Author Archive | Haidy Geismar
Members of the Emerging Subjects project at UCL and the National University of Mongolia contributed to this post.
What does focusing on gifts given and received during the Lunar New Year tell us about the general economy in Mongolia? Last year we posted our first Lunar New Year Gift Index (LNYGI) and found that the slowing economy shaped how Mongolians celebrated the holiday, with people confining the celebrations to fewer days and opting for more useful gifts (like socks) that support Mongolian businesses. This year, Mongolia’s economy has been shaken further with pressures of increasing public and private debt and the slowdown of commodity prices globally. We found that people bought less over-all in preparation for the Lunar New Year. While prices have decreased (especially the price of meat), the cost of this year’s celebration was very straining. …
is awarded periodically to an author or photographer whose publication, exhibit, website, or other multimedia production exemplifies the use of still photographs (both historical and contemporary) for research and communication of anthropological knowledge. The submission must have a strong visual research perspective along with being good documentary photography and be within five years of the original publication date. Details of the prize and past winners can be found here.
The project must be nominated by a current SVA member and include the consent of the person nominated. A letter of nomination from the SVA member and the supporting material (including name, book title or exhibit, website or multimedia production, publisher, author’s mailing address, phone and email) should accompany three copies of the creative work and be sent to the Committee Chairperson, which must be received by the deadline below. …
This book is partly an attempt to talk to the dead, by looking at (and holding, sniffing, weighing) the Brontës’ things. Fans of the writers who cross the world to gaze at Charlotte’s stockings and Anne’s bloodstained handkerchief, sequestered behind glass, might envy Lutz’s intimacy with these objects. They sometimes speak as eloquently about their owners as the books, maybe because although we may not have written great novels, we all have stuff. We have also all watched CSI, so there is something familiar about Lutz, hunched over a scratch on Emily Brontë’s desk, as she says herself, “Was this a message from the dead, or just the results of a bump into a table?
Christopher Pinney, UCL Anthropology
I recently came across M.N. Srinivas’ observation that his enthusiastic engagement with photography, during his fieldwork in Mysore in the late 1940s, earned him the nickname “chamara man”. He notes that in Kannada chamara denotes whisks made of the long hair from a yak’s tails used by servants to keep flies away from Rajas and by priests to preserve the purity of icons.
In the Madhya Pradesh village where I have worked intermittently since 1982 you will hear echoes of the metaphor that informs the South Indian description of Srinivas as “chamara man”. For instance, Jagdish Sharma, the pujari of the Krishna temple once joked that my video camera embodied “yantra, mantra, [and] tantra”, yantra being the design (“made in Japan”), mantra being the information it stored, and tantra being the magic of technology (its “mashinari”).…
Haidy Geismar, UCL
The movement towards open access has continued to gain momentum in the social sciences, and in anthropology, with important new journals such as Hau; and new movements to develop alternative publishing collectives afoot. I have just stepped down as editor of the Journal of Material Culture where we are moving a little slower. We have committed to ensuring that there is at least one open access article per issue, and Sage has a very generous Green archiving policy which allows the accepted version of an article to be made available immediately. However, Sage owns both the title and the back issues of the journal which makes a transition to fully open access more of a decision to form a completely new title.…
Haidy Geismar, UCL
I recently spent an afternoon at the site of the former twin towers, where now there lies, imprinted on the foundations, one of the largest memorials I have visited, and underneath that a cavernous museum, both dedicated to memorializing the events of September 11, 2001. This review has emerged out that experience and from a conversation with Harvey Molotch who recently wrote a review of the 911 museum at Public Books. Called “How the 9/11 Museum Gets Us” Molotch reflects on the affective qualities of the museum, pulling together a powerfully christian iconography, personalizing the experience by exploring the victims in material detail through their possessions, and whitewashing historical context.
Photography was not allowed inside the main exhibit so the images I present show the memorial, and the outer areas of the museum which allow the visitor to traverse the spectral foundations in the former basement of the building, punctuated by large remnants of the day, such as the Vesey street stairs, one of the few pieces of architecture left in one piece which has been relocated here through to fire trucks and steel girders.…
The School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, and Centre for Digital Humanities Research at the ANU has recently advertised three positions for which we are seeking outstanding and dynamic applicants.
Lecturer, Level B, Museum Anthropology, ongoing appointment, applications close on 15 November
Lecturer, Level B, Museum Studies (Museum and Collections), 5 year appointment, applications close on 17 November
Lecturer, Level B, Digital Humanities, 3 year appointment, applications close on 2 November
A major international conference focused on the intersection of media art and technological change over time. How is this shifting the way museums operate and how conservation works?
Three artists, Susan Hiller, Runa Islam, and Hito Steyerl will launch Media in Transition with their keynote presentations. The conference will promote interdisciplinary in-depth discussions and lively debate about specific works of art including those by Joseph Beuys, David Lamelas, Gustav Metzger, Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Julia Scher.
Hosted by the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute and Tate, this landmark event brings together the major institutions and thinkers at the forefront of responding to the needs of an important group of contemporary artworks.