“Obama, the cerebral son of an anthropologist”—this is how the Associated Press touted soon to be ex-president Barack Obama on his visit to Laos this week. The AP went even further, declaring Obama’s approach “soft diplomacy”. One has to wonder where all of the “soft diplomacy” was in the seven brutal wars simultaneously fought by… Read More Cosmopolitan Imperialism: Obama Does Anthropology in Laos?
In his black jeans and striped shirt, Khaled resembles the stocky boss of some Algerian trucking company. You’d never guess that he is “the king of raï”, and one of the greatest celebrities of the Arab world. Khaled is the man who brought north-African music to a new audience in Europe, shaking up the pop… Read More Cheb Khaled (خالد حاج ابراهيم), King of Raï (راي): Algerian Freedom, Fusion, and Fête
Anti-Globalization? What Madness Is This? John Jarratt in Wolf Creek (Australia) This is true Monday Morning Madness, though I never expected to start anyone’s Monday off with a dosage of horror, or as I argue here, the Western elites’ perceived horrors of anti-globalization and resentful localisms. Nowhere, I think, is this sentiment best captured than… Read More The Revenge of the Local, the Horror of the Provincial, and Western Cosmopolitanism at Risk
The longer version of the title might have been: How many anthropologies does the West need to produce before they become ‘World Anthropologies’? The tradition of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects and abstract ideas has all of the shortcomings that we already know. Like “cultural extinction,” which suggests that cultures as ideas and practices can “die,” and… Read More Anthropology’s Many Deaths and the Birth of World Anthropologies (1.4)