A Book Forum has just opened up, co-hosted by the Anthropological Research on the Contemporary and Somatosphere on Paul Rabinow & Anthony Stavrianakis’s new book Demands of the Day: On the Logic of Anthropological Inquiry. You can see the announcement here. The first commentaries are by myself and anthropologist Todd Myers. Here are some snippets:
Please write to your Senators and House Representatives to thank them for enacting a fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bill that provides increased funding to federal science agencies important to social and behavioral science researchers. In addition to protecting research budgets, the FY 2014 omnibus bill was free of troublesome policy riders that would have been harmful to the social science research enterprise. Through the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) portal, you can find out how your representative voted and send a personalized thank you note. Please take a moment to thank your elected officials for their efforts to come to final agreement on FY 2014 spending and preserve social science.
Marilyn Strathern has an article in the latest issue of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and, per usual, it hurts my head and will take some time to unpack, traversing the work of Paul rabinow, Marshall Sahlins, Donna Haraway, Isaac Newton, Isabelle Stengers and others in just a few short pages. When it comes to Strathern, usually this effort is far exceeded in its rewards. For now, one passage caught my eye, on the work of “relation” in Paul Rabinow’s writing:
Lawrence Cohen, in one of the seemingly endless stream of insights he casts around, once suggested to me that the history of anthropology needs to be understood in terms of its status as a “field science” over and against the development of “the laboratory” in the 19th century.
I guess I’m just now coming to terms with what we lost with the passing of George Stocking, but it seems to me that what such a project would require–and I am certainly not the person to do it–is a kind of George Stocking for the 21st century. Stocking’s histories of anthropology pushed aside the easy origins myths the discipline liked to tell itself and opened the possibility to situate anthropology as a discipline within a broader intellectual, emotional and political tradition.
Certainly “laboratory studies” are now plentiful, to the point of being basically passe, in anthropology and in STS more generally. But do any of them take up this question of “the field” in such a way as to insist on anthropology’s central role in constructing scientific knowledge? Who will be anthropology’s next Stocking, placing it at the core of how we understand “knowledge” and “power” today?
Another commentary by yours truly at Anthropology News. AN format forbids in-text citations and footnotes, but if you’ll follow the links you’ll find a dense web of Anthropoliteia contributors’ work!
I have a new op-ed on the blog Savage Minds regarding the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman fiasco. here’s a snippet:
Just happened to be looking this up today in the OED:
community policing n. policing at a local or community level; spec. a system of policing by officers who have personal knowledge of and involvement in the community they police.1934 New Castle (Pa.) News 20 Feb. 16/3 Major Adams asserted that the modern principles of community policing are based on antiquated methods.1973 Times 24 Sept. 2/6 Community policing, at present one of the most controversial talking points in Andersontown.2000 P. Beatty Tuff i. 4 The mayor think rhyming sound bites, community policing, and the death penalty going to stop fools from getting paid.
The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.