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Do you ever wonder if you're the only woman who runs errands in sweats so it will look like she went to the gym? Or how about the only mom who feeds her kids raw cookie dough and drives the kids to school in her PJs? Or if you're the only wife who “cooks” her husband cereal (or take out) for dinner? Do you need more laughter and less loudness, more self-love and less self-loathing, more joy and less judgment? You're not alone. Come to The Living Room, a place we get comfy, candid, and confid ...
 
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show series
 
Reforms in Myanmar (formerly Burma) have eased restrictions on citizens' political activities. Yet for most Burmese, Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung shows in Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar (U Wisconsin Press, 2019), eking out a living from day to day leaves little time for civic engagement. Citizens have coped with extreme hardship through great re…
 
Acts of Repair: Justice, Truth, and the Politics of Memory in Argentina (Rutgers UP, 2020) explores how ordinary people grapple with political violence in Argentina, a nation home to survivors of multiple genocides and periods of violence, including the Holocaust, the political repression of the 1976-1983 dictatorship, and the 1994 AMIA bombing. De…
 
Reforms in Myanmar (formerly Burma) have eased restrictions on citizens' political activities. Yet for most Burmese, Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung shows in Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar (U Wisconsin Press, 2019), eking out a living from day to day leaves little time for civic engagement. Citizens have coped with extreme hardship through great re…
 
As well as presenting practical challenges, addressing the question ‘what is it like in North Korea?’ raises ethical concerns around who is entitled to interpret life in a place so often discussed in luridly exoticizing terms. The awareness of authorial position and sensitivity to shared humanity which runs through Andray Abrahamian’s Being in Nort…
 
In the space of a few weeks this spring, organizations around the world learned that many traditional, in-person jobs could, in fact, be performed remotely. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, however, some individuals were already utilizing new options for personal mobility and online work to strike out on their own. In the new book, Digital Nomads: In …
 
As well as presenting practical challenges, addressing the question ‘what is it like in North Korea?’ raises ethical concerns around who is entitled to interpret life in a place so often discussed in luridly exoticizing terms. The awareness of authorial position and sensitivity to shared humanity which runs through Andray Abrahamian’s Being in Nort…
 
In the space of a few weeks this spring, organizations around the world learned that many traditional, in-person jobs could, in fact, be performed remotely. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, however, some individuals were already utilizing new options for personal mobility and online work to strike out on their own. In the new book, Digital Nomads: In …
 
What does it mean to connect as a people through mass media? This book approaches that question by exploring how Moroccans engage communicative failure as they seek to shape social and political relations in urban Fez. Over the last decade, laments of language and media failure in Fez have focused not just on social relations that used to be and ha…
 
Does religion cause violent conflict, asks Chad M. Bauman, and if so, does it cause conflict any more than other social identities? Through an extended history of Christian-Hindu relations, and with particular attention to the 2007-08 riots in Kandhamal, Odisha, Anti-Christian Violence in India examines religious violence and how it pertains to bro…
 
Many of the millions of workers streaming in from rural China to jobs at urban factories soon find themselves in new kinds of poverty and oppression. Yet, their individual experiences are far more nuanced than popular narratives might suggest. Rural Origins, City Lives: Class and Place in Contemporary China (U Washington Press, 2016) probes long-he…
 
What does it mean to connect as a people through mass media? This book approaches that question by exploring how Moroccans engage communicative failure as they seek to shape social and political relations in urban Fez. Over the last decade, laments of language and media failure in Fez have focused not just on social relations that used to be and ha…
 
Many of the millions of workers streaming in from rural China to jobs at urban factories soon find themselves in new kinds of poverty and oppression. Yet, their individual experiences are far more nuanced than popular narratives might suggest. Rural Origins, City Lives: Class and Place in Contemporary China (U Washington Press, 2016) probes long-he…
 
Roy Richard Grinker is Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Grinker was born and raised in Chicago where his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father worked as psychoanalysts. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1983 and received his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at Harvard U…
 
Since the turn of the millennium, American Evangelical Protestantism has seen a swell of interest in Calvinist theology. Variously described as the New Calvinism or Neo-Reformed Christianity, the latter half of the first decade saw a resurgence of Reformed theology, especially among younger Evangelicals. Brad Vermurlen presents an insightful sociol…
 
In The Other End of the Needle (Rutgers University Press, 2020), David C. Lane, Ph.D. investigates the intricacies of the tattoo industry. Particularly, Lane found that tattooing is more complex than simply the tattoos that people wear. Using qualitative data and an accessible writing style, Lane explains the complexity of tattoo work as a type of …
 
Since the turn of the millennium, American Evangelical Protestantism has seen a swell of interest in Calvinist theology. Variously described as the New Calvinism or Neo-Reformed Christianity, the latter half of the first decade saw a resurgence of Reformed theology, especially among younger Evangelicals. Brad Vermurlen presents an insightful sociol…
 
