For the next 2 weeks a certain piece of content will be highlighted based on user hits, and its poignancy opened for discussion!
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As this has just gone live I will have to base this first one not on user hits, so I am going to start with Professor Roy Ellens moving summary of events!
Usually I will add some commentary, but as its the first highlight and speaks very strongly for itself, I will let it stand.
Abraham, could you say a bit more about what moved you about this summary?
Hi John, thankyou for asking a simple question, I not sure my answer will be so clear:
It is partly very specifically context dependent, however in a broader sense it is an explicit statement of actively acknowledging what the title of the event was about; Anthropology for Our Future.
This title was chosen because contrary to the design principles in which anthropology has become an undergraduate course, I was one of the organizers was not happy with the idea that a 100 people study anthropology at undergraduate level, the purpose of which is that a few go onto to become anthropologists and the rest use their learning usefully elsewhere. I am generalizing, but perhaps having a distinctly wider appreciation of undergraduate anthropology in the past few years than most, it is not an unqualified one.
There is a severe problem with undergraduate anthropology students ending up as such. Firstly because it generates degrees based on learning alienated from their source. How can an anthropologist claim that a student can understand anthropology without them having to engage in the process of prior-during-post fieldwork. Can a social anthropologist understand a very different 'way of life' of some people some where without some sort of fieldwork? I do not believe so. So how then can a student honestly understand the anthropology without engaging in its process? In an alienated and artificial sense; as a commodity.
So coming back, I hypothesize that it is then likely that many of the few that stick with studying anthropology further do so with a high probability of starting from a fetishized basis, which predicates for lack of engagement in dealing with other peoples modes of study in the field. Those that do not carry on either hadn't a clue what they studied or have an artificially created version that will be exerted on the world with many of the characteristics of bad NGO's style activities. (I always find it odd that one studies as an undergraduate the abysmal nature of much NGO work, no matter how well-meaning, twined with an opinion I get from many students that studying anthropology did not help one appreciate its practical applicability. What is odd is that going and working for an NGO is marketed as the primary place of employment for an anthropology undergraduate. Having to study formalised anthropology without having prior-during-post fieldwork experience is not going to end up with a student tackling the issue with Development inside NGO's, but trying to make applicable sense of their degree by reinforcing bad practice in NGO's).
I have gone on a slight tangent, returning to the earlier point of the title, I think Roy's summary towards the end appreciates the need for students to embody anthropological study, and this will only happen in formal anthropology if it questions its MOP's - more clearly put - http://kularing.info/2012/02/04/dear-anthropology-what-happened-to-.... This point is what also inspired my joint piece at the event - http://youtu.be/q9XZFCLftos
I hope that partly answers your question?
Today's highlight is from Charles Beach who goes over his ideas for his upcoming dissertation
With 47 hits (I guess he has been sharing his video online well!), Charles considers our relationship with space, most specifically in urban environments. Touching on the statecraft 'how the state is blind, how do a few thousand people know how social things happen' and then over to 'place-hacking' by urban explorers.
Knowing Charles, he will be very appreciative of any feedback, particularly as he is in the pre-fieldwork stage of considering the possibilities for his dissertation.
As is evident, have not really been having a highlight every day but rather every few days, but no more seemed necessary considering engagement. However today I have the opportunity to share with you a juicy album of photos with many thanks to Edwin Quast for his great photography skills!