2006-02-15T14:03:06.383+01:00In an Anthropology News article called "Persian blogs against the dual language" ORKIDEH BEHROUZAN, a PhD-student at Oxford makes an interesting point connected to the vulgarity debate, that was brought up by Alireza Doostdar in the American Anthropologist. She says:
Today in Iran many experience a dual life, and
speak what I call a “dual language.”There is an
expansion of ambiguous talk routinely affecting
all aspects of a person’s daily life. Lying,
hypocrisy, fear of punishment and being judged,
and an urge to please superiors are all common.
In opposition to dual life in Iran, many young
Iranians are increasingly turning to Persian blogs
as gateways for speaking out.
Regardless of how we understand the vulgarity
debate, and whether or not vulgarity applies to
all non-literary forms of writing and all taboo
subjects discussed, this so-called “vulgar sprit” in
Persian weblogs is a means of confronting dual
language, by which some bloggers intend to use
somewhat unconventional modes of writing to
express what they understand as their “pure” and
Whether certain trends in blogging can make a
difference in the future of Persian society is a
tempting question. Although we can’t determine
where this path of uncensored self-expression is
leading to at present, there are clues that they will
lead to a promising destination
2006-02-04T19:51:53.133+01:00The last few days I had a lot of discussions with friends and family about the cartoons in Jyllands Posten. I read lots of newspaper-articles online as well as Blogposts.
"an archive of numerous depictions of Mohammed to serve as a reminder that such imagery has been part of Western and Islamic culture since the Middle Ages -- and to serve as a resource for those interested in freedom of expression."
2006-01-19T14:31:43.980+01:00I went for a coffee with a friend after classes yesterday. She converted to Islam some time ago and told me about muslim hiphop in german - something I never even knew existed. The band she was so fascinted from is called "ammar114" and all of their songs are freely downloadable. I just tried, but their website seems to be down currently. Anyway, I found a link to a songtext (Schwester) and some of their songs are free for download here.
2006-01-16T20:13:13.326+01:00For the next few days I've got the "pleasure" of commenting about 60 student essays on three different questions (Boas; Levi-Strauss; Mauss & Van Gennep). I've already read a few and what's really surprising to me is the range of quality, because most of my students are in their first year of studies and should therefore have roughly the same background. And for those of you, whoe are curious, here are two positive examples...
2006-01-10T20:15:37.646+01:00I'm trying to find a nice'n'easy explanation of the term "complex society" and seem to get more lost, the more I am searching.
I expect to submit a handful of blogs on a daily or bi-daily basis for a week or two, and my chosen topic is a staple on this site, namely the role of anthropologists and anthropology in a wider public sphere.
Instead of repeating myself, I'll make a new proposal for productive public engagement in each posting on this site. Tomorrow, I'll give you the story of a sport club in Drammen (a town near Oslo, where I live) and its struggles to incorporate minority children in its activities, and suggest how anthropologists might intervene. It goes without saying that I'm keen to receive your views, objections and suggestions as we go along.
Apart from interesting discussions that will surely follow his posts, there's something else happening here, which I want to keep an eye on: How are relations within academia influenced if well established anthropologists start blogging? I guess, like Will, I can say: "I'm looking forward to reading your posts, Thomas."
2005-12-27T15:07:30.503+01:00I listened to a broadcast on Ö1 today, it was about the Nicobar Islands. The presenter (Andreas Obrecht) spoke to Simron Jit Singh and Oliver Lehman who published a book called: Die Nikobaren. Das kulturelle Erbe nach dem Tsunami. [The Nicobar Islands. Cultural choices in the aftermath of the Tsunami.] Singh is research fellow at the IFF Social Ecology, Lehman chief editor of "Universum Magazin".
"The publishing house Czernin will donate all profits from the book’s
sale to the Sustainable Indigenous Futures (SIF) Fund, which supports
medium and long-term development projects for indigenous peoples from
Tsunami-affected areas on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands."
2005-12-14T09:49:57.443+01:00I was waiting on the airport, having a coffee and chatting to some tunisians when we started talking about the cold weather and heating systems here (in Tunisia) and there (Europe). Quite commonly used here for heating a room are kanun (what I’d describe as coal in a clay pot). The danger connected to them is CO2 development. So what I was told by my newly met tunisian friends was, that one puts orange peel on top of the kanun, which stops CO2 development. I later checked if I had understood correctly, but even Nasr insisted: out of experience this is what works best against the dangers of CO2. I’d really like to know how that works.
