“The Netherlands Meat Land” Campaign: Towards an Ethnography of Meat

By Irene Stengs On 1 September 2022, the Dutch Central Organisation for the Meat Industry (COV, Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector), a partnership consisting of organizations involved in the production and processing of meat (butchers, farmers, fodder companies), launched their online platform Nederland Vleesland (see for the partners constituting the Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector [COV]). With the Vleesland campaign the COV started a ‘societal dialogue’ under the slogan ‘The Netherlands Meat Land where tastes differ’ (Nederland Vleesland waar smaken verschillen), in order to tell ‘the story’ of meat in a more nuanced way. The point of departure is the …

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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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A picture of a trocha through which David passes almost every day to reach Cúcuta.

Localising the pandemic: Understanding global disruption through online media

by Maddalena Conte It does not happen every day that a worldwide crisis completely overturns a discipline’s research methods, giving no choice but to experiment with new practices. This is exactly what is going on in anthropology due to the Covid-19 pandemic: by not being able to go “in the field”, which, anyways, would probably be empty, ethnographers need to expand their methodological horizons, and, together with most areas of life, take research online. In my case, as a second-year Cultural Anthropology student, I gladly accepted Professor Eva van Roekel’s offer to assist her in pioneering social media research, on …

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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 August 2017 the violence against Rohingya in Myanmar has intensified. More and more horrific stories about murder and torture have come out, and more than 600.000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. As the most prominent representative of the Myanmar government, Aung San Suu Kyi receives fierce criticism, because she does not speak out against these criminal acts. In the meantime the Myanmar government even has …

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Occupational Hazards: experiences of a PhD student

By Martijn Dekker The following text was presented as a column at the yearly PhD/MSR student conference of the VU Graduate School for Social Sciences, on the 23rd of September 2011. I would like to use this opportunity to talk to you about the notion of ‘occupational hazards’.  Usually, these two words refer to dangerous situations that might occur at your workplace. Or injuries that can be caused by work-related activities.  Interestingly enough, ‘Occupational Hazards’ is also the provisional title of my dissertation. But, since my research topic, which deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is all over the news every day already, …

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