The Real World of Democracy (and Anthropology)

Review essay, Part 2 (see Part 1) Referring to the process by which he studied Cuban democracy, August explicitly refers to it as “ethnographic research” (p. xiii). This is an important point, because he was trained as a political scientist in Montreal, but he is producing the kind of book that no anthropologist has offered, […]

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Pentagon Photography and Visual Anthropology

Could it be any more obvious how the Pentagon has learned to mimic certain styles of anthropological photography as shown in the instance above? Resembling any of a vast number of photographs of or by anthropologists, such as famous ones of Bronislaw Malinowski and Margaret Mead “in the field,” this one also features the note-taking […]

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On Eritrea: Cross-Talk Without Dialogue

What follows immediately below is a letter sent to me via email today. Beneath that is my response. Academic Research, Intelligence Gathering, and Character Assassination: Is It the Same Everywhere? We are among an international group of researchers – social scientists, historians, legal scholars and journalists – with decades of experience working on the Horn […]

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Militarization: It’s All the Same, Everywhere. Or Is It?

By what logic, if any, does Zero Anthropology function? If in light of the controversy that erupted with the publication of Sophia Tesfamariam’s outline and condemnation of western anthropologists working to support regime change in her native Eritrea, Zero Anthropology for its part fails to criticize the Eritrean government for its alleged militarization, then what […]

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Nature, Culture, and Imperial Beliefs

The following is an extract from my chapter, “Imperial Abduction Lore and Humanitarian Seduction,” which serves as the introduction to Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 1-34: Two of the most enduring beliefs, among at least the political elites and a substantial portion of the wider population in […]

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Weaponizing Anthropology: An Overview

Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State. By David H. Price. Published by CounterPunch and AK Press, Petrolia and Oakland, CA, 2011. ISBN-13: 9781849350631. 219 pages. For students already in anthropology and those interested in perhaps becoming anthropology students, for those researching the history and political economy of the social sciences, and […]

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 3)

Within the question of the professionalisation of the discipline lies a still largely unexplored area of how Anthropology serves as a western, largely white, middle-class mode of ‘consumption’, specifically the consumption of knowledge about the world that has been ‘appropriately’ filtered, organized, and translated. Of course getting a degree in Anthropology is not just like any other form of consumption, just as it is not merely an expression of curiosity: the process results in formal certification.

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 2)

Anthropology as a discipline, and anthropology as curiosity about difference or as a philosophy of the human condition, certainly overlap but they are not the same. Enforcers of the discipline have tended to monopolistically speak in the name of the project as a whole. This appropriation, whether intentional or simply a mistake, confuses analysis of the purposes of institutional Anthropology.

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 1)

Questions and debates about the end of anthropology are highlighted here for their potential value in revealing what the ‘crisis talk’ in the discipline really means, and what it may be masking. In this article the reader is invited to reflect on several questions: about anthropology as a discipline or as a praxis; about how anthropology can be not just revitalised, but revolutionised; about the place of ethnography in anthropology; and, the quest for distinction and the accumulation of disciplinary capital. More broadly, this article deals with the restructuring of anthropology within a context of continued imperialism.

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Book Review: The Tribal Imagination—Civilization and the Savage Mind, by Robin Fox

The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind. Robin Fox. Harvard University Press. Hardcover. ISBN 9780674059016. Publication: March 2011. 432 pages, 28 line illustrations, 3 maps. Professor Robin Fox is one of those mildly conservative, somewhat eccentric, Englishmen that even we Irish Revolutionaries cannot help but find likeable. I had read his The Red Lamp of Incest some years ago, and […]

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