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.
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
Anthropologists everywhere are reaching out to engage the public. Blogs. Podcasts. What we have to say matters, and we want to be heard. And I don’t think it’s working. Why not? Is it the jargon? The interdisciplinary turf wars? Could it be the ontological turn? While all of those things certainly contribute to anthropology’s general … Continue reading Anthropological Hot Takes
About one year ago, on June 13th, 2016, I was in a village down the Flores coast, south of my primary field site, where I had been invited to attend a wedding. I expected I would be in that village all day, bopping around the various rituals, feasts, and celebrations, taking notes, asking questions, drinking … Continue reading Fieldwork Feelings Following the Pulse Nightclub Massacre
Most of us will have seen over the past few days images of refugees, green card holders, and travellers, arriving in US airports only to be told that they have been denied entry on the basis of President Trump’s executive order banning entry to citizens of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Iran. The … Continue reading Trump Misunderstands Iran
I deluded myself into thinking that Barack Obama had, at the least, embodied an inclusive and affable leadership style. I did not question whether his gregariousness would appeal to everyone. Nor did I realise how many he left behind trying to peddle democratic values in a corrupt system. I am also guilty of romanticising the … Continue reading Me & Anthropology at the Dawn of Trump