Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Diary for 6th September to 12th September 2007

THURSDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER - Open Evening at Birkbeck

Tonight I'm off to the Royal National Hotel in Central London for Birckbeck College's open evening for prospective students and existing members of the college. It will be possible to talk to staff about the college's Certificates of Higher Education in Social Anthropology, that are normally around 16 weeks in length and range from broad introductions to the subject to specialisms such as the anthropology of tourism. To find out about more short courses in anthropology check out the special edition of Anthropologist About Town from a few weeks ago.

FRIDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER - Date for your diary

The Black International Film Festival starts today at the ICA, a week of films about, and produced by, the black community. On show will be documentaries, music videos, animation and fictional films - many of them having their UK premiere here. Screening tonight at 19.30 is Diaspora Diaries (tickets are £8) which captures the voices of various African communities across the UK including Dr Hassan Aero, Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman Musuem. You can watch a trailer of the film here, which also includes contributions from DJs, poets and soldiers. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER - Spin doctors in Strathclyde

On Saturday, I'm hoping to attend a day of the conference on Communication & Conflict: Propaganda, Spin & Lobbying in the Global Age at the University of Strathclyde. It's listed on the Royal Anthropological Institute's events calender, which includes many interesting and relevant conferences happening around the world, as well as useful links to anthropology department webpages. The conference is open to everyone from A-Level students to academics, but you need to register first before attending. If you're interested in anthropology and the media more generally, then it might also be worth having a look at the BA course on offer at the University of Sussex, and the MA on offer at SOAS in London.

SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER -Football in Zanzibar

Today I'm back down at the Black International film festival at the ICA for the 20.30 screening of Zanzibar Soccer Queens, followed by a Q&A with its director Florence Ayisi. It portrays the lives of a female football team playing their matches in a mainly Muslim society. Florence Ayisi teaches film at the International Film School of Wales and was co-director of Sisters-in-law with Kim Longinotto, and they both often use anthropological methods in their film-making. Sisters-in-law, about two female judges in Cameroon, is available to view or buy from the Royal Anthropological Institute in London. You can also watch another of Longinotto's films - 'Divorce Iranian Style' - for FREE on the internet here.

MONDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER - Return of Night Waves

After a summer break, the Radio 3 social affairs programme 'Night Waves' returns to the airwaves tonight. It often features anthropologists discussing contemporary developments in society. Tonight, author and film-maker Naomi Klein is discussing her latest book about government exploitation of disaster. Klein's previous work has included the famous book 'No Logo' and a documentary film called 'The Take' which are sometimes used by anthropology lecturers as examples of community resistance to globalisation and how people adapt to social change. the latter followed a group of redundant Argentinean workers who reoccupied their old factory to continue working. Look out on the Night Waves website and this blog for upcoming episodes featuring anthropologists!

TUESDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER - Resistance and Power

Today I'm going to watch a few of the short films that form part of Al-Jazeera English's 'People and Power' strand. They're all available to watch on youtube for FREE and the theme of looking from the bottom-up at how small communities interact with wider society is similar to anthropology's way of working. A good one to check out is 'The San Bushmen of the Kalahari' about the bushmen's fight to protect their ancestral lands from diamond miners. The film is directed by Oliver Steeds, who also runs an interesting exploration organisation called I-NOMAD, which has in the past employed anthropology students as volunteers.

WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER - Land of the Rising Sun

Today I'm going to get hold of a copy of a book I saw reviewed last week in The Independent's Arts section. It's called Japan Through the Looking Glass, and is written by Alan Macfarlane, professor of anthropology at Cambridge University. The book makes a thorough examination of Japanese culture from an anthropologist's perspective, from wrestling via public toilets to geishas. Alan Macfarlane has also written several other books that offer a useful introduction to anthropology for people new to the subject, including Letters to Lily - a series of letter to his granddaughter explaining 'how the world works'. He also runs an online resource of photographs, writings and other anthropological information from the Himalayas, which you can easily while away a Wednesday evening with.

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