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Published: 2009-05-19T14:23:50Z


beyond the end


This blog is closing. I'll leave it as it is--fragmentary and chaotic a bunch of loose ends. A pool of associations and a contemporary witness that is. A journal that is journaling itself--punctiformally, not systematically, but by the empty spaces in between as well as by its nodes.

It's the right time. I ve passed midterm exam.

between the blogs


This blog is nearly full. [ 'sblog as abbreviation of 'this sblog' I think is what I currently would answer.]
I meanwhile have become familiar with where I continue. A little content is already there. Wordpress indeed offers a number of advantages in regards of twoday's free blog service as in the very first place there is that entries can multiply be categorized.



Who are the unknown subscribers?

theoretical anthropology


(image) Someone did it. I'm hit number seven. I knew this would happen.

Coincidentally I yesterday refound the sentence.
I now wonder which was first--google or this linklist.

Once its there, the screenshot nicely visualizes an important aspect of how I happened to settle in the anthropological blogsphere: I was linked to and I was categorized.

(Or shall I better say, my blog was linked to?)




Bridge/tunnel hybrid that is said to be somewhere between Sweden and Denmark.

via cynical-c

reconstruction 6.4


Reconstruction Vol. 6, No. 4, 2006 Theories/Practices of Blogging, guestedited by Michael Benton and Lauren Elkin, contains a variety of articles that are interesting not only in regards of contents but also in regards of how to academically write about blogs and blogging. I love to especially point you to Thivai Abhor's editorial Thoughts on Blogging by a Poorly Masked Academic: " My first attempt at blogging was the creation of Dialogic. I was working as an adjunct in 2004 at the University of Kentucky and developing original media literacy projects and assignments online. I had heard reports that universities might start claiming that course work developed on their servers would be technically the property of the university that owned the server. The precarious nature of adjunct life makes us susceptible to rumor, so I began to search for a new, cheap, relatively unmonitored forum to develop course work and to archive the wealth of information I was finding online. My first post though clearly shows that I desired much more than an academic worksite. Within the week I realized that Dialogic would need to be separate from my academic life so that I could feel free to write and think without fear. I developed a trickster-figure pseudonym derived from a disturbing novel by Kathy Acker that appealed to my existential alienation and playful questioning. I conceived of Dialogic as a place where I could ask questions, challenge ideas, and, yes, mock the absurd/ridiculous. In 2005 there were a slew of media reports about professionals having their blogger personas revealed publicly with the result of the blogger being fired. The blogger community began to ask the question "why blog?" and what are the risks for some. At the same time there was a cultural backlash against blogging. Corporate media-produced popular culture began to reflect a mocking and dismissive portrayal of the average blogger. It was not uncommon to hear dismissive jokes in academia about blogging being a neurotic or masturbatory activity. My wife (now ex-) even begged me to delete all evidence of Dialogic so that it wouldn’t damage my chances of getting a tenure-track position at a "good" university. At the same time I was receiving positive responses from progressive teachers who recognized the benefits of the medium as a teaching and archival tool (I had 4 course blogs by then and each of my writing students would create their own blog). Many of my students continued to maintain their blogs after the courses ended and I helped some of them develop their writing and get published. I was impressed with the sense of response-ability that was translated from the blog to their essay-writing. Perhaps, most profoundly, for me personally, I was beginning to reach beyond my local region on a daily basis, talking to other questing intellectuals, developing a very loose-based community of bloggers, sharing ideas and asking questions. With all of this going on, the question of "why we blog" was on my mind, and so I approached the editors at Reconstruction with the idea of doing an issue on The Theories/Practices of Blogging. I worked on this issue for nearly two years. I wanted it to have an international perspective to give it a fuller sense of the diverse geographical and cultural voices in the blogosphere. I contacted over 500 blogs about contributing to the "Why We Blog" section. I worked with many of the essay authors for over a year developing and revising their essays. We are very proud of this issue and we hope that it will provide a glimpse into "Why We Blog." [...]" via Dialogic.[...]



I have made out my first invoice for academic consultancy on the improvement of a qualitative research setting and an in-house evaluation on quantitative test method in an evaluation-of-websites project.

sblog on google or google on sblog


In 2005 when I created the blog I had not thought much about its title. It accidentally happened at late night. I was not even thinking of an own blog but needed to register at twodays to be able to leave a comment in another twodays blog. The software then asked me whether I wanted to create an own blog and so did I.
When people asked me for the s' meaning I noticed my responses change over the time: It doesn' t really mean anything to me. By another google search I moreover had found 'sblog' being the name of a project, which way back in early 2005 almost made up google's hit page number one completely. So always when being asked I did my duty, pointed to sBlog, and usually said that my choice was an unintended theft or so.

