Occupational Ethnography in the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements

On March 18, 2014, several hundred Taiwanese student and civil activists broke into the Legislative Yuan, the parliament of the contested island nation, launching the Sunflower Movement, a protest against the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and aligned business elites’ alleged collusion with authoritarian China to pass a highly controversial trade deal. It took 24 […]

Occupy between Surveillance and Transparency

An iPad, fixed by a pair of slippers on the second floor of the Legislative Yuan (the congress of Taiwan), was shooting down the chamber with its lens. On the screen of the iPad, a big banner reading “Occupy 500 Hours” covered the bottom of the portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, the national father of Republic […]

Deepening Fractures in Turkish Society

In November 2014, new Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu exclaimed that he would defend all religions, “even Buddhism.” He was responding to concerns that different religious groups might be misportrayed in religion classes in Turkey’s schools, but he might as well have been framing the climate of hostility that religious and ethnic minorities have lived […]

Back to the Field: Reflections on Sweet Briar College Closing

The closing of Sweet Briar College represents the end of a staunch Southern tradition. I arrived on campus in 1981 as a newly minted PhD from SUNY-Binghamton, the only Asian-American member of the small faculty (70 plus). Single-sex education seemed to be an anachronism. I was surprised and startled by women’s education at Sweet Briar […]

Suddenly Liminal: Reflections on Sweet Briar College Closing

On Tuesday, March 3, faculty and staff at Sweet Briar College were summoned by a morning email to a noon meeting with the president and the chairman of the board. We sat in stunned silence as we were told that the college would close on June 30, and that we would not know whether there […]

Militarizing Life

What Policing, Events in Ferguson, and Immigration Enforcement Say about Regimes of Social Control Recent protests on policing have drawn attention to the alarming amount of minority deaths that occur at police officers’ hands, reviving conversations about racial profiling, relationships minority populations have with police officers, and racism in the United States generally. Several social […]

Racialized Policing, Violence and Latinas/os

On December 8, 2014, outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the long awaited release of the Justice Department’s Guidance on racial profiling in federal law enforcement. The 2014 Guidance represents an improvement over the 2003 Guidance in so far as it expands the protected categories to include gender identity, national origin, religion, and sexual […]

Standing Their Ground in #Ferguson

In her 2013 AAA Presidential Address, Anthropology Matters, Leith Mullings outlined the mutually constitutive relationship between social movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s and anthropological theory. Listening to the speech, we were reinvigorated as PhD. students and also envious. Comparatively, our work on the production of history, inequality, and public culture comes across as a […]

Ferguson: An American Story

By now the story is familiar to many. In Ferguson, MO, a town of less than 16,000 people, Michael Brown, an 18-year old was walking in the middle of a residential street. He ignored police officer’s Darren Wilson order to move out of the street. Apparently, a struggle of some kind ensued. Brown retreated and […]

Ferguson and the Right to Black Life

On March 19, 1935, the white manager of WH Kress & Co five-and-dime store on 125th Street in Harlem apprehended a 16-year-old Puerto Rican boy, allegedly for shoplifting a pocketknife. The teenager, Lino Rivera, was tackled and dragged by the manager and his staff to the store’s basement to await the police. Black customers, fearful […]