Via Haidy Geismar, UCL
The Science Museum Group Journal is a relatively new, and very exciting, open access journal that “provides an innovative voice in discussions worldwide about science and its history, material culture, communication, display and presentation in museums.” [Disclosure – I’m on the editorial board]. Recent issues include a symposium on histories of use and tacit skills, articles on prosthetic limbs, developing museums of chemistry, and a special issue on sound objects.
The journal aims to support early career writers with a writing award:
£500 Academic Writing Prize – Submission date 1 March 2018
The submission deadline for this year’s SMG journal writing prize is 1st March 2018. The prize aims to encourage writing and publication by early career scholars, and winners will receive £500 and the chance to publish in the SMG Journal.…
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gill Conquest on May 5, 2017.
Gill was an exceptional student and an exceptional person. Her interests were broad-ranging, extending well beyond the academic through performances of traditional stories and pantomimes, to writing plays and science fiction, sailing and playing games, and to music and dancing, all alongside her passionate commitment to developing the interfaces of technology and citizenship to support cultural and ecological diversity. She brought a sense of wonder and fun to all of her activities, embracing new experiences and opportunities at every chance with good humour and enthusiasm.
Gill joined the anthropology department as a Masters student in Anthropology, Environment and Development in 2011. Her masters’ dissertation examined the potential of new technologies to support environmental justice movements lead by indigenous peoples.…
Every day this week, Radio Four will air “Objects of Desire” at 12.04, which explores some of the main concerns of Material Culture Studies:
This is the story of how the things we accumulate around us say more than we might imagine about who we are.
“The fate of the object,” said the French thinker Jean Baudrillard, “has been claimed by no-one.” Unless, of course, the object in question is the Mona Lisa or the Albert Jewel. In these programmes, Matthew Sweet will be looking at the other stuff. The cups. The spoons. The knick-knacks. The things we might keep, even if we don’t quite have the room for them.
Through the prism of what people have in their homes, Objects of Desire explores the work of sociologists and anthropologists like Pierre Bourdieu and Mary Douglas, and philosopher Gaston Bachelard, in order to understand the curious mixture of display, memory, emotion and chance that informs the objects we surround ourselves with.
UCL Anthropology launches a joint cross-section seminar series titled “Resilience – Merits and Critique of a Concept.
Beginning after November reading week, the series will use insights from social anthropology, material culture studies, medical anthropology and biological anthropology to explore and critique peoples’ resilience in the face of social and/or ecological difficulty in a range of ethnographic settings.
The seminars will run from 11-1pm in the department and are open to students, academics and the public. For more information follow the link below:
Anthropology & Photography (ISSN 2397-1754) is a new open-access RAI publication series edited by the RAI Photography Committee. Emerging from the international conference of the same name organized by the RAI at the British Museum in 2014, the series will highlight and make available to the widest possible audience the best new work in the field.
We are eager to solicit new contributions from anthropologists and practitioners which could be visual, textual, or somewhere in between.
Guidelines for submission:
Texts should be on average 4-6,000 words, normally with anything up to 30 images. We are interested in the intersections of text and image, and the capacities of the visual to convey anthropological ideas or participate in anthropological debates. We are also interested in supporting publications that are primarily visually based and are interested in the potential of the anthropological photo-essay or extended documentary project.…
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
As I’m sure you are all aware, last week Vanuatu was devastated by Cyclone Pam, battering the country with winds of over 270 mph. The storm knocked out the country’s telecommunications and transport infrastructure and now, just a few days later, it is estimated that more then 70% of the population are left homeless, without adequate drinking water, and without food. The long term prospects for food security are also bad as most of the garden crops that people live off have been destroyed. President Baldwin Lonsdale has announced that the storm had “wiped out” recent development and that “everything” would have to be rebuilt.
Vanuatu is the place that I have worked as an anthropologist since 2000.…
Haidy Geismar, UCL
Last term I taught parallel undergraduate and Masters seminars exploring the creation of knowledge systems in museums and the effects of shifts towards the digital on the organization of knowledge and museum epistemologies. All the students had to create a project that digitally presented a series of objects, drawn from across UCL Museums and Collections and created a new digital collection environment. The project aimed not to create an online exhibition but to think about the potentials, and limitations, of digital representation and modes of organization for creating knowledge about both specific objects and from the collecting together of different objects.…