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New Books in Anthropology

Author: Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books

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870 Episodes
Two stores sit side-by-side. One with signage overflowing with text: a full list of business services (income tax returns, notary public, a variety of insurance) on the storefront, twenty-two words in all. It provides business services (a lot of them). The other showing a single word—james—in small font in the corner of a drab, brown-colored overhanging sign. It’s a restaurant (obviously). Such a juxtaposition has become increasingly common in gentrifying neighborhoods, revealing more than just commercial offerings.  In their new book, What the Signs Say: Language, Gentrification, and Place-Making in Brooklyn (Vanderbilt University Press, 2020), Shonna Trinch and Edward Snajdr examine the importance of signs and “linguistic landscapes” in shaping urban spaces as well as how we experience them. It argues that the public language of storefronts is a key component to the creation of place in Brooklyn, New York.  Using a sample of more than 2,000 storefronts and over a decade of ethnographic observation and interviews, Trinch and Snajdr chart two types of local Brooklyn retail signage: Old School, which uses many words, large lettering, and repetition to convey inclusiveness, and New School, with hallmarks of brevity, wordplay, and more exclusive meanings.  Through in-depth ethnographic analyses they reveal how gentrification and corporate redevelopment in Brooklyn are connected to public communication, literacy practices, the transformation of motherhood and gender roles, notions of historical preservation, urban planning, and systems of racial privilege. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Modern markets and exchange, compared with other social and political spheres, are seen through technical abstractions. This intellectual compartmentalization has political consequences: if capitalism operates through arcane, objective, and rational mechanics, the very real interests and very real consequences of exchange are disguised and simplified. In their empirically dense and theoretically bold edited volume, Ajay Gandhi, Barbara Harriss-White, Douglas Haynes, and Sebastian Schwecke gather historians and anthropologists to reflect on the dynamic, adaptive, and ambiguous realities of markets and exchange in India. Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction (Cambridge University Press, 2020) provides a rich array of vivid case studies – from colonial property and advertising milieus to today’s bazaar and criminal economies – to examine the friction and interdependence between commerce, society, and state. Beyond providing a vantage point for rethinking global capitalism from one of the world’s major economies, the volume conceptualizes the moral, spatial, legal, and symbolic dynamics of markets in a way that is broadly relevant through the Global South. Two of the volume’s editors, Ajay Gandhi, assistant professor at Leiden University, and Sebastian Schwecke, head of the Delhi office of the Max Weber Foundation, discuss the book’s theoretical ambitions and empirical range. Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on South Asian economic writing. He is also coordinator of the Medical Humanities Working Group at NYU, and of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network. He also co-hosts the podcast High Theory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
How can ethnographers use multimedia presentations of their work to reach new audiences, build different relationships with their participants, and promote new practices of witnessing and representation? On today’s episode we talk with Dr. Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She tells us about her collaborative and multimodal project, Tivoli Stories (, based on the 2010 police and military incursion into a West Kingston community in search of a notorious drug trafficker and community don that left at least 75 dead.  The project includes a documentary film titled Four Days in May, a museum exhibit, and the 2019 book Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Entanglement, Witnessing, Repair (Duke UP, 2019). Deborah explains how a background in dance led her to become an accidental anthropologist with an interest in both sovereignty and experimental ethnographic practices. She then discusses the Tivoli Stories project, describing how collaborative attempts to gather testimonies of the incursion led to first a documentary and then her book. She takes us behind the curtains for some of the simultaneously aesthetic and political choices of the film and book, including the use of portraits to humanize participants as distinct from the common images of suffering that may be termed ghetto porn. Her reflections offer a concrete and insightful look at an alternative means of ethnographic practice attuned to the lives, experiences, and politics of the communities we study. Alex Diamond is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Dr. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
In Streetwalking: LGBTQ Lives and Protest in the Dominican Republic (Rutgers University Press, 2020), Dr. Ana-Maurine Lara examines the dominant modes of power that seek to suppress LGBTQ lives and identities as well as the ways in which these communities and individuals push back. Lara details how Catholicism and Christianity attempt to delegitimize LGBTQ lives through an insistence on gender binaries and heteronormativity through power it yields in political and domestic life. LGBTQ people and groups enact Streetwalking , which Lara theorizes as the actions of LGBTQ people, such as walking in the street or hanging out in public, as a means to disrupt the Christian colonial gender and sexual order. Streetwalking includes different practices of resistance such as confratación, flipping the script, and cuentos, which people deploy to transform silence into power. Lara walks us through the strategies and tactics LGBTQ people employ to both assert their power and insist on their right to exist. Ana-Maurine Lara is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Oregon. Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Elesha J. Coffman's Margaret Mead: A Twentieth-Century Faith (Oxford UP, 2021) takes a careful look at Mead’s religious origins and influence. As a famous American anthropologist, Mead’s intellectual contributions to mid-century culture has been fruitfully studied. Coffman offers insight into a neglected aspect of Mead’s life—her religious views. Born into a home with secular agnostic parents, Mead chose a religious path as a child and joined the Episcopal Church. As an anthropologist she believed in the significance of ritual and the importance of service but rejected many of the particulars of her chosen faith. From De Pauw University to Columbia University, through multiple love affairs and marriages, travels and publications, Mead became an influential public intellectual, developing her own perspective on social ethics. Her high-profile and expansive view of human development that did not reject religion offered the opportunity to contribute to mid-twentieth century liberal Christianity on multiple fronts. Elesha J. Coffman, an associate professor of History at Baylor University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Is intersectionality a critical social theory? What must intersectionality do to be both critical and a social theory? Must social justice be a guiding normative principle? And what does or should social justice mean in intersectional theory? Patricia Hills Collins explores these questions, and many more, in Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory (Duke University Press, 2019). Engaging a wide range of thinkers, activists, and traditions, including Classical American Pragmatism, the Frankfurt School, and Ida B. Well-Barnett, Collins helps us to reconsider how we think of intersectionality’s history in order to shape its future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Tanya Luhrmann has spent much of her career as an anthropologist investigating the complex ways that people engage religion and the supernatural. In How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others (Princeton UP, 2020) she sets aside the question of what people believe and asks instead how they go about believing it: the rituals of prayer, offering, and confession that let them enter a different world, where the God or gods they believe in are truly present. Luhrmann writes that people learn to have “flexible ontologies”—accepting the reality of the divine in one context and setting it aside in another. She emphasizes the role of imagination, not because the gods they worship are imaginary, because connecting with the divine is a talent that can be developed. Her accounts range widely across many different religious traditions, looking for both commonalities and differences. Jack Petranker is the Director of the Center for Creative Inquiry and the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist languages. He teaches programs in Full Presence Mindfulness and a wide range of Buddhist topics and practices.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
In today’s episode of Ethnographic Marginalia, Sneha Annavarapu talks with Dr. Caterina Fugazzola, Earl S Johnson Instructor in Sociology at the University of Chicago, about her research on the contemporary tongzhi (LGBT) movement in the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Fugazzola briefly discusses her current book project (under contract with Temple University Press) in which she explains how grassroots groups organizing around sexual identity have achieved significant social change—in terms of visibility, social acceptance, and participation—in virtual absence of public protest, and under conditions of tightening governmental control over civil society groups. But, more pertinently to our special series, our guest tells us about what drew her to the project, and the kinds of dilemmas, issues, and opportunities that marked her fieldwork in the region. For instance, she walks us through what it is like to do ethnographic fieldwork on a cruise ship! We also chat about what it means to do ethnographic observations online and why teaching digital ethnographic methods is a welcome opportunity to rethink our very dated presumptions around physical co-presence in fieldwork being desirable to gather more “authentic” data. In all, tune in for a very candid, witty, and insightful conversation around fieldwork and for a dose of Dr. Fugazzola’s vivacious and contagious energy for the affordances of digital ethnography. Learn more about Ethnographic Marginalia here. Dr. Caterina Fugazzola is is an Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Sociology. Her general interests include social movements, gender and sexuality studies, transnational sociology, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Around the world, orangutans are widely recognised as an iconic species for environmental and wildlife conservation efforts. The rainforest in the Malaysian state of Sarawak is one of last remaining habitats of the nearly extinct Bornean orangutan. While conservation efforts have made the region a top priority for protecting orangutans, these efforts often sideline the indigenous peoples who live along the great apes. Dr June Rubis speaks with Dr Natali Pearson about her lifelong work in orangutan conservation, and reflects on mainstream conservation narratives, politics, and power relations around orangutan conservation in Sarawak and elsewhere in Borneo. In describing the more-than-human relations that link the indigenous Iban people and endangered orangutans, Dr Rubis encourages us to rethink our relationship to the environment, and to learn from indigenous knowledge to decolonise conservation and land management practices. June Rubis is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Indigenous Environmental Studies of the Sydney Environmental Institute at the University of Sydney. She researches Indigenous conservation and land management practices from a decolonial perspective, with a particular focus on Malaysian Borneo. Her recent project has focused on the human-environment and human-animal relationships within the multi-scalar forces of conservation in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. She is a former conservation biologist, with twelve years of conservation fieldwork and Indigenous rights issues in Borneo (both Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo), and was born and raised in Sarawak. She is currently the co-chair of "Documenting Territories of Life" programme with the ICCA (Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas) consortium. You can follow June on Twitter @JuneRubis. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Researchers often face significant and unique ethical and methodological challenges when conducting qualitative field work among people who have been identified as perpetrators of genocide. This can include overcoming biases that often accompany research on perpetrators; conceptualizing, identifying, and recruiting research subjects; risk mitigation and negotiating access in difficult contexts; self-care in conducting interviews relating to extreme violence; and minimizing harm for interviewees who may themselves be traumatized. K. F. Anderson and E. Jessee's Researching Perpetrators of Genocide (U Wisconsin Press, 2020) offers a collection of case studies by scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds turns a critical and reflective eye toward qualitative fieldwork on the topic. Framed by an introduction that sets out key issues in perpetrator research and a conclusion that proposes and outlines a code of best practice, the volume provides an essential starting point for future research while advancing genocide studies, transitional justice, and related fields. This original, important, and welcome contribution will be of value to historians, political scientists, criminologists, anthropologists, lawyers, and legal scholars. Jeff Bachman is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
The fallacy sold to many of us is that the penis signals dominance and power. But this wry and penetrating book reveals that in fact nature did not shape the penis–or the human attached to it–to have the upper…hand. Phallacy looks closely at some of nature’s more remarkable examples of penises and the many lessons to learn from them. In tracing how we ended up positioning our nondescript penis as a pulsing, awe-inspiring shaft of all masculinity and human dominance, Phallacy also shows what can we do to put that penis back where it belongs. Emphasizing our human capacities for impulse control, Phallacy ultimately challenges the toxic message that the penis makes the man and the man can’t control himself. With instructive illustrations of unusual genitalia and tales of animal mating rituals that will make you particularly happy you are not a bedbug, Phallacy shows where humans fit on the continuum from fun to fatal phalli and why the human penis is an implement for intimacy, not intimidation. Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her books include Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts and The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness. Read more about her work at or follow her on Twitter at @emilyanthes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
The Politics of Love in Myanmar: LGBT Mobilization and Human Rights as a Way of Life (Stanford UP, 2018) offers an intimate ethnographic account of a group of LGBT activists before, during, and after Myanmar's post-2011 political transition. Lynette J. Chua explores how these activists devoted themselves to, and fell in love with, the practice of human rights and how they were able to empower queer Burmese to accept themselves, gain social belonging, and reform discriminatory legislation and law enforcement. Informed by interviews with activists from all walks of life—city dwellers, villagers, political dissidents, children of military families, wage laborers, shopkeepers, beauticians, spirit mediums, lawyers, students—Chua details the vivid particulars of the LGBT activist experience founding a movement first among exiles and migrants and then in Myanmar's cities, towns, and countryside. A distinct political and emotional culture of activism took shape, fusing shared emotions and cultural bearings with legal and political ideas about human rights. For this network of activists, human rights moved hearts and minds and crafted a transformative web of friendship, fellowship, and affection among queer Burmese. Chua's investigation provides crucial insights into the intersection of emotions and interpersonal relationships with law, rights, and social movements. Lynette J. Chua is Associate Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore. Her first book, Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights & Resistance in an Authoritarian State (2014), received the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociology Association's Sociology of Law Section. Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
How can ethnographic research shine light on the reproduction of social inequality in upscale Los Angeles restaurants? In today’s episode we talk with Dr. Eli Wilson, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, about his fieldwork in three LA restaurants. In the new book Front of the House, Back of the House, Race and Inequality in the Lives of Restaurant Workers (NYU Press, 2020), he takes readers inside the social hierarchies of upscale restaurants, where mostly white and college-educated servers and bartenders may make three times as much as the mostly Latino immigrant cooks and dishwashers who work hidden away in the back of the restaurant. Eli explains how his fieldwork emerged from his firsthand experience with the privileges of working in the front of the house. He describes the divisions between the two groups, and how he was able to build relationships with back of the house workers. He also talks about the discomfort that came