I was tracing back a referrerlink the other night when I found sblog's representation on google has dramatically changed.
While in early 2005 I could not find myself at all by search word 'sblog' on google, that night my blog appeared as hit number seven and tonight I even have climbed up one hit higher. (Right below btw Dr.Web's, according to which 'sblog' means "nicht weniger und nicht mehr als ein S(pam)Blog ohne echte Inhalte mit dem Zweck Umsätze über Partner- oder Anzeigenprogramme zu generieren.")

Now I wouldn't mind being close the top of google's page one as such if there wasn't the very title google has granted me.
It looks like I had created that description myself, but you won't find that sentence in here. I ve never written on "anthropological theory from Bremen, Germany" nor have I ever confessed to that claim.
How come it generated exactly that phrase?
Why didn't it choose other (frequent) terms from the text and combined them, creating something silly, or funny at least. I dont know--theres a bunch of possibilities once having begun to ponder upon how such engines may work.
But no. It did the worst thing possible. It granted me an academically absurd exageration.
Murphy's Law v.2.0 Cyber, really.

seven seals


Today has been registration day for this semester’s mid-term exams in the department of Kulturwissenschaft at University of Bremen. I’m in. Midterm exam in old school M.A. Kulturwissenschaft consists of an oral examination and a written test. The oral exam I will do in sociocultural anthropology on 1) Philippe Bourgois, In Search of Respect. Selling Crack en el Bahio, xy 199x and 2) the Crisis of Representation. My written exam I will do in Medien/Kulturelle Öffentlichkeit (Media Studies and the Cultural Public or The Culturally Shaped Public or The Production, Reception and Appropriation Sphere of Culture orwhateverconceptonecanargue, or so. No offense intended, it’s „just“ an issue of translation, really.] For the written exam I decided for a title which was on the profs‘ recommendation list, too: Richard Sennet, Respekt im Zeitalter der Ungleichheit. Xy xxxx. So now I am right before entering the next level. The last few days have been busy with passing the institutional steps, all seven Leistungsscheine Magistergrundstudium Hauptfach Kulturwissenschaft in my hands and all of them sealed. The department was perfectly organized and everyone was very helping. [The formal procedure without any interference enrolled like a nice dream that leaves you with a feeling of wellbeing. Off the chapel of danger now? The quest never ends.] I ve seen a touching scene while waiting for my Termin to deliver the official papers and my application to the prof who sends all this semester’s exam applications in one bundle away for us to the Magisterprüfungsamt, wherein I met a fellow student from former days. We had a little time to talk in the corridor, the awaited prof’s rooms being next to each other, and she told me from the odyssee she has gone through during the last days in order to get herself into the application process for the Magisterprüfung. In that very moment she was depending on one signature on her very last Schein to be given or not with all her studies she has done. (She is 16th--or 20th semester, as her Immatrikulationsbescheinigung says, she then explained. Which means, we were talking about eight to ten years of her CV.) And then she came out. And she had that very signature. She danced down the corridor. Pure happiness. And gratefulness. The professor rolled his eyes in a short non-verbal communication act as I stood vis-a-vis with the open door. I am proud on my institute. It acknowledges individual student needs and supports students‘ strengthes, still providing honest critism—most often, which is very much. Exceptions reconfirm the regularities. Back home amused I realize it’s seven seals that represent the end of my undergraduate status. The sevenths is the Feldforschungspraxisschein, the write-down of my first fieldwork which may well serve as a very first draft and entry for a larger text (which is ok for an introductory seminar on the practice of fieldwork, but not for publication, yet. Too exactly I can name what is missing myself.) (Email me in case you want a copy for your private interest—it’s in german, though.) Anyway I now feel like knowing better what this rite de passage is about, as I finally have found a form to fragmentarily but ethnographically reproduce and reflect upon my fieldwork experience: Eine Feldforschungsübung im Obdachlosenmilieu (draft title). Another fellow from former days I met today is the one I shared gaining my seal number three with way back in 2000: Introduction to Anthropological Methodology (Einführung in die Feldforschungstheorie) by Ute Metje in which me were supposed to give a talk on Marcus‘ Ethnography through Thick and Thin. We were bloody beginners and thought of doing it differently. Being bored of all the student oral presentations you are forced to listen to while actually you have come to the seminar [...]

