gratitude and magic

gratitude and magic

The job of a blogger is to keep blogging. And in the last few months, I’ve really struggled with coming up with anything meaningful or helpful to say. I feel pretty firmly, as many are articulating very powerfully (please see this podcast hosted by Autumn Brown and adrienne marie brown, “How To Survive the End of the World“, passed along to me by my friend and colleague Aadita Chaudhury this weekend*), that we’re facing the end of one order of {+}

Sokal Squared is Satire

Sokal Squared is Satire

It is a joke. I agree that the Sokal Squared project is ambitious in its scope to the point of being mean-spirited. Their findings are easy fodder for alt-right assholes. One wonders about their stated beneficent motivation despite a report somewhere claiming that two of the three authors self-identify as the type of left-wing liberal who in other contexts would celebrate the identity politics challenged by the very project. They are trying for reform–they are from Portland for fucks sake–or {+}

FOIA Document: 1980 CIA Recruitment Pitch Claims No Ethical Issues for CIA Anthropologists

FOIA Document: 1980 CIA Recruitment Pitch Claims No Ethical Issues for CIA Anthropologists

While working through document collections in dozens of university and governmental archives, online FOIA document repositories, and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, I have amassed a collection of letters from anthropologists and other scholars corresponding with the CIA. Sometimes scholars write asking for reports, maps, or other documents they hope can be released into the public domain, in other instances anthropologists write sharing information relating to their work or that of colleagues, or they write inquiring about employment {+}

Interview: John Postill on his new book The Rise of the Nerds

Interview: John Postill on his new book The Rise of the Nerds

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. John Postill about his new book, The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto Press). This new book, The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto Press), is analytically rich and wrestles with the problem of defining and categorizing this transnational field of politically-active technologists. You unify your techpol nerds in terms of the acronym “clamp” which includes those interested in the application of computing, law, art, media, politics. I think you go a great job of {+}

On Using Archives and Freedom of Information Act for Anthropological Research

On Using Archives and Freedom of Information Act for Anthropological Research

At some point during the last quarter century I wandered away from doing ethnographic fieldwork and pursued archival and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) anthropological research. There were no clear reasons for the shift. I suppose that in hindsight this change of focus appears linked with being a new professor, with then young children who could not easily return to Middle East field research, while stumbling upon a broad research project I could undertake largely by mail. With time, I {+}

Turning the page

Turning the page

This summer I started a new job. My former position, in museums and special collections, was grant funded. We worked that contract until the money was gone. And though I like to think they wished they could keep me, budgets at non-profits are extraordinarily tight. I was back on the job market. Out of ten job apps sent to a wide variety of different institutions I got one interview at a public library, that blossomed into an offer and the {+}

Farm Girl Meets European Living

Farm Girl Meets European Living

By Michaela D.E. Meyer I grew up in a small farm community in Nebraska. Our food intake relied largely on what our farm (or neighbor’s farms) produced – beef, pork, corn, soybeans. Farming culture followed a very specific food rhythm – load up as much caloric intake as possible in the morning, work all day in the fields, and then power load again in the evening at dinner. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that traditional “farm-to-table” schedule. I tend {+}

Designs for the Pluriverse — [book review]

Designs for the Pluriverse — [book review]

In Designs for the Pluriverse : Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds, theorist and distinguished critic of development Arturo Escobar joins a chorus of works that seek to articulate the recent ontological turn with our shared global, ecological crisis. As I made my way through this challenging and well written work, I came to feel as if theoretical discourses on ontology, something I am curious about but which lies outside my area of expertise, sharpened into focus. Escobar {+}

Rembetika Food

Rembetika Food

By Angela Glaros I have been reading cookbooks since childhood (along with Heloise’s Household Hints, another leisure reading genre).  Much later, when I began studying anthropology, cooking and keeping house seemed like essential areas of ethnographic focus, regardless of the purported topic of one’s study. While I did my dissertation fieldwork on a small Greek island, it was my mother who had unwittingly first exposed me to ethnographic modes of inquiry back in 1981, on our first visit with our {+}

Check Your Syllabus 101: Disability Access Statements

Check Your Syllabus 101: Disability Access Statements

The start of the semester is just about upon us, which probably means you are rapidly ditching your best laid plans to lovingly craft your syllabus into a gleaming gem of radical pedagogical genius and coming to terms with the Winnicottian spirit of “good enough.” Welcome back. The good news is that there is one easy addition that can make every syllabus shine a little brighter, something every good enough syllabus needs (and every kick ass syllabus has) that, thanks {+}