One of the most popular jokes among anthropologists is how often our work is mistaken for palaeontology. Almost every one of my colleagues and even a few of my students can relate an anecdote involving a situation where they were asked if they “dug up dinosaurs.” Imagine the difficulty I now face in my own work where the answer is effectively, “Yes, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.”
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.
Ian (1:25) starts us off by asking, just how well-written does a thesis need to be? "As anthropologists, basically what we do is write... whether it's writing your field notes, or whether it's writing up your articles or your dissertation... and most of us have never actually been trained in how to write." As Julia says, "there … Continue reading Ep. #14 Thesis writing, picturing cults, Muslims with caste, & fieldwork boredom: this month on TFS
"Storytelling: that's part of the power of podcasts, and just the power of ethnography in general, to really have people tell their own stories. And I think it's those stories that really capture students' interest and attention, and make them start to think about why anthropology really matters." This month, we're bringing you an episode … Continue reading Ep. #13 TFS presents Anthropod: “Podcasts and Pedagogy: audio in the anthropology classroom”
This month, Ian (1:12) asks how we should engage when people describe their culture one way, but our observations of their behavior don’t match those descriptions. What is a “culture,” Ian asks, if its members don’t adhere to it? As Julia argues, “what people say is just as important in their cultural imaginary of who … Continue reading Ep. #12 Cultural imaginaries, deepfake videos, hatred in anth, & social dissociation: this month on TFS
As Helene Mialet’s ethnography examines the role of his assistants, his students, and the media in the social construction of ‘Stephen Hawking: the great genius’, she also shows the subtle ways that some part of Hawking the man remains present, imposes himself on each interaction within his extended network.
I was determined to make sure that I was never bored during my fieldwork. Vibrant informants and constant social interaction were to be the key to my successful defeat of apathy. And yet, when it came to the crunch, I frequently found myself bored.
Author: Nishadh Rego, a transnational youth, migrant, and new citizen of Australia. He is currently Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia. Check out some of his writing here, and follow him on Twitter @ntrego88 It has been both challenging and gratifying to read and comment on Dana Tanu’s innovative and stimulating work … Continue reading Transnational Youth, Culture, and Politics in International Schools
There’s anthropological spirit in investigative journalism that anthropologists could better acknowledge. Regardless of whether it has a anthropology qualification attached or it is embedded in complex cultural theory, it is something that sparks thinking about the ‘other’; the ‘strange’.
This month, Julia (1:12) prompts us to think about 'vaping' e-cigarettes as a clinical compromise for smokers with schizophrenia. Having observed this strategy to be effective in the UK, she questions Australia's black-and-white moral approach against vaping. She says to take such an uncompromising stance here borders on “the definition of psychotic thinking, where you … Continue reading Ep. #10 Smoking v. vaping, anthrosmelling, de/colonization, & America’s gun “tribes:” this month on TFS