All posts by jay sosa

Remembering Fernando Coronil

We here at Savage Minds were saddened by the passing of Fernando Coronil last month, but heartened to see all the tributes to his life and work on the blogosphere.

Gary Wilder, writing at CUNY’s Committee on Globalization and Social Change

Lauren Dubois, on the Duke University Press Blog

Craig Calhoun on his blog at the SSRC

An announcement at  (in Spanish)

Emily Channel at Facile Gestures.

David Brent at the University of Chicago Press Blog.

Genese Sodikoff at the Michigan Anthropology Website

If you see something out there or want to contribute your own thoughts or memories, please feel free to continue this list in the comments section.

Something to Laugh About: A Few Thoughts on Humor in Post-Earthquake Haiti

[This is a guest post by Laura Wagner, and is part of our series Reflections on Haiti. Laura is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.]

“Humor is one of the fugitive forms of insubordination.”
– Donna Goldstein, Laughter Out of Place

It is January 12 again. This week is making everything feel raw again. What’s an anniversary, really? Why should the 365-day cycle back to a calendar date, an orbit around the sun, have anything to do with anything? But then, January 12 — douz janvye — like 9/11 for Americans, has become a symbol in its own right. The date is more than just the anniversary of the quake. Douz janvye 2011 means that the international community’s eyes are on Haiti again. Journalists and camera crews are back and asking “How is Haiti doing, a year after the quake?” And the strange thing is, it might be the one week when no one wants to answer that question, when people just want to have the space to remember or to avoid their ghosts.

Today there will be stories about the ongoing failure of international aid, the undisbursed promised donor funds, the decay and absence of the Haitian state. There will be stories about dreadful conditions in the camps. There will be the predictable half-hearted attempts at writing something with a positive spin – a few tired human interest stories premised on “hope” and “resilience.” I want to write something different. I’m supposed to write about the anniversary, but I want to write about jokes.

Haitians are very funny. (How’s that for anthropological nuance?) They like to tease. They like jokes—silly, raunchy, or political. The observation that hardship and humor go hand-in-hand is hardly novel or original; it borders on cliché. Yet humor is something that doesn’t come through in most mainstream media and humanitarian depictions of Haiti, which largely focus on those details of life that are deemed most immediate and newsworthy: the earthquake; the spread of cholera; the ongoing plight of people living in the camps, coping with loss and deprivation and faced with eviction; unfolding political upheaval. All those things are important to know and to act upon, to be sad and enraged about. At the same time, collectively these kinds of news have a flattening effect, rendering individual Haitians exemplary victims who can represent the majority of victimized Haitians, but erasing the kinds of details that make them recognizable, relatable and…human.

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Mobiles, Money and Mobility in Haiti

[This is a guest post by Heather Horst and Erin B. Taylor, and is part of our series Reflections on Haiti. Heather is an Associate Project Scientist at the University of California, Irvine. Erin is a Lecturer at the University of Sydney Department of Anthropology. For more on their collaborative efforts, click here.]

Just over a year ago on January 7th, 2010, Erin Taylor (see and I received notification that our proposed project on money, migration and mobile phones on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (link) had been officially funded by Bill Maurer’s Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion. Excited by the prospect of conducting new research, Erin and I exchanged emails and set a date to begin to plan what we anticipated would be a small, one-year project that explored the movement of people, currencies and mobile phone signals across the border (and by the same company, Digicel, who radically transformed the Jamaican telecommunications market in the first half of the decade). Five days later, on January 12, 2010, the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti.

Within days of the earthquake I received an email from an administrator at UC Irvine asking if we still planned to go to Haiti. Since our start date was still a few months away, we saw no reason to cancel our project but recognized that it would likely take on new dimensions as the daily life of Haitians – even in the distant region we planned to work – were transformed by the event and its aftermath. As distant observers, it was impossible not to pay attention to the reports of aid sitting and waiting transport, the use of mobile phones to ‘text’ donations and the non-stop stories circulating via mainstream media, twitter and a range of other social media. Money, mobile phones and (im)mobility seemed to be front and center. A few months later (with additional support from IMTFI), we decided to team up with Espelencia Baptiste (Kalamazoo College), an anthropologist who was spending her sabbatical outside of Port-au-Prince, to begin to look more systematically at what was happening on the ground.

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On Community and Inequality in the Haitian Earthquake

[This is a guest post by Chelsey L. Kivland, and is part of our series Reflections on Haiti. Chelsey is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.]

