Workshop report and ethnographic volume digest vol. 8

Dear NET members and ethnographic theory aficionados,

We are happy to report that the NET-organised workshop “Fakery, Insincerity and the Anthropology of Humbuggery” has successfully taken place in Capri, Italy, on 7-10 September. The workshop comprised of sixteen thought-provoking papers focusing on themes such as fakery, deception, lying, conspiracy theory, deceit and bullshit. Over the next few weeks we will be posting interviews with participants of the workshop, talking about the workshop themes as well as their work. We would once again like to thank The Wenner-Gren Foundation, the European Association of Social Anthropologists, the University of Manchester, and the Society for Ethnographic Theory for funding and hence making possible this workshop.

We are also happy to provide you with another version of our digest, which rounds up the best ethnographic-theory related material from the anthro-internets.

  1. HAU has had a busy couple of months, full of activities and releases. On Friday, October 13th it organised the Inaugural Levi-Strauss Lecture in collaboration with Revue l’Homme. The first speaker of this series was Aparecida Vilaça and her lecture was entitled “The devil and the secret life of numbers. Transformations and translations in the Amazon.” A video of the lecture can be found on HAU’s Facebook page. HAU Books has also released two more volumes of its Malinowski Monographs Series: Andrew Irving’s The Art of Life and Death, and Matthew Carrey’s Mistrust.
  2. History and Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) continues its resurrection with an open-access special section entitled “Fields, Furrows and Landmarks in the History of Anthropology,” which includes contributions by the likes of Marilyn Strathern and James Clifford.
  3. Moreover, the latest issue of History and Anthropology has an important debate on Jonathan Parry’s seminal article “The Indian Gift.” The debate is free to access and includes Andrew Sanchez, James Carrier, Chris Gregory, James Laidlaw, Marilyn Strathern, Yunxiang Yan and Jonathan Parry.
  4. Anthropology of This Century has released another quality issue full of interesting book reviews and a featured article.
  5. DID YOU KNOW: The University of Helsinki department of anthropology makes recording of its visiting seminar series available online. Here’s Birgit Meyer’s lecture from last May, entitled “Image Wars in Past and Present.”




Workshop announcement

The Network of Ethnographic Theory, with the kind support of The Wenner-Gren Foundation, the European Association of Social Anthropologists, the University of Manchester and the Society of Ethnographic Theory, is pleased to announce a workshop on Fakery, Insincerity, and the Anthropology of Humbuggery.

The workshop will take place in Capri, on Sept. 7-10 2017. Attendance is restricted to participants.



Ethnographic theory digest vol. 7 (also, some workshop news)

Dear NET members and ethnographic theory aficionados,

We are happy to provide you with another version of another volume of our digest, as well as some news of  a workshop NET is co-organising in September 2017.

1. New, open-access issue of Anthropology of This Century, which also includes an interview with Janet Carsten.

2. “Why was Clifford Geertz such a popular anthropologist?” The start of an interesting post on the legacy of Geertz by Savage Mind’s Rex.

3. New, open-access issue of Suomen-Anthropologi, which also includes a lecture and interview with Anna Tsing.

4. New, open-access issue of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. As always it contains an abundance of first-rate scholarship, including a much discussed debate on the place of ethnography in anthropology.

5. Cultures of Energy podcast with Alexei Yurchak who among other topics talks about his current research on Russian scientists trying to preserve Lenin’s body.


September workshop

We are happy to announce that NET is co-organising a workshop with HAU/The Society of Ethnographic Theory to take place 7-10 September, 2017 in Capri Island, Italy. We are thankful to the Wenner-Gren Foundation, EASA and the University of Manchester for their funding in facilitating the workshop.

The workshop will be convened by Giovanni da Col (SOAS) and Theodoros Kyriakides (Manchester), and includes the participation of Susan D. Blum (Notre Dame), Harri Englund (Cambridge), Niloofar Haeri (Johns Hopkins), Michael Herzfeld (Harvard), Angelique Haugerud (Rutgers), David Henig (Kent), John L. Jackson (Upenn), Michael Lambek (Toronto),  Rena Lederman (Princeton), Sasha Newell (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Sherry Ortner (UCLA), Andrew Shryock (Michigan), Carlos Londoño Sulkin (U of Regina), Madeleine Reeves (Manchester), Angela Reyes (Hunter College, CUNY) and Alexei Yurchak (UC Berkeley).

We will be making available more information in the coming months.

We hope this finds you well and enjoying the end of the academic year.


Ethnographic theory digest vol. 6

Dear NET members and ethnographic theory enthusiasts,

We are happy to provide you with our sixth version of our ethnographic theory digest, bringing you a collection of interesting links, publications and resources from the anthro-internets.

