Listening to your gut

By Senske de Vries     Before the thesis-period actually started I was somewhat hesitant about how this would be. I had heard from others that they hated working on their thesis. They described it as the worst part of their studies because it was very time-consuming and not fun to do. Even though I was quite excited about it, I kept thinking ‘the worst has yet to come’ throughout the whole process. But after having finished it, I am able to say that ‘the worst’ did not come. I was lucky to choose my own topic, so I focused on experiences …

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Myanmar anthropologists dismissed

By Maaike Matelski – In this picture, anthropology students from Yangon University show the ‘three fingers salute’ for democracy. Students and university staff across Myanmar have been protesting against the recent military takeover. Since the coup of 1 February, the military has seized control of dozens of schools and university campuses. It has used lethal force against peaceful protestors, resulting in at least 860 deaths, including many university students. Over 5000 students, teachers, journalists and other dissidents have been arrested, as well as a small number of Westerners. Australian academic (and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government) Sean …

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Mourning for Amina, mourning for Yemen

By Marina de Regt. “Marina, if I die, will you then forgive me for all the trouble that I caused you?” my Yemeni friend Amina wrote me ten days ago. I have known Amina since my very first days in Yemen in 1991 and was in regular touch with her via Whatsapp. “I am very ill, I have Corona, please help me, Marina, I am going to die, the treatment of Corona is very expensive, please help me”. A few weeks earlier Amina had written me that Corona was spreading in Rada’, the small town in Northeast Yemen where I …

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Writing your thesis – some tips and tricks

By Matthias Teeuwen Over the course of my studies I have received a lot of advice on how to best go about writing my thesis. In this blog, I have curated some of the more helpful bits of advice that have really helped me meet my deadlines, give structure to the way I work and to generally keep on top of things. I present them here in chronological order, but it is common to cycle through them a couple of times during the process because that is just the nature of writing a thesis: it changes over time. Make a …

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A different perspective on “child marriages” among Syrian refugees in Jordan

By Marina de Regt For years, humanitarian organisations in Jordan and Lebanon have been concerned about the increasing number of “child marriages” among Syrian refugees. While early marriages of girls (between 14-18 year) have also been prevalent in certain regions in Syria, and still occur, these marriages are increasing in the context of refuge. In the period between 2011 and 2015 the percentage rose from 18,4 per cent to 34,6 percent, according to the Higher Population Council in Jordan. Studies of international organisations such as Save the Children (2014) and UNICEF (2019) give insight in the causes and consequences of …

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Podcast #4 is online! Guest: Jochem Kootstra

Jochem Kootstra is onderzoeker, copywriter en programma-maker (om maar een greep uit zijn bezigheden te geven) en bekijkt technologie door een antropologische bril. Door deze bril ziet hij hoe menselijke eigenschappen terug komen in technologie, maar ook hoe technologie de mensheid veranderd. We hebben het in deze aflevering over:– zijn onderzoek bij een groep engineers uit Boston die een menselijke robot voor NASA aan het bouwen waren– design technieken in apps en sociale media– het stellen van de juiste, antropologische vragen. En extra leuk: Jochem is ook onderdeel van Standplaats Wereld! This episode is recorded in Dutch. An English summary …

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Podcast #3 is online! Guest: Haiyue (Fiona) Shan

In this episode, Puck de Boer talks to Haiyue (or Fiona, her English name) Shan, a PhD student at the Sociology department of VU University. From a holistic, multidisciplinary perspective, she investigates the experiences and challenges of Chinese migrant women in the Netherlands before, during and after they give birth, with a special focus on mental health and postpartum depression. Haiyue likes to experiment with podcasts and documentaries to collect data and disseminate her research outcomes. Topics in this podcast include:-Haiyue’s research, the importance of a multidisciplinary perspective and the role of anthropology within it.-Questions and challenges regarding pregnancy in …

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Podcast # 2 is online! Guest: Aleeha Ali

In this episode, Puck de Boer talks with Aleeha Ali, who studied sociology in Pakistan, did a research master’s in anthropology in the UK and is currently a PhD candidate at the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the VU. Topics include:-Aleeha’s research on digitization of religious mourning among Shi’a Muslims in Europe – even more relevant in times of Covid-19.-Her experiences in different educational systems.-The diversification of perspectives in a postcolonial anthropology.-What characterizes anthropology and how it relates to other disciplines.-Conducting (digital) ethnographic fieldwork during a pandemic. The close listener might notice a difference in the sound quality …

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Opposing Views for a Shared Mission

by Sarah leBarron As I walk into Old School Amsterdam, I feel instantly at home. Coffee vapors float around me, pulling me towards the barista cart. I’m handed a steaming cup of vegan cappuccino, the almond milk infusing a slight strangeness to the flavor as I swallow, a strangeness I have come to appreciate. For some attendees of 02025’s energy breakfasts, the vegan beverages connect the theme of renewable energy back to the earth. But for others, the link to nature is minor compared to the technology itself. Though subtle, this diversity of thought in Amsterdam’s renewable energy community can …

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Lesvos, drawn in the field

From a distance we watch as desperation grows and in awe we witness how people attempt to build new shelters on harsh concrete, prepare food on windy sidewalks and fold pieces of cardboard around their sleeping children. With every cycle of brutal destruction and temporal rebuilding their worlds seem to erode further, and inevitably ours and the things we say we stand for, with it. This piece was drawn and written after witnessing the growing unrest on the island of Lesvos, Greece, in February this year. Following recent events the already fragile and tense dynamics on the island as sketched …

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