“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?
Part One of: “Canadian Anthropology or Cultural Imperialism?” Recent events have called into question how a discipline can be commanded on an international plane, and represented in a singular and universal fashion. Those events are useful for inviting meditation on questions of national traditions, the power to globalize a claim to preeminence over other national… Read More US Anthropology: Political, Professional, Personal, Imperial
Part 1 ended with the observation that what might not stand out from the various debate positions on HTS, is the underlying unity that existed between the main lines of debate. As a result, certain opportunities for further developing critical analysis were lost, as I suggested back in 2013. This is what I turn to… Read More Debating the End of the Human Terrain System, Part 2
The year 2015 finally saw the final public confirmation of the termination of the US Army’s Human Terrain System, which apparently has ceased to be an effective reality since late September 30, 2014 (Vanden Brook, 2015). The “controversial social science program,” as HTS came to be called by the formerly enthusiastic mainstream media, has not… Read More Debating the End of the Human Terrain System, Part 1