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.

Ep. #18 What taste is made of: Brad Weiss talks pig farming and the meaning of food in America

"Livestock are essential to our lives. We live in a world that is saturated with livestock, and not just with the food that we eat, but with the lives that we live and in the other byproducts that come through livestock production." Brad Weiss, head of the anthropology department at the College of William and … Continue reading Ep. #18 What taste is made of: Brad Weiss talks pig farming and the meaning of food in America

Ep. #11 Alternative worlds: Ghassan Hage talks multiculturalism, teaching the enemy, & thinking in public

“Any concept -- capitalism, neoliberalism, etc. -- leaves an excess that it is the aim of anthropology to unearth. These are spaces that are not dominated by whatever’s dominating at a specific time. So there are existing alternatives, there are not just imaginary alternatives.... Anthropology in this sense does provide the possibility of thinking of … Continue reading Ep. #11 Alternative worlds: Ghassan Hage talks multiculturalism, teaching the enemy, & thinking in public

The Price of Eggs: Iran beyond liberalism and capitalism

As the dust settles on Iran’s recent bout of protests, the surge of commentary, punditry, and analysis is likely to continue, no longer working to explain these apparently ‘spontaneous’ protests, so much as to understand why they have petered out. Much of the commentary on what has been labelled the ‘greatest challenge to the Islamic … Continue reading The Price of Eggs: Iran beyond liberalism and capitalism