from his own advantages as a tip-earner, and how he explained and managed his dual role as worker and ethnographer. Two unequal worlds of work exist within the upscale restaurant scene of Los Angeles. White, college-educated servers operate in the front of the house—also known as the public areas of the restaurant—while Latino immigrants toil in the back of the house and out of customer view. In Front of the House, Back of the House, Eli Revelle Yano Wilson shows us what keeps these workers apart, exploring race, class, and gender inequalities in the food service industry. Drawing on research at three different high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, Wilson highlights why these inequalities persist in the twenty-first century, pointing to discriminatory hiring and supervisory practices that ultimately grant educated whites access to the most desirable positions. Additionally, he shows us how workers navigate these inequalities under the same roof, making sense of their jobs, their identities, and each other in a world that reinforces their separateness. Front of the House, Back of the House takes us behind the scenes of the food service industry, providing a window into the unequal lives of white and Latino restaurant workers. Eli Revelle Yano Wilson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. His research examines how social inequalities are both reproduced and challenged in urban labor markets. Alex Diamond is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Philosophers have long approached the concept of rhythm as a significant tool for understanding the human experience, metaphysics, language, and the arts. In her new study Rhythm: A Theological Category (Oxford University Press, 2018), Lexi Eikelboom argues that theologians have much to gain from rhythm as a conceptual tool. In an interdisciplinary study bringing together prosody, continental philosophy, and Christian theology, Eikelboom maps out a terrain of approaches to rhythm from the synchronic whole or diachronic experience in time. Rhythm, therefore, affords an important lens to understand an oscillation between the harmonious and the interruptions that comprise any human attempts to articulate an encounter with the divine. Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Edited by Naomi M. Leite, Quetzil E. Castañeda, and Kathleen M. Adams, The Ethnography of Tourism: Edward Bruner and Beyond (Lexington Books, 2019) focuses on the experience-near, interpretive-humanistic approach to tourism studies widely associated with anthropologist Edward Bruner. The contributors draw on their fieldwork to illustrate and build upon key concepts in tourism ethnography, from experience, encounter, and emergent culture to authenticity, narrative, contested sites, the borderzone, embodiment, identity, and mobility.  The Ethnography of Tourism won the 2020 Edward Bruner Book Prize from the Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group (American Anthropological Association).  Dr. Naomi Leite is Associate Professor of Anthropology at SOAS, University of London. Dr. Quetzil Castañeda is Senior Lecturer at Indiana University Bloomington. Dr. Kathleen Adams is Professor of Anthropology at Loyola University Chicago. Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
In Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge UP, 2020), Teren Sevea reveals the economic, environmental and religious significance of Islamic miracle workers (pawangs) in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Malay world. Through close textual analysis of hitherto overlooked manuscripts and personal interaction with modern pawangs readers are introduced to a universe of miracle workers that existed both in the past and in the present, uncovering connections between miracles and material life. Sevea demonstrates how societies in which the production and extraction of natural resources, as well as the uses of technology, were intertwined with the knowledge of charismatic religious figures, and locates the role of the pawangs in the spiritual economy of the Indian Ocean world, across maritime connections and Sufi networks, and on the frontier of the British Empire. Teren Sevea is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia, and received his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining Harvard Divinity School, he served as Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Sevea is the author of Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and co-edited Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia (ISEAS, 2009). He is currently working on a forthcoming book entitled Singapore Islam: The Prophet's Port and Sufism across the Oceans. Kelvin Ng hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Most of the time, we believe our daily lives to be governed by structures determined from above (e.g., laws that dictate our behavior, companies that pay employees wages, climate patterns that determine what we eat or where we live). In contrast, social organization is often a feature of local organization. While those forces may seem beyond individual grasp, we often come together in small communities to change circumstances that would otherwise flatten us. In The Hinge: Civil Society, Group Cultures, and the Power of Local Commitments (University of Chicago Press, 2021), Dr. Gary Alan Fine emphasizes and describes the meso-level collectives, the organizations that bridge our individual interests and the larger structures that shape our lives. Fine describes the meso-level social collectives as “hinges” or groups that come together to pursue a shared social goal, bridging the individual and the broader society. Fine argues that understanding hinges in society is crucial to explaining how societies function – creating links between the micro- and macro-orders of society. Fine draws on historical cases and fieldwork to illustrate how these hinges work and how to describe them. In The Hinge, Fine provides reader with new theoretical tools for understanding an essential part of the social worlds. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. His most recent study, “The Queen and Her Royal Court: A Content Analysis of Doing Gender at a Tulip Queen Pageant”, was published in Gender Issues Journal. His interests include the sociology of art and culture, sociology of death and dying, and sociology of sex and gender. He is currently working on a research project about obituary writing as an art world. More can be found about Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. by going to his website, Google Scholar, following him on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or emailing him at johnstonmo at wmpenn dot edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
