The Familiar Strange

Ep. #4 Killer Docs, Imaginary Landscapes, Political Lies, and Emotional Risk: this month on TFS

Ian's drawing of the front of a Ngadha house

In this month’s panel discussion, Jodie (1:14) tells us about documents with agency: “Ideas just get up and grow legs, and they run away with themselves.” (Trigger warning: this segment mentions the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. If you want to avoid that part, skip to 3:45.)

Next, Ian (6:00) considers what it’s like to live in an imaginary landscape: “the kind of imaginary landscape that I’m talking about [is] where the one that’s around you, that’s physically substantiated, is the one that isn’t real.”

Simon (11:09) taps into his work in Iran, where people seemed to have a basic expectation that their politicians would tell the truth, to ask why, in democracies, we so often assume our politicians are liars: “they had a greater expectation that people should be telling the truth than we do.”

Finally, Julia (15:44) lays bare the danger she faces when the emotions of the people she studies — in her case, schizophrenia patients — percolate through her own body: “I don’t think I would be able to access my participants’ experiences the way I have without putting myself at some kind of emotional risk.”

CITATIONS

Here’s Ian’s post on the Pulse Nightclub massacre and emotions in the field: https://thefamiliarstrange.com/2018/08/30/when-the-world-invades-the-field/

This anthropology podcast is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society, the schools of Culture, History, and Language and Archaeology and Anthropology at Australian National University, and the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science.

Music by Pete Dabro: dabro1.bandcamp.com

Show notes by Ian Pollock