A group of anthropologists from Leuwen University, Belgium, has just launched anthropologynet.org, a new website that aims to be a “worldwide community of anthropologists": Anthropologists can register and look for other members sharing the same (or different) topic of research and publish papers. There is also a calendar.
The website is edited partly by Marc Vanlangendonck who has recently launched Omertaa - Open access journal for Applied Anthropology
Two years ago, European students have created MASN - Moving Anthropology Network
Voices: Palestinian Women Narrate Displacement is a collection of oral histories recorded by Beirut-based anthropologist and oral historian Rosemary Sayigh. It was published as e-book, devoted to men and women living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel. It allows readers to not only read the texts and see the pictures but also to hear the stories in the speakers’ own voices, The Daily Star Lebanon reports.
“Because “Voices” seizes on the advantages of technology, the book transcends precisely those borders so troublesome to the Palestinian condition", Louisa Ajami writes in her review:
Sayigh became one of the few women to enter the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and she devoted her anthropological expertise to writing about the Palestinian diaspora. Much of her field work has centered on women and children, and she writes of the lives of rural peasant women and their more educated urban sisters with equal attention and flair.
Sayigh writes in the unobtrusive, objective style of an anthropologist, but she also interjects her personal impressions. She gives readers a sense of location, ambience and familiarity. (…) With her detached yet intense approach to recording their stories, Rosemary Sayigh renders her Palestinian subjects’ struggles less abstract and more human.
But there is one drawback for those who don’t speak Arabic:
Each narration is preceded by a short introduction in English. The opening lines of each interview are also transcribed in English, but the full interviews have been left in the original Arabic, as has the audio footage. For non-Arabic speakers, this leaves the bulk of the stories out of reach.
More about / by Rosemary Sayigh
Interview with Rosemary Sayigh (The Jerusalem Times / palestine-family.net)
Rosemary Sayigh: No Work, No Space, No Future: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon (Middle East International, 10 August 2001)
Rosemary Sayigh: Dis/Solving the “Refugee Problem” (Middle East Report 207 - Summer 1998)
One of the anthropologists who is working for the military has started blogging about his experiences with the U.S. Army. His name is Marcus Griffin, professor at Christopher Newport University, Virginia (USA). He now works at Ft. Hood, Texas, for the time being participating in a simulation of activities that prepares Army personnel "to work effectively in Iraq" as he calls it.
In the beginning, Griffin wasn't sure if he was allowed to blog, but now he knows that he is "free to blog" about his experiences "trying to apply anthropology to a very thorny problem facing the world and the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular". But as a quick look at his blog reveals, it seems that his job is doing some advertising for the US Army.
as m Most anthropologists oppose this kind ofa collaboration with the military.
Anthropologist Charles Menzies is the editor of a new open access journal called New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry:
New Proposals is a journal of Marxism and interdisciplinary Inquiry that is dedicated to the radical transformation of the contemporary world order. We see our role as providing a platform for research, commentary, and debate of the highest scholarly quality that contributes to the struggle to create a more just and humane world, in which the systematic and continuous exploitation, oppression, and fratricidal struggles that characterize the contemporary sociopolitical order no longer exist.
The first issue was launched in May and focuses on marxist anthropology.
The journal has (of course) its own blog.
There are not many anthropologists in Italy that have websites in English. But some have. And in Italy they is an Open Access anthropology journal Antrocom that will be translated into English in a few months. I was contacted by the Italian Antrocom Press Office and provided with some links - so here a first look at Italian anthropology.
Duccio Canestrini runs Homo Turisticus, a web site dealing with the anthropology of tourism.
From the self description:
(The website) provides an original viewpoint of the touristic "species" and of recreational land uses. Travel myths, holiday rythes and touristic encounters are my personal research field.
Over the last decades it seems that everybody has travelled to just about everywhere. But there’s also something risky in the side effects of global tourism. We can do better. A responsible tourism should protect natural resources, respect different cultures and improve everybody's quality of life.
Although ecotourism and sustainability are new buzz words, and in such risk dying of a dose of media overkill, new representations and new manners in tourism are investigated and largely practiced. Tourism likes and needs innovation. New ideas often come from social sciences.
In English, some articles and videos are available.
I was also pointed at these two papers:
Alessandro Cavalli and Fabio Luca Cavazza (2001): Reflections on political culture and the "Italian national character" (published in Daedalus, Summer 2001)
Franco Pelliccioni (1980): "Anthropology in Italy" (published in Human Organization, Journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology)
Earlier today, I've written about another Italian anthropologist Gabriele Marranci who runs the blog Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist.
Finally, there is the Italian online anthropology community Anthropos with news, links, forum and lots more - currently only in Italian, though.
There lots of anthropology sites in other languages as well (f.ex. Spanish/Portuguese), maybe a topic for another post?
If know more websites, leave a comment!
The Anthropology of Islam and Jihad Beyond Islam are the most recent books by Gabriele Marranci. In January this year he has started his own blog Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist. He is also writing for the excellent Middle East blog Tabsir.
Gabriele Marranci explains:
By nature, academic publications, even when attempting to reach the general public, are not very widely read outside the ivory tower of academia. (...)For this reason I also started, with Prof. Daniel Varisco, and regularly contribute to, Tabsir.
I believe that anthropologists, as Franz Boas and Margaret Mead have taught us, should engage and contribute to their time by facilitating debate.
In his recent post Collateral damage in the Wars on Terror: between Afghanistan and Glasgow, he comments on the public discourse and press coverage of the recent car bombings in Britain that were linked to al-Qaeda:
Yet are these attacks really al-Qaeda-sponsored? It is too early to say, but I have the impression that this series of attacks were the work of some ‘amateurs of terror’.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown misleads us when repeating ,
“It’s obvious that we have a group of people - not just in this country, but round the world - who’re prepared at any time to inflict what they want to be maximum damage on civilians, irrespective of the religion of these people who are killed or maimed are to be.”
It’s obvious, I would say, that this is not what those people want; this is, in this case, the inevitable ‘collateral damage’. This group of people kills because they want to achieve their idea of justice and good; they are fighting their battle against ‘evil’ to affirm ‘good’; they are ‘gifting’ us with a purifying fire which will be able to bring joy and prosperity in the future. They are gifting their victims with paradise, they are terrorising us for what they think is right, though costly to achieve. So they say.
Yet are we not terrorising, killing and maiming Afghan civilians to achieve what we think is the right cause? Have we not killed, possibly tortured, illegally detained (i.e. kidnapped), thousands of innocent people, or asked rogue Middle Eastern dictatorships to do so, to achieve what, paraphrasing Mr Brown, is in the interests of a perversion of our western democracy?
During these years of research with different Muslims, having different ideas and beliefs, I have reached the conclusion that we, the homely people of all colours, cultures, faiths and nationalities have found ourselves between not just one ‘War on Terror’ but two. And here is the issue: Terror fighting terror, the only result can be an endless chain of death.
It's only a few weeks ago that anthropologist Michael Wesch explained in an extremly popular YouTube-video how collaborative web technologies change scholarship. Now Jen Cardew at Synthesis of Thoughts tells us that several sessions at the conference of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) are set to be recorded and published as podcasts.
A new website is set up: http://www.sfaapodcasts.net/ The first podcast will be up by April 7th.
That's good news. Last summer, anthropologists were criticized for being the last primitive tribe on earth because they didn't embrace the possibillities provided by the digital era. Several times, I've written about how difficult it is to get information about what's going on on conferences.