January 12, 2010 was a beautiful day. It had been the fourth day in a series of such beautiful days, sunny but not too hot with a cool breeze that gained strength in the evenings, ensuring a set of restful nights. Early that morning, I left the house I shared with a friend and fellow anthropologist and a Haitian couple in the middle-class neighborhood of Lalue, and made my way to Bel Air, an impoverished neighborhood in the center of Port-au-Prince. I had been visiting Bel Air for some four years now to study why their concentration of Carnival performance associations, known as bann a pye (literally, “bands on foot”), had gotten so involved in community politics. Since 2004, they had been attempting to transform their associations into recognized civic organizations in order to stake claims on the multiple agencies that performance governance in Haiti, from governmental ministries to NGOs. They characterized their demands for funds for their performances and for the various social projects they executed in the community as a means of holding those who govern accountable to the standards of respect and equality they sought in and by democracy. That morning I was headed to Bel Air because a group of ti bann, “small bands,” was holding a meeting in order to strategize a plan to get the mayor’s office to recognize them as real bands. This was the first of two such meetings I had scheduled that day, and the only one I would finish.

I was awaiting the second one when, at 4:53 PM, the earth started to shake. I was in the best of possible places—in an open courtyard with only the bright sky and some clouds overhead. I was seated at a round table in the back of an old, wooden, French colonial house that had been converted into the mayor’s cultural offices and an outdoor restaurant and performance space that hosted weekend concerts. Claude, the representative of the Federation of Bann a Pye, and I were awaiting the start of a planning session of the Carnival Committee. Unlike other days, when the committee met around a wooden table inside the house, everyone gathered outside today. From the looks of it, people just wanted to take advantage of the soft sunlight with a cool beer at the bar. Agreeing, the committee chair soon told us that we’d just meet outside today. But we did not hurry to gather the tables together. Claude and I continued to debate about whether or not the mayor’s office would be able to verify that the bands had actually performed the past Sunday, their first scheduled performance of the year. He was telling me how the office hadn’t followed through on their plan to send scouts to check on the bands when a train, or so I had first thought, passed under my feet. Within seconds, I locked eyes with Claude. As the vibrations intensified, voices began to fill the air: “Tremblement de Terre,” Earthquake! Earthquake!
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Reflections on Haiti…

It has been one year since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated Haiti on January 12, 2010.  In the weeks after the original tremors, many if not all of us read, watched, and listened to reports of the aftershocks—seismic and social—that turned Haiti into one of the worst disasters on record.  On the anniversary of that tragic event, the SM team invited new contributors Heather Horst, Erin Taylor, Chelsey Kivland, and Laura Wagner to reflect on their time in Haiti and reactions to the earthquake.  The responses ranged from the first-hand accounts to meditations on structural challenges.  Over the course of the day, we will be posting these contributions.

Matthew Thompson is Around the Web

New Bones on the Block: I am a cultural anthropologist with an abiding love for evolution but as a non-specialist I often have to rely on the popular press to keep me up to speed on the latest fossil finds. That’s why it’s handy to have John Hawks’ Weblog around, check out this excellent rundown of the Australopithecus Sediba find in South Africa which links to beautiful National Geographic images of the bones. There has also been a discovery of a new species of Homo at Denisova Cave in Russia’s Altai mountains (that’s where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together). This fossil is dated at 40,000 years old, making it coeval with Neanderthal and Sapiens, but according to mitochondrial DNA evidence it is neither. Tuva-Online offers an insider’s perspective on the dig. Who knew that Tuva had an English language web presence? Richard Feynman would be proud.

No dinero in the desert: Everyone knows times are tough, especially at the state and local level where decreased revenue has led to drastic cuts in even ordinary governmental services. Now the state of Arizona is making good on its threat to shutter its state parks, but as NPR reports many fear that will put Hopi ruins at risk of looting. In the bad old days looters would ransack these and other historical sites for pottery and artifacts. I wonder if the budget crisis continues for long enough will the Arizona state government show willingness to recognize Hopi sovereignty over archaeological sites on public lands? Or perhaps seek to acquire operating funds by privatizing public lands and letting tribes have the option to buy? Where one state recedes another might expand.

