View all tags

September 9, 2014

The Authentic Benjamin

we late-moderns turn to Benjamin as a kind of figure of pure authenticity, almost a source out of time and out of history. The reason for this is

July 5, 2013

Scaling Linguistic Diversity

The conference panel, “Scaling Linguistic Diversity: Language Standardization as a Scale-Making Project,” which I organized together with Sonia Das,

April 25, 2013

The doctrine of noninterference

turned into a charter for all around interference for one reason: the occupying power gave itself the prerogative to

September 19, 2012

Gramsci vs. ‘the political’

…the Schmittian concept of the political in reality participates in one of the most venerable illusions of the Western metaphysical tradition:

September 15, 2012

Mathematical Objectivities

The skeptical reader may still be wondering, How exactly does the mathematical discourse relate or apply to the actual, material situations it

September 2, 2012

Who is indigenous?

In recent years, however, when being indigenous can qualify you for particular aid or presenting concerns through the language of indigeneity has

August 30, 2012

Latour: Sociology vs. Science

So we can see why this sociology is so feeble when it ap­proaches the exact sciences. It thinks it can explain hard disciplines in social terms,

January 9, 2010

Teaching Anthropology “In The Field”

Re-posted from Savage Minds. This is a view of the building where I work. The College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University, in

March 22, 2008

Separation of Powers

Photo by 翔 If you ask most people, democracy is synonymous with elections. But, strangely enough, few people who live in electoral democracies feel

October 16, 2007

Ivory Tower vs. Real World

[Cross-posted at Savage Minds] In our discussions about anthropologists in the military the term “ivory tower” has come up again and again, as has

September 20, 2007

Job Announcement

College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University [Taiwan] POSITION DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: The

December 15, 2006

East Asian Libraries and Archives Wiki

As someone who has run several wikis, I know all too well that they are only as good as their user-base, so because I would really, really, like to

November 7, 2006

Open Access Anthropology

We’ve been very busy over at Savage Minds — promoting Open Access at the AAA. See our wiki for a general overview of the subject, or here to see

September 27, 2006

Freshman Chinese

About half of the students at my college are Taiwanese Aborigines. Many of them are able to apply to the school directly, rather than going through

September 12, 2006

Sort of …

Like thousands of others, I’m hooked on The Show: a one year experiment in video blogging by Ze Frank, a web deisgner/performance artist who lives

June 20, 2006

Over at Savage Minds

While some of my readers are also regulars over at Savage Minds, I know not everyone is, so I though I should highlight some of my recent writing

May 18, 2006

Brave New China

In Aldous Huxley’s book Brave New World writers and intellectuals are banished to an island where they have complete freedom to say and do whatever

February 23, 2006

Rubber Stamp

Believe it or not, I was actually given a rubber stamp so that I can rubber stamp all the ridiculous paperwork that we have to deal with. Some memos

February 14, 2006


In India, on January 12th, around one thirty in the morning, back from a long day of filming which had involved over nine hours of driving, I fired

November 7, 2005

Neurobiology vs. Psychoanalysis

My brother reports on how the media is reacting to the riots in France: My favorite TV program for the examination of television, Arrêt sur Images,

November 5, 2005


I long ago discovered that the best way to reduce the amount of SPAM is to have two e-mail addresses, one private and one public. I use the private

October 30, 2005


Words to live by: I’m very paranoid about any metric of productivity. One person’s wasted time is another person’s productivity. For most of my

September 12, 2005

Taiwan Timeline

I’d like to issue a call for anyone and everyone who cares about the study of Taiwanese history to help contribute to the Wikipedia Timeline of

September 9, 2005

Wars and Words

A little horn tooting: My Language in Society book review on both At war with words and War of words: Language, politics and 9/11 has finally been

September 9, 2005

Japanese History

I missed this post by Tak at the time. It discusses the recent availability online of translations of Japanese history textbooks for middle-school:

August 15, 2005


Anyone who knows me will be shocked to find that I’ve been writing about sports, but that is just what I’ve been doing over at Savage Minds. First a

August 3, 2005

Guns, Germs and Steel

Those who haven’t been reading my other blog, Savage Minds, have been missing the huge debate that arose about a couple of posts we wrote on Jared

