anthropology or bureaucratic white man’s land?

by Sofia

I went to a lecture by a published anthropologist that will go unnamed. It obliterated any notions of staying in academia.

Points of note:

  • Lecture was sterile; divorced from subjects and over their heads, perhaps purposefully?
  • Herskovits imagined his book Myth of the Negro Past would create for them a history and shared heritage so that they could feel confident and move forward with a renewed sense of self. In other words: white men destroyed their culture, so white people will reconstruct a history and heritage to be proud of. This saviour mentality is a well-meaning but ultimately misguided paternalistic wish to help because they cannot help themselves.
  • ignorance ≠ objectivity
  • Ruth Landes went to McMaster
  • We are not outside of history and politics but we can still do good work (but how do we make sure of it?)
  • “Master’s tools can never dismantle the master’s house.” So let’s kill anthropology as we know it.
  • Praxis vs. applied anthropology
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