brief update


I feel uncomfortable with my silence in here although it allowed me to protocol a relation between number of visitors and frequence of updates: Unsurprisingly, the less I write the less I am read. Surprisingly the average hit number remains higher than zero. As you may know, higher education in Germany currently goes through a number of fundamental changes. One of these is that non-traditional students with more than 14 semesters must pay their education. In Bremen this is 670€ summa summarum per semester. I won't discuss cons and pros now for I can't do but a brief update tonight. I more or less manage to ignore the frequently upcoming Existenzangst (after having reduced jobbing already last year, I fully left my well-paid job this February to study fulltime which means living on less than a minimum) and am writing term papers. Hurrey! In case you are interested in what I learn this semester, see classes I participate below. Heike Bungert, Universities and university reforms in the US 1636-2000: A model for Germany? [08-107-H-345] Perhaps am going to write more on this class later. Will give a talk on US American Anthropology after WWII next Wednesday. Bungert is an excellent professor in regards of both, research and didactics. Unfortunately she will leave us and change to Cologne, as the professorship for North American History in Bremen ends this year without replacement. I really dont understand these politics. Once we have excellent staff they don't keep them. Inge Marszolek, Medien in der Wende II [09-422-H-1002]. This seminar is part of the Kultur der Wendezeit student research project that started last semester. It focusses on the two Germanies and cultural change after german reunification. In short, this is about difference, similarity and othering processes. Interesting in here is that I am the only one in the class who does have first hand knowledge on the DDR--the others are way younger. (I'm 33, did I tell you?) Jörg Richard, Alltagsleben, Biographien und die Künste [09-422-H-1003]. Also part of the Kultur der Wendezeit project. Jochen Bonz, Welt als Vermittlungstätigkeit und Technik. Bruno Latour und Actor-Network-Theory [09-422-H-1012]. In this class we discuss Pandora's Hope chapter by chapter. Manfred Stoeckler, Naturgesetze [09-426-H-26]. As its title says, the subject is laws of nature as they are reflected in the academic field of Wissenschaftstheorie. 'Wissenschaftstheorie' is comparable to the 'Philosophy of Science', but not identical. I gave a talk on Carl Gustav Hempel's theory of explanation, the deductive-nomologic model (also known as Hempel-Oppenheim-Model) last Tuesday. Manfred Stoeckler, Philosophie der Naturwissenschaften [09-426-H-25]. As its title says, this is about current problems in the philosophy of science. Last session we heard an inspiring presentation discussing Batterman's Asymptotic Analysis as a new type of scientific explanation. (Dont ask--not having done much physics in school, I'm still figuring out the matter myself.) Basicly, this is a debate on what kind of explanation is considered to be explanatorily the most powerful and the most appropriate to human cognition. What else..? My private pupil whom I teach french since January significantly has improved, which more than satisfies me. Especially because, as turned out by the time, he suffers a slight learning disability: I'm proud on my work and I do have a teaching talent. Something entirely different: I took up working with horses again after a several years break in the meantime which might make sort of a plan B--in case I terribly fail to enter an academic career. Ok, back to work now.[...]

yet another personality quiz


(image) I am Wonder Woman. "You are a beautiful princess with great strength of character." Cool. Thats exactly what I wanted to hear tonight. *smile

Cannot copy and paste the code in here for I dont know what reason. However, klick here for the which superhero are you quiz.

via Hulk.

even worse


thx to Jesse again, as his hint to SAGE temporary free online access (expiring Oct 18th) lead me to Naomi Quinn's and Claudia Strauss' [pronounce like 'mauss'] Introduction to Special Issue on The Missing Psychology in Cultural Anthropology's Key Words*
I wanted to take more time for it, but yesterday my hardware autoselfdestroyed [I ve never heard a computer making such a LOUD macrophysically AND digitally screeming and scratching sound], so just a short quote from the article for now:

"We recognize, however, that there is considerable opposition to psychology and psychological anthropology among many cultural anthropologists (...) The attitude (...) is exemplified by one who, introduced to Quinn, blurted out, 'Oh. You're a cognitive anthropologist. Cognitive anthropology is bad.' When the person who had introduced them then tried to explain that Quinn's work was not exclusively cognitive, and even had taken a recent psychoanalytic turn, this attempt at mollofication was met with,

'Psychoanalytic anthropology, even worse'. "
[ b continued.]

*Anthropological Theory Vol. 6(3) pp. 267-279

bugs running wild


A minute ago or so I tried to log in at ethnolog to check if the mysteriously missing comment perhaps appears when being logged in.
The log in at ethnolog then forwarded me to the page you see above. It tells me to be logged in as subscriber "littlelife".
I called Zeph this morning to ask whether he has a clue on the matter which he has not and was told antville recently installed a new module which might be the cause of errors occurring.

UPDATE: I have found the missing comment. -> That was my personal mistake!
I now succeeded to log in there without obscurities occurring and searched the entries on dtv Atlas Ethnologie and found there were two(!) entries dealing with the subject, which I had forgotten.
To set things straight right, the comment I was missing was posted in the other entry and there it is, still. I apologize.



Academic blogs educate and blogs by anthropologists tell about anthropology. Not solely about anthropology, of course.
Via the blogs I for example first heard about the "Freeman/Mead Debate" and then, one day at the library last semester, when I was on the mission to prepare a presentation for class on 'identity', in the shelf author name Freeman hit my attention and I sat down and had a look on what was the matter.
Now I cannot judge whether Freeman or Mead was or is right in their special case. But the phenomenon Freeman points to as such is essential--may be that others have pointed towards it earlier (or later) in a more generalized way: potential misunderstanding and misreading within ethnographic research when humour is at play.




Klicked on the link to 2R's on my blogroll and was lead to this page which forwarded me to here.

Shall I understand the message ? Honestly, I don't.