Cultural Appropriation, Cultural Exploitation, Cultural Genocide: Problems of Neoliberal Diversity Management

In Canada, “a yoga instructor…says her free class at the University of Ottawa was cancelled because of concerns over cultural appropriation….‘There were some cultural sensitivity issues and people were offended’,” this despite the fact that yoga was deliberately spread to the West by Indian gurus and was meant to be shared. In Lethbridge, Alberta, high […]

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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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Targeting Lev Tahor, from Israel to Canada

We Will Hunt You Down Philippe Couillard, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and recently elected Premier of Quebec, was supposedly criticizing the soon to be defeated Parti Québécois‘ proposed Quebec Charter of Values (official website, legislation, brochure, poster), part of a xenophobic campaign to undertake the ethnic cleansing of all public services of minorities […]

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Rwanda, 20 Years On: From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction

By Robin Philpot* April 6, 2014 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the shooting down over Kigali of a plane carrying two African heads of state, Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi. We know that that terrorist crime—surely the worst of the 1990s—triggered unending war, destruction, and massacres in Rwanda and Congo. […]

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Ariel Dorfman: Christopher Columbus in Iraq

    This is a re-post, which I have never done before, but “Columbus Day” demands it (and it is what inspired the essay coming next). The poem is from Chilean poet, Ariel Dorfman, set in Iraq and the Caribbean in 1492. By Ariel Dorfman, 10 April 2003 Christopher Columbus has words from the other […]

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Does Wade Davis Do Gaza?

A former student was kind enough to draw my attention to the following video, a very interesting TED talk by anthropologist Wade Davis, a National Geographic “Explorer-in-Residence”: I have a lot of respect for Wade Davis and I have long been an admirer of his work on zombification in Haiti, which he calls the “ethnobiology” […]

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The Genocide Apostles’ Creed

How Israeli leaders and Rabbis have justified disproportionate violence and even outright holocaust against the Palestinians of Gaza, both before, during, and after Israel’s war against the people of Gaza from Dec. 27, 2008 to January 20, 2009.

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Mahmood Mamdani on the “lessons of Zimbabwe”

Looking down at the three previous posts on this blog, it seems that this is proving to be a rather busy day filled with news of anthropologists in the public media sphere. Some will remember that anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani was recently elected as one of the world’s top 10 public intellectuals (and you can see […]

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Imperialism Reloaded: Media Roundup

One of the purposes of this collection is to highlight the increased recognition of the renewed validity and utility of the concept of imperialism as underscored in a range of media. Only extracts of each item are featured below (click on the titles to read the complete items). Even support for African slavery makes a […]

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Apology to Native Americans in the U.S.: current discussions

Thanks to Native American Minnesota, I was introduced to some public discussions and documents concerning efforts to obtain a national apology to American Indians in the United States, and Geff Wigley at NAM considers how Minnesota might learn from and adapt Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission — see “Does Minnesota needs its own Truth and […]

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RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS FOR ABORIGINALS IN CANADA: Links to Key Resources

RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS FOR ABORIGINALS IN CANADA TRUTH & RECONCILIATION COMMISSION Mandate for Truth and Reconciliation Commission June 1, 2008 – Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is Formally Established and Operational Statement of the Commissioners of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission concerning the apology to be made by the Prime Minister […]

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