RedNova reviews two books:
Women and Race in Early Modern Texts. By Joyce Green MacDonald. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ix + 188 pages.
English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama. By Mary Floyd- Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. xii + 256 pages.
"The books reviewed share some noteworthy aspects. Both refuse to focus not only on people of color as raced, but instead analyze the significance of whiteness for cultural and gender identity, and for the development of Britain as a nation. In addition, both demonstrate that aspects of Africa and Africans were purposely forgotten in the early modern period to sustain the development of England as the leader in the slave-trade."
Six Degrees, Helsinki
Europeans romanticize American Indians but they forget that the Sámi are the indigenous people of the northern countries. What do you think about this?
In Norway people began recognising this connection through a continuous stream of information that I was providing. I truly feel that things are happening and changing in Norway that weren’t even considered ten years ago; not only me, but many Sámi artists think the same.
There is some progress, but do you think it is too late for the younger Sámi generation?
Sadly it is too late for the older generation. However, when I see young children studying the Sámi language in school, like my niece, and I hear how rich she speaks it, I know that they don’t carry the same shame that we did.
Would it be possible for Sámi from different countries to have an independent state?
No, that is a dream but, I don’t know... I don’t think it’s realistic. In 100 years it could happen, but also in 100 years there could be no borders at all - that would be even more perfect. >> continue (updated link)
Two articles that both have been published some days ago:
ETHIOPIA: Old alphabet adapted for modern use in technology
ADDIS ABABA, 11 Nov 2004 (IRIN) - One of the world’s oldest living alphabets could make its debut soon on mobile phones, Ethiopian scientists said on Thursday. In groundbreaking research, the ancient script of Ethiopic, which dates back to the fourth century, has been adapted so it can be used for SMS text messaging.
The scientists believe it will open up the digital age to millions of people in Ethiopia who cannot speak or write English, but use their own centuries-old alphabet. >> continue
Inuit language finds home on net
(BBC News) Browser settings on normal computers have not supported the language to date, but attavik.net has changed that. It provides a content management system that allows native speakers to write, manage documents and offer online payments in the Inuit language.
It could prove a vital tool to keep the language alive in one of the most remote communities on earth. >> continue
Francesca Bray, UCSB Department of Anthropology
We live in a "technological age". But which technologies have played the most important roles in producing our modern civilization? Which have most radically transformed our lives? Industrial engineering, the space research program, computers and communications technology? Of course, yet certain unobtrusive everyday technologies have been just as fundamental in producing the modern self: try to imagine your life without the toilet.
The flush toilet (WC) is recognized globally as an icon of modernity. Sometimes aspiring families in poor countries will install a porcelain pedestal in their house as a demonstration of their modern mindset, even if there is as yet no piped water connected to make it work.
Americans believe that American toilets are the best, and that American toilet practices are top of the evolutionary or civilizational scale. This display explores some of the social, cultural and environmental dimensions of American toilet practices >> continue
(Link via Ideas Bazaar)
The Tufts Daily
Nina Kammerer, David Guss, and Mark Auslander (L-R) were three of the six professors from four different schools engaged in a roundtable discussion over the growing field of Public Anthropology. In her presentation, Wellesley professor Sally Engle Merry pushed for a return of the kind of public intellectual exemplified by Margaret Mead. "Anthropology has been doing much less of that," she said.
Due to their extensive research and connections to the community, anthropologists may be qualified to participate in community decisions. "There's somewhat of a shift between the researcher and the activist, which is interesting and sometimes uncomfortable," Merry said. >> continue
More info on this conference
Photographers Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, who have work up at the Bernard Toale Gallery, are anthropologists of a sort. They document explosions of one culture within another, which occur through migration, colonialism, but also through odder means, such as appropriation.
They've photographed a town in Washington that sells itself as Bavarian, with chalet-style architecture, signage in a Germanic font, and lederhosen worn during parades -- even though the town has no historic ties to Germany. Their work examines the strange gaps and attractions between societies with a cool, deadpan eye.
That particular interest in German culture shows up in the pair's exhibition at Toale, ''German Indians." Certain people in Germany enjoy dressing up in traditional Native American garb. >> continue
space and culture has collected links to a newer phenomenon called "ethnourbia", a term coined in the 1990s by geographer Wei Li:
"Suburbs are bland, right? They’re boring, monotonous, devoid of life and culture: homogeneous. Nope. Suburbia is becoming increasingly diverse. More and more middle-class immigrants are skipping traditional ethnic enclaves and heading straight for the boonies, where strip malls are now filled with ethnic businesses, bubble-tea parlours dot the landscape and schools fill up with kids from any number of different backgrounds. Forget suburbia; this is ethnoburbia."
"Unlike traditional ethnic neighbourhoods, ethnoburbs are affluent and diverse, home to a wide variety of ethnic groups and income levels. Instead of diluting the ethnic presence, the rise of the ethnoburb has actually made ethnic minorities more visible."
(via purse lip square jaw by Anne Galloway, another blogging anthropologist!)
Dina Mehta, author of the blog Conversations with Dina, points to a ethnographic study on bloggers. She quotes:
"The bloggers interviewed say their preference for blogging over a web page because it is more dynamic “the rhythm of frequent, usually brief posts, the immediacy of reverse chronological order”, more focused “ the little distraction it provides”. A blog is perceived as a “superior alternative to sending mass emails” because it is freer and less intrusive"
"Bloggers feel they have an audience expecting regular, good postings, and an obligation towards them. Participants speak about feeling burnout, and having stopped blogging for a while."
"The act of writing, as art and craft or as a support for thinking, is also one of the motors of blogging. A last reason for blogging is being part of a community. The publishing process becomes intrinsically collective, as people interact through blogs. "Blogs are natural community tools for people whose practice is to write and comment on the writing of others: researchers, poets, journalists."