No dinero in the academy, either: And while we’re on the subject of states’ budget crisis, the New York Times corroborates what everyone already knows — that across the nation salaries for professors are stagnating. Course if you’re lucky enough to have a job don’t let them catch you complaining about that 1.2% raise in the face of 2.7% inflation. And that paltry sum doesn’t even reflect the how inhospitable the economic climate is for adjuncts or the furloughs that many full-timers are experiencing. No doubt the defunding of higher education will pinch graduate students too, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that even the grading of essay assignments can now be outsourced to India. The Cranky Linguist shares the tale of a friend of his in Louisiana who taught a class and wasn’t paid, until he raised enough of a stink.

Dean Ex Machina: Elsewhere in Louisiana, a truly bizarre case of a dean removing a tenured professor mid-semester and raising all of the students’ grades. The justification for this radical action? Among the students enrolled in one class 90% were making a D or worse. I am wholly sympathetic towards the professor in question who has fallen victim to a complete breakdown in leadership on the part of the LSU administration. Like many academics I worry about the creeping consumer culture in higher ed where the professor merely delivers a product that the student has paid for. At the same time if it’s mid-semester and 90% of your kids are making a D or worse than you are not successfully communicating to your audience and need to make major adjustments in your methods.

Pretty pictures: Want to see some really small projectile points? Of course you do!

The work of visual anthropology in the age of digital reproduction: Periodically I receive junk mail in my campus mailbox promoting ethnographic documentaries that look interesting and while I enjoy flipping through the brochures they always wind up in the recycle bin. Two reasons for this: they are expensive to adopt and I would have to wait who knows how long just to preview them. Instead I rely on my library’s media collection and Netflix, which has programs like Nova but none of these anthropological features. I’ve been pondering John Jackson’s recent blog post on the influence of capitalist culture on ethnographic filmmaking and the hypermarketization of academia. Parenthetically he suggests we need to rethink distribution too, but he doesn’t run with the idea or flesh out how changes in distribution might affect content and form. What would he think of Michael Wesch’s now classic “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube”, which as of this writing has more than 1,358,000 views? Seems like he’s getting his message across to a very broad audience and making it for cheap for the consumer. Milena Popova, an economist by training, complements this argument claiming that content is a public good. This is not to say that content must always be free, but I do think that we ought to rethink ethnography as something other than the production of commodities like books and films.

The Function of Farmville: First a disclaimer. I am not a Farmville player, okay? I will admit to wasting a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook, but I just do not enjoy playing SuperheroMafiaZoo or whatever. That said I am intrigued by the notion that all those Facebook games really “do” something for the people who are playing them. I’m not completely convinced by Tricia Wang’s argument (yet) that it helps to perpetuate less-meaningful social ties, but I do think she’s done some important ground clearing simply by identifying the issue. I mean, there are more people on Farmville than Twitter? Just, wow.

Timewaster: And finally, if you think the tragically ludicrous and the ludicrously tragic is more than just when a clown dies, check out Foreign Policy’s photo essay on the world’s ugliest monuments and memorials. I really like the 131-foot tall stainless steel statue of Genghis Khan.

Welcome Matthew Thompson

Three cheers for Matthew, who will be joining us next week as SM’s new assistant editor, writing the “Savage Minds Around the Web” column and just being an all-around great human being.   Maybe all of that is a tall order, but I think Matthew can handle it.  He describes himself thus:

I completed my PhD in the anthropology department of UNC-Chapel Hill December 2009 and currently live in Newport News, VA.My interests in anthropology include American Indian studies, art and display, how people relate to the past, and issues of power. I am very active in SANA, the Society for the Anthropology of North America, where I sat on the executive board as a graduate student. I’m also involved in the American Studies Association.  I am a Chicano, born and raised in Texas. I went to a gradeless hippie school called New College for undergrad but came home to marry my high school sweetheart. Outside of academics I spend most of my time with my three daughters. I enjoy smoking Texas barbeque, reading comic books, and concocting elaborate rum drinks.

In a few minutes, I’ll publish Matthew’s first post.  And for those of you who are celebrating, don’t think you’ve shaken me off quite yet.  I’ll be popping up with a post now and then.

Looking For a New Assistant Editor

Dear Readers,

As you may have noticed, the weekly Savage Minds Around the Web feature has become more sporadic than weekly, which means it is time for me to step down and bring someone else into the Savage Minds family.   We’re looking for a new blogger to do a weekly roundup, and participate in the upkeep of blog.  I’ve posted a version of Kerim’s original call for a new blogger, and it’s pretty much the same.  Please feel free to email me with any questions or interest in the position.

