(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

by Joelle Powe, Thea McRae, Christina Jones and Laith A. Ayogu. This piece emerged from our experiences as a group of four students in an undergraduate anthropology methods course at Bard College, “Doing Ethnography.” In response to changing circumstances that rendered more conventional face-to-face forms of engagement—presumed by our methods curriculum—no longer possible, we undertook a collective reconstitution of our ethnographic projects, launching a (web)site as a platform for improvisation. This platform allowed us, and other contributors, to make sense of {+}

Academic labour and academic freedom: What does it mean to be ‘fired’?

Academic labour and academic freedom: What does it mean to be ‘fired’?

While The-Author-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named has been the most prominent example of a public figure going all-in on a so-called “gender critical” argument that works to essentially justify transphobia, over here in the tiny world of academic anthropology, we have had our own example. Happy Pride Month, y’all. The background on this story concerns Kathleen Lowrey, a tenured associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta, who was removed from her role as departmental Associate Chair of Undergraduate Programs after serving one {+}

Wording sociality and health: COVID-19’s lexicon revisited

Wording sociality and health: COVID-19’s lexicon revisited

Anthr{dendum} welcomes guest blogger Elena Burgos Martinez. It is all a matter of words. The recent emergence of a wealth of COVID-19-related material shows that we all narrate this crisis. Daily concepts are de-constructed and re-constructed, re-produced and co-produced and, as users, we all inhabit the realms of terminology. But when parlance fails us, when the linguistic spaces of public inquiry fail to accommodate the sophistication of linguistic diversity, then what? Situated beyond the dualism of academia and policy, this {+}

Quaran-Teens 2020: Cultural Impact on Health

Quaran-Teens 2020: Cultural Impact on Health

[The following students are high school seniors at “KTH School” taking International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology. After their final IB exams were cancelled, they decided they would like to do an auto-ethnography of their life in coronavirus quarantine. They have collected data for three weeks (including photographs, screenshots of social media and virtual school, interviews, and personal reflections) and written anthropological analyses focused on different terms (communication, society, belonging, materiality, classification, the body, health, and conflict).] By Yagmur Onder, {+}

More than arm’s length: reimagining rituals in a technologically mediated pandemic-centric era

More than arm’s length: reimagining rituals in a technologically mediated pandemic-centric era

Anthrodendum welcomes guest blogger Dr. Caitlin E. McDonald, a digital anthropologist at Leading Edge Forum, a technology industry research organization, and a trustee for Ellpha Citizen, a charity leveraging the power of data science and AI to create a more gender balanced world, faster. Caitlin earned her PhD following dancers around the world and across the internet, understanding how information flows for cultural bodies of knowledge like dance are impacted by technoscapes (the digital world around us). @cmcd_phd on Twitter. {+}

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

by Yukun Zeng (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) China was the first country hit by COVID-19. Due to the government-enforced Wuhan lockdown and strict self-isolation, most Chinese people—including me—have stayed at home since January, becoming pandemic spectators, both national and global: reading news, watching the case numbers waxing and waning. In this spectatorship, only macro-scale actors like governments and WHO seem to do the real work. As China’s situation has improved, and China became seen as an expert {+}

The Social Meanings of Food in a COVID-19 World

The Social Meanings of Food in a COVID-19 World

Anthrodendum welcomes guest blogger Rituparna Patgiri, a doctoral student in the Centre for the Study of Social Systems (CSSS) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. She is interested in Cultural Sociology and her MPhil work was on the social nature of food in India. She has published her research work on food in the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, Allegra lab, Digest, and Youth Ki Awaaz. The Social Meanings of Food in a COVID-19 World by Rituparna Patgiri The global {+}

Quaran-Teens 2020: Classification During Quarantine

Quaran-Teens 2020: Classification During Quarantine

[The following students are high school seniors at “KTH School” taking International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology. After their final IB exams were cancelled, they decided they would like to do an auto-ethnography of their life in coronavirus quarantine. They have collected data for three weeks (including photographs, screenshots of social media and virtual school, interviews, and personal reflections) and written anthropological analyses focused on different terms (communication, society, belonging, materiality, classification, the body, health, and conflict).] By Phillip Kulubya, {+}

Disaster, Dystopia, and Disphony

Disaster, Dystopia, and Disphony

by Pranathi Diwakar (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) My last day of “fieldwork” was on March 14th, 2020. A chart-topping Gaana singer from the 1990s had agreed to meet with me, and what was supposed to be a casual chat ended up becoming an impromptu house concert for an audience of one—me. Gaana is a musical style that acquired prominence in 1980s Chennai with the cassette revolution, but it originated in the early 20th century as a funeral {+}

Putting down our “lenses”

Putting down our “lenses”

Years ago I read an article about a photographer. I don’t actually remember who the photographer was, but this story has stayed with me. I have been looking for this article for years, but I haven’t been able to find it. This story affected how I thought about and practiced photography, which was my first endeavor, and it has shaped my approach to my second endeavor, which is anthropology. So, the story was about a documentary photographer. Like anthropologists, they {+}