Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15 items for

  • Author: Jonathan Skinner x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Ghosts in the Head and Ghost Towns in the Field

Ethnography and the Experience of Presence and Absence

Jonathan Skinner

This article is about an anthropologist coming to terms with the field and fieldwork. In 1995, I left - was evacuated from - my fieldsite as a volcanic eruption started just as my period of fieldwork drew to a close. These eruptions dramatically and instantaneously altered life on the island of Montserrat, a British colony in the Caribbean. While Montserrat the land, and Montserratians the people, migrated and moved on with their lives, Montserrat and Montserratians were preserved in my mind and in my anthropological writings as from “back home.” Revisiting Montserrat several years into the volcano crisis, I drove through the villages and roads leading to the former capital of the island, where I had worked from. My route to this modern-day Pompeii threw up a stark contrast between absence and presence, the imagined past and the experienced present. This is understood, in part, by examining the literary work of two other travelers through Montserrat, Henry Coleridge and Pete McCarthy, both of whom have a very different experience of the place and the people.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

Thursday, 11 August 2005. Killing time, I visit the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. This is coming to the end of a tour of the Arthur Murray dance studios up and down the West Coast. It is a hot break coming at the end of a month’s dance fieldwork in Sacramento. Rather than fly back to Belfast from San Francisco, I opted for LAX and bookended my research with a personal journey driving up and down the state. I had gone up through Death Valley where I had solo hiked into the desert and made a souvenir vial of Death Valley sand. Then inland north to get through Yosemite, living in my rental car, sleeping in motels. Back south, I was sampling the dance studios along the coast—waltz in San Francisco, rumba in Hayward, foxtrot in Redwood City, tango in San Jose, salsa in chic Santa Barbara, merengue in Beverley Hills. Along the way, I was taking in the tourist attractions: the boardwalk in Santa Cruz where the movie Lost Boys was filmed; Cannery Row, Monterey, described long ago by John Steinbeck; Hearst Castle, which had inspired Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

This is the first special issue of Anthropology in Action published with Berghahn Books, and we thank them for their involvement and support of the association and its journal. As you will see, in joining up with Berghahn, we are benefiting from their professional publishing team. Further to this, we should benefit over the long term from their marketing. Despite these publishing changes—and we thank the previous publishers and administrative support for their hard work over the years—the journal is retaining its distinct applied niche developed by previous editors and Anthropology in Action members.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

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.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

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.

Full access

Editorial

free

Jonathan Skinner

Welcome to the thirteenth year of Anthropology in Action publication, and our second with Berghahn. This is the start of volume 13 and, contrary to superstition, we have the great fortune to make it a strong and fascinating start as a double issue on anthropology and policy in Northern Ireland. In this issue, Dominic Bryan (Queen’s University Belfast), an anthropologist and ethnographer of the Orange Order and their parades as well as public rituals in general, has brought together articles from the latest academic and policy research taking place in the north of Ireland. This collection of articles also goes to show how embedded Queen’s University Belfast is as a key institution in Northern Ireland. As a university, Queen’s is not only one of the main revenue earners in Northern Ireland, but is also a centre for the study of the north of Ireland, a place where academics explore and examine social, political and economic developments around them and, crucially, shape, influence and determine the N’orn Irelan’ scene.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

This is the first special issue of 2007, a double issue featuring an international range of contributors who have come together to examine social health and well-being amongst migrants. Not only do the contents of the articles have great integrity—in both senses of the word—but so too does their applied theoretical persuasion: ethnographic humanism. Collectively, these articles argue for anthropology to work sensitively, politically and personally with informants, to view them as ‘agentive selves’ who—in these cases— skillfully negotiate new lives for themselves in urban Western contexts.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

Kilshaw, Susie (2009), Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity (Oxford: Berghahn Books). ISBN 978-1-84545-526-2 (hardback only) xiv + 228pp. excl. Appendix, Bibliography, Index. £55.00.

Lambert, Helen and Maryon McDonald (eds.) (2009), Social Bodies (Oxford: Berghahn Books). ISBN 978-1-84545-553-8 (hardback only) 169pp. excl. Contributors, Index. £43.00.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

I am pleased to present five articles in this special issue of Anthropology in Action. They show a lively, challenging and engaged set of interventions that cross social and applied anthropology boundaries, doing so through combined arts health practices. That many of them take place in Northern Ireland and are propelled by anthropology graduates is an additional boon to a challenging and economically deprived part of the U.K. Three – Raw, McCaffery, Zeindlinger – were originally presented at the Arts Care 21st anniversary conference held in Belfast, ‘Sustainable Creativity in Healthcare’, May 2012. They represent work by publicly engaged anthropologists, a number living, working and practising in Northern Ireland. Other presenters from the conference could not join us but were also anthropologists practising anthropo - anthropologically informed community-relations work in Northern Ireland on deprived and segregated estates(Emma Graham) and in creative dance choreography with special needs and third-age performers (Lauren Guyer). Not so ‘half-baked’ applied anthropology, to challenge Lucy Mair’s (1969: 8) original castigation of such intervention work.

Full access

Jonathan Skinner

Risk and Sociocultural Theory: New Directions and Perspectives. Edited by Deborah Lupton Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, ix, 185pp., paperback £19.99. ISBN 0-521-64554-9.

Trade and Trade-offs: Using Resources, Making Choices, and Taking Risks. By Estellie Smith. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc., 2000, x, 185pp., glossary, annotated bibliogr., paperback $20.95. ISBN: 1-57766-092-7.

Hitting the Jackpot: Lives of Lottery Millionaires. By Pasi Falk and Pasi Maenpaa. Oxford: Berg, 1999, 168pp., appendices, bibliogr., £15.99. ISBN 9781859733059.