May 28, 2010

Academia, Anthropology, and HTS: Two Recent Posts Worth Reading

First, read through this post over at Savage Minds. Be sure to read the comments as well. Then, go read this post over at Zero Anthropology.

What is HTS? How should anthropologists deal with the ethical and political issues that arise with this program? Is any aversion to HTS merely a retreat to the Ivory Tower of academia? Have anthropologists who are speaking out against HTS jumped the gun?

I am glad to see these discussions taking place--and I would like to see more. I am actually pretty surprised how many people in the halls of academic anthropology don't know much about the histories and politics of HTS (which extend back further than HTS itself). Hell, I don't know nearly enough about this whole ordeal. There is always more to learn. That's why it's important to read, to listen, and to think things through. At the same time, everyone has to make certain choices at some point.

Yes, it is critically important to take the time learn as much as possible about a given subject. But it is also important to learn when and where to adhere to a particular position. When it comes to the military, war, and international politics, what role can and should anthropology play? Is there just one role, or does everyone involved have to make their own personal, political, and ethical decisions? Or are these decisions best left to larger institutions such as the American Anthropological Association?


Maximilian C. Forte said...

Thanks very much Ryan. I also started reading an essay you wrote on the savage slot theme...I want to get back to that, and soon I will start writing more essays in that vein on ZA, once I get through my planned articles on HTS. It is an interesting discussion, and in some ways a new one that has not happened previously with such a focus.

Ryan Anderson said...

Thanks Max. I am glad you are keeping up all of those posts on HTS. I'd like to hear what you think about the savage slot post...I read a few things by Trouillot last semester and really liked a lot of what he was talking about. Especially the discussions about the kinds of subjects that anthropology covers, and the reasons why.