Our journal did not come into the world with authority and certainty but did so, instead, with some hesitation and tentativeness. The narrator of Jonathan Swift’s eighteenth-century satire on modern learning, A Tale of a Tub (1704) claims for himself “an absolute authority in right” as the “last writer” and “freshest modern.” We make no such claim. At this point we may be both new and fresh, but we need to feel our way, to discover what is out there and what we might realistically expect to come into our own purview. But tentativeness is good. It allows us to be responsive to a variety of articles so long as they satisfy our goal of exploring film and mind. Tentativeness also allows us a sustained and continuing debate.
Developing a Museum-based Anthropology Education Resource forPre-university Students
Paul Basu and Simon Coleman
In its 2002-3 Strategic Review, the Royal Anthropological Institute reasserted the importance of the public communication of anthropology for the future of the discipline. Two significant venues for public engagement activity were identified: museums and pre-university education contexts. We present an account of the development and piloting of an anthropology teaching and learning resource that bridges these two arenas. Complementing efforts to introduce an anthropology A-Level, the Culture, Identity, Difference resource uses museum collections as a way of introducing anthropological perspectives on topics such as belief, ethnicity, gender and power to enhance students' studies across a range of different A-Level subjects. We reflect on some of the lessons learnt during the process, including the value of developing resources that can be used flexibly and creatively by teachers and students, and the need to approach the museum as a space of encounter, exploration and experimentation rather than as a didactic educational venue.
Bulgarian and Romanian student workers in the UK
This article is based on fieldwork conducted among Romanian and Bulgarian students working under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme in the UK. It shows how a public discourse on the benefits of and for immigrant seasonal workers silences the voices of these workers. It also discusses how a hidden transcript of the student workers shows they are deeply frustrated about their exploitation in terms of wages, living conditions, and the fact that they have come to the UK on false promises of cultural exchange and learning. The confinement of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants—such as these student workers—to the unskilled and underpaid labor sector in the UK, which continues despite Romania and Bulgaria's recent accession to the EU, not only reproduces the dual labor market in the UK itself but it also reduces Romania and Bulgaria to 'second-hand' EU members states.
Michael R. M. Ward
It is with real pleasure that I introduce this issue of Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (BHS), my first full issue as Editor. The past few months have been a learning curve in terms of the roles and responsibilities expected when editing an international journal, but I am very pleased with what we have to offer here. At a very important and critical time for gender scholars, I want to use this editorial as a general announcement of the editorial change, or addition, in editorship and the future direction, I would like to take the journal in. It is also an opportunity to introduce editorial board members, old and new to the readership and to outline what follows in volume 12, issue 1.
David Allen Harvey
Despite its long-standing reputation for skepticism and irreverence, the Enlightenment took religion quite seriously. Historians have long recognized this fact, and have often represented the intellectual history of the eighteenth century in terms of the struggle between religious faith and philosophical skepticism. One common view of the period holds that religious dogmatism and intolerance, memorably condemned by Voltaire as l’Infâme, served as the negative pole against which the positive Enlightenment ideals of secularism, reason, and tolerance were articulated. Nearly a century ago, Ernst Cassirer characterized this view (which he did not entirely share) by writing, “French Encyclopedism declares war openly on religion,” accusing it of “having been an eternal hindrance to intellectual progress.” Around the same time, Carl Becker argued that the eighteenth-century philosophes sought to recast the “heavenly city” imagined by church fathers such as St. Augustine into a vision of a terrestrial utopian future. A generation later, Peter Gay described the philosophes as “modern pagans,” who “used their classical learning to free themselves from their Christian heritage.” For such scholars, the historical signifi cance of the Enlightenment lay in its break with religious tradition and embrace of “modernity”, defined primarily by secularism and rationality.
In this second issue of the year, I am pleased to present a group of papers focused on ‘Embodiment and Teaching and Learning in Anthropology’. Inspiration for this volume came from the 25th Anniversary Conference at St Andrews University, Scotland, marking twenty-five years of Social Anthropology at the university. The event was organised by Dr Mark Harris at the start of 2005 and was billed as ‘Ways of Knowing’. Versions of papers given by Greg Downey (Notre Dame) and Cristina Grasseni (Bergamo) are added to, first by Nigel Rapport (Concordia) with Noa Vaisman (Cornell), who were involved in ‘A Cornell–St Andrews Knowledge Exchange’ as part of the activities of the Centre for the Anthropological Study of Knowledge and Ethics (CASKE) at St Andrews; and second, by two articles derived from research at The Queen’s University Belfast (Jonathan Skinner and Kirk Simpson, and Jonathan McIntosh). We are grateful to research and seminar participants and informants at all of these institutions for their input and comments.
