“Doing history ideally is like doing anthropology of people who are gone, except that you don’t have native informants, you only have these written fragmentary sources. But the same hermeneutic struggle goes on: you’re trying to understand somebody from their point of view.” Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of history and … Continue reading Ep. #7 The knowledge we value: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks the contentious politics of knowledge production
Last week Australian academic Dennis Altman published a provocative piece in The Conversation, suggesting that it was time to re think the label LGBTI. In the place of the acronym LGBTI, which he describes as ‘a direct product of American identity politics’, he proposes the acronym SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) a term that originates in human rights discourses. Now it is here, as a white, queer anthropologist who studies what development means to slum children in India, that the celebration and adoption of a term produced by a global body like the UN baffles me a little.
In this month’s panel discussion, Jodie (1:14) tells us about documents with agency: “Ideas just get up and grow legs, and they run away with themselves.” (Trigger warning: this segment mentions the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. If you want to avoid that part, skip to 3:45.) Next, Ian (6:00) … Continue reading Ep. #4 Killer Docs, Imaginary Landscapes, Political Lies, and Emotional Risk: this month on TFS
Author: Justine Chambers, Doctoral candidate with the Department of Anthropology, School of Culture, History and Languages (CHL) at the Australian National University. You can read more about her research here. --- In August 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police posts and an army base in western Rakhine state Myanmar, claiming to fight for … Continue reading Unpicking an (A)moral Anthropological Stance: Ongoing Violence in Myanmar
Jodie, Simon, Julia, and Ian preview what's coming up on The Familiar Strange blog in the coming month. On today's show, Jodie (1:40) follows up on 2015 fracas at Yale about free speech and Halloween, in response to a discussion on Sam Harris' podcast "Waking Up" (www.samharris.org/podcast/item/facing-the-crowd); Simon (7:10) takes us to Iran for a look … Continue reading Ep. #1 Campus free speech, mundane governance, truth in politics, and creeps v. @ssholes: this month on TFS
For those of us who have grown up in the ‘West’, we tend to think of religion as a customizable category. Some of us are born into a particular sect, others with no particular orientation, and as we travel through life, we’re presented with a panoply of options from which to choose. Many of us … Continue reading Like a Skin
On the 7th of September 2017, Syrian national Mouaz Al-Nass, a singer and drummer, recorded and then uploaded a video of himself reciting the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, in the Alhambra palace in Grenada, Spain. In the video, Al-Nass concludes his declaration by saying that he believed the walls had missed the call … Continue reading The Restitution of the Dead
In today's polarising political climate, exacerbated by preferences for quick answers, it is becoming harder to appreciate the messiness of life. Except when we go to art galleries or find ourselves on a therapist's couch. Why can't we appreciate our discomfort anywhere else? There are few human conditions that people fear or misunderstand more than … Continue reading Is Art the Limit of Embracing the Uncomfortable?
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
Over time, we learn what to care about and what not to, and who to care about and who not to. Much of this comes down to the social circles in which we move, and wider cultural norms that drive our sense of what we want (from work ideals, material and consumable goods, to relationships). … Continue reading Being the Change