Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is a political anthropologist who studies kinship, customary land tenure, and the mining and petroleum industry in Papua New Guinea. He also studies the video game World of Warcraft, and is an advocate for open access scholarly communications. His book "Leviathans at the Gold Mine" was published by Duke University Press.
Bernard Cohn was an important anthropologist and historian of India. His 1987 volume An Anthropologist Among the Historians and Other Essays can be hard to find in digital. Luckily, it anthologizes many papers which are now available on JSTOR in easier to find formats. Here is my reconstructing the table of contents with links to these articles.
Enjoyed Prey on Hulu. If you are into Indigenous Women then it’s your jam. If you are just an average fan of the Predator franchise, I think (to steal a phrase from a friend) if you go into it with medium expectations, then you will find them fulfilled.
Time got away from me last week… here’s what I’ve been up to.
It is necessary to understand tea and (most importantly) have a preference about it when asked by someone who is serving it to you. Very important for dealing with our Five Eyes colleagues (I’m looking at you, Oz). So I thought this tea infographic would help. In fact, I can’t decipher it at all. My struggle to understand tea continues.
Is it just me or is the accent on words like ‘affluent’ and ‘rhetoric’ moving to the middle syllable and not the initial one?
When I was doing my Ph.D. fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, I had a very small amount of music. One of the CDs I had was a collection of Cole Porter’s greatest hits. It included a very hot cover of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Dinah Washington. I finally realized that I could look up the album it was from. Dinah Jams (a live set in from LA in 1954) is now one of my favorite albums.
I recently became intrigued by the work of phenomenologist Gabor Csepregi. When I tried googling him, unfortunately, I could only get results on the olympic swimmer of the same name. It took me a while to realize that they were the same person! Csepregi’s personal story is incredible, including using his swimming powers to flee the Societ Bloc by crossing the Adriatic, discovering his long lost love, unexpectedly encountering his old coach at a local pool, and transforming from athlete to coach/phenomenologist to academic administrator. Amazing.
Happy birthday to Papua New Guinea, which celebrated independence day!
I really enjoyed “Wait For Your Laugh”, the documentary about singer and comedian Rose Marie. Not only was she a great talent, she has an incredible life story. Highly recommended if you grew up watching the Dick Van Dyke Show, or are interested in mob history.
The latest character to be introduced in Marvel Strike Force, the mobile game I play daily, is a Navajo weaver member of the Spiderverse. Gladys Reichard would be tickled, once someone explained to her what the Spiderverse was.
I wrote a short remembrance of Alan Howard for a celebration in his honor — I hope he likes it.
I was interviewed by Jonathan Ritchie for his class at Deakin on the history of Papua New Guinea. It was great fun dusting off the part of my brain that holds all the memories of my First Contact research from ages and ages ago, and of course it’s always a pleasure to talk to Jonathan. It was only when we were in the green room for this talk that we realized how much our careers had paralleled each other. Jonathan Ritchie, man of action: keep going!
I am slogging through The Man Who Fell To Earth on ShowTime. I am a huge Chewitel Ejiofor fan and am amazed at how little I like this show. I would literally watch Ejiofor read a telephone book, but the show is so heavily overproduced that it distracts from the acting — it feels like every streaming service is doing a color-by-numbers book about how to produce Epic TV and ShowTime got the wrong book. Also, there is a whole take in there about what jazz is that jumps the shark and says things that I think are not true about jazz. But I could be wrong about that.
I finished Runaway: Gregory Bateson, the Double Bind, and the Rise of Ecological Consciousness by Anthony Chaney. The book is difficult to summarize, but it spends very little time on environmentalist. It starts as an intellectual history of Bateson’s later years, with a strong focus on the broader intellectual context in which he was writing. Bateson drifts from view towards the end of the book, which is an account of the broader intellectual context of the period with. a strong focus on Bateson. Chaney is very sympathetic, perhaps too sympathetic, to Bateson, and does a good job showing how his experiences in WWII and the early Cold War gave him a lot of elective affinities with countercultural baby boomers. The book is really a unique creation of the author’s personal vision and always well-written — even superbly written at moments. I am not a big Bateson fan but Chaney has helped me appreciate Bateson more. I’d love to talk with him more about the book.
I spent this week fascinated by the photography of Sarah Chinnery. Her images of PNG, famous anthropologists, flower still lives, street scenes, and friends artists and family are all remarkable. I’ve posted many of them over at Highly Accurate Anthros.
This week saw me return to Gephi on a project related to the biography of Marshall Sahlins I’m working on. More soon on this front!
It was the first week of classes here at Mānoa, where we are returning to Normal Life after two years of the pandemic. As a bald professor returning to a campus full of people after two years, I found the smell of shampoo overwhelming!
History of Anthropology Review points out to a few pieces on the renaming of Kroeber Hall, which will be relevant for the history of anthropology just as soon as that renaming is old enough to become history.
Also at History of Anthropology Review I published a long review of Loyer’s biography of Claude Lévi-Strauss. I’m very happy with this piece because it actually evaluates the book rather than merely summarizing it or avoiding saying anything about it altogether, which is what most book reviews do. I’m also satisfied with the prose, which came out well methinks. It is interesting to compare Lévi-Strauss, Firth, and Boas as academic enterpreneurs. Firth and Lévi-Strauss are contemporaries and long-lived institution builders.
I read The Pearl and the Flame by Natan Margalit, the first Rabbi ever born and raised in Hawai‘i. I liked it — and not just because it mentioned by drashing Edward Sapir. Highly recommended if you are Jewish and really into composting.
That’s it for now — have a good week! It will be the first week of school at UH Mānoa!
Murray Chapman, a geographer of the Pacific, passed away on the Big Island after a long career mentoring students, including many Pacific Islanders. The festschrift Oceanic Sojournsis a wonderful collection of reflective essays in his honor. Check out the picture of Chapman and the fam in the Solomon Islands at the beginning of the book.
Reviews in Anthropology has useful interviews with Regna Darnell and Ray Fogelson. The Fogelson interview — conducted by Sergei Kan — is especially candid and great reading, especially for those of us who knew and loved Ray.
Margaret Mead’s quote about how a small group of citizens can change the world can be found all over the Internet. But did she actually say it? And where? The quote is notoriously hard to track down. I’ve tried googling around through And Keep Your Powder Dry and other likely locations but haven’t had much luck locating the origin of this quote. Then something I read — alas, I forget what — pointed me to a book with the quote in it: Earth At Omega: Passage to Planetization by Donald Keys. The book appeared in 1982, but obviously with a title likethe thought is pre-Reagan.
At any rate the quote appears on page 79, at the opening of chapter six. I wonder whether it was something she said at a conference, or often said in conversation? Here’s a screenshot of the quote. I wonder if we can push it back even later in time and find an earlier occurrence?