2005-12-14T09:49:18.713+01:00I’m back in Tunisia with my husband. It’s a weird feeling to go shopping to study, to cook, to just have my daily life here again. For some reason I feel more at home here now than back in Vienna. Well, my husband is here, true. But all my friends are in Vienna – sure I know quite a lot of Nasr’s friends, but there’s still some language barriere between us and chatting with them remains in quite general topics due to lack of fluency. However, studying works much better here – there’s less distraction through meeting or calling someone quickly, but getting online requires more effort than at home: I have to go to the internet café (“PUBLINET”).
2005-12-02T17:34:46.450+01:00I spent the last few days studying for an exam I had yesterday. And although I'm a bit exhausted today, I'm already preparing for my nextone on Wednesday (which will be my last exam ever - if I don't decide to do a doctorate!)
2005-11-21T12:23:29.836+01:00I was browsing a few more blogs of people who attended the WSIS and some of them are still in Tunisia today. What then happened was that I really got "Reisefieber" (travel nerves, itchy feet?). So, if you want to see a few nice pictures or descriptions or haven't planed the next holiday yet - here's some inspiration.
2005-11-21T12:23:48.646+01:00Just a few notes & quotes about the WSIS - am not trying to give a good overview here, much more want to relate experiences of attendees:Yesterday, we [i.e. Ethan Zuckerman and "his partners in crime", I guess] were warned that our session [called Expression under Repression] could be cancelled by the Tunisian authorities. We also discovered that the session wasn't listed in the official program guide. Today, we came to the room where the session was to be held and there was a sign on the door stating that the workshop was cancelled. Friends who passed by the UNDP booth on the WSIS floor earlier today heard gossip that the security forces would appear at our session and anyone who attended would be arrested. And I got a few SMSs from people who'd asked about our session at the information booths and had been told there was no information on our session.This low-grade harrasment did nothing to dampen our turnout for the session. Ethan Zuckermanhere's some more information by the Berkman Center for Internet and society on the same incident.the obvious presence of military, police and tourism police should strengthen that sense of security. In three kilometres around the airport and around the Kram Expo, there was a policemen at every 250 meters and the closer you got to the Kram Expo, there were even policemen on horseback and special forces. Tunesia must be a country with more policemen than inhabitants. In front of every official hotel was a policemen with a stengun and in the hotel secret service people were just chatting as natural Tunesians, while in the meantime checking potential contacts with Tunesian dissidents. more from Jak BoumansAnother post by Ethan Zuckerman about the "Citizen's Summit":a counter-summit, [...] where issues like the Internet and human rights - which have been difficult to get onto the main WSIS agenda - can be discussed.A meeting Monday to plan the summit was disrupted by Tunisian security forces, who prevented organizers from entering the Goethe Institute, where the meeting was being held. Since then, there have been reports that human rights activists have been beaten by government-based thugs after meeting with summit attendees, and a French journalist attacked by security forces. In other words, it hasn't looked like a welcoming climate for a citizen's summit.But then he talks about the actual meeting: I kept waiting for a commotion in the back of the room that never came. Later the same eveingn: the barriers to free expression in Tunis became all too clear as we walked out of the compound to catch taxis for dinner. Walking down the narrow street that from the human rights center to the main road, we past a block lined with tough looking men in street clothes, some on motorcycles. There was no apparent reason for thirty men to be standing on this corner of the street - no cafe, no shops of any sort - and no indication that the group was moving at all. [read more here]More information about all that? Ndesanjo at "Digital Africa" has got a few more links, the OpenNet Initiative has a report on internet filtering in Tunisia.Want to read something more positive?A very sweet blogger I met in Tunis was representing Jordan in the summit...in the "Reach out"-Initiativewhich is basically a dialogue between UK and Arab youth that aims at connecting both the western and Arabic culture, in an attempt to break stereotypes, spread awareness, and work together to make a difference. more here. Technorati : WSIS tunis [...]
2005-11-20T01:45:44.226+01:00Conference Website: University of Michigan, and Noshir Contractor of the University of
After a quick search for possiblities of tagging my blogposts, I just installed "zoundry" [lite] - a blogging editor. Sould make blogging easier and tagging no effort at all.
2005-11-16T09:08:11.200+01:00its not gossip any more... blogtalk reloaded will be held at the 2nd and 3rd of October 2006 in Vienna again...
