In this case, I caught a brief moment of anticipation: a troop of men walking single file through the forest, carrying fresh-cut throwing staves called bhole, preparing to raid the villages of their friends and neighbors and steal away their chickens and produce.
Vijayendra Rao, the lead economist at the World Bank in the research department, talks to our own Ian Pollock about the role that anthropology and ethnography could play in helping poor or disempowered people engage with powerful institutions.
It doesn’t go without saying, so I’ll say it: I’ve never worked for the CIA, or done any intelligence or security work of any kind, nor would I. But all through my years living abroad, in Indonesia and Australia, I harbored a secret fantasy, that maybe, one day, I would be tapped.
Ana provided me with generous amounts of knowledge, time, and care. She knew I was doing a doctorate, and the understanding between us was clear: her knowledge, and her story, would be at its core. Now, that isn’t going to happen. I can use her information for articles, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Online ethnography, where researchers may never share a physical space with the participants in their research, is finding its methodological feet. Combine that with an analysis of these sorts of online media, combining intimacy, community, public speaking, and private listening, and you’ll see what makes podcasts so fascinating and potentially fruitful for anthropologists.
“Doing history ideally is like doing anthropology of people who are gone, except that you don’t have native informants, you only have these written fragmentary sources. But the same hermeneutic struggle goes on: you’re trying to understand somebody from their point of view.” Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of history and … Continue reading Ep. #7 The knowledge we value: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks the contentious politics of knowledge production
There aren’t that many passions that have stuck with me since I left New York City some ten years ago. But one thing feels like home wherever I encounter it: baseball. I came to the game in the late 1990s, when the teams were great in both Queens and the Bronx. I savored Mike Piazza’s … Continue reading Searching For Home (Plate) in Indonesia
For anthropologists, who labor in a discipline obscure enough that even most educated lay-people have no idea what it is, podcasting offers a new and powerful way to reach out and tell the general public about our work, how we do it, and, critically, why it matters. If you’re anything like me, you have also … Continue reading Anthrocasts: Who’s Talking, Who’s Listening?
In this wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Assa Doron talks about India’s waste, both liquid and solid, and the physical and institutional infrastructures that handle it--or fail to, plus the transformative effects of cheap mobile phones on India’s poor, how trash turns back into treasure, how to write anthropology that’s both “appealing and authoritative,” and where to find schnitzel on the Subcontinent.
Did you know that your mind is a cesspit of anger, and fear, and unresolved moments from your childhood? It’s not just you. Apparently everyone is living in a minefield of emotional triggers and traps. And underlying all of your behavior is a completely individualized personality structure, built up from stray comments and the subtle … Continue reading It’s Not Just Your Parents’ Fault