When I see videos like this:
...it makes me think about the borders between academia and politics. Specifically, I'm thinking about anthropology. I don't think that anthropology can be defined in any one way, and I certainly don't think that the discipline (in its many manifestations) is some sort of political party. I don't think that's what anthropology needs to be. At the same time, I am interested to see how some of you anthropology-minded folks out there are reacting to incidents like this, and what you think anthropology can bring to understanding (and maybe even interacting with) situations like this. Are we better off sticking to concentrating on academic conferences and producing tidy journal articles, or are there times when anthropology (and academia) can be something more, or something else?
In related news, check out this open letter from Nathan Brown, an assistant professor in English at UC Davis (where the above even took place).
You know, one of my profs once said that academia can be a "convenient place to put inconvenient people" (I know this saying comes from elsewhere, but it was a particularly apt point). I think about this quite often, especially when I spend hour after hour working on some academic document while the world keeps happening all around. Sometimes I wonder what I am actually producing, and what I am actually doing with all of this academic effort. Do you?