Welcome to our podcast, a series of Conversations in Anthropology@Deakin, produced by Timothy Neale and David Boarder Giles (along with our fabulous guest hosts) with support from the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University.
Each episode several of the teaching and research staff from Deakin Anthropology sit down to chat with a visiting anthropologist. Our conversations range from our own research projects, to the state of the discipline, or the role anthropology can play in the transformations and tribulations of the twenty-first century. We hope these conversations will introduce anthropologists to each others’ work, enrich students’ pallets for anthropological inquiry, and above all offer up powerful new ideas with which to make sense of the modern world for a broad audience of people with an interest in life, the universe, and anthropology.
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In this episode, host David Giles and guest host Melinda Hinkson(Deakin University) are joined by Elizabeth Povinelli, Lorraine Lane, Linda Yarrowin, Cecelia Lewis, Sandra Yarrowin, members of the Karrabing Film Collective to talk about their films and their Country. Karrabing is a community of Indigenous Australians who make films that analyse and represent their contemporary lives, and also keep their country alive by acting on it. In the process, they seek to integrate their parents and grandparents ways of life into their contemporary struggles to educate their children, create economically sustainable cultural and environmental businesses, and support their homeland centres. The Karrabing Collective have produced and tour internationally with films such as Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, The Jealous One, and the winner of best short film at the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival, When Dogs Talked. In addition, Povinelli is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. She’s the author of books such as Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism and Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. She has been working with Karrabing people in Northern Australia for over twenty years. For more about the Karrabing Collective, you can follow them on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/Karrabing-Indige…140878209304639/
What’s a genetic dream? What are psychiatry’s truths? We are back from a brief break with a conversation about all this and much more between David, Tim, Eben Kirksey (Deakin University) and our visiting guest Nikolas Rose. For those who do not know him, Nikolas is a Professor of Sociology and one of the founders of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College, London. Most broadly, his work explores what it means to be human, and the ways in which science and expertise have transformed the very possibilities of the human culturally, politically, and even biologically. He is the author of numerous influential books on power, governance and the self including ‘Powers of Freedom: Reframing political thought’ (Cambridge, 1999), ‘The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, power, and subjectivity in the twenty-first century’ (Princeton, 2009) and most recently ‘Our Psychiatric Future’ (Wiley, 2018).
Episode 16 comes to you from the recent Anthropocene Campus Melbourne, where Timothy managed to catch up with Alison Kenner and Siad Darwish for a conversation. We talk about pollution, asthma, making things legible, the utility of ‘the Anthropocene’, and much more.
Alison Kenner is Assistant Professor in the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Drexel University. Her anthropological work focuses on the study of contemporary health practices, and how biomedical science and emerging technologies shape the way we understand and care for chronic disease conditions. Her work can be found in a number of journals, including Health, Risk and Society and Cultural Anthropology, and her book Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change will be published by University of Minnesota Press in November 2018.
Siad Darwish is an anthropologist who explores how unequal economic and socio-political orders are inscribed in bodies and landscapes through environmental pollution. He holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he recently defended his dissertation, Waste and the Environmental Legacies of Authoritarianism in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia. You can find his work in Anthropological Forum and in the 2017 book Global Africa edited by Dorothy Hodgson and Judith Byfield.
We are firmly in our teens now, back in your feed with Episode 16. In this episode, David is accompanied in his hosting duties by Sam Balaton-Chrimes, Lecturer in Politics at Deakin University. Their guest is Akhil Gupta, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles and also a visiting Professor of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. This episode, like Akhil’s work, explores questions of transnational capitalism, infrastructure, and corruption, primarily in India. Akhil’s work has become required reading across the discipline, interrogating anthropological theory from the margins, drawing on critiques of development, postcoloniality, globalization, and the state. Most recently, he has been investigating the phenomenon of the call centre and what it can tell us about the future of global capitalism. He has written and edited numerous books including Postcolonial Developments: Agriculture in the Making of Modern India (Duke University Press, 1998), to most recently Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India (Duke University Press, 2012).
In our 14th episode, we are lucky enough to get in a room with both Niko Besnier and Ghassan Hage. In this episode, our guests cover a raft of topics befitted of their wide interests, including discussions of ‘the global’, the political economy of sport, public anthropology, activism in academia and… knowing your enemies! Niko is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and, this year and last year Research Professor in the Department of Social Inquiry at La Trobe University here in Melbourne. He has an extraordinary list of achievements to mention, including that he is the author of books such as On the Edge of the Global: Modern Anxieties in a Pacific Island Nation and Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics, has written prolifically on the topics of gender, sexuality and sport in the Pacific, and is editor-in-chief of the journal American Ethnologist. Ghassan is Future Generation Professor of Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of four books, including White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society and, most recently, Is Racism an Environmental Threat?
(Transcript available here.)
