malaysianidol.blogdrive.com / New Sunday Times
Critics dismiss Malaysian Idol as 'empty entertainment' but educators endorse the programme for its unifying factor. Among others, critics had called it a morally decadent programme that might influence local youth to go against Asian values.
Social anthropologist Professor Wan Zawawi Ibrahim from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation loves the show for its multicultural content. "Malaysian Idol is a space for young people of different ethnicity, faiths and cultures to interact," he says.
Wan Zawawi, whose main areas of research include pop culture and multiculturalism, admires the bond shared by the participants. It has been noted frequently that Malaysian undergraduates are not comfortable mixing with those of different ethnic backgrounds. >> continue
Department of Music Anthropology, University of Tampere (Finland)
The Department of Music Anthropology is an indisputable pioneer of soundscape research in Finland. "The word has been used to describe the field of sounds that surrounds us: noise, music, the sounds of nature, people and technology", PhD Helmi Järviluoma explains.
The Department of Music Anthropology takes part in an international project where the researchers and artists study the soundscapes of six European villages and the changes in their soundscapes. >> continue or go directly to the multimedia presentation Acoustic Environments in Change!
ap / Corvallis Gazette
He's attacked other monsters and terrorized Japan for decades. Now Godzilla is confronting academics who want to wrestle with his legacy.
The University of Kansas plans to pay homage to the giant lizard later this month, organizing a three-day scholarly conference for the 50th anniversary of his first film. It's not just about celebrating campy creature features. Planners want to provoke discussion of globalization, Japanese pop culture and Japanese-American relations after World War II. Historians, anthropologists and other academics are coming from universities such as Duke, Harvard and Vanderbilt >> continue
New Zealand News
At the end of this month Auckland City will celebrate Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. Public celebration of Indian religious festivals in New Zealand is a recent trend, although Indians have been in the country since 1810 when sailors jumped ship on the Southland coast.
Otago University anthropologist Dr Jacqueline Leckie has researched Indian migration to New Zealand over nearly 200 years. Leckie says such popular events help improve race relations, although racism remains a problem in New Zealand. >> continue
Maximilian C. Forte, University of Adelaide, published in Anthronews(2000)
Should anthropologists continue to behave as if Anthropology’s most important market consists of anthropologists themselves and their students? I believe that, beyond a very limited degree, this behaviour can be an impediment to the fullest realization of Anthropology’s potential.
We do not have to depend on the mass media to call on our expertise and bemoan every occasion that they fail to do so. We can become our own mass media -- that is the freedom and independence offered by these new technologies.
We should aim to place ourselves on the same footing as any of the better cable television broadcast networks, via the Internet. We could produce our own documentaries and news reports, an Anthropology-focused “open university,” present the expertise of noted anthropologists, and have all of our willing fieldworkers act as “correspondents.” Wide international coverage and multi-lingual programming should be relatively easy for us. Our own audiences would see and hear us both on regular computers and on WebTV >> continue
Adam R. Kaul, Durham Anthropology Journal
My doctoral research looks at the way in which tourism is changing and interacting with the performance and meaning of traditional Irish music. I carried out over 14 months of fieldwork in a small, rural Irish village of under 600 people, called Doolin, in northwest County Clare.
Anthropologists and sociologists are relatively new to the field of tourism, but I would argue we have some powerful qualitative tools at our disposal that can contribute to a much richer understanding of tourists and tourist destinations. This is true not just for tourist populations, but for other mobile or shifting groups like asylum seekers or economic migrants.
We need to start discussing the everyday realities of doing fieldwork, the potential problems and opportunities, in much more detail in the literature, and how they might be used as units of analysis in and of themselves. >> continue
More articles in Volume 12 / Issue 1 Durham Anthropology Journal (Formerly Dyn)
University of Maine anthropology and marine sciences professor James Acheson has been named the 2004 winner of the American Anthropological Association's Kimball award for effecting change in public policy. Acheson will receive the Award at the association's annual meeting in San Francisco in November.
"In the past few years, my primary contribution has been to use 'rational choice theory' to show under what conditions groups of people will and will not develop rules to conserve the resources on which their livelihood depends," Acheson says. "This has led me into a far more theoretical realm – namely trying to understand the circumstances under which people develop rules in general."
Acheson has studied the system of self governance in the Maine lobster industry and has chronicled the circumstances under which lobster fishermen developed informal rules and lobbied for formal laws to conserve the lobster stock. >> continue
James Acheson: Capturing the Commons (University Press of New England)
The Straits Times Asia
MADAM Yang Huanyi, 98, died in a remote part of China's Hunan province last month. There was nothing unusual about her death, except that she was the last person on Earth who had mastered a secret writing system used only by women in that region.
Today, the number of people who understand nushu well comes to less than 50 worldwide. Most of them live in Madam Yang's Jiangyong county. The residents there want to exploit its potential as an attraction for tourists. This has alarmed linguists, anthropologists and other experts, who are worried that the ancient writing system will be defiled through such commercial exploitation.
Nushu, believed to have been invented almost 2,000 years ago, was used exclusively by women in western Hunan and parts of adjoining Guangxi region. (article no longer online)
A language by women, for women. Scholars try to save unique Chinese script (MSNBC / Washington Post)
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