August 1, 2005

Seediq Bale

Back in January I read about how Taiwanese filmmaker Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖) is planning on making the “first Taiwanese epic,” about an Aborigine

May 20, 2005

Ready to Print

I was going to write another post about what is happening over on Savage Minds but I’m thrilled to pieces with Lorenz’s review, so I’ll just quote

May 17, 2005

Savage Minds

Last September I wrote an article in Anthropology News encouraging my fellow anthropologists to get online. I was frustrated that while there are

May 13, 2005

David Graeber

From an article in Zmag: [Anthropologist] David Graeber, was fired from Yale University a few days ago. Of course, that wasn’t the official

May 6, 2005


I’m a little surprised by Mark Liberman’s remark that Noam Chomsky’s “skepticism about the efficacy of natural selection makes him a natural ally

May 6, 2005


I’m just going to steal Lorenz’ entire blog post, because I have nothing to add, other than the fact I’m always happy to discover another

May 5, 2005

Podcasting Anthropology

Mark Auslander has an interesting post on how his students are using podcasting to create an audio tour for a campus exhibit: I first thought of

May 4, 2005

Anthropology Blogs

Are you an anthropology blogger? If you are, and you aren’t on this list, let me know! {anthropology, blogs}

May 3, 2005


Another anthropology blogger finishes his dissertation! Congrats Alex! {anthropology, Bloggers}

April 27, 2005

Fei Xiaotong

孝通 (1910-2005), who died on Sunday in Beijing, is best remembered for his passion for sociology and anthropology. Full story in the

April 25, 2005


Another victory for students fighting to improve workers’ rights! The second one this month. A groundbreaking agreement improving workers’ rights

April 25, 2005

Anthro Blogs

Alex alerts us to a few new Anthropology blogs. John Norvell has thrown his hat into the ring with, an MT install with a few blogs

April 19, 2005

Anthropology Ballot

This is a message for all those members of the American Anthropology Association out there: I admit it, I normally throw my AAA ballot in the

April 16, 2005


Last year, when I was offered the opportunity to teach a course on anthropology and photography at Haverford College, I immediately knew I wanted to

April 13, 2005

Back in Print

Unfortunately, the realities of the contemporary publishing industry are such that even books which are classics in their field, and which are often

April 12, 2005


Andrea Dworkin, who died today, never claimed that all heterosexual sex is rape. statements that Dworkin makes about the meaning of intercourse are

April 12, 2005

Anthropology Journals via RSS [Feeds]

Very exciting. I just discovered via a discussion on Golublog that CiteULike provides RSS feeds for a number of anthropology journals, including The

April 6, 2005

Online Message Bulletin Board

I wasn’t surprised that the recent AAA member survey regarding the use of various forms of electronic messaging didn’t mention wikis, but I thought

March 27, 2005


I’ve been mulling over how to respond to Mark Liberman’s recent jibe at semioticians. This jibe was provoked by my claim that linguistics should be

March 24, 2005


There are two kinds of academic conferences: those that require participants to submit their final papers, and those that don’t. Neither the

March 23, 2005


Mark Liberman is correct to state that French post-structuralist theory, is not derived from what we, today, consider to be “linguistics,” and if he

March 8, 2005

Free Speech

In my last post on Ward Churchill, I wrote: If Churchill did deliberately misrepresent the work of other scholars, his academic status should be

March 3, 2005


This is a review I posted for the Mac OS X citation management application Bookends. I tried to keep it short, so I didn’t even list all of the new

February 21, 2005


No need to wait for the book, the curious can download my dissertation right now: Learning “Local” Languages: Passive Revolution, Language Markets,

February 15, 2005


In his op-ed today, Krugman mentions that much of the strategy for social security “reform” was laid out in a 1983 article in the Cato Journal. What

February 14, 2005


I have not commented on the Ward Churchill controversy for one simple reason: I’ve never read his work. For those who don’t know, Churchill has

February 3, 2005


“Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America” is an exhibit at the New York Historical Society. I haven’t seen this exhibit, nor do I intend

