Ep. #48 The Nature of Anthropology: Andrew Kipnis on China, Funerals, Ethnographic Socialising & Academic Speech

"I think you’d be crazy to go into something like anthropology if you want to learn how to say whatever other people tell you to say - you know, maybe you should become a lawyer!" This week we bring you a special treat - an interview between our good friend Zoe Hatten and her PhD … Continue reading Ep. #48 The Nature of Anthropology: Andrew Kipnis on China, Funerals, Ethnographic Socialising & Academic Speech

Ep. #47: Meaningful Declutter, Local Activism, Managing Fire & Writing Up: This month on TFS

Firstly, we’d like to introduce you all to Alex D’Aloia, who is managing our Facebook group TFS Chats – you might remember the blog post that he wrote for us at the start of this year: "Anthropologists and Dragons". Make sure to check out the chat group after listening to this episode and let us … Continue reading Ep. #47: Meaningful Declutter, Local Activism, Managing Fire & Writing Up: This month on TFS

In University Restructures, is Trauma too Strong a Word?

I would argue that the unhappy academics were creating and adding to what I described in my thesis as affective swirls of discontent, and that they were doing this as a means of bonding, or collective self-comforting. Anthropologist Nigel Thrift (2004), in discussing spatial affect, might argue that these swirls gather momentum, affecting the moods and feelings of others as they circulate. As they get translated into different, perhaps more durable contexts — such as via technologies like online chat and email — the affect begins to bed down into the objects (such as emails, or policies), as well as into the humans, strengthening the network and the feelings of discontent further. This is where collective trauma may become an apt description.