interesting parallels

my summer literature students made some very interesting parallels between Apartheid South Africa as portrayed in Woza Albert! with Guantanamo Bay. we had a great class in which we did dramatic interpretations taken from different scenes from Woza Albert! it really was a great way of 'transporting' the students into another culture where they experienced things like oppression and power struggles. this is definitely a lesson i will use in the future.

August 25, 2004 in other classes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

activist anthropology

an interesting discussion has begun in my field methods class about ethics. if you are a social scientist and you have ‘infiltrated’ a group that participates in illegal activities, like rape or abuse, do you just sit and watch, or do you do something? there are, apparently, two schools of thought on this issue. one school believes that if you do not participate, the understanding that you will bring to an issue is of more value than stopping the illegal activity, even if someone is immediately being hurt. the other school of thought believes that silent participation is still participation. this is the school of thought i strongly agree with! how could you sit and watch a group commit gang rape (one of the true-life examples brought out) and not do something? at what point is it ok to sit and watch as a person begs and screams and cries and do nothing? the school of thought that i subscribe to is called activist anthropology. patrik, our HUMlab director, once called me an activist in the description for our jokkmokk blog, but i did not believe him. i feel passionately about certain things, but i am not sure how active i have been. actually, thinking back, i have been more active than i initially thought. i could not stand by and watch as someone beat a child, or gang raped a person, even if it meant trading places (and yes, i can say that as i have been in similar situations. i guess he was right, maybe there is a little activist in me…

June 16, 2004 in other classes | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack