Life Last Week

Sarah Chinnery, via Trove
  • 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!
  • I am reading and enjoying Runaway: Gregory Bateson, the Double Bind, and the Rise of Ecological Consciousness, a sort of intellectual history of The Late Bateson with attention to the broader cultural context of that time, as well as the deeper intellectual genealogy of Bateson’s thought. It’s an interesting and slightly idiosyncratic angle on Bateson which I look forward to finishing soon.
  • 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!

Life Last Week

When you’re too busy to blog… link!

  • This week I was consumed by a desire to filter and sort ebook offerings at University of Chicago Press’s 75% off ebook sale. I love this sale since Chicago has a lot of titles my library doesn’t hold.
  • 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.
  • Listening around to Jazz and Swing classics had turned me on to Mildred Bailey, a great singer who was also Coeur d’Alene.
  • 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!

Life Last Week

JFK’s coconut shell encased in plastic, via Wikimedia Commons

Friday links

That’s it for now — have a good weekend!

The earliest origins of that one Margaret Mead quote

via goalcast

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 like the 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?

Saturday Links

Several things happened this week:

General Jerry Singirok’s memoir of the Sandline Affair is an inexpensive ebook

I normally don’t shill for Amazon — in fact I go out of my way to get my ebooks elsewhere. However in this case I think a plug is warranted, as they are selling copies of Singirok’s A Matter of Conscience: Operation Rausim Kwik for US$3.99. The book is (according the Amazon) almost 700 pages long. I haven’t had a chance to crack it yet but I suspect this is one any student of PNG history will want to have available, especially for that low price. Paper copies will be scarce, I reckon. Other ebook vendors don’t seem to have it available. So if you are interested in PNG history and have access to US amazon, I’d recommend you purchase a copy.

JSTOR Books Directory

It’s very difficult to navigate the selection of publishers on JSTOR Books, so here are some links to common publishers which will save me (and perhaps you?) some time:

Sahlins memorial piece in the JSO

I have a piece in memory of Marshall Sahlins in the latest issue of the Journal de la Société des Océanistes . This is a more personal piece about Sahlins. Getting it out on a tight deadline resulted in a few typos which are mostly corrected now (although I think the French spelling of ‘Barney’ is used in the article).

It’s hard to talk about the intimate relationship you had with your dissertation advisor. Advisors have a huge impression on you. An impression much larger, I imagine, than you have on them. And of course you never know them as well as their family and close friends, even if you have personal as well as collegial relationship. I hope I struck the right balance, especially since I try to be honest about my (minor) disagreements with Sahlins rather than merely produce a piece full of hero worship.