When we first started Savage Minds were a handful of anthropologists blogging about a variety of topics, but almost no blogs dedicated to cultural anthropology. Today there is a thriving ecosystem of top quality anthropology blogs. The downside of this wonderful success is that its gotten hard for us to keep up. So we thought we’d turn to you, our readers, to see if there aren’t some aspiring bloggers who’d like to help out.

If you’re interested, keep reading …

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Savage Minds Around the Web

This week, I was happy to find blogs that I hadn’t seen in the past (and no, I’m talking about the Economist online).  If I’m missing a blog (like your blog), email me, and I can include them in future weeks and put them on our blogroll.

So Over It: The Philosophers’ Magazine interviewed Alan Sokal, the physicist most remembered for publishing a fake deconstructionist article in Social Text and then announcing that it was a hoax.  In addition to lamenting that he will, in all likelihood, only be remembered for that incident, Sokal lamented the anti-philosophical ethos of the  younger generation of physicists.  Where could they have gotten that from?

If there’s an idea floating in different corners of the blogosphere, count on Daniel Lende at neuroanthopology to put it all together.  That’s just what he did for this post on 5 rules for anthropologists to reach broader audiences.

The Economist has a short piece on gendercide- the systematic abortion or infanticide of female children.  Almost more troubling that some areas of the world have a 120:100 male to female birthrate is the fact that neither poverty, education, rural/urban locality, or national policy alone can account for the rise of such cases.

Disciplined Struggle: Ryan Anderson of ethnografix posted on anthropology vs. economics–that intellectual cage match within the human sciences to explain social behavior.  Economics get more recognition, Anderson reasons, because its basic premises lends itself to models that are easy to pick up and apply to any number of situations.  But anthropologists’ attention ethnographic detail shouldn’t be a reason to fold our arms and say the world doesn’t understand us.  But, Anderson argues, anthropologists have arguments in their toolbox that can scale up too.

HTS To Go: Maximillian Forte at Zero Anthropology posted on the latest development in the anthropomilitary strategy–the continuation of Human Terrain principles in Afghanistan without Human Terrain Teams.  Forte shows that more and more of this knowledge production will be shifted to actual soldiers or military contractors.

A Nice Piece of History: Ethnocuba has a great piece about Edward Tylor’s little-known excursion to Cuba before he went to Mexico and collected information for his first book, Anahuac.

Biologists Get All Biosocial: Has the world turned right side up?  Nicolas Wade at the New York Times reports on new research that is getting biologists to recognize the role culture has played in recent human evolution.

Savage Minds Around the Web

For Your Consideration: The Harvard students’ newspaper interviewed anthropology professor Kimberly Theidon about the Academy Award nominated documentary “The Milk of Sorrow” that is inspired by Theidon’s 2004 book Entre Prójimos.  The twist?  Theidon did not know at first that her book on sexual violence against women in Peru was the inspiration for the film.

For Your Listening Pleasure: BBC Radio is streaming an audio report chronicling the story of Malinowski and the invention of field work.  Some things will make you raise your eyebrow, while other comments will make you roll your eyes.  Features interviews with Adam Kuper amongst others.

Anthropologists Do it Better: Tony Waters (a sociologist by training) from writes on why the International Studies Association (ISA) just doesn’t do it for him, and how AAA’s is where it’s at.  The best part of the story is when Waters is pulled into a meeting with a bunch of government bureaucrats on providing humanitarian aid to Nigeria.  He describes it this way:

The other NGO guy and I were the only ones there not in suit and tie.  We were also the only ones not dropping names of White House contacts, or mumbling about how we had such-and-such a security clearance from the US government but didn’t know what was happening in Nigeria.

Yeah, I’d stick to AAAs too.

‘Merck’y Transactions: On Somatosphere, guest contributor Ari Samsky posted a piece on the multinational pharamaceutical companies’ donations of medicine to the global south and the formulation of a ‘scientific sovereignty’ that results.

Sound Off: Hendrik Hertzberg wrote a brief piece for the New Yorker online on Rush Limbaugh’s race-baiting insinuation that Barack Obama turns African American English on and off in order to appeal to different constituencies.  (Limbaugh went as far as accusing the president of reading ‘aks’ off the teleprompter.)  For a further analysis, see this piece on Language Log (and thanks to the Log for originally linking to the Henzberg piece).

Morning Cup of Evolutionary Psychology (Now with slightly less of that eugenic aftertaste):  You might disagree with the reasoning, results, and even the premise of this Time Article linking liberalism, atheism, and monogamy to a higher IQ in men.  But, at least some readers will also get a sense of self-satisfaction.

