Savage Minds Around the Web

I’m always down for recognizing the invisible labor of academics, but even better is doing something about it. Jason Baird Jackson’s post, “Getting Yourself Out of the Business in Five Easy Steps,” identifies the problem:

If you have (1) done peer-reviews for, (2) submitted an article to, (3) written a book or media review for, or (4) taken on the editorship of a scholarly journal published by giant firms such as Springer, Reed Elisevier, or Wiley, then you belong to a very large group of very well-educated people whose unpaid labor has helped make these firms very profitable.

Read on for his proactive suggestions.

Let’s Get Digital..Digital: Lorenz at antropologi.info blogged on the Digital Anthropology 2009 Report, which divided British technology users interviewed into six tribes (although the non-appropriate term I think they were looking for should be ‘archetype.’) Most popular tribe in UK? E-ager Beavers. hmmm…let’s leave that one alone.

Hack So Good: On Material World, Gabriella Coleman gave a brief preview of her manuscript project on hackers. Coleman describes how the pleasures of hacking produce an ambivalent relationship between hackers and liberal ideals. Hackers embrace ideologies of free speech and expression while holding more communal ideals around property and ownership.

Hair raising Structural Adjustment: Okay, not the best title. But still better than “E-ager Beaver.” If you haven’t seen the preview for Chris Rock’s new comedy-documentary “Good Hair,” you should check it out. I thought it was pretty interesting that the movie is going to touch on the transnational production of black hair products largely consumed in the U.S. On the global consumption side, Pamthropologist at Teaching Anthropology recounts her experience with IMF restructuring, opening markets, and changing standards of beauty in Tanzania.

Post Market Economics? While most people have noted that political scientist Elinor Ostrom is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for economics, Jim Johnson over at (Notes on) Politics, Photography, and Theory remarks on a different potential game changer.┬á Ostrom’s work challenges the market as the sole arbiter of economic human relations.

Peripheral Crises: Massimiliano Mollona examines the role thinking about the ‘global financial crisis’ plays in the small steel town in the interior of Brazil, where he does his fieldwork. In his analysis of the Brazilian state’s response to the problems of the market and in individual reactions to the abstractions of global capital, Mollona questions the sense in using the ‘crisis’ language outside of the centers of global finance.

5 thoughts on “Savage Minds Around the Web

  1. Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom not only does good work, but she is affiliated with an Anthropology PhD program at Arizona State University. She took up a part-time position here 3 years ago and founded the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, which has anthropologists and others working on common pool resources, collective action, and other good things. Even though we no longer have a “Department of Anthropology” at ASU, we still have degrees in anthropology (BA, MA, PhD), we teach anthropology courses, and now we have a nobel laureate as a colleague!

  2. Oops, in my haste I neglected to mention our new name, the “School of Human Evolution & Social Change” (SHESC). This is a long story, and we are now writing a news item about it that ties in with Ostrom’s Nobel Prize for the Anthropology News. The change happened in 2005, just as I was hired, so I don’t know all the negotiations that went on to bring about the transition. I was hired by a Dept. of Anthro, and ended up a faculty member in “SHESC.” The short story is that we became “Anthropology Plus,” meaning an anthropology program (degrees and courses all intact) with a bunch of non-anthropology faculty and a strong and explicit emphasis on transdisciplinary research and teaching.

    Those of use who were initially skeptical about the transition (including me) have been won over by the developments. We have outstanding new non-anthropology colleagues, we have money for transdisciplinary research, and we still have strong anthropology degree programs (among the top in the US for archaeology and physical anthro; not quite there yet with cultural). Last year we hired 2 new medical anthropologists at a time when few units in the university were hiring. This year we will probably search for a couple of more cultural anthropoloigsts.

    It is too bad we have not been better about publicizing our new identity, but the Anthropology News item will help, and I’m happy to provide more information if anyone is interested. For me, the bottom line is that I am now in the most exciting and dynamic intellectual setting I have experienced in my whole career, and my own horizons have expanded considerably since coming to ASU.

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