Thin Description? Notes on the Amsterdam Anthropology Lecture Series (AALS)

Dr Paolo Favero giving his AALS lecture at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

By Matthias Teeuwen    Last AALS lecture was an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation by Dr. Paolo Favero on the myriad possibilities that emerging technologies provide to conducting ethnographic research. He talked about the implications of the use of i-docs (interactive documentaries such as Highrise), wearable camera’s (used exclusively in Leviathan), user GPS (Dr Favero gave an example of its use in Rider Spoke), and much more in ethnographic research. Here are some impressions. Lees verder

Colonial Ruins in Padang

Colonial godown next to railways
Colonial godown next to railways

By Freek Colombijn

The American anthropologist Ann Stoler argues that the ‘ruins of empire’, or ‘imperial debris’, must be studied less as ‘dead matter or remnants of a defunct regime than [in order] to attend to their reappropriations and strategic and active positioning within the politics of the present’ (Stoler 2008: 196). Colonial buildings, and also the selective restoration of them, are often contested by different actors with different interests. Aware of such contestations, Ann Stoler (2008: 201) makes the point that ‘[r]uins are not just found, they are made. They become repositories of public knowledge and new concentrations of public declaration.’ This selective reappropriation and active ruination is demonstrated by the Indonesian city of Padang. Lees verder

Is Anthropology the most Humanistic of the Sciences and the most Scientific of the Humanities?

Still Life with Flagon, Glass, Jug and Bridle, by Johannes Torrentius, 1614

By Matthias Teeuwen

The epithet in the title, commonly attributed to Alfred Kroeber, is often used to classify anthropology in-between the sciences and the humanities. Apparently we anthropologists manage to, once again, place ourselves in a position of simultaneous intimacy and distance, this time with regard to science and the humanities. Now, the question is: Is this where anthropology belongs? Even though a position between science and the humanities sounds like a very fruitful one, I would like to argue that anthropology belongs more properly in the humanities. Lees verder

De Dappermarkt in Amsterdam: ontmoetingsplek en strijdperk

door Freek Colombijn

Aristoteles roemde de stad al vanwege haar sociale diversiteit en Hannah  Arendt, Jane Jacobs, Richard Sennett en Setha Low zijn slechts een aantal beroemde sociale wetenschappers die met enthousiasme schreven hoe de stad een ontmoetingsplek voor vreemdelingen is. Een mooie plek om te kijken in hoeverre de stad werkelijk een ontmoetingsplaats vormt, is de Dappermarkt. Een deel van het materiaal dat ik hier presenteer is verzameld door een groep scholieren die in november 2016 een onderzoek deed op de Dappermarkt in hun eerste kennismaking met antropologisch veldwerk en een deel heb ik zelf in januari verzameld. Lees verder

A Journey to Experience: Tanzania-Kenya-Uganda

artikel-reis-ottlaBy Ottla Lange      

In my first week of studying cultural Anthropology I had been told to write down everything I observe, when in a new or semi-new environment, within the first twenty-four hours. After this short period of time a person starts to become blind for the things that used to catch their eye. Now after travelling through East-Africa for two weeks – to visit the countries where my father, who died in the airplane crash of MH17, had spent most of his time working as an aids researcher – I can say that this could not be more true. Lees verder

Being engaged with the Middle East

Sheila Carapico (chair), Marina de Regt and Erika Cortes.

By Erika Cortes         Anthropology is a way of life. It, if I may, is life. It can present us life at its most complex state. And, more often than not, the topics we choose to work on as anthropologists usually stick with us beyond purely academic pursuits. Lees verder

Antropologie in bedrijf


Door Riks Noorman    Recent werd ik  geïnterviewd door de Telegraaf voor een stuk waarin antropologie, naast andere studies, werd afgeschilderd als een “opleiding tot hongerloon”. Met deze kwalificatie was ik het volstrekt oneens en mijn reactie op de journalist was dat ik “het tegendeel zou willen bewijzen”. Antropologische kennis, m.n. de toegevoegde waarde van de discipline voor bedrijven, wordt volgens mij zwaar onderschat. Lees verder