Want to share something with SM readers?  Post in comments below, or email.

Savage Minds Around the Web

Preaching to the Choir (or more from the border wars front) … Scott Jaschik at reports on how sociologists are turning to religion. According to Jaschik, what was once seen as a secondary or trivial concern for sociological study is now gaining popularity.  Jaschik notes the irony that religion may have been a central concern of founding scholars (e.g. Durkheim and Weber), but took a long time to be institutionalized within the discipline.

Cultural Diagnosis: Roy Richard Grinker wrote a recent op-ed for the New York Times on the changing medical diagnoses of Aspergers, the reduction of social stigma, and how Asperger’s patients have been making cultural sense of their medical diagnoses.

Heart of a Tiger: Victor Mair at Language Log wrote a post on how Chinese pop slang use clever transliterations of homonyms (or homonyms of transliterations?) of English words and stock phrases.   Up for Valentines Day was “I LAO3HU3 老虎 U” which sounds like “I Love You” and means “I Tiger You.”  You can go to the post and see how this play on words is being taken up in advertising as well.

From the Inside: David Price’s latest report on HTS tracks the story of John Allison, who went into Human Terrain Team training a skeptic and left a vehement opponent of the entire project (which is not a program). A lot of Allison’s insights into the culture clash, if you will, of military personnel and social scientists are fascinating.

Publications by the Numbers: Lorenz at takes a look at how Anthropology can survive (or thrive?) in the era of academic commodification.

Doll 2.0: Barbie, the doll that has its finger on the pulse of the American culture of ten years ago, unveils the plastic bombshell’s 126th career as a computer engineer.

Savage Minds Around the Web

Third Quarter Review: Hortense at took time out from the cheese balls and the nacho dip to file a report on the Superbowl 2010 commercials. Complete with embedded clips, Hortense shows that this year’s batch is dedicated to selling emasculated men products that will help them win back their manhood.

Haiti in Fragments: I just got tipped off about the blog on Social Text’s website. Check out the collection of essays written last month by various scholars on (re)considering Haiti, its exceptional history, and its place in a world system.

Development of Memory: English Professor Anne Trubek wrote a piece in the American Prospect on efforts to restore the adolescent home of Langston Hughes as both a memorial to the author and an opportunity for redevelopment in a struggling Cleveland neighborhood. But Trubek’s hesitancy, centered equally upon the difficulties of urban renewal and the politics of memory, propel her to look for other options.

Holding Immigration Suspect: Tony at questions some new research making the rounds of the popular media and that argues that immigrants are more likely to engage in criminal activity than native-born people. There is, he argues, a negative correlation and a much more complicated relationship between immigration and crime.

Modern Trickery: Ok, there’s just too much good stuff on Social Text’s blog, and I need to get it out of my system. Gabriella Coleman wrote a piece considering whether internet hackers could fulfill an archetypal position of the trickster. Check it out.

Call to Unite: Michelle Thomas wrote in with the suggestion that anthropology grad students in programs across the U.S. (and beyond?) should have a central forum to write about funding. She writes:

I recently noticed that our discipline (anthropology) lacks a centralized site for grad students to discuss and commiserate over their experiences with funding. I thought perhaps you could at least draw attention to places where such conversations are happening, in the hopes that more information can be shared (and perhaps someone will even create such a centralized site for gathering information about grants and the review process in future years). In the meantime, here are the sites that I know of, and which I hope you will share with other anthropology grad students: –> see:

Do you have something you want to include from around the web? Write in the comments or email.

Concerned Anthropologists’ Letter to Washington

The Network of Concerned Anthropologists (NCA) is collecting signatures for a collective letter opposing Congress’s potential plan to expand the Human Terrain System Program.

This is what NCA wrote on their website:

Congress is currently evaluating and considering the expansion of the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System (HTS) program, in which anthropologists have been recruited to assist with counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Please join us in expressing our firm opposition to the program and any expansion by agreeing to add your signature to the “Anthropologists’ Statement on the Human Terrain System Program.”

Modeled after a well-publicized 2008 statement written by economists to oppose the Bush administration’s first TARP program, this statement aims to clearly and concisely state the factual grounds for our opposition. Unlike our previous year-long effort to compile signatures for the Network of Concerned Anthropologists’ “Pledge of Non- participation in Counterinsurgency,” we want to collect the signatures of as many professional anthropologists as possible as soon as possible so that our voice can be heard in the debate about HTS.