February 2, 2005


Unfortunately, the SPAMmers have won this round. I’ve had to disable trackback entirely. Although I had already subverted trackback SPAM by

February 2, 2005


I know it has been relatively quiet here the past few weeks. There is a simple explanation for that: I’m teaching again! This semester I’m visiting

December 10, 2004


Done!!! Handed the monster in today. Micro$oft Word failed me at the very end — keeping me up till 4am dealing with crazy formatting issues. I wish

December 8, 2004


Right now I’m double checking all the Chinese text in my dissertation, so I was happy to see this post in Languagelog: Hanzi Smatter is a blog

November 28, 2004


Nathan Newman has an important post about attacks on Columbia University professors who express anti-Israeli views. Professors who have voiced

November 28, 2004


I’m tired of listservs, but I am unfortunately unable to subscribe from many of the ones I belong to. I much prefer blogs, fourms, and wikis, each

November 18, 2004


Even though I’m not yet done with my thesis (three weeks to go!) I decided to reward myself for passing my oral defense by purchasing a Panasonic

November 11, 2004


I’m off to Philadelphia to present the oral defense of my dissertation. Wish me luck. I hope I can get some sleep on the train, because I certainly

November 7, 2004

University Web Sites

If you are an academic department conducting a faculty search: Please either include all the necessary information in the job announcement itself,

October 31, 2004


Philippe Bourgois has written a letter to the Anthropology community, asking them to boycott the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta where the AAA has moved its

October 29, 2004

10 years

How did my Ph.D. take 10 years? First of all, that is the average for a Ph.D. in Anthropology, so it is no big deal. Secondly, it doesn’t seem that

October 28, 2004


After 10 years in a Ph.D. program, I am working on completing the final draft of my dissertation — due next week, and I get this in my e-mail

October 26, 2004

UNITE update

From the San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom threatened Monday to join hotel workers on their picket lines today unless hotel

October 23, 2004


Being a member of the American Anthropological Association is usually fairly boring. Sure, there are your occasional controversies, such as when

October 14, 2004


On MacOSX you can customize the icons for just about anything. Here are the custom icons for two of the folders I use most regularly

October 14, 2004

Derrida Protest

Shaviro writes: I just signed the collective letter of protest being sent by university professors [and others] to The New York Times, in objection

October 10, 2004


Derrida (1930-2004) famously argued that writing preceded speech. By this I believe he meant that the “iterability” of language logically preceded

October 3, 2004

Student I.D.

Joi Ito just got his student I.D. card, and now he can access all those wonderful academic databases, like Lexis-Nexis. His thoughts on this are

October 3, 2004

Open Source Anthropology

My latest Anthropology News article, “Open Source Anthropology” is now available online as a fully editable wiki article. Please feel free to

October 3, 2004


I believe in trying to give credit where credit is due. Some bloggers always put a “thanks,””via,””by way of,” etc. credit in their posts, pointing

September 27, 2004

Encouraging Words

Those of you who have gone through the hell of writing a thesis know what I’m going through right now. My oral defense is scheduled for 60 days from

September 23, 2004

George Bush

Not the President, or his father, but the brother of their ancestor, Timothy Bush. I just visited the New York Public Library’s exhibit: Jewes in

August 30, 2004

“Stop Yelling at the TV and Get Online!”

My article, for Anthropology News, “Stop Yelling at the TV and Get Online!” has just been published. This is the first of a series of articles I am

June 28, 2004


Read this hilarious series of telegraphs between British colonial officials in 1916, there is a punch-line at the end, so read the whole thing. Here

June 14, 2004


I just had to share this amazing picture of a Copepod from the Smithsonian’s web site: “The World of Copepods” I discovered via Mark Liberman’s

June 3, 2004

Patai Review

Earlier I expressed my dismay that the Neocons were so enamored of a book entitled The Arab Mind. As a result of that post, someone brought to my

May 22, 2004

Unknown knowns

That Slavoj Žižek is a funny guy, running around making Lacanian jokes about Rumsfeld, but I have to admit he has a good point (emphasis added): In

May 21, 2004


Stanley Fish has an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Why We Built the Ivory Tower” in which he argues that academics should stay out of

May 20, 2004


Geoffrey Pullum’s scathing letter to William Raspberry about Ebonics reminds me of how hard it was for me to teach about Ebonics to undergraduates.