This unique episode features a dual/duel interview with two authors whose recent books focus on the overlapping contexts and theories of Game Studies and Asian American Studies. The first is Tara Fickle and her book The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities (NYU Press, 2019), which investigates the ways Asian Americans have had to fit roles, play games, and follow rules in order to be seen as valuable in the US. The second author is Christopher B. Patterson, who discusses his book Open World Empire: Race, Erotics, and the Global Rise of Empire (NYU Press, 2020), which asks similar questions to theorize ways of seeing games as queer erotics, as expressions of empire, and as withholding “The Asiatic.” During this duel/dual interview, each author asks the other questions about their books, with the goal of having a broader conversation about the various concepts that both books play with. Christopher B. Patterson is an Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
The devil is a defiant, nefarious figure, the emblem of evil, and harbinger of the damned. However, the festive devil—the devil that dances—turns the most hideous acts into playful transgressions. Edited by Milla Cozart Riggio, Angela Marino, and Paolo Vignolo, Festive Devils of the Americas (Seagull Books, 2015) presents a transnational and performance-centered approach to this fascinating, feared, and revered character of fiestas, street festivals, and carnivals in North, Central, and South America. As produced and performed in both rural and urban communities and among neighborhood groups and councils, festive devils challenge the principles of colonialism and nation-states reliant on the straight and narrow opposition between good and evil, black and white, and us and them. Learn more about festive devils here, and in the work of Rose Cano, who is currently studying how Peruvian devils manifest in Seattle, Washington. Of notable influence on this text is Leda Martins’ concept of spiral time, which you can learn more about in Martins’ chapter, “Performances of Spiral Time,” in Performing Religion in the Americas: Media, Politics, and Devotional Practices of the Twenty-First Century (Seagull Books, 2007). Milla Cozart Riggio is James J. Goodwin Professor of English Emerita at Trinity College. Angela Marino is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Paolo Vignolo is Associate Professor of History at the National University of Colombia, Bogota. Other contributors to the book Festive Devils of the Americas include Miguel Rubio Zapata and Amiel Cayo, members of El Groupo Cultural Yuyachkani; the late Thomas Abercrombie; Miguel Gandert; Monica Rojas-Stewart; Max Harris; Zeca Ligiéro; Lowell Fiet; Rawle Gibbons; Raviji (Ravindranath Maharaj); David M. Guss; Rafael Salvatore; Benito Irady; Anita Gonzalez; Enrique R. Lamadrid; and Rachel Bowditch. The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics provided continual support (financial, intellectual, and personal), especially Diana Taylor, Director, and Marcial Godoy-Anativa. Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui also advised the general Festive Devils project. Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Located amid tropical rainforest in the heart of Papua New Guinea, the Frieda River area is home to one of the biggest undeveloped gold and copper deposits in the Pacific. For decades, mining companies have prospected in this area in anticipation of a large-scale mine which may (or may not) open in the future. In Emilia E. Skrzypek, Revealing the Invisible Mine: Social Complexities of an Undeveloped Mining Project (Berghahn, 2020). Emilia 'Emilka' Skrzypek tells the story of Paiyamo people on whose land a potential mine may be located. Paiyamo people hope that the mine will lead to the development of their remote rural area, and in this book Skrzypek show the unique cultural logic they use to make the potential mine a reality, or -- to use Paiyamo terms -- to 'reveal' a mine whose existence has already affected their lives, but which has not yet emerged and become visible. In this episode of the podcast host Alex Golub speaks to Emilka about the potential Frieda mine, Paiyamo people, and the way they grapple with the existence of an anticipated mine. What does it mean to view knowledge in terms of its effect rather than its accuracy? How are relationships created and transformed as people realize older understandings and secrets had a meaning which is only now being understood in the present context? How might we use this analytic lens to think about the work of ethnography and fieldwork itself? These are just some of the questions which Alex and Emilka discuss in this interview Emilia Skrzypek is a senior research fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Her most recent article, "Extractive entanglements and regimes of accountability at an undeveloped mining project" appears in the December 2020 number of Resources Policy.  Alex Golub is an associate professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in Honolulu. His most recent publication is a biographical interview with Martha Macintyre, an anthropologist of mining, in the edited volume Unequal Lives: Gender, Race, and Class in The Western Pacific.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
Comments (2)



Jan 4th

Nafe Babasafari

Thank you so much

Aug 18th
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