July 2012 Blog Posts (9)

The Limits of Ontological Anthropology?

After reading Mario Blaser’s intriguing article, The Threat of the Yrmo: The Political Ontology of a Sustainable Hunting Program (2009), I started to see where gaps could lie in the ontological perspective. Although he suggests a “political ontology,” his most compelling and evocative thesis lies in the claim that the Yshiro Indigenous communities of Northern Paraguay abide by an entirely ‘different world’ when they conceive of appropriate conservation behaviors. Thus, their idea…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on July 23, 2012 at 2:13am — 9 Comments

Ethno-Logic, Conservation Behaviors, and the Anthropologist

"The characterization of textbook logic is necessarily brief and simplistic, but it captures an essential point about how logicians view logic and its relationship to thinking. Even the most extreme logical formalists agree that logic is expressed through language. For instance, Quine presents logic as the product of truth and grammar. At the time, he claims that logic is empirically real and emerges in the scientific enterprise." -Hamill, Ethno-Logic: The Anthropology of…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on July 18, 2012 at 10:30am — 11 Comments

Book Recommendation

Cross-posted from Dead Voles. It speaks to the interests of several here.


Kirin Narayan’s Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov is not a book likely to make it onto bestseller lists. The audience, people with an interest in the art of writing ethnography, is too small. It is, however, a marvelous book about writing non-fiction prose, taking as…


Added by John McCreery on July 16, 2012 at 4:38am — No Comments

Children of the Dew: A Creative Visual Ethnography

Since I have resigned from the most boring job on earth: cooking the same thing everyday, my desire to go home and pursue a PhD in economics/anthropology/sociology is now firm.  I can save a lot if I follow that route.  To prime or, actually, reorient myself with Philippine Anthropology, I have been checking how anthropology has been publicly practiced nowadays in my country.

Sadly, it is only in the media where anthropology seems relevant, and another sad thing is that it is…


Added by M Izabel on July 14, 2012 at 6:13pm — 6 Comments

George Orwell — A Model for a Modern Anthropology?

Vanity fair has extracted an essay on Orwell from Christopher Hitchen's introduction to Orwell's Diaries. The lead for the Arts & Letters Daily link that led me to this essay reads,

Being an amateur anthropologist, understanding things – poverty and squalor, politics, himself – at the level of basic experience...



Added by John McCreery on July 10, 2012 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

In Rousseau's footsteps: David Graeber and the anthropology of unequal society

A review of David Graeber Debt: The first 5,000 years (Melville House, New York, 2011, 534 pages)

Debt is everywhere today. What is “sovereign debt” and why must Greece pay up, but not the United States? Who decides that the national debt will be repaid through austerity programmes rather than job-creation schemes? Why do the banks get bailed out, while students and home-owners are forced to repay loans? The very word debt speaks of unequal power; and the world economic…


Added by Keith Hart on July 5, 2012 at 8:11am — 7 Comments

Petra Linked to Edo and Horites

Alice C. LInsley


Anthropological investigation suggests that the Nabataeans of the red city of Petra in Edom, a region of modern Jordan, were ruled by Horite ruler-priests and had connection to the Edo of Nigeria and Benin. All originated as river peoples and appear to have intermarried with the Nilotic Ainu.


Read about it here:…


Added by Alice C. Linsley on July 3, 2012 at 12:00am — No Comments

Grayson Perry wanders into anthropology.

The allusions Grayson Perry makes to anthropology in his recent three part documentary series on class taste in Britain struck me as particularly bold. In a later interview conducted for the BBC he admits that promoting oneself “on the telly” and other media platforms is something that modern artists…


Added by Nathan Dobson on July 2, 2012 at 9:44pm — 2 Comments

The Joy of Substance — Reflections on the Asian Studies Japan Conference, Tokyo, 2012

This weekend Ruth and I were in Ikebukuro, on the other side of Tokyo from where we live in Yokohama, attending the Asian Studies Japan Conference (ASJC). It was the first time for this conference in several years, so impressions were fresh and lively. What follows is a reflection on why I enjoyed the conference so much, for reasons summed up in my title "The Joy of Substance."

I attended sessions on
  1. Technologies of Japanese Empire: Aesthetics, Planning and…

Added by John McCreery on July 2, 2012 at 4:00am — No Comments

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