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.

Go read my chapter on ‘Leviathans’

My chapter on ‘Leviathans’ is now available in the new volume Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon from the awesome open access publisher Punctum Books. I’ve long been a fan of Punctum so I was very excited when my editors Cymene and Anand decided to turn our series of blog posts at the journal Cultural Anthropology into a book (you can read my original entry on Leviathans on the CA website). I think of a lot of what I do to be very intellectually dense and ethnographically detailed so I was delighted to be included in this very experimental, humanistic, and artistic endeavour. In fact, if I may say so I think the contributors list to this volume really reflects the zeitgeist of turn-of-the-decade anthropology so… I guess I made the cut! If you like the book, please consider donating to Punctum Books. The spice must flow, if you see what I’m saying.

Go read my new encyclopedia article on mining!

I’m very happy to announce that my new entry on ‘mining’ is now available on the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology. I worked pretty hard on this piece so… I hope you like it!

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology (CEA) is a peer-reviewed, open access reference work with some great topics and authors. It does a great job of making anthropology available to the public. The pieces are much longer than a normal encyclopaedia article, they are signed, and they have citations — my piece is basically a condensed literature review. The accessibility of the entries varies widely. Some are really good for the general reader, while others are more specialised. But over all I think the project is very useful and I’m glad I contributed to it.

There are a lot of long, more in-depth reviews of the anthropology of mining out there. I think especially of the reviews by Godoy, Ballard and Banks, and Jacka in Annual Review of Anthropology. But if you don’t have access to that serial, or if you just want something shorter, I hope you’ll take a look at my piece. It was a mind-expanding, exhausting experience trying to synthesise al the literature I had to read for it. In particular, I learned that I will never be able to keep up with the massive streams of work on ASM (artisanal and small-scale mining) issuing forth out of Europe. But it was still a fun challenge to do my best. If you think I totally mischaracterised your work or anyone else’s… let me know. And if I didn’t then hey… maybe this piece will be valuable in the long run to people new to anthropology and mining!