To add your name to the statement, please EMAIL your NAME, TITLE, and AFFILIATION to NOHUMANTERRAIN@GMAIL.COM. Include the subject line “Anthropologists’ Statement.” Please encourage other professional anthropologists to sign as well. Thank you very much for your support!

Read on for a draft of the letter: Continue reading

Savage Minds Around The Web

Bookmark this one…Greg Downey’s post at Culture Matters (crossposted at neuroanthropology) tells you everything you ever need to know about how to throw a middle-sized conference. Really…this is impressive. From division of labor to theme (don’t have one) to food (have a lot) to keynote speaker. This post covers it all.

In a Hot Mess- AFP issued a news brief on how Starbucks is in a venti cup worth of trouble with the Mexican government for its unauthorized use of Aztec images in a company promotion. Also, Richard Greenwald at In These Times reviews a new book from UC Press on Starbucks and the American Middle Class.

Novel Ideas: Tony Waters at gave a unique reading suggestion–the 1952 British novel The Deceivers by John Masters. The novel tells the tale of a British colonial official who has lived in India for two decades and must devise a culturally-appropriate method for law and order when a gang of native mercenaries terrorizing the administrative unit he governs. (Hint: Waters is hoping that this might serve as an allegory for some current events).

Unteachable Moments: Pamthropologist at Teaching Anthropology explains why anthropology courses are really about unteaching all the crap with which students are inundated before getting to the classroom.

Prize Patrol: Eugene Raihkel at Somatosphere linked to Ian Hacking’s Holberg Prize Symposium. The Holberg Prize has previously been awarded to scholars like Julia Kristeva, Jurgen Habermas, and Frederic Jameson, and its website has the talks given in honor of Hacking, and Hacking’s response. Links to the videos are listed individually on the somatosphere post.

A Fighting Shame: Gabriella Coleman is collecting stories for an Academic Hall of Shame, which will catalog how many post-docs are denied health insurance and other basic benefits of employment. You can go to her blog to comment.

Savage Minds Rewind: The Best of 2009

Everyone loves end of year reviews, even if they’re a couple days late. And we’re no exception. Here are some of the most popular posts, notable moments, and contributors’ favorites from the past twelve months.

SM picked up on the world of anthropology- from Dustin’s great post on Human Terrain in Oaxaca, Ethnic Studies Under Attack, Tom’s breakdown of the UK anthropology rankings, the burgeoning Open Anthropology Collective and even the youtube hit The Anthropology Song.

Rex gave advice to graduate students, offering them insight into what professors look for in applications, which he updated in December, told grant-seekers to read Michele Lamont’s How Professors Think, and suggested resources for preparing for fieldwork.

We stocked up on our popcorn, either to watch vividly or to throw it at the screen. Of course, the colonial, anticolonial, racist, liberatory, best thing since sliced bread, worst film ever Avatar got both Rex and Kerim going, but let us not forget that there have been other notable movies in the history of cinema. Rex reviewed the Librarian seriestwice! Plus, where to find free documentary films online, Tristes Tropiques, and films for teaching anthropology.

Of course, online technologies constitute our media of choice, and SM had plenty to say about that. From Finding Anthropology on Twitter, to Virtual Worlds as Area Studies, to the profitability of social networking sites and a rereading of Imagined Communities in the digital and multinational age. Plus, Chris gave a rowsing, ‘the internet is dead, long live the internet’ cheer in recounting how his book has faired in the online creative commons.

This year, SM is it unethical to say something about someone that they cannot understand? And could the Henry Louis Gates affair be considered an American rorschach test on race? And there were plenty of opinions. Chris took a dressed-up call for the dismantling of the university to task, while Rex crowned the worst postmodern titlemaker. And Kerim compared Mendeley and other bibliographical tools.

We were lucky to have a number of great guest bloggers this year. Adam Fish wrote on celebrity journalists in North Korea, communes and online communities. Parvis Mahdavi contributed on her work on the sexual revolution in Iran. Anne Allison wrote about precarious socialities of Japanese youth. Ken MacLeish posted on the wounds of war and the dilemmas of stereotype. And Olumide Abimbola wrote pieces on consuming second hand clothing and anthropology in Nigeria.

Finally, we remembered the lives and contributions of Dell Hymes, Epeli Hau’ofa, and of course the one to whom we will always be in debt for our name, Claude Lévi-Strauss.