Master Conference & Golden Moose

Master's conference 2009 at the VU

Last Thursday our department organized a “Master’s Conference”, a study-day in which our master’s students presented their research plans.  After having worked incredibly hard to finish these plans in time, the students will all go off “in the field” in January for their individual 3-months research projects. The end of this conference entailed a little suprise for the editors of this weblog, who were awarded the Golden Gooze 2009…!  Lees verder

About: Seeing Culture Everywhere

Earlier this week Pal Nyiri wrote a post on his talk about the evolution of consumer boycotts in China at the AAA. Both of his new books –  Cultural Mobility and Seeing Culture Everywhere – made their debut at this AAA – the latter even sold out! Here a little foretaste about ‘Seeing Culture Everywhere’.

By Pál Nyiri

Joana Breidenbach and I wrote this book as a response to Ulf Hannerz’s lament about the inability of anthropologists – the professional students of human cultures – to respond adequately to “one-big-thing” books such as Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations by presenting alternative visions that were clear and accessible. “Leaving an intellectual vacuum behind is not much of a public service,” Hannerz wrote in Foreign News.

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Teveel integratie in onderzoek naar Islam

Door Thijl Sunier
In mijn oratie die ik op 27 november aan de VU uitsprak heb ik ervoor gepleit dat onderzoekers naar de islam in Europa zich minder laten leiden door het integratiedebat en het integratiebeleid van de overheid en vooral een eigen onderzoeksagenda ontwikkelen. Zo noemde ik het onderzoek naar radicalisering als voorbeeld van een nogal doorgeschoten focus op veiligheid, preventie en cultuurbotsing waar een onevenredig groot deel van het onderzoeksgeld onder moslimjongeren heen gaat. Sommige van mijn collega’s verweten mij de onafhankelijkheid en integriteit van onderzoekers ter discussie te stellen. Lees verder

The South African Vuvuzela at the FIFA Football

(picture by Duane)

By Duane Jethro

The FIFA Fan Fest™, a locally organised public festival celebrating the FIFA 2010 World Cup™ final draw, was the watershed event marking South Africa’s official role as host of the 2010 World Cup tournament. Held in Long Street Cape Town, the magnanimous celebration stretched from the Convention Centre on the east, through the heart of the city to its western boundary. Attended by revellers, officials and, celebrities from across the globe, it represented the first major occasion for the local organising committee and the South African public to welcome the global football loving audience to South Africa. Significantly, amongst many nations represented at the event, there seemed to be a large contingent of Dutch supporters present, celebrating the Netherlands’ berth, and indulging in the general festivities. Lees verder

Back from the AAA

Photo from Tianya (a Chinese online forum) taken during the Olympic torch relay, Paris 2008

By Pál Nyiri

After my inaugural lecture – in which I suggested that anthropology should study the re-emergence of shared forms of sovereignty like China’s concessions in Africa – I gave a similar talk at the British Inter-University China Centre’s conference in Manchester and then headed to the American Anthropological Association (AAA), which this year took place in Philadelphia. Our department was well represented, with five or so VU anthropologists in attendance. The AAA tends to be overwhelming, but every five years or so it’s worth making the pilgrimage, just to see what’s “in”. Lees verder

The things Dutch windows tell

'Typically' Dutch windows (photo: Poederbach)

By Lorraine Nencel I clearly remember moving here in 1978 and one of my evening pass times was walking through my neighborhood on garbage night scavenging along with the professional scavangers for useable goodies – proletariat recycling. But for this New Yorker who grew up with small windows blinded by venetians, Dutch windows were a delight to my eyes. Big and open, if it would not have been so obvious I could have stayed for hours in front of the window watching people enjoy their 8 o’clock coffee, sitting around the television, in each home generally positioned in the same corner, with Father sitting on the arm chair while mother and children are sitting on the couch.

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Praten over polygamie in Aceh

De kiosk van Davids buurvrouw (foto: David Kloos)

Door David Kloos 

Wat vinden mijn buurvrouwen eigenlijk van polygamie? Dat is een vraag die ik ze nog niet had gesteld. In mijn onderzoek naar ‘alledaagse Islam’ in Aceh (Indonesië) is het amper een issue. Polygamie komt hier nauwelijks voor. Maar nu had ik net toevallig ‘Irwan’ ontmoet, een ambtenaar bij een overheidsinstelling, die nog niet zo lang geleden met een tweede vrouw was getrouwd. Het is inmiddels bijna een cliché: polygamie mag in Indonesië dan wel zijn toegestaan, grootschalige surveys wijzen steevast uit dat de overgrote meerderheid van de Indonesische vrouwen er niets van moet hebben. Een goed moment, dacht ik dus, voor de proef op de som.

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