In Episode 13, we hand over the microphones to Mythily Meher, Hannah Gould, Martha Macintyre and Tanya King for a special roundtable on the place of the #metoo movement in the work-lives of anthropologists. Mythily and Hannah are part of the #metooanthro campaign, advocating for a safer, more just, discipline. They use this conversation with feminist anthropologists of different generations to consider how the #metoo movement against sexual assault and harassment might affect, or even alter, the cultures and institutions surrounding anthropology, and to imagine the possible futures that may come of this. Mythily Meher is an anthropologist and sessional academic, currently lecturing in Gender and Culture Studies at Sydney University. She tweets at @tythily. Hannah Gould is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. Get in touch at hannahgould.com and twitter @hrhgould. Martha Macintyre is an Associate Professor and Honorary Senior Fellow in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor at The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland. Tanya King is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Deakin University.
In Episode 12, we are lucky enough to be joined by Paige West and Jo Chandler for a conversation about many things, including Papua New Guinea, the ethics of representation, decolonising scholarship, and the promises of development and conservation. For those who don’t know her work, Paige is an anthropologist who investigates the relationship between societies and their environments. She is the Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and Colombia University and has authored numerous books on conservation and our relationships with environments, including Conservation is Our Government Now: the Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea (Duke, 2006) and Dispossession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea (Columbia, 2016). Jo Chandler is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written about environmental concerns around the world, including Papua New Guinea. She has been covering Papua New Guinea for a decade now, and is the author of the award-winning book Feeling the Heat (Melbourne, 2011). Jo also lectures in journalism at University of Melbourne.
We’re back, live from Tim’s lounge! Episode eleven see the podcast return to a roundtable format with two outstanding anthropologists who’ve both recently published books about land rights and development in Papua New Guinea: Monica Minnegal and Victoria Stead. Monica is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne many years working with Gubor and Bedamuní people in Papua New Guinea, studying the impacts of modernity on their understandings and practices. Most recently, Monica is the author, with Peter Dwyer, of Navigating the Future: An Ethnography of Change in Papua New Guinea (ANU Press, 2017). Victoria is DECRA Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. Her research has a strong Pacific focus, and she is the author of Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste (University of Hawaii Press, 2017).
Some further reading:
Minnegal M and Dwyer PD. (2017) Navigating the future: An ethnography of change in Papua New Guinea, Canberra: ANU Press.
Stead V. (2017) Becoming landowners: Entanglements of custom and modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Minnegal M, King TJ, Just R, et al. (2003) Deep identity, shallow time: sustaining a future in Victorian fishing communities. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 14: 53-71.
Minnegal M, Lefort S and Dwyer PD. (2015) Reshaping the social: A comparison of Fasu and Kubo-Febi approaches to incorporating land groups. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 16: 496-513.
Stead V. (2015) Homeland, territory, property: Contesting land, state, and nation in urban Timor-Leste. Political Geography 45: 79-89.
Stead V. (2018) History as Resource: Moral Reckonings with Place and with the Wartime Past in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea. Anthropological Forum.
Episode 10! Once again, one of the pod-hosts is off on their own – this time David Giles presents a conversation he recorded with Hugh Gusterson about a wide range of topics including public anthropology, the ethics of activist-inspired fieldwork, secrets, and academic precarity. Hugh Gusterson is a professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University. Previously, he taught at MIT’s program on Science, Technology, and Society, and at George Mason’s Cultural Studies program. His expertise is in nuclear culture, international security, and the anthropology of science. He has written two books on the culture of nuclear weapons scientists and antinuclear activists: Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War (University of California Press, 1996) and People of the Bomb: Portraits of America’s Nuclear Complex (University of Minnesota Press, 2004). Gusterson also co-edited Why America’s Top Pundits Are Wrong (University of California Press, 2005) and its sequel, The Insecure American (University of California Press, 2009). He is currently writing a book on the polygraph.
Some further reading:
Gusterson H. (1998) Nuclear rites: A weapons laboratory at the end of the Cold War: University of California Press.
Gusterson H. (2007) Anthropology and militarism. Annual Review of Anthropology 36: 155-175.
Gusterson H. (2017) Homework: Toward a critical ethnography of the university AES presidential address, 2017. American Ethnologist 44: 435-450.
Our ninth episode comes from a conversation recorded at the ‘A Crisis of Expertise?’ symposium at the University of Melbourne. At the symposium, Tim caught up with Andy Stirling (SPRU, Sussex) and Matthew Kearnes (UNSW) to talk about ‘policy-engaged research’, policy expertise, and activism in the boardroom.
Andy Stirling is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at Sussex University. He has a background in the natural sciences, a master’s degree in archaeology and social anthropology and a D.Phil in science and technology policy. Formerly a board member of Greenpeace International, Andy has worked in collaboration with a diverse range of organisations. His research interests include technological risk, innovation policy, scientific uncertainty and public involvement in decision-making, and he has been involved in developing some participatory appraisal methods.
