I've just joined the Group and would like to introduce myself. I live and work in Kolkata, India and was trained like Carole at University of Michigan where my interest in colonialism/empire was deepened. My interests are shifting from how colonialism shaped the formation of anthropology in the peripheries to governing the directions of anthropology by indirect means. What interests me is the disjunct between the way the relation between colonialism and anthropology is debated in the metropole and the way it is perceived in the periphery !
I have also participated in a blog organised by ASA on Counterinsurgency where I indicated how anthropological knowledge is harnessed for internal counterinsurgency purposes in India.
I look forward to interesting discussions.
The reason why I spoke about the disjunct between the metropolitan discussion on colonialism and anthropology and the peripheral discussion on it is because much of anthropology in the periphery developed under the aegis of the colonial state and socialised the anthropologists to internalise the colonial viewpoint. Even after colonialism anthropologists remained part of the state apparutus of government, like the Anthropological Survey of India. In the post-colonial phase this has led to what can be considered as internal colonialism whereby the social distance between the anthropologist and the object of enquiry has remained as apart as in colonial times. The question of reflexivity has been little addressed within mainstream anthropology in India.