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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 {+}

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 {+}

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 {+}

Repeat photography & coastal change: From notes and ideas to research method

Repeat photography & coastal change: From notes and ideas to research method

You never know when or how new research will begin. Let alone how you’re going to do it. That’s why it’s always good to take notes…and photographs. In March 2012, when I was in the middle of my doctoral work in Cabo Pulmo, I just happened to map the coastal profile of a nearby beach (known as “Los Frailes”). It’s a long, sandy stretch of beach that curves around a small bay. I walked along the edge of the waterline {+}

The #HiddenCurriculum of Applying to Graduate School (for Anthropology)

The #HiddenCurriculum of Applying to Graduate School (for Anthropology)

A recent conversation on #AcademicTwitter has been about the #HiddenCurriculum, that is, all the things that you’re expected to know but are never formally taught or the hidden tricks and hacks to help you succeed in academia. In anthropology, the #HiddenCurriculum is deep. Proposal writing, research methods, and data analysis are rarely taught as courses. Writing conference presentations and abstracts, writing and submitting article manuscripts for peer review, writing book reviews, and writing a CV are generally mentored activities, if {+}

What the Camera Does – #RoR2018

What the Camera Does – #RoR2018

This series – #ROR2018 – has taken a backseat for several months. I’ve been mostly active on Twitter while I navigate state bureaucracies, assemble a research team, begin the process of data collection, management, and analysis, build a house, do my part to getting Footnotes off the ground, deal with #hautalk, fast for Ramadan, and focus on my visiting partner. Things have been hectic, but I found a fleeting moment to address something. Recently, I received an email from a {+}

On Permissionless Innovation

On Permissionless Innovation

Many libertarians in Silicon Valley are advocates for permissionless innovation. They eschew waiting around for permission from a nanny state. They are impatient and see themselves above the law. On the one hand you can understand this. They have a good idea, a good product and they want to roll it out, people want to use, it may create jobs, for instance with Grab in Indonesia, which has created 10,000 of jobs in delivery. This approach makes sense perhaps for {+}