Mon, May 12, 2008 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts
A Panel Discussion with Rosalind Morris and Nadia Abu El-Haj Moderated by Joseph Massad
Monday, May 12, 2008. 7 PM
Free and Open to the Public
Since its inception Anthropology has been at the forefront of the colonial project. In today's world, in spite of the self-critical assessment the discipline has engaged in and the refreshing new works that have been published as a result, many Anthropologists have continued the discipline's old colonial tradition: this has taken the form of anthropologists as "heroic soldier thinker" embedded in army units on the front lines of battle employing their cultural knowledge for the pacification of occupied societies as well as coauthoring counter-insurgency manuals with military generals. In the Human Terrain Project, a program developed by the Pentagon, Human Terrain Anthropologists marshall ethnographic knowledge in the field to advise troops while being escorted by the military or, in fact, being armed themselves. Other mercenary anthropologists are under contract with the likes of Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our panelists will address this nexus of power-knowledge, its wider history beyond the current active territory of the Middle East, looking analytically at examples where the human sciences have been compromised in the service of occupation and oppression of people.
Rosalind Morris is professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and author of Place of Origins: Modernity and its Mediums in Northern Thailand and New Worlds from Fragments: Film, Ethnography and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cultures
Nadia Abu El-Haj is associate professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and author of Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society.
Joseph Massad is associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at Columbia University and author of Desiring Arabs; The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism; and the Palestinians and Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan.
Last updated: 2008-07-07 04:11:43
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