2008-03-14T15:17:52.833+01:00Kommunikation@gesellschaft, a web journal dedicated to research into information and communication technologies went online with a new issue yesterday, I guess - and i'ts about weblog-research. I'm really excited to delve into all these papers soon! More backgroundinformation in an entry by Jan Schmidt.
2005-11-14T23:34:09.770+01:00how ironic...Marouen, a tunisian blogger whom I met when I was there this summer, writes about the internet connection problems he's experiencing now...as a result of the WSIS...there's not much more I can add apart from a slight suspicion of political reasons behind the whole thing...read more here.
2005-11-17T22:22:28.983+01:00Wednesday and Friday this week I'll attend a workshop on Weblogs in Linz/Austria, one of the organisers is Jan Schmidt.
2005-11-13T23:03:12.256+01:00Arnold van Gennep, a flemish anthropologist and ethnologist wrote a book called "Les rites de passage" in which he talks about transitions and the rites people perform with them. Transitions can either be spatial (house warming parties), seasonal (e.g. harvest festivals) or "life cyclical" (birth, death, marriage) and the whole idea is a "universal" - e.g. can be found in many different cultures around the whole world. Almost everywhere life is characterised by turning points, we don't experience it like a calm flow of days after days after days.
2005-11-11T12:23:22.683+01:00Today is Friday - one of these Fridays that I'll be teaching.
2005-10-28T02:31:56.040+02:00Today I skyped a bit with Martin about Tunisia, the tunisian blogosphere and the upcoming WSIS. I'm still wondering if and how I can afford to attend the conference, but now - as my research interests have changed slightly - I guess I'll stay in cold, rainy Vienna.
2005-10-26T21:04:45.043+02:00At the beginning of march I started to use my blog for commenting on all different sorts of things...and I discovered a Blogger, just around the corner: Jan Schmidts Blog is still one of the ones I read most regularly. He's also one of the few bloggers I've met personally.
wondering what blogging our not-yet-finished works could do to the discussion about the author-reader-relationship in anthropology .Then I spent some time traveling and just by chance I read an e-mail by a young scientist...our mail-conversation developed in a very interesting way and soon Chana (at Tempus Fugit) switched to writing in english about her thesis because I convinced her! Seeing her work growing (as well as advising a wee bit) was a very rewarding experience.
2005-10-26T21:15:33.036+02:00Adi Kuntsman's Cyberethnography as Home-Work was another article that impressed me...sadly I didn't summarise but just cite it in this blog-post.
2005-10-26T20:26:36.466+02:00In January this year I started thinking about a research topic for my final thesis in anthropology...first thoughts (this really feels ages ago now, in hindsight) were about virtual ethnography (I had just looked into Christine Hines' book Virtual Ethnography and Miller & Slaters' The Internet an Ethnographic Approach). I wondered if I coud do an overview of the methods anthropologists used to do research online and wanted to relate them to the outcome - showing that method is never seperate from result. My supervisor then asked me to look for a "topic" - a methods-only-thesis was no real option for her.Soon after that I discovered Blogging thoughts by Mortensen & Walkeras well as an article on open source anthropology by Kerim Freeman and "Making the electronic text canonical" by Alex Golub.Kerim Freeman and Alex Golub were the first anthro-bloggers I started reading, but antropologi.info soon became one of my favourite anthro-blogs too (in those days before savageminds I was really searching for long to find some more academic bloggers from my own field).As I see now, by mid Februrary I was already reading Lilias blog - and preparing a presentation about weblogs at the department for anthropology of europe.(had I known then that this presentation was postponed, I wouldn't have worked so busily...another sign that I really need deadlines for getting going!)At the same time I wondered:[...] if keeping a blog could be useful for an anthropologist...in keeping and editing "field notes", links, ideas, snippets of thoughts - whatever. What about people stealing your ideas? And isn't a blog through it's very nature of being public going to influence the way you write about "the others"? Does it make sense to keep a blog in "normal" anthropological research? I mean I do see the point in doing so when one's into "virtual ethnography", but what are the limitations of blogging - are there any?Reading Alireza Doostdars The Vulgar Spirit of Blogging was another eye-opener and made me think a lot. It was the first article on Weblogs by an anthropologist that I got my hands on! As it was published in the American Anthropologist it made me sure that the direction my interests were heading was a new but "accepted" one in my field of studies.[to be continued][...]