Writing Culture and the Life of Anthropology
Orin Starn is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal and Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes, and the coeditor of The Peru Reader, all also published by Duke University Press.
Since Writing Culture, writing culture has gone through at least three time warps, psychodynamics, and writing technologies: pen, camera, digitization. Cultural anthropology has gone through shifts in building porosities first with the humanities, then the media, and lately emergent biological and ecological sensibilities. This chapter attempts to capture with “pen” (or laptop), for a sedimented print world, the magic pad or 4-d triangulations of historical discourses, operating systems, and sociocultural con-texts. The chapter also draws on films, theater, photos, and digital media from Indian, Iranian, Chinese, and American parallel worlds. Anthropological voices are evoked to help articulate refractions of everyday life that can often upset the echo-chamber master narratives of politicians, political scientists, economists, and the mass media, reframing memory and anticipation.