Balancing Acts: An Ethnographer’s Thoughts on Studying Religion

Anthropologists sometimes study sensitive topics and it is therefore not uncommon for ethnographic work to attract serious criticism along such lines. In a recent social media thread, I encountered one such critic whose principal argument was, that both I the ethnographer and the academic study of religion in general had no business writing about religious traditions (Shaligrams, in my case), should not be participating in rituals or engaging with sacred objects. What should the ethnographer’s response to this be then? What is our role in all this?

Ep #58: Individuals, Whiteness, Gendered Fandoms and Picking Field Stories to Tell: This Month on TFS

This week we bring you another from home Zoom panel! This week we are joined by Senior lecturer Dr Yasmine Musharbash. Dr Musharbash is currently based in the Northern territory and has research interests in monsters, sleep and death.  Alex [1:44] starts us off this week by returning to a topic touched on in the … Continue reading Ep #58: Individuals, Whiteness, Gendered Fandoms and Picking Field Stories to Tell: This Month on TFS

How COVID-19 makes us use our bodies differently

COVID-19 has prompted a renewed awareness of how we use our bodies under “normal” circumstances. COVID-19 is also demanding that we change our bodily behaviors to prevent the spread of the pandemic. This entails both transforming existing techniques and learning new ones. These hygienic practices are all part of a particular set of bodily techniques that Marcel Mauss called “care of the body,” or prescribed, everyday physical acts that serve to maintain the well-being of individuals and to affirm their belonging within broader social communities.