In The Other End of the Needle (Rutgers University Press, 2020), David C. Lane, Ph.D. investigates the intricacies of the tattoo industry. Particularly, Lane found that tattooing is more complex than simply the tattoos that people wear. Using qualitative data and an accessible writing style, Lane explains the complexity of tattoo work as a type of …
 
Twenty-eight years after Francis Fukuyama declared the “end of history” and pronounced Western-style liberalism as the culmination of a Hegelian narrative of progress, pundits and academics of all stripes find themselves struggling to explain the failed prediction that China’s increased activity in international markets would inevitably lead to inc…
 
Cambodia’s troubled history has often been depicted in terms of conflict, trauma and tussles between great powers. In Disturbed Forests, Fragmented Memories: Jarai and Other Lives in the Cambodian Highlands (U Washington Press, 2020), Jonathan Padwe assembles this history from narrative pieces by and of the Jarai, an ethnic minority living in the c…
 
Melissa Michelson and Brian Harrison, co-authors of the book Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights (Oxford University Press, 2017), which focused on how people came to change their minds about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, examine their thesis from the previous research to determine if it is applicable to transgend…
 
In Creativity in Tokyo: Revitalizing a Mature City (Palgrave, 2020), Heide Imai and Matjaz Ursic focues on overlooked contextual factors that constitute the urban creative climate or innovative urban milieu in contemporary cities. Filled with reflections based on interviews with a diverse range of creative actors in various local neighborhoods in T…
 
In Creativity in Tokyo: Revitalizing a Mature City (Palgrave, 2020), Heide Imai and Matjaz Ursic focues on overlooked contextual factors that constitute the urban creative climate or innovative urban milieu in contemporary cities. Filled with reflections based on interviews with a diverse range of creative actors in various local neighborhoods in T…
 
Heather Wokusch's career in organizational development, education, cross-culture, and media has spanned five continents and multiple sectors. An expert in virtual learning, she has spent the pandemic establishing an Impact Tech project promoting mental health and building capacity for psychosocial support in conflict zones.Heather's recent TEDx Tal…
 
Intertwining autobiography and ethnography, Clara Han’s touching new book Seeing Like a Child: Inheriting the Korean War (Fordham University Press, 2020) asks how scholarship can be transformed from a child’s perspective. Through a critique of anthropological practices that assume fully formed “I” in its emphasis on self-reflexivity as well as the …
 
What is the role and function of contemporary art in economic and political systems that increasingly manage data and affect? Knowledge Beside Itself: Contemporary Art's Epistemic Politics (Sternberg Press, 2020) delves into the peculiar emphasis placed in recent years, curatorially and institutionally, on notions such as “research” and “knowledge …
 
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Barbara Dennis of Indiana University on her new ethnography, Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise, published in 2020 by Peter Lang Press. Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise features the IU-Unityville Outreach Project and tells the story of a 4-year-l…
 
How has the Syrian regime been able to bear the brunt of the challenges raised against it? And, what can we learn about the seductions of authoritarian politics more generally from the study of Syria? These questions animate Lisa Wedeen’s Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (University of Chicago Press, 2019). Her…
 
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Barbara Dennis of Indiana University on her new ethnography, Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise, published in 2020 by Peter Lang Press. Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise features the IU-Unityville Outreach Project and tells the story of a 4-year-l…
 
How has the Syrian regime been able to bear the brunt of the challenges raised against it? And, what can we learn about the seductions of authoritarian politics more generally from the study of Syria? These questions animate Lisa Wedeen’s Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (University of Chicago Press, 2019). Her…
 
Few human enterprises are as complex, dynamic, and unpredictable as war. Armed conflict substitutes the relatively ordered reality of peace with the undeniably chaotic reality of combat. Militaries, by design, seek to make sense of and prepare for that chaos. And as long as there have been organized militaries, there have been military officers, th…
 
With its infamously packed cars and disciplined commuters, Tokyo’s commuter train network is one of the most complex technical infrastructures on Earth. In An Anthropology of the Machine: Tokyo's Commuter Train Network (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Michael Fisch provides a nuanced perspective on how Tokyo’s commuter train network embodies th…
 
Heroin first reached Gejiu, a Chinese city in southern Yunnan known as Tin Capital, in the 1980s. Widespread use of the drug, which for a short period became “easier to buy than vegetables,” coincided with radical changes in the local economy caused by the marketization of the mining industry. More than two decades later, both the heroin epidemic a…
 
Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Prayer & Poetry in Iran (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Niloofar Haeri is a stunning and absorbing ethnography of the lived ritual experiences of contemporary Iranian women. The place of Persian poetry, especially in the tradition of erfan or mysticism, is central to many features of Iranian life, be…
 
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