May 19, 2004


I’ve had to look fairly hard for anyone else in the blogsphere who is as upset as I am about the idea that there is something we can call The Arab

May 14, 2004


There have been a couple of posts I’ve read recently referring to the Zimbardo experiment in discussing Abu Ghraib. The best one was by Rivka, who

May 12, 2004

ah-boo GRAYB

A few days ago, Mark Liberman posted a link to this Global Security web site with information on the proper pronounciation and meaning of the prison

May 2, 2004

Robber Barron

I enjoyed this post from John & Belle Have a Blog: I see that one W. Folsom has written a book entitled The Myth of the Robber Barons … Well, as a

April 28, 2004

Language Reform

Konrad Lawson, whom I’ve long known only as the person behind the Macintosh software company Fool’s Workshop, has an excellent blog, Muninn, which I

April 27, 2004


For much of history, the science of biology was the science of classification. As can be seen by the text accompanying this image (from a web page

April 25, 2004


A while a go I wrote a post asking, why can’t academic research be more like blogging? Well, I’m happy to say that I am not the only one thinking

April 11, 2004


Mahmood Mamdani is, in my mind, the most important living writer on the violence of politics and the politics of violence. In his work on

April 5, 2004


Via both BoingBoing and LanguageLog, a very disturbing story about how the Academy of Art University in San Francisco is attempting to control the

April 5, 2004

Science Courts

Chris Mooney (who still doesn’t have an RSS feed) has an interesting post about how Republicans have undermined important public policy initiatives

April 2, 2004


A while back I wrote about how much better academic research would be if academic publishing was more like blogging. The catch, of course, is the

March 25, 2004


It is possible to finish your dissertation and blog at the same time!!! Even more evidence of this in the comments over at Crooked Timber. Very

March 13, 2004


The March 8th issue of the New Yorker has an excellent article (by Claudia Roth Pierpont) on Franz Boas (1858-1942), the “father” of American

March 8, 2004


Reading this BBC article about Putin: I expected criticism. After all, her son had died fighting Mr Putin’s war. It was the Russian president who

February 28, 2004


Not satisfied with casting the future of international relations as the struggle between White Protestants and the rest of humankind, Samuel P.

February 25, 2004


Scott Sommers discusses some of the shortcomings of the Social Science Citation Index. I would add that the problem goes beyond the fact that the

February 24, 2004


Professor Schama is calling for a return to a “golden age” of historians of the calibre of Gibbon, Macaulay and Carlyle. He says modern-day

February 19, 2004


Preeminent Scientists Protest Bush Administration’s Misuse of Science Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science Recipients, and Other Leading

February 19, 2004


Truth died a little today. I know it sounds trite, but how else to talk about the death of Jean Rouch, who died in a car crash in Niger at the age

November 10, 2003


Languagehat has a post about Berlusconi’s bad grammar in Italian. He quotes from a recent New Yorker article: His grammar is dreadful. He gets the

November 10, 2003


In an e-mail discussion about Congress’ efforts to make funding for area studies conditional on “loyalty”, someone alerted me to a story from back

November 2, 2003


There has been a lot of discussion of late about the Lakoff interview on how the left needs to learn how to better “frame” issues, in order to

October 22, 2003


Scholars outing rabid anti-Americanism in our own universities …. no, this isn’t the McCarthy hearings on un-American activities, it is the House

September 25, 2003


Edward Said, the world-renowned scholar, writer and critic has died aged 67, it was announced today. Here is one of the last things he published

August 21, 2003


Anyone who has lived in East Asia knows about bushiban. That’s the Mandarin word used in Taiwan for these “cram schools” which have their

August 11, 2003


Opposition to Bilingual Education is popping up again in yet another state — this time its Florida: The unfortunate reality is that it takes away

August 9, 2003


The split between the GOP and the scientific community began during the administration of Richard Nixon. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, protests

July 22, 2003


Dr. Josephine Ho, one of Taiwan’s leading researchers and political activists on issues of gender and sexuality is under attack for having linked to