This is the third edition of the year 2005. We have moved from neoliberalism and the audit culture in the university, to embodiment in the teaching and learning of anthropology, and finally to the involvement of anthropologists in the Second World War and the following Cold War. In this volume, we are still experimenting and finding our feet. Here, after articles by David Price on the OSS and Japan, Gretchen Schafft with archival biographical research on a Nazi medical doctor, and Eric Ross on university involvement in the Cold War, we give Janice Harper some extra space to make her points about nuclear tourism. Rather than split Harper’s article, we have decided to let it run on. It is an article about the curious construction of cultural heritage. And it can be read from a post-9/11, post-7/7 vantage point where the catastrophe as well as catastrophic places can become Zeitgeist (tourist) sites (see also Feldman 2002). The piece links in with the other contributions to show the longue durée of wars with and on terror, and the changing nature and commemoration of our involvement with them.
Operationalizing Emotion through Ethnography
This article illustrates a case study of an ethnographic research project in order to highlight the processes by which the project thesis emerged, the form of the knowledge on which it is based, and the relationship of that form of knowledge to other disciplines. The case-study is part of a larger ethnographic research project based in Jerusalem area between 2011 and 2012 on the sociality and affective processes involved in what is normally referred to as pro-Palestinian activism. Current anthropological concerns and debates are highlighted and discussed by following the ethnographic process from the development of a proposal based on a perceptual model of affect (Damasio, 2000), to ‘learning with people’ to the fieldwork phase (Ingold, 2008), to the analysis, interpretation of findings through the intersubjective faculty of judging (Arendt, 1968). Specifically, this work aims to clarify the form and validity of knowledge produced by an ethnographic engagement with phenomenological theory. Using an extract from field notes, from which I developed a thesis on role of weirdness in dissent, I highlight the intersubjective and emergent nature of knowledge production in ethnography through the development of trusting relationships with participants and the generative tensions and possibilities of being a researcher while also becoming an activist. In this process, the knowledge produced represents neither the participants’ nor the researcher’s understandings of the world but resides in what Arendt called a ‘third position’. Such a method of knowledge production should also be apposite to interdisciplinary exchanges within academia."
When I was a child I remember being fascinated by a bundle of very old letters which my grandmother kept at the back of her writing desk, tied together with a piece of faded ribbon. The letters were still in their respective envelopes; some had stamps bearing Queen Victoria’s head – Penny Blacks and Reds – which I marvelled at, for these were collectors’ items already in the 1950s, or so my older sister informed me. The envelopes were addressed in different styles of copperplate handwriting in blue or black ink which had sometimes spitted a careless blot or two randomly across the neatly etched script. Inside, curling characters scrolled across the folded pages, which occasionally enclosed a small memento: a sepia photograph or a pressed flower – a violet still faintly blue. The writing itself seemed to speak volumes to a small child who was still painstakingly learning to form her own characters at school; but the letters were far more than mere handwriting to be deciphered and interpreted. For me, as for my grandmother, these were distinct voices from the past. And in their different rhythms of speech, forms of expression and often oldfashioned vocabulary, these individual letter-writers seemed to momentarily live again when their words were reiterated.
This article will analyse the power relations involved in social movement research, exploring alternative epistemological practices that resist and subvert academic conventions in order to create new modes of knowing. I will critique the production of a knowledge that aims at liberation and emancipation by conducting research 'about' or 'on behalf of' social movements, and I will show how this approach might lead to their very subjection. It will be argued that, in order to avoid the reproduction of power relations they seek to resist, research practices need to go beyond dialectical modes of knowing, departing from assumptions of the subject/object of knowledge, of objective/subjective research and from the hierarchy between theory and praxis. A precedent is found in the research approaches of post-colonial, activist, and queer studies that seek to experiment different modes of knowing, based not on observation and participation, but on learning from the experience of resistance in social movements: in this way resistant practices become an epistemological perspective rather than an object of study, and research can become a tool of resistance.