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Category: Standplaats Wereld

Toward the Art and Aesthetics of Entangled Posthuman Engineers

This year’s Master thesis prize of the Faculty of Social Sciences, VU Amsterdam was won by anthropology graduate Jochem Kootstra. Kootstra wrote a thought-provoking and engaged work about aesthetic and engineering ways to deal with technology. Below you will find a synopsis of his research.

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The (in)correctness of political correctness

by Ton Salman

I’ve just finished reading “The Golden House” by Salman Rushdie. I enjoyed it: it is amusing, irritating, timely, biting and a delight to read. Of course, I am biased; he has been one of my favorite novelists for years. And he is one of the authors that in audacious ways often addresses the clashes between cultures, religions, ideologies that characterize our current globalizing, fidgety and agitated world, in provocative, foolhardy and sometimes pestering bravado. His novels, in my view, are must-reads for anthropologists.

In “The Golden House” he demonstrates his skill again. The novel plays in the USA, during the Obama-years and the first shrieking of his successor. Rushdie expresses in unequivocal terms what he thinks about the incredible events, without the message getting the upper hand. But he also comes to speak about other current developments, in the realms of cultural encounters, clashes and allergies. First, by mocking a tendency, for instance at USA-universities to be hypersensitive about concepts and labels for human “categories”, and second about (public) lectures on, again, university campuses by lecturers or on subjects that might make specific student groups feel “uncomfortable” or “un-safe”. Although universities are the loci here, the topics are larger, and trigger critical thinking about how, as societies and also within our ranks of anthropologists, we could address such controversies.


Unpicking an (A)moral Anthropological Stance: Ongoing Violence in Myanmar

Introduction by Maaike Matelski In June 2015 the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology organized a seminar on account of the increasing number of Rohingya refugees in South East Asia. Since 2016 and in particular since…

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If you eat Nsima, you are happy

By Liza Koch

This photo essay is about the process of making Nsima flour, the most important food people eat every day in Malawi.

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Volunteers and refugees in South Korea

by Maaike van Nus

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My body, my walk

by Georgette Veerhuis

Two weeks ago I was catcalled while I was making my way through Hull, a port town located in east Yorkshire. This prompted a reflexive stream of thought on how I consciously and subconsciously moved my body through space. It encouraged me to disentangle both the discomfort I felt and the privileges I enjoy.

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Door Thijl Sunier         Multiculturalisme is uit de mode geraakt. ‘De multiculturele samenleving is mislukt’ konden we politici in Europa niet lang geleden horen roepen. Multiculturalisme wordt geassocieerd met wegkijken, met vrijblijvendheid en cultureel relativisme, en met verkeerd beleid. Tegenwoordig zal je nog weinig mensen tegenkomen die er een warm gevoel bij krijgen.

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