The Problems of Naming Genocide: Online arts and politics magazine Guernica interviewed Mahmood Mamdani on his new book on Darfur, Saviors and Survivors. In the interview, Mamdani discusses his take of the ongoing conflict in Darfur, and the problems with NGOs turning the issue into one about racial conflict and genocide at the expense of recognizing territory, economy, and natural resources as the ultimate sources of conflict.
Open Secrets: Maximilian Forte posted the panel paper (both in text and audio) he recently gave at the CASCA annual meeting. The paper is an eloquent and prescient warning about military data mining open source articles to collect ethnographic information, making anthropologists part of their intellegence gathering, whether we like it or not.
Truth and Soul: John L. Jackson posted John Legend’s commencement day address at the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson takes one of the key lines of Legend’s address, “searching for the truth is like searching for your soul,” and makes an appeal for us to understand truth and soul as a way of recognizing and valuing the everyday moments and ‘ordinary affects‘ of life.
For Your Viewing Pleasure: I just came across the University of Cambridge’s Social Anthropology catalog of video-taped interviews. The list shows 474 posted files, with the most recent editions posted this year being Keith Hart, Jean and John Comaroff, Paul Rabinow, and McKim Marriott, among others. My only warning is that the files are big. Two mp4 files are still downloading to my computer, preventing me from saying more about the quality of the files or interviews.
The Zen of Changing Course: Recent Political Science PhD Matthew Crawford’s first book is not a revised version of the dissertation. Rather, as Slate reports, Crawford’s book traces his path after grad school, getting bored at the think tank where he was working, and opening a motorcycle repair shop. More than a tale of the grad student who decided to get real, the slate article discusses Crawford’s career choices against the backdrop of an increasingly mobile job market and what services stay local in the Internet age. [Thanks to arts and letters daily for first picking up this post.]