Interview Methods of an Artist

Casual and formal interview methods are research techniques shared by artists and anthropologists. The conversation from these interviews becomes a resource for the development of knowledge and is used in a myriad of ways between the two disciplines. Artist Maryann Worrell is investigating art and ecology. Worrell was interested in studying participatory artwork and wanted to shift her own studio […]

Culture Through The Photographer’s Lens

Photographer Damari McBride uses his camera to not just capture people and places, but to give voice to the stories and memories that are threatened to be silenced. In a small Brooklyn coffee shop, I sit down with McBride to discuss his background in traveling, teaching and experiencing culture through photography.  He orders a Peruvian blend coffee, black; […]

Fieldwork Equipment That (Hopefully) Won’t Break the Bank

Digital Audio Recorders Every task necessitates a tool and ethnography is no exception. As twenty-first century student anthropologists, we have a staggering amount of options when it comes time to selecting a field recorder, camera, camcorder, editing software, and storage devices. While some students’ home institution can provide them with these resources, many are unable to […]

“Pro-Government” Is Not “Pro-Corruption” in the Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquakes

Since the April 25th earthquake in Nepal, as anthropologists, aid workers, Nepalis and outsiders, we have responded to our grief in both laudable and questionable ways. Many of us have thrown ourselves into action through the networks and organizations we are connected to in Nepal. In an environment rife with anguish and critique, we admire […]

Strength, Security, Resilience and Nepal’s Great Earthquake

Newars, one of Nepal’s many ethnic groups, have a traditional way of responding to earthquakes. When a quake comes, adult men are supposed to stand up and yell loudly, while women should place their hands on the ground and recite soothing mantras to comfort the earth in its agitation. In fact, none of my friends […]

Buffalo’s Collective Memory

In a previous post, I introduced my thesis topic and research; exploring the current social and economic revival of Buffalo, New York through a project titled “Silo Sessions”. This project, the brain-child of Buffalo native Kevin Cain, is a web series of local and national musicians recorded in an empty grain elevator in downtown Buffalo. […]

Almost Ten Years Later

The theme of my column has been influenced from many of my readings that are related to concepts with crossing the disciplines of art and anthropology. These references were published approximately within a ten-year time frame with artwork and projects ranging from the decades of the 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Some of the explorations […]

Behind the Scenes

Ethnography in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement On the wall are handwritten notes and posters, yellow ribbons are distributed and thousands of students from various Hong Kong universities listen to student speeches and calls for action. It is September 22, 2014, the first day of a weeklong student class boycott. The kick-off was held at […]

“Why I Hate the Police”

Anger Is an Appropriate Reaction to Criminalization “You want to know why I hate the police? Just ask me some day and I’ll tell you,” said EYG after he overheard his younger brother angrily describe to me what it was like being arrested by three sheriff’s deputies. I had just brought his brother home from jail, […]

Neither Home Nor Field

One of the perks offered to faculty at Nazarbayev University is a free campus apartment. When I was hired last year, I was pleased to be offered this accommodation. Not only did it mean not having to pay rent, but it meant not having to house-hunt in the unfamiliar cultural and linguistic environment of Astana, […]