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.

One thought on “Savage Minds Around The Web

  1. Around the web over to India:

    Various groups of adivasis (hill peoples) trying to save their homelands and their lives from conflicting exploiters, including the top officials of states where they are located (Orissa and others nearby; invading multi-national industries in mining and steel (industries in which some Indian millionaires hold large shares); police; CPI-M party; Maoists; and assorted rebel and capitalist collaborators groups. According to this anthropologist, Nandini Sundar, Chattisgarh is now a police state.
    This blog is getting rather narcissistic–we need to expand our compass to other parts of the world where the same things we did to our indigenes are happening to India’s indigenes.
    An Anthropologist In A Police State
    Is there no limit to the state’s paranoia? Why is it so scared of those who do nothing more dangerous than teach and write that it feels they should be denied lodging, detained, provided ‘protection’, intimidated, ‘escorted’ out of the state?
    by Nandini Sundar, author of: Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar (1854-2006).OUP 1998; 2d ed., 2008.

    Wherein at the end of the article, she writes: “The relationship between anthropology and advocacy has long been a subject of debate within the discipline, and within India, people like NK Bose, S.C. Roy, AR Desai and many others have raised the question of the anthropologist/sociologist’s social commitment. I have myself come down on both sides of the divide, recognising that good research requires the kind of whole time dedication that advocacy takes away from. On the other hand, it is the generosity of people who are suffering, in sharing their time and pain with us, that enables us to raise new and relevant questions for research. If the government is serious about building ‘world class universities’ the first thing it needs to do is to ensure that police states do not get to ensure who does research and what research gets done. But above all, as Michael Harner said in 1966, when the American Anthropological Association was debating whether to pass a resolution against the war in Vietnam, ‘genocide is not in the professional interests of anthropology.’”

    if you haven’t already, see also the Guardian article:
    And Guardian article:
    The fight for the sacred mountain.
    Tribes say plans by UK-listed mining firm Vedanta to deconstruct their holy Niyamgiri mountains for bauxite will destroy their way of life and their people will be reduced to slavery.

    You can get a short free video from Survival International, titled “Mine”, about the Dongria Khondhs,one of the local groups being disposses, killed, driven out, eradicated.

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