Rumba is good, even through war, through Ebola

Since returning to Kigoma, Tanzania on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in central Africa for my Fulbright research, I have been looking for two of my Congolese friends.  I was told that they crossed the Lake, and returned to two of the cities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to live– to be together with … Continue reading Rumba is good, even through war, through Ebola

Life as an Insect Inside a Glass Jar: Language Learning Through Immersion

Life as an Insect Inside a Glass Jar:  Language Learning Through Immersion (Sic Semper, Malinowski and the Tropical Beach...) What does it feel like to live as an insect inside a glass jar? The praying mantis was removed from its environment suddenly, and plopped into a clean, bright glass vessel, along with other things that … Continue reading Life as an Insect Inside a Glass Jar: Language Learning Through Immersion

The Eyewitness Fallacy: Are Studies of China Best Done in China, or the British Library?

Ethnographers love to travel.They will always assert that travel is necessary to understand a culture.You need to travel, to feel the culture. And without such exposure, we reason that what is written is less valid because it cannot possibly be written with the critical perspective that local context provides.Or as Bronislaw Malinwoski himself once wrote, … Continue reading The Eyewitness Fallacy: Are Studies of China Best Done in China, or the British Library?