All Blog Posts (800)

Experimental Anthropology

I was browsing foreign films on when the synopsis of "Le Ballon Rouge" (The Red Balloon) popped up. The synopsis said that it was about a Parisian boy who found a red balloon, and it asked if the red ballon found the boy. The posed question sounded playful and innocent, but it definitely tickled my mind.…


Added by M Izabel on November 18, 2010 at 4:58pm — 1 Comment


Marx between Mill, Mayhew and Dickens

Phil Swift's brilliant post on the relevance of Henry Mayhew's 19th century investigations of London's working classes for a politicized ethnography today has set off many reverberations inside my skull. One issue is the relationship between Mayhew's project and Marx's. Both are highly critical of the social causes of the… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on November 18, 2010 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Anthropology + Photography

When I first started this blog I wrote a few posts about what different people do with photography, how they use it, and why. Those were inspired by social scientists and anthropologists who have looked into the social meanings and uses of photography--Pierre Bourdieu, Jay Ruby, Elizabeth Edwards, among others. Some of those posts looked at the lives of particular professional photographers, like…

Added by ryan anderson on November 17, 2010 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Ontology Is Dynamic

Like culture, ontology, which includes terms, categories, concepts of being, realities, relations, is dynamic because language is. I don't know if you still have to require me to quote someone about the dynamism of language and of all features embedded in it such as lexicons, syntax, semiotics, and, yes, semantics. I'm a little bit Chomskyan in my treatment of semantics. The latter can stand alone even without syntax, grammar, or structure, and that includes the standards of how it is used.… Continue

Added by M Izabel on November 16, 2010 at 9:38pm — 2 Comments

The 'Perils of the Nation': The Activist Anthropology of Henry Mayhew

I want to tell you about Henry Mayhew. His work is neither new (he wrote during the same decades as Charles Dickens), nor was he an anthropologist, yet for all that, he produced a vital and urgent anthropology that speaks critically to our current moment.

Mayhew’s aim (in his own words) was to ‘publish the history of a people, from the lips of the people… Continue

Added by Philip Swift on November 16, 2010 at 6:30pm — 7 Comments

Meaning: A Few Words from the Competition

From one now popular perspective, anthropologists are supposed to be especially acute interpreters of what other people(s) mean. But meaning is not, of course, a topic restricted to anthropological theory. An e-mail delivered via Soc-Net points to a deep review of philosophical and analytic perspectives of particular interest to developers of semantic network analysis. The abstract on reads as follows,…


Added by John McCreery on November 16, 2010 at 10:28am — No Comments




Added by Tame Ramya (Tarh) on November 13, 2010 at 10:14pm — 1 Comment

Derridas and Borgeses in Our Village

I used to join chess and scrabble tournaments for women in the city a day by bus from our village, just so I could use my prizes to buy every book by or about Derrida, my very first dalliance with postmodernism. I would lie about my age so I could join in adult divisions where the prizes were twice than those in teen…


Added by M Izabel on November 13, 2010 at 7:18am — 1 Comment

Popularizing and Localizing Anthropology

In our class in college, we were only ten from the only anthropology department in the Philippines. When someone asked about my major, I would say, “Biology.” When I was honest, the burden of explaining anthropology was always on me, and it was a laborious effort. Anthropology was not a familiar social science degree even on the campus. There were instances when…


Added by M Izabel on November 12, 2010 at 3:10am — 12 Comments

AAA Conference in New Orleans (from the sidelines)

Rex over at Savage Minds has written a post with some special advice for AAA conference-goers on how they can make the best of the human experience by rubbing elbows with semi-celebs and nobodies while ignoring panels and papers as much as possible.

On Twitter and throughout the blogosphere, the anticipatory posts are beginning to appear… Continue

Added by Francine Barone on November 11, 2010 at 6:39pm — No Comments




Added by Tame Ramya (Tarh) on November 11, 2010 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Edward Said, a one-sided referee of globalization

I admire Said's originality but not his myopic criticism and total westernization of the intellectual and visual phenomenon called Orientalism.…


Added by M Izabel on November 8, 2010 at 12:30am — 12 Comments

The Isolated Ethnographer and the Ethnography of Isolation

When I was still hopeful that I would become a novelist a few years ago, I tried to write about an independent anthropologist who wanted to visit China but had no money so she agreed to be a "mule," a paid transporter or carrier of illegal drugs. She was caught and sentenced to…


Added by M Izabel on November 5, 2010 at 10:49pm — No Comments

Letter from Jamaica


Here in Kingston everyone is waiting for tropical storm Tomas, the supposedly softer gentler brother of Nicole, to blow in today and tomorrow. As I write, in the University of the West Indies library, staff are beginning to secure the computers from water damage. As if it hadn't had enough it looks like Haiti will take the brunt of the weather: people in relocation camps - tents hardly equipped for the expected deluge.

My fieldwork site covers two sides of a valley… Continue

Added by Huon Wardle on November 4, 2010 at 5:00pm — 15 Comments

[New book announcement] Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

*** Sorry for cross-posting ***

Please circulate this new book announcement. If anybody is interested in purchasing the book, contact the author because he can offer a really great limited-time discount offer.

Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

Noel B. Salazar

Berghahn Books, November 2010…


Added by Noel B. Salazar on November 1, 2010 at 11:44pm — No Comments

Mogollon Conference - Day 2

Michele Hegmon of Arizona State University asked us to consider the Classic Mimbres society as "Another Way of Being," and to do so through the archaeological data. She began by contrasting the layouts of Mibres pueblos vs. contemporary structures at Mesa Verde.

Mesa Verde unit pueblos are very uniform in their overall form, and in room size and shape: Room block, kiva, midden. This is suggestive…

Added by Paul Wren on November 1, 2010 at 3:42am — No Comments

2010 Henry Myers Lecture at the RAI PODCAST (for those who missed it)

For those who missed the 2010 Henry Myers lecture by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd at the RAI, you can listen to it as a podcast at the following URL:

Added by René Wolf on October 31, 2010 at 10:06pm — 1 Comment

Listen to a podcast of the Daniel Miller/Matt Cook talk at Birkbeck on 28 October 2010

Dear Members
Daniel Miller and Matt Cook gave a talk entitled 'Home' at Birkbeck College London on 28 October 2010. This event has been recorded and can be listened to/downloaded at the following URL:

Added by René Wolf on October 30, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

Playing with Identities

As we pause for a moment between recent debates about prayer and performative acts, stimulated by Phillip Swift's delightful paper on Cosmetic Cosmologies in Japan, and look forward to Daniel Miller's An extreme reading of Facebook, I find myself rummaging through Evernote and stumble across something written last December.… Continue

Added by John McCreery on October 30, 2010 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Citizen Science

As we think about goals and projects for OAC, I'm reminded that scholars in all sorts of fields are trying out new approaches. The reminder is from an email newsletter I receive because, several months ago in a fit of enthusiasm I signed up to participate in GalaxyZoo. Never actually did much. Got too busy with OAC and other things. But, as food for thought, here is that newsletter.



Added by John McCreery on October 29, 2010 at 7:26am — No Comments

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