Misinterpreting People

Anthropology has long ago dispensed with the notion that there is any ‘one’ truth. But I think most ethnographers still hope that in describing a group, the people within that group still see at least a reflection of themselves; still understand it as describing something that is legible to them.

Ep. #26 Mining Banaba: Katerina Teaiwa talks mining phosphate & decolonising modern anthropology

“The body of the people is in that landscape so when it's mined and crushed and dug up, you’re not just doing it with rock, you’re also doing it with people, with the remains of people, and we know that happened on Banaba.” Katerina Teaiwa, Associate Professor at the School of Culture, History and Language … Continue reading Ep. #26 Mining Banaba: Katerina Teaiwa talks mining phosphate & decolonising modern anthropology

Talking like a child: Language learning for anthropology fieldwork

In preparing for fieldwork, I took a class on language training with Piers Kelly. While Piers was talking more specifically about learning in a context where a language hadn’t been written down before or had very limited resources, I think there was a nice takeaway for any learner of a second (or third, or more…) … Continue reading Talking like a child: Language learning for anthropology fieldwork

Beyond Stereotypes: Success, failure, and the complexity of women’s education in Iran

During my 15 months of fieldwork in Iran, the gripe that a bachelor’s degree was now equivalent to that of a high school certificate from a few years earlier was pervasive. This has seen a tandem effect of young men who historically belonged to the educated classes now frequently forgoing tertiary study, and moving straight into the job market. However, such options are rarely open to women, leaving education as one of the main, if not the only way for improving social standing.