Farewell, Thanks, and a Top Ten List

Farewell, Thanks, and a Top Ten List

All good things must come to an end. In truth, however, I think it’s only some good things that must come to an end and my time at Anthrodendum is one of them. After six years blogging here (and on our earlier site Savage Minds), the time has come to move on to other things. As I told my fellow co-bloggers in an email, in this turbulent political moment as both a mid-career professor and mother of a pre-teen and a teenager, I am needed elsewhere.

It has been a pleasure. My way of contributing to this blog was to share not only my voice, but also to create space for more voices. I invited colleagues to join in, created the Writers’ Workshop series which ran for two academic years, and jointly hosted a Decolonizing Anthropology series with Uzma Rizvi. Thinking about how to best use this space to move anthropology forward, to help grow the online short essay as a new genre in anthropology, and to do so with so many wonderful colleagues—whether they were folks who wrote once or several times for the blog, monthly guest bloggers, or the core blogging team—was both a unique opportunity and an honor.

I’m grateful to Kerim Friedman and the team for inviting me to join the site in 2012, and to Chris Kelty for inviting me to write my first blog post back in 2008—“The Resistance is Dead! Long Live the Resistance!” on the (still ongoing ten years later) protests in Tibet. I remember reading the blog when it was formed in 2005, enjoying the sense of community it created in the days prior to the explosion of academic social media, and never dreamt I would one day be part of it. And yet, I am so glad to have been here. Thank you to the founders of the site for your vision, and best of luck to those of you who will be carrying it forward now.

As I reflect on my time here, and re-read some of the essays I wrote, I realize how many of these pieces are meaningful to me. They are on my CV. I consider them scholarship, a clear part of my working out the current anthropological moment or thinking through my research or what is going on in the world or some combination of these. Of the many essays I posted here, these ten stand out:

The essay that returns every year just before the AAAs: “Conference Chic, or How to Dress Like an Anthropologist,” with Kate Fischer, Rachel Fleming, Willi Lempert, and Marnie Thomson (2013)

On the time I defended MCA’s honor in public: “Dialogue with the Public: Adam Yauch and Academic Snobbery” (2012)

“What Makes Something Ethnographic?” (2012)

“Made in China: Notes from the CIA Gift Shop” (2013) which connected me with the wonderful team at Allegra Lab for the first time.

“Writing about Bad, Sad, Hard Things” (2013)

“Tear Gas, Ferguson, and Anti-Black Racism: Interview with Kalaya’an Mendoza, Amnesty USA Senior Organizer” (2014)

“141: For Tsepey, Who Self-Immolated in Tibet Six Hours from Now” (2014)

“Anthropology as Theoretical Storytelling” (2015)

“Decolonizing Anthropology: A Conversation with Faye V. Harrison, Part I and Part II” with Kaifa Roland and Bianca Williams (2016)

And, my last post, a crowd-sourced effort, which now feels more appropriate than ever: “What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Professor” (2017)

Best wishes to all for the future of Anthrodendum. Thanks for having me.

I am an anthropologist and historian of Tibet, and a professor at the University of Colorado. I conduct research, write, lecture, and teach. At any given time, I am probably working on one of the following projects: Tibet, British empire, and the Pangdatsang family; the CIA as an ethnographic subject; contemporary US empire; the ongoing self-immolations in Tibet; the Chushi Gangdrug resistance army; refugee citizenship in the Tibetan diaspora (Canada, India, Nepal, USA); and, anthropology as theoretical storytelling.