A podcast about life, the universe and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. Each episode features an anthropologist or two in conversation, discussing anthropology and what it has to tell us in the twenty-first century. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and with support from the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University.
Episode #45: Will Smith and Monica Minnegal
In this episode, Tim sits down with Associate Professor Monica Minnegal to chat to Dr. Will Smith, an environmental anthropologist and research fellow at Deakin University. Will’s book, ‘Mountains of Blame: Climate and Culpability in the Philippine Uplands’ recently published with University of Washington Press, explores the political ecologies of forests in relation to the experiences and effects of climate change on the island of Pala’wan, in the Philippines.
This conversation tackles some thorny questions around Indigenous understandings of changing climates, the refusal by communities to be categorized by governments as vulnerable victims or resilient saviours, and more-than-human relations marked by fear and violence, rather than reciprocity, flourishing, or love. As Will states, the forests are full of malevolent spirits, and he has been bitten by a lot of stuff in the forests of Pala’wan.
Enjoy this great conversation between Will Smith, Monica Minnegal, and Tim Neale.
Lead Production: Tim Neale
Editing: Mythily Meher, Tim Neale, and Matt Barlow.
This episode was recorded by Tim Neale on the lands of Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
Check us out on twitter @ anthroconvo.
Episode #44: Fred Myers and Jason Gibson
Cameo Dalley talks to Fred Myers (Silver Professor at New York University) and Jason Gibson (Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow at Deakin University), both of whom work on Aboriginal Australian ceremony and material culture. The conversation roams over reflections on happenstance in their careers, the making of and reception of their work, and the evolving role of the anthropologist and anthropological knowledge in Indigenous communities.
Gibson, Jason M (2020) Ceremony Men Making Ethnography and the Return of the Strehlow Collection, SUNY Press, Albany, N.Y.
Myers, Fred (1986) Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place, and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines Smithsonian Institution Press, Wash., D.C. (reprinted in paperback by University of California Press, 1991)
Myers, Fred (2002) Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art. Durham: Duke University Press.
Myers, Fred (2019) The Difference that Identity Makes: Indigenous Cultural Capital in Australian Cultural Fields. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
Remembering Yayayi (film) Directors, Pip Deveson, Fred Myers, Ian Dunlop.
This episode was produced by Cameo Dalley on the lands of the Boonwurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation, and it was edited by David Boarder Giles and Mythily Meher.
Episode #43: Imelda Miller and Olivia Robinson
In this episode, Cameo speaks with Imelda Miller, of the Queensland Museum, and Olivia Robinson, of the State Library of Queensland. With over two decades of curatorial work and collaboration, they not only share their insights about collection and exhibition, but — as an Australian South Sea Islander and Bidjara woman, respectively — they share their insights about reimagining curation itself in a way that engages, empowers, and gives voice and agency to their communities.
Episode #42: Hugh Raffles
We are delighted to bring you a conversation between Matt, Tim, and Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought at The New School, Hugh Raffles. Raffles is the author of three books. The first of which, In Amazonia: A Natural History, is an ethnography about how rivers and humans co-constitute one another in the east Amazon of Brazil. Raffles’ second book, Insectopedia, is a collection of tales about humans and insects that takes us from the discovery of language among bees to artistic representations of contaminated butterfly wings in Chernobyl. His most recent book, The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on Lost Time, is a bracing tale of time, memory, and loss, written through stories of stone. Across all three books Raffles has developed a deeply philosophical, historical, and poetic way of writing stories anthropologically that remain open to readers beyond the academy. What Raffles does with these subjects, in researching and writing about them, is somewhat alchemical, spinning them into meditations on humanity that are searing, deep, and evocative, like art; his fascination on the page is contagious. We hope you enjoy this conversation with Hugh Raffles, on his career and process, what he is learning from newer generations of anthropologists, crafting an authorly voice, and supporting others to find and craft theirs.
Hartman, S 2019. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women and Queer Radicals. WWNorton Press, New York.
Stepanova, M 2021. In Memory of Memory. Fitzcarraldo Editions, London, England.
This episode was produced by Matt Barlow and Timothy Neale, and edited by Matt Barlow, Timothy Neale, and Cameo Dalley. Conversations in Anthropology is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society and made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association.
Episode #41: Kathleen Belew, Britt Halvorson, Joshua Reno, and Alexandra Minna Stern
This episode brings together historians and anthropologists to explore questions that are anthropological in scale: race, racism, whiteness, white supremacy, and white nationalist movements in North America and Europe. Kathleen Belew is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago, whose book, Bring the War Home, explores the recent history of white nationalist movements and organising in the years between the Vietnam War and the Oklahoma City bombing. Alexandra Minna Stern is a Professor of History, American Culture and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan, whose work has investigated the intersections of eugenics, racism, and gender in American politics. Her most recent book is Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate. Britt Halvorson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colby College whose most recent work, along with our fourth guest, has turned to investigate the ways in which whiteness and white supremacy are embedded in narratives of Mid-Western identity and place-making. Their forthcoming book is provisionally titled Real Americans: A Global History of the Midwest and White Supremacy. And Joshua Reno is a Professor of Anthropology at Binghamton University, and the co-author, with Britt, of Real Americans.
Episode #40: Sarah Besky and Mythri Jegathesan
Pop the kettle on and sit back for our first 'tea' themed episode! For this episode, Matt invited Michael Dunford, a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at ANU whose research explores labour, language, and tea in Myanmar, to join him in conversation with Sarah Besky and Mythri Jegathesan.
Sarah Besky is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor in the International Labour and Labour Relations School at Cornell University. Her research uses ethnographic and historical methods to study the intersection of labor, environment, and capitalism in the Himalayas. Her work analyzes how materials and bodies take on value under changing political economic regimes and explores the diverse forms of labor that make and maintain that value.
Her first book, The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India (University of California Press, 2014) explores how legacies of colonialism intersect with contemporary market reforms to reconfigure notions of the value of labor, of place, and of tea itself. Her second book, Tasting Qualities: The Past and Future of Tea (University of California Press, 2020) blends historical and ethnographic research on science, value, and the idea of quality in the tea industry to analyze efforts at economic reform in India. Another book, How Nature Works: Rethinking Labor on a Troubled Planet (SAR Press, 2019), a volume co-edited with Alex Blanchette, brings together contemporary theoretical conversations in posthumanism with classic and continually relevant questions about political economy, precarity, and the meanings of work.
Sarah’s new research explores the intersections of agricultural extension and experimentation, colonial and postcolonial governance, and the everyday productive and reproductive work of farming in the Himalayan region of Kalimpong, West Bengal.
Mythri Jegathesan is a cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Santa Clara University. Her research focuses on gender, labor, minority politics, and development in the Global South, and has explored the social and economic experiences of Tamil women tea plantation residents and workers in Sri Lanka, where she has conducted field research since 2005. She is currently researching the first women's trade union in Sri Lanka, the dynamics of transnational organizing across formal and informal employment sectors, and the changing development practices of local NGOs in postwar Sri Lanka. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, American Association for University Women, and American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. Her first book 'Tea & Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Postwar Sri Lanka', published in 2019 by the University of Washington Press, was awarded the Diana Forsythe Prize by the Society for the Anthropology of Work.
Bigger than PhD students
The presenters often comment that most of this podcasts listeners are anthropology PhD students. I’m not. But it’s fascinating listening.
Engaging, insightful conversations
A wonderful range of anthropologists reflect on their lives, their passions and their discipline. Thoroughly engaging.