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Posts Tagged ‘anthropology’

The keynote talks at this conference (including my own) are being videotaped and will be made available publicly sometime in the coming months, as I understand it, so I haven’t made any effort to document them here. But with Tim Ingold I couldn’t resist. Anthropologist Ingold has been a prominent star in my intellectual sky […]

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For interdisciplinary scholars, it’s always a challenge to decide which conferences to attend and which to forgo. The problem is particularly acute when the conferences are held at the same time, as occurred last week with the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and American Academy of Religion (AAR). As I’ve been attending […]

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Bruno Latour fans will know that the French anthropologist’s long-awaited follow-up to 1991′s game-changing theoretical provocation We Have Never Been Modern was released in its English translation just a few weeks ago. The book is called An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence (and is becoming better known by its acronym “AIME”), and it provides a […]

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I received my copies in the mail this week of the book that arose out of the School of Advanced Research seminar on “Nature, Science, and Religion: Intersections Shaping Society and the Environment.” It’s a handsome volume, whose contents provide a level of cross-cutting conversation that, I think, is rare among edited collections. Catherine Tucker […]

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A new book by Tim Ingold is always good news, especially one that — like his 2000 collection Perception of the Environment — brings together several years’ worth of work into one volume. Ingold describes Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description as “in many ways” a “sequel” to that earlier book, and it’s […]

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Having looked at the debate among critical geographers over blogging and social media (here, here, and here), let’s look at another, adjacent discipline: anthropology. No work necessary: Ryan Anderson’s latest post at Ethnographix does it for us. Anthropologists,  Anderson writes, have been “slow to find their way into the vastness that is the internet.” Fortunately, […]

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Thanks to the “Jungles” segment of BBC’s Human Planet series, Survival International’s photos of an “uncontacted tribe” in the Amazon are making the rounds once again — see Environmental Graffiti’s “Images of the Last Uncontacted Tribe on Earth“, Ron Burnett’s “Never Before Seen Footage of an Amazonian Tribe,” and MSNBC’s PhotoBlog. The rhetoric here — […]

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gleanings

Scientists found that Asian and American brains respond completely differently when faced with images of dominance and submission, and when evaluating character traits of themselves as opposed to other people. Asians and Americans gathered with other world leaders to fiddle at a Mexican resort while buildings burned. [. . .] Graham Harman and Steven Shaviro got ready to slug it out in the middleweight neo-realist philosopher category of the international thought-wrestling society. [. . .]

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It’s been fascinating to watch the unfolding public conversation about Avatar (much of which, come to think of it, my early review had anticipated): environmentalist celebrations of how it portrays the Earth rising up against the megamachine of capitalism and patriarchy; critiques of how the film perpetuates the stereotyping of indigenous people and reiterates tropes of their salvation by white male messiah figures; the Vatican’s and religious right’s denunciations of its pantheism; the film’s advance of technological wizardry into the domain of a virtual hyperreality, like The Matrix but replacing that film’s gnosticism with a pantheistic new age science of networks and neural systems; and debates over the balance struck in the film between good spectacle (the high-tech stuff) and bad narrative (poor writing, flat characterization, stereotypes all over), or between bad spectacle (Spielbergian gee-whiz stuff) and good narrative (such as the film’s allegorization of global capitalism’s destruction of indigenous communities). Film Studies for Free has usefully summarized the various allegorical readings of the film proposed so far, many of which get articulated in conversations and comments by viewers in various blogs, op-ed commentaries, and social networking sites. [more]

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Over the past several days I’ve gone from the cool wetness of Alaska’s southeast coast to the high dryness of north-central New Mexico. The first was pure holiday, accompanied by loved ones (including those who generously funded it) and featuring glaciers, salmon, a black bear (devouring one of the salmon), a ride on one of […]

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