Who is the Greater Threat to Reading in the Academy? Aggrieved Students, or Budget-cutting Administrators?

Aggrieved students find books dangerous; neoliberal administrators say they're useless. I'd take the former any day Corey Robin is a political science department chair from New York. He finds that bottom-line focused higher education administrators to be a greater risk to an educated society than aggrieved students. He has a provocative essay in Salon “Higher … Continue reading Who is the Greater Threat to Reading in the Academy? Aggrieved Students, or Budget-cutting Administrators?

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (and Other Stuff)

It was 53 degrees this morning where I live at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fall is in the air, which is nice because with the drought going on it’s been a long, hot, and breezy/dry summer in our woods and it’s still fire season, at least until we get our first good … Continue reading How I Spent My Summer Vacation (and Other Stuff)

The Tattooed Professor Has Some New Year’s Resolutions for Academics

The Tattooed Professor (AKA Kevin Gannon) has some New Year's resolutions for academics and they're so good, we wanted to tell you about it. We like the Tattooed Professor here at e.com, we think he's cool and provocative; I like him because he is direct, something we working class people value. This time, the Tattooed … Continue reading The Tattooed Professor Has Some New Year’s Resolutions for Academics

The Psychobiological Nature of the Human Being, Going Back to School, and the Nature of ‘Manpower”

  University classes start on Monday, and once I again I resume my task there of creating students who are “disciplined” to the “seamless into the demands of bureaucratic production.” To do this, we will adjust their very psychobiological nature as a human being to the demands of the university. There will be demands put … Continue reading The Psychobiological Nature of the Human Being, Going Back to School, and the Nature of ‘Manpower”

Why Can’t the School of Oriental and African Studies Fix Their Low Graduation Rates in the Social Anthropology program?

onsidering finishing your PhD on the 30 year plan? It can be done, it seems—Miranda Irving writes about her experiences on the 30 year plan here. Her PhD. in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies was finally awarded in 2015. Embedded in this article is a nice link to what she … Continue reading Why Can’t the School of Oriental and African Studies Fix Their Low Graduation Rates in the Social Anthropology program?

What is More Important in a University, an Assessment Plan for Nebulous Learning Outcomes, or a Climbing Wall?

Anyway, my kids knew where the Climbing Wall was when they attended a private Liberal Arts college.  Somehow they never came home and told me about the Student Learning Outcomes that were presumably on their course syllabi.  There is a very engaging article by Erik Glibert "Does Assessment Make Colleges Better?  Who Knows?" I have … Continue reading What is More Important in a University, an Assessment Plan for Nebulous Learning Outcomes, or a Climbing Wall?

Basic Human Decency and Death by Hanging in Britain’s Colonies

Every once in awhile, I’ll revisit George Orwell. Last week it was for “Shooting an Elephant,” when I lectured here in Thailand about the nature of ethics and state/political power. The essay is great for teaching about the nature of state power, in this case using 1920s Burma where Orwell himself served as a British … Continue reading Basic Human Decency and Death by Hanging in Britain’s Colonies

Indiana Jones Rides Again–Into National Geographic’s Museum!

There is a nice description/analysis at National Geographic which Emma Louise Back posted recently at The Geek Anthropologist.  Such postings manage to make archaeology and popular culture fun at the sme time. Somehow she manages to even get a citation to Agatha Christie into the post.   Here is the link to the article.

Dee Thao’s Movie about Hmong Identity in Laos, Thailand, and the United States

At this time of getting ready for Fall classes, just a reminder that Dee Thao's movie about Hmong identity is an excellent introduction to issues involving the Hmong in the United States and Laos, as well as more generally issues of identity, migration, refugees, family, and generations. It's 24 minutes, which fits well with a discussion. I know that I'm planning on using it this Fall for my International Engagement class. THe link is here.

Encounters with Benjamin Bloom: Part One

For the last few semesters, I have taught a course on "ethnographic methods" to designers in an MFA program. The class itself is my own design but the title was gifted to me. I can't say that I approve of the term "ethnographic methods," but one has to go along at times. In the main, it … Continue reading Encounters with Benjamin Bloom: Part One

What Does Social Science Miss When China is Left Out?

I just came back from China—my fourth trip. This time it was to Jishou University in Hunan Province for a few days. Jishou is the capital city for the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao and Autonomous Prefecture and is in a remote mountainous corner in China. Still it has the hallmarks of every other Chinese city … Continue reading What Does Social Science Miss When China is Left Out?

Initiating Conversations with a Spoiled Identity: The dissonance of language use and race in Germany and Thailand

I taught Erving Goffman’s book Stigma: Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity in Germany last month. One of the things that came up was how students are culturally and linguistically German (i.e. German is their first language) but racially "different" manage their identity as a non-white. In other words, they deal with the dissonance … Continue reading Initiating Conversations with a Spoiled Identity: The dissonance of language use and race in Germany and Thailand