I’m very proud to announce that my interview with Martha Macintyre is now available, open access, from ANU Press. It is a chapter in the wonderful new volume Unequal Lives: Gender, Race, and Class in the Western Pacific. The volume is a festschrift for Martha, who is a pathbreaking anthropologist who has crossed fields as diverse as feminist anthropology, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of mining. Over the years I’ve learned a lot from her perspective, which is always informed by history and has a keen eye on political economy.
In addition to substantive chapters, the volume has several wonderful personal reflections of Martha and her influence as a teacher. My chapter is a massive distillation of multiple hours of oral history across multiple days. The volume also features pictures of several anthropologists in their younger years if you are a Melanesianist looking for a ‘back to the past’ experience. Martha has been a mentor to many anthropologists, but has never taken it easy on people who deserved to get it hard. Her reminiscences of Derek Freeman paint a dark and, to my mind, accurate picture of his time at the ANU.
I’m so happy this volume came out and that I am a part of it. Go take a look today!
Jaimie’s anthropological work was conducted before her transition under the name James F. Weiner. She was an ethnographer of Papua New Guinea whose work bordered on the philosophical. I worked closely with Jaimie’s children to make sure I honored her wishes regarding how her two lives were reported (she had no issue with dead naming, for instance). I hope those of you who knew Jaimie or read her work will find this obituary honors her memory.
Thanks to Ira Bashkow, Colin Filer, Francesca Merlan, and Alan Rumsey for their support in writing it. Her memory is a blessing.
I’m happy to announce a new podcast episode over at New Books Network. In this episode I interview brother and sister teams Elizabeth and Stephen Ferry. Elizabeth is an anthropologist and Stephen is a photographer, and together they’ve produced La Battea, a book which combines text, images, and design to tell the story of small-scale miners in Colombia in a unique and powerful way. When I say ‘design’ I mean it: the book is physically designed to pull the reader into the topic. Cardboard covers, a specially-chosen paper, and carefully designed chosen fonts provide a unique experience which is topped off by the small piece of gold embedded in the cover.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk with Stephen and Elizabeth Ferry about the design, photography, and text of this book. They also talk about the Kickstarter they ran to create the book, and their decision to produce both Spanish and English language versions that were affordable for local communities. Other questions include: What is it like to write a book with your sibling? How elemental a human experience is mining? I think this is a good one so I hope you will check it out.