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#12 Cultural imaginaries, deepfake videos, hatred in anth, & social dissociation: this month on TFS

This month, Ian (1:12) asks how we should engage when people describe their culture one way, but our observations of their behavior don’t match those descriptions. What is a “culture,” Ian asks, if its members don’t adhere to it? As Julia argues, “what people say is just as important in their cultural imaginary of who they are as what they do.” Ian mentions his blog post about kasti: find it at Next, special...


#11 Alternative worlds: Ghassan Hage talks multiculturalism, teaching the enemy & thinking in public

“Any concept -- capitalism, neoliberalism, etc. -- leaves an excess that it is the aim of anthropology to unearth. These are spaces that are not dominated by whatever’s dominating at a specific time. So there are existing alternatives, there are not just Subscribe on imaginary alternatives.... Anthropology in this sense does provide the possibility of thinking of alternatives. There are ways of living that you can build on, that are not aligned with the dominant ways of being.” Ghassan...


#10 Smoking v. vaping, anthrosmelling, de/colonization, & America's gun "tribes:" this month on TFS

This month, Julia (1:12) questions Australia's black-and-white moral stance against vaping as a way to help people stop smoking, arguing that Australia's uncompromising stance borders on “the definition of psychotic thinking, where you become fixated on ideas to the point that you’re not open to exploring a middle ground or someone else’s viewpoints. And I would contend that the situation we’ve got in Australia, in regards to harm minimization around smoking, and the reluctance to endorse...


#8 Savage Bitcoin, hamster flushing, scholars at work, and New Mandala: this month on TFS

This month, Ian (1:25) digs into Bitcoin, arguing that the cryptocurrency is no different than regular currencies, and can be analyzed along all the same lines: symbolically, materially, institutionally, relationally. “The same material problems of decay that would affect some other kind of material currency like a Subscribe on Androidcoin or a bill still applies to Bitcoin.” Ian mentions podcast episodes from NPR's Planet Money (“#816 Bitcoin Losers”) and and Gimlet's Reply All (#115 The...


#7 The knowledge we value: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks the contentious politics of knowledge production

“Doing history ideally is like doing anthropology of people who are gone, except that you don’t have native informants, you only have these written fragmentary sources. But the same hermeneutic struggle goes on: you’re trying to understand somebody from their point of view.” Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of history and South Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago, sat down with our own Ian Pollock to talk about the...


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