RobertsonCrusoe / Stephen Robertson

An anthropologist in Japan.

There are two people in RobertsonCrusoe’s collective.

Huffduffed (34)

  1. Individual identity and cultural relativism; an interview with Henrietta Moore (by Maria Arbiter)

    “New kinds of technological interfaces will have in the future, an impact on our understanding of what is an individual self. So much of what we already can do with technology takes place outside the individual body… As synthetic biology moves ahead there will be other things which will be there in the world which are derivatives of us but are not within the boundary of the human body. So what it is to be biologically human is moving out into the world in ways we could not have foreseen generations before. Some people argue that it is at this moment in history when this is changing faster than ever before…”

    Henrietta L. Moore is the William Wyse Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Culture and Globalisation Programme at LSE’s Centre for the Study of Global Governance. Previously she was LSE Deputy Director for research and external relations and served as the Director of the Gender Institute at the LSE from 1994-1999. She has held numerous Visiting Appointments in the United States, Germany, Norway, South Africa, among other places.

    Here she discusses her views on how anthropologists can best understand different cultures. What are the potential benefits and limitations of cultural relativism? How can psychoanalytic approaches enhance and enrich understanding? What is the impact of culture and technology on individual identity? Finally, how does she interpret the current moment of cultural change? Are apocalyptic narratives of ‘mcdonaldisation’, ‘starbucksisation’ and homogenization justified?


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  2. Malinowski Lecture: Rane Willerslev, “Frazer Strikes Back From The Armchair”

    This event was recorded on 13 May 2010 in Old Theatre, Old Building The question which runs throughout this talk can be stated in stark form: is it a mistake to take our interest in an ethnographic phenomenon in the direction of an empirical investigation, when what is really needed with respect to its clarity is an imaginative contemplation of it? It is my overall argument that this is indeed the case and that the Malinowskian recourse to empirical evidence as the ultimate criterion for anthropological knowledge is misguided. Some phenomena dealt with by anthropologists are beyond empirical experience. As examples, I take two classical topics - the ‘soul’ and ‘ritual blood sacrifice’. I will show how both are essentially metaphysical issues, not empirical ones. Understanding them, therefore, is not a question of advancement in the actual material practice of fieldwork, but of the power of the scholar’s speculative imagination. This finds an echo in Frazer, the last survivor of the old ‘armchair school’. His style of anthropology was marked by a deliberate speculative interrogation of ethnography - a process whereby abstract thinking gives force and meaning to ethnographic observations.

    Event listing:

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  3. Robin Dunbar talks with Guardian Science Weekly podcast about his new book “How Many Frinds Does One Person Need”

    Robin Dunbar (of the Dunbar Number) chats with Alok Jah of the Guardian (along with others) about friendships and the Dunbar number, which is the theoretical limit of viable stable relationships one person can have.

    Dunbuar’s new book, "How Many Friends Does One Person Need" is also out and discussed.

    —Huffduffed by RobertsonCrusoe

  4. International Development: A Historical Perspective from Cambridge

    with Keith Hart and Kate Pretty

    The Keynote Address for the special 800th Anniversary Edition Launch of Vision, CUiD’s termly magazine. Professor Hart