The Possibiities of Remaking History

Dannah sends this in, viz. our conversation about Lisa Lowe's analysis of creative remakings of history through fiction and verbal art:

The Blacklist

Grace sends these in:

Here's a link to the actual pdf published by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (headed by Lynne Cheney and Joe Lieberman):

Here's a link to one of many critiques of it, this one by an anthropologist:

James Ferguson Talk in Nov.

Lolan sends this along --

November 28th: Mr. James Ferguson
Chair and Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Author of Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order; Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt; Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of Field Science; Culture, Power and Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology; and The Anti-Politics Machine: ‘Development,’ Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho.

More details are here.

Intimacy in a Neoliberal Age

The proofs of my article, “Intimate Dependence and its Risks in Neoliberal Japan,” forthcoming from AQ. Please remember that it’s the penultimate version, so you’ll still see a few (since corrected) typos.

This paper examines how contemporary Japanese women are negotiating neoliberal standards for independence in relation to cultural norms and personal desires that encourage dependence in romantic relationships. In recent decades, neoliberal standards of maturity have become increasingly visible in Japan, and many marital counselors offer advice suggesting that independent, atomized selves are a key to happiness. Yet many women express ambivalence at this formula and instead find romantic possibility in dependent relationships. I examine how women are contesting these opposing standards by focusing on advice surrounding naming practices between spouses. [Keywords: Japan, divorce, intimacy, neoliberalism, dependence]

Kingdom of Heaven Traveling Licenses

Grace sends this link in, to, well, God’s Government on Earth. They also provide driver’s licenses.


By Ryan Sayre
I really can’t think of a better example of what we might call an anthropological ethos of urgency than a


roadside postbox in the time of war. During the OAS terrorist campaigns in Algeria in the 1960s, a foreign journalist turns to a colleague with this story: 
“I remember asking another Japanese reporter how he managed to file his stories. “I send many by post,“ he said. “Mine are not urgent news stories.“ As he talked, he pointed to a letterbox outside the Aletti Hotel, which, he told me, he always used. A sticker, in French, on the box, read: “Do not post letters here. Owing to the circumstances, collections have been discontinued since February 12.“ We were in May.
The anthropologist offering this anecdote gives it as a brief interlude of humor, a gentle ribbing of the journalistic field, a little snatch of good-humored racism. I wonder, however, whether, just for shits and giggles, we might hold our laughter for a moment and try taking the Japanese reporter at his word? What I mean is, let's just assume for a moment that he means what he says about the non-urgency of his dispatches. Let’s assume he 
parles French like a Bonaparte, has a semiotician’s eye for signage, and makes use of this out-of-service postbox for no reason other than that it strikes him as the most suitable place to store observations on a situation too liquid to be touched in the immediate present. The postbox in which our reporter stuffs his dispatches is a kind of time capsule, yes, but rather than the tin boxes we buried as children that wait idly for the arrival of some pre-established future date, these dispatches are attentively listening, devoting themselves to the moment when the ping of empty copper shell casings gives over to the jingle of a mailman’s steel keyring. 
… More here.

Cases of Human Rights in a Globalized World

Mary very helpfully dug through case books to find more examples for us, given our conversation about the continuing important of the state in a globalized world.

PDF here.

Corporations and Human Rights

Mary sends in the case she mentioned in class:

I was able to find the text of one of the corporation/human rights cases I referred to in class electronically.  It is here (Dole Foods Case).  This case deals with issues of sovereignty, and whether a corporation is tied enough to a national government as to allow it to seek immunity from civil suit under the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act.  This is a central theme, and a Catch-22, for the topic--if a corporation is not sufficiently "state-like" it often does not have to uphold international conventions or certain constitutional protections (protecting citizens only from state actions), but if it is too "state-like" it may be immune from suit in domestic courts.

Here a packet of newspaper articles and legal articles regarding corporations and human rights that I was able to find on one of my memory sticks.  It's long (about 101 pages), and some articles are more relevant than others--but it provides a brief overview of the topic.  I don't know if people would be interested in it--but I found it useful when I began to research the topic during my last year in law school.

I'll also bring the two books to class--they have the text of two statutes that are key (the Sovereign Immunities Act and the Torture Victims Act), as well as an introduction to the topic (and citations to articles people can read if they are interested).

Audre Lorde quote

Here’s the larger context of the quote I mentioned in class on Tuesday:

[…] Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference -- those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older -- know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master's house as their only source of support. […]

From here.

Language and Humanity

Cathy sends this in -- it’s the TED video she mentioned in class on Tuesday: