Monday, August 15, 2005

Anthropology of Anarchy

Link above is to an interesting review of David Graeber's Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology.
Link below is to a free copy of his book as a pdf file.

The review opens like this:

"If there is any question thrown at organizers within the various tendrils of the global justice movement intended to make our efforts appear utopian and unrealizable, it would have to be 'I understand what you’re against, but what are you for?” The implicit idea being that there is no reason to believe that another world is possible in more than a rhetorical sense, or at least not examples to prove such is possible. Frequently those of us who dream of a liberated world without a market or state structures turn to anthropology for inspiration from the thousands of years of human history where such didn’t exist. Anthropologists, worried about being accused of romanticizing populations, have generally responded to these inquiries with a confused silence.

"In Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology Yale based anthropologist and political activist David Graeber asks, 'what if that wasn’t the case?' Drawing from the rich history of ethnographic materials and anthropological records as well as critical theory and current practices within the global justice movement, Graeber demonstrates that there is an endless variety of revolutionary political and social organization to draw from."

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Review continues at link above. For a free digital copy of the book, click here:
Or, you can buy the hard copy of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology from the publisher: Prickly Paradigm Press


At 6:50 PM, Blogger E. Heroux said...

Update, 12/8/2005 -- Yale U is up to their old tricks.

Outspoken Professor to Leave Yale Faculty
Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A professor who also is an outspoken anarchist has agreed to leave Yale University this spring, dropping an appeal over whether his termination was politically motivated.

David Graeber, one of the world's leading social anthropologists, said he will teach two classes next semester, then take a yearlong paid sabbatical, after which he will not return.

"Normally, you get a sabbatical on the condition that you come back and teach the following year," Graeber said. "I'm getting the sabbatical on the condition that I don't come back and teach."

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said he could not immediately confirm the arrangement.

Graeber, 44, who has taught at Yale since 1998, is a prolific writer, and his work on value theory is taught worldwide. The London School of Economics recently asked him to give a lecture reserved for the most promising young anthropologists.

When Yale's anthropology department recently told Graeber not to return next year, scholars worldwide wrote letters of support, some suggesting Yale was letting politics influence its hiring.

Yale officials have not discussed their reasons for terminating Graeber, and he said he has never learned why. Dozens of the school's 250 non-tenured professors come up for contract renewal each year.

Graeber said relationships with his peers became strained after he joined activist groups and began appearing at anti-globalization protests and in newspaper articles. He carries an Industrial Workers of the World union card.

Colleagues also expressed concerns about his turning in grades late or coming late to class, he said.

His final two classes will be an introduction to anthropology and a course titled "Direct Action and Radical Social Theory."


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