courage and elementary political commitment would require us to boycott anthropologists in the United States, the European Union, Russia, Iran, Egypt, the Central African Republic and a myriad of other states. Of course political action against governments, say the United States or Iran, would entail some risk to those who sign, not to others. Let those ready to run that risk give up their grants, their federally funded positions, the access facilitated by their passports and their other privileges. Academic boycotts are an evasion, not political action.
Over a thousand AAA members mobilized last November to vote for boycotting Israeli universities. Many of them will vote the same in the electronic spring ballot, underway until May 31st. In these circumstances, abstention is tantamount to a vote for the boycott and could leave us with a resolution we will regret.
So no more time for private, passive sympathies. Log in to AAA’s website and vote NO.You can read more about the false dichotomy between institutional and individual boycott at  Anthropologists for Dialogue on Israel and Palestine and at Against Anthro

Paul Rabinow


The “Peasant Activism Project” (,

in cooperation
with the network “Anthropology and Social Movements” of the European
Association of Social Movements (EASA) and “Contro-Sguardi”, promotes the
first meeting of the POLITICAL IMAGINATION LABORATORY: Visualizing and
Contextualizing Ethnographies of Social Movements.

“The Lab” invites anthropologists, filmmakers and activists to submit
papers or visual projects (completed documentaries or works in progress).

Proposed presentations should engage with ethnography and/or fieldwork
related to different forms of social movement research that address the
imagination of contemporary activism around the world.

The selection will be based on the quality of content, methodological
innovation and relevance in the sense that it will allow the laboratory to
promote a dialogical and experimental comparison of different
methodological and conceptual approaches.

Please, find below the link to the complete call:


An Interview With Reviewers 1, 2, and 3

This is the third post in a sequence called Strange Rumblings in the Meritocracy.

[What follows is an edited and condensed transcript of an interview I conducted with Reviewers 1, 2, and 3. NB: Reviewer 1 and 2 and I had been sitting around for two hours, waiting for Reviewer 3 to show up, when we decided, to hell with it, we’ll just start talking. Reviewer 3 eventually showed up

Under Surveillance: Islamophobia and Muslim Student Associations

In 2012, the Associated Press released a news report titled “NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast.”

Dendrochronology—literally the study of tree time—is a multidisciplinary science that yields accurate and precisely dated information through the detailedanalysis of growth rings in trees. Today, nearly 100 years since its development, tree-ring dating enjoys useful applications in a wide range of scientific and historical disciplines, including archaeology, biology, climatology, economics, ecology, fire history, forestry, geology, history, hydrology, pollution studies, political science, resource economics, sociology, volcanology, and others.

Groundings, or seeing-one’s-feet: An introduction

[Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Proshant Chakraborty]

Over the last year or so, I have found that nearly every academic essay I have written for my courses contains a section titled ‘Context & Positions,’ or some such variant.

Frybread at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology: It’s a Family Affair
Indian Country Today Media Network
The Edaakie family of Isleta Pueblo has been bringing their oven bread-baking and frybread-making demonstrations to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on the University of New Mexico’s Albuquerque campus every spring for 18 years. Along with the .

On front-lines and ethnography

My previous post was about how ethnography, for me, is a way of being grounded in particular contexts, of getting one’s feet muddied with the nuances and contradictions of everyday life, and building something concrete out of it.

The term ‘front-line’ encapsulates that grounding for me. In this post, I want to demonstrate what the term signifies about the work done by the front-line workers in Dharavi themselves, and then conclude by reflecting on what it means to do ethnography in such front-lines (or, alternatively, front-line ethnography).

Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist. She looks at infrared aerial photography for evidence of human activities that have been covered up by the march of time. Last year, Parcak located a site in Newfoundland that showed “possible man-made shapes” and may be the site of a Viking settlement from 1000 years ago.

Global Association of Linguistic Anthropology (GALIAN)

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 7.50.38 PM

Dr. Dimitrios Michael Hadzantonis at the University of Malaya has set up a website bringing together information about linguistic anthropology and its organizations across several countries, with the goal of making linguistic anthropology resources as widely available as possible.

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