  1. The Distributed Text: An Annotated Digital Edition of Franz Boas’s Pioneering Ethnography. An interactive prototype of Franz Boas’ seminal The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians. The original 1895 text is also available on
  2. Fields, Furrows, and Landmarks in History of Anthropology. History and Anthropology has resurrected its newsletter and has invited a series of notable scholars to reflect on the journal’s rich past and future.
  3. New open access issue on the theme of “ritual intimacy” by Suomen Anthropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society. The issue also include an interview with Maurice Bloch.
  4. 70 (or so) Essential Books in Anthropology. AllegraLab asked its readers what they consider to be the most important books in the history of anthropology, and here are the results.
  5. [VIDEO]: A November 2016 lecture by Philippe Descola: “Écologie et anthropologie : Pour une science systémique de l’homme.”

Ethnographic theory digest Vol. 5

Dear NET members,

We are happy to present you with another version of the ethnographic theory digest from around the anthro-internets.

  1. The latest issue of History and Anthropology includes “Marshalling Sahlins” – Michael Lambek’s review of Golub, Rosenblatt and Kelly’s (eds.) The Thought and Influence of Marshall Sahlins.
  2. The Times Literary Supplement has a review by Max Hayward entitled “Philosophy vs. Ethics,” which also addresses Webb Keane’s Ethical Life.
  3. An article by Roberte Hamayon in The Conversation, exploring the relevance of shamanism in today’s world (in French).
  4. Via Jonathan Goodwin, an astounding co-citation network graph of American AnthropologistCultural AnthropologyAmerican Ethnologist and The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
  5. “Notes on a Balinese Cockfight” and Donald Trump – part of Somatosphere’s Aftermath series of posts.
  6. EVENT: The State We’re In: Anthropological Perspectives on Brexit and Trump – Debate at UCL Anthropology on March 15th.

On another note, we are busy at work organising a NET event for this summer/early fall – details are yet to be finalised but we will hopefully be able to provide information next month.

In the meantime, we hope this finds you well and hard at thought!

Ethnographic theory digest vol. 4

We are happy to provide you with our 4th curated edition of the ethnographic theory digest, containing journal releases from the anthro-internets.

  1. The Journal for the Study of Religious Experienceis a relatively new endeavour, and has released its second issue. The journal is open access and provides interesting articles at the intersection of anthropology and religious studies.
  2. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theoryhas released a new issue and, as always, it is a treat! This issue marks HAU’s 5th year anniversary since it situated itself as the foremost journal of ethnographic theory, and we wish it 100+ years more.
  3. In case you missed it, Philippe Descola’s replyto Tim Ingold’s review of his Beyond Nature and Culture, published in Anthropological Forum.
  4. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Societylikewise has a new open-access issue out.
  5. In case you missed it, Somatosphere has a call for submissions on its new series called Aftermath – “a new series examining the consequences of recent nationalist political turns throughout the world, including the US election.”

Last but not least, we would like to inform you that NET convenor Susana de Matos Viegas is running in the next EASA executive election! Information about the upcoming election can be be found at

A belated Happy New Year to all of you! As convenors of NET we aim for 2017 to be a year through which our network grows and further clarifies its mission of providing a platform to enrich ethnographic theory.

Best wishes,
Theo and Susana

(NET convenors)

Ethnographic theory digest, vol. 3

Dear NET members,

Happy belated Halloween and welcome to the third edition of the ethnographic theory digest. As usual, we have assembled an array of links from the anthro-internets for you to peruse.

  1. HAU has a new autumn issue out, which includes a debate section on Sherry Ortner’s instant classic “Dark anthropology and its others.” Also, the Centre of Ethnographic Theory at SOAS will host two events in late November: On Nov. 16, a group study session on themes of PLAY and LUCK. And, on Nov. 29th, a debate on “Two or three things I hate/love about ethnography.” Visit HAU’s Facebook pagefor more details on participants, times and places.
  2. Somatosphere has released their second part to their comprehensive “A reader’s guide to the anthropology of ethics and morality,”this time compiled by Webb Keane.
  3. University of Chicago Press has just made available a second edition to Roy Wagner’s seminal The invention of culture.
  4. The Times Literary Supplement has a review by Adam Kuper – with a somewhat provocative title – of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ latest epic biopic,  written by Emmanuelle Loyer.
  5. AllegraLab has a review of Marshall Sahlins’ What kinship is – and is not.
  6. The latest Cambridge Anthropology Podcast is an interview with Richard Werbner about his latest book, Divination’s grasp: African encounters with the almost said.