Associate Professor Matthew Kearnes is a member of the Environmental Humanities group, in the School of Humanities & Languages at UNSW. Matthew’s research is situated between the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS), human geography and contemporary social theory. His current work is focused on the social and political dimensions of nanotechnology and synthetic biology, climate change and society, and the social and political dimensions of climate modification and geoengineering.
Some follow-up reading:
Stirling A. (2014) Transforming power: Social science and the politics of energy choices. Energy Research & Social Science 1: 83-95.
Stirling A. (2008) “Opening up” and “closing down” power, participation, and pluralism in the social appraisal of technology. Science, Technology, & Human Values 33: 262-294.
We’re back for 2018 with our eighth episode, recorded at the 2017 American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, DC. Amidst the academics scrambling between seminars, our very own David Giles tracked down fellow anthropologists Elana Resnick (UC Santa Barbara) and Chloe Ahmann (George Washington University) for a conversation about their work, the social dimensions of waste, the value of theory, and much else besides!
Dr Elana Resnick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include environmental justice, materiality, waste management, racialization, nuclear energy, informal economies, urban infrastructure, postsocialism, EU integration, the Romani diaspora, and humor. Based on over three consecutive years of fieldwork in Bulgaria conducted on city streets, in landfills, Roma neighborhoods, executive offices, and at the Ministry of the Environment, her current book manuscript examines the juncture of material waste management and racialisation, specifically highlighting the intersection between physical garbage and the Roma minority, often considered “social trash” throughout Europe.
Dr Chloe Ahmann is a graduate of George Washington University. Her work takes up the future as a political object, and it considers what state efforts to think and enact the future look like from the sedimented space of late industrialism. Many of her research sites materialize the tension between past and future – and more specifically between decline and desire – that weights the late-industrial experience. Her current project, Cumulative Effects: Reckoning Risk on Baltimore’s Toxic Periphery, explores the historical and embodied dimensions of risk from the perspective of a community in south Baltimore over a 200-year period, querying how residents’ past experiences with risk inform their present-day opposition to a proposed incinerator. This project takes anticipatory interventions that are typically theorized as issues of futurity and considers their multiple temporal inflections.
In this seventh episode of the Anthropology@Deakin podcast, David Giles and Timothy Neale are joined by Lara Fullenweider to discuss belonging, pastoralism and the intercultural with Cameo Dalley (University of Melbourne). Cameo is the McArthur Postdoctoral Fellow in anthropology at the University of Melbourne. Her current research project has investigated the multiple realms in which kardiya and Ngarinyin Aboriginal belonging is manifest in the Kimberley region. She has published on topics of identity, indigeneity and the intercultural and her most recent publication examines education-driven mobility for Indigenous youth.
This episode, our hosts, David Boarder Giles and Tim Neale, interview Dr Eve Vincent, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, at Macquarie University. Our conversation covers her research on Aboriginal critiques of native title legislation, human-environment relationships, and her upcoming project, dealing with the interracial and intraracial politics of disgust, compassion, suffering, and cashless welfare trials in the outback town of Ceduna.
This episode, our hosts Tim Neale and David Boarder Giles, along with Deakin cultural geographer Louise Johnson, interview Tim Edensor, a cultural geographer from Manchester Metropolitan University, and currently a visiting scholar at Melbourne University. We explore Tim’s prolific career, from tourism to nationalism to industrial ruins, but we spend the most time talking about his most recent work, “From Light to Dark: Daylight, Illumination and Gloom”, and about the power behind the ways in which illumination and darkness shape our landscapes (pun intended).
Deakin anthropologists Tim Neale and David Boarder Giles, along with Andrea Whitcomb, (Professor of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies in the School of Arts and Education and Deputy Director of the Alfred Deakin Institute), interview Frederic Keck, a researcher at the CNRS Laboratory of Social Anthropology and Director of the Research Department of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. Together we talk about Keck’s work with the “post-structuralist” Claude Levi Strauss, the challenges of curating museum exhibits in the post-colonial era, and the ways in which humans imagine risk through their relationships with animals and vice versa.
Deakin anthropologists Tim Neale and David Boarder Giles, along with Jill Blackmore of Deakin Education, interview Cris Shore of the University of Auckland about audit culture in the university, the global knowledge economy, and the anthropology of policy.
Deakin anthropologists Tim Neale, Emma Koval, and David Boarder Giles interview Eben Kirksey of Senior Lecturer and the Environmental Humanities Convener at University of New South Wales, about multispecies ethnography, the meaning of “life,” and why we might want to make fridges for frogs.
Deakin anthropologists Tim Neale and Sabra Thorner interview one of our own, David Boarder Giles, about homelessness, urban economies, food insecurity, manufactured scarcity, and the biopolitics dumpster-diving.