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Decolonizing Anthropology

Reflections from Cambridge

Heidi Mogstad and Lee-Shan Tse

through material and exclusionary histories, but which not everyone sees, and some appear invested in not-seeing. This article has grown out of our ongoing conversations, critical reflections and practical attempts at decolonizing anthropology at Cambridge

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One of the Saved

In Memory of Jan Fuchs

Angela West

Abstract

Jan Fuchs was one of the Jews who were rescued by the Danish resistance in October 1943. He later settled in the UK, where in his last years he became a friend and mentor to the author who here recalls his life with affection and gratitude. Jews and Christians have rather different approaches to the idea of what it means to be ‘saved’. This article is a critical reflection on how this has played out in the fraught history of Jewish Christian relations, and what implications this has for their different attitudes to Holocaust commemoration.

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‘I’m Not that Kind of Doctor’

On Being In-Between in a Global Health Intervention

Erica Nelson

Within multi-disciplinary global health interventions, anthropologists find themselves navigating complex relationships of power. In this article, I offer a critical reflection on this negotiated terrain, drawing on my experience as an embedded ethnographer in a four-year adolescent sexual and reproductive health research intervention in Latin America. I critique the notion that the transformative potential of ethnographic work in global health remains unfulfilled. I then go on to argue that an anthropological practice grounded in iterative, inter-subjective and self-reflexive work has the potential to create ‘disturbances’ in the status quo of day-to-day global health practice, which can in turn destabilise some of the problematic hubristic assumptions of health reforms.

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Staging Democracy

The Aganaktismenoi of Greece and the Squares Movement(s)

George Sotiropoulos

Abstract

Democracy has functioned both as a legitimizing norm and as a practice of resistance. The tension between the two has resurfaced in the recent popular uprisings that took the form of occupations of public squares. This article focuses on the occupation of Syntagma Square in Athens and the Aganaktismenoi movement that enacted it. The event of the occupation turned Syntagma Square into a stage of a “real democracy,” redefining in the process not only basic political notions like that of “public space” and “citizenship” but the political imagination. In this respect, Syntagma Square became a site for the emergence of an emancipatory politics that pointed beyond the current model of liberal democracy. However, the failure of the movement to achieve its goals and withstand repression offers the occasion for some critical reflections on the project of a “real democracy,” the positive political prescription uniting the squares movement.

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Laurel Hart, Pamela Lamb, and Joshua Cader

ABSTRACT

Effectively engaging with technologies of nonviolence for girls and young women requires attention to systemic, symbolic, and everyday forms of violence online and offline, as well as to how power is broadly manifest. We draw from three different interdisciplinary perspectives and critical reflections to consider networked technologies and online communities in relation to nonviolence. We explore mentorship and subversive education through novel, The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, identity politics on Facebook in a reflective study of digital citizenship for queer girl visibility, and online grassroots community solutions in considering the social potential of online forums and solutions for online harassment. Our varied perspectives encounter contradictions, such as the need for access to and protection from diverse online communities, as a necessary consideration for developing policy and creating networked and community-based technologies of nonviolence. We conclude with five recommendations in a call to action.

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Denis Cosgrove. (ed.) Mappings. 214 pp. London: Reaktion Books, 1999. £16.95 (paper) Review by Ola Söderström

James Duncan and Derek Gregory (eds), Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing, 225 pp. London: Routledge, 1999. £50.00 (cloth) £15.99 (paper) Review by Jas' Elsner

Shelly Errington, The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress. 335pp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. $48.00 (cloth) $19.95 (paper) Review by Nelson H. H. Graburn

Nancy Louise Frey Pilgrim Stories. On and Off The Road To Santiago, 313pp Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998. $45.00 (cloth), $17.95 (paper) Review by Filareti Kotsi

Patrick Holland and Graham Huggan, Tourists with Typewriters: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Travel Writing. 261pp. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998. $32.50 (cloth) Review by Vasiliki Galani-Moutafi

Giles Milton Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How One Man’s Courage Changed the Course of History, 388pp. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1999. £12.99 (cloth), £6.99 (paper) Review by Roy Ellen

Justin Stagl. A History of Curiosity: The Theory of Travel 1550–1800 (Studies in Anthropology and History, Vol. 13). 344 pp. Chur, Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995. $22.00/ £14.00 (paper) Review by Judith Adler

Anthony Weller, Days and Nights on the Grand Trunk Road. 383pp. New York: Marlowe and Co,1997. $12.95 (paper) Review by Apurba Kundu

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Functionalism of Mind and Functionalism of Society

The Concept of Conscience and Durkheim's Division of Social Labour

Susan Stedman Jones

This essay examines Durkheim's functionalism, to argue that it cannot be adequately understood through later movements of structural functionalism, especially Parsonian functionalism. Concretely, for Durkheim, the function of the division of labour is to create solidarity but this runs into the problem of modern pathologies. More abstractly, his functionalism has two essential sets of components, and it is only through the relation between these that it is possible to grasp his argument and its full significance. One involves ideas of correspondence, tendency and action, so that function has to do with a set of 'living movements' and how it corresponds with social needs. The other involves a functionalism of mind, and above all centres round the idea of conscience as a set of epistemological, representative and practical functions. Durkheim's functionalism relates these two components in a concern with the power of critical reflection on existing patterns of society, and with how conscience releases the force of agency, to have a transformative potential on the ills of society.

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Ellen Bal, Erella Grassiani, and Kate Kirk

This article is based on our own experiences and that of several of our colleagues teaching social and cultural anthropology in different Dutch institutions for higher learning. We focus in particular on teaching and learning in two small liberal arts and science (LAS) colleges, where anthropology makes up part of the social science curriculum and/or is part of the core curriculum. The data collected from our own critical reflections developed during informal discussion and from formal interviews with colleagues, together with literature on recent changes in academia, leads us to argue that neoliberal individualism, shaped by management tactics that constantly measure individual performance and output, is making academia an increasingly insecure place in which to work and study. The consequences of this insecurity include increasing mental health problems among both students and staff, intensifying competition at the expense of collegiality and collaboration and an overall decrease in the quality of academic jobs and teaching. Although the discipline of anthropology can help us better understand our own conditions, the personalisation of problems and the focus on success obscure the anthropological lens, which looks at social and cultural structures of power and depends on critical reflexivity.

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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

important resource for the critical reflection on bodies, sexualities and masculinities. Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

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Fern Thompsett

the broader community, who have used BFU as a platform to host forums, workshops and discussions. The pedagogical forms and content of BFU’s sessions, as well as its organisational praxes, remain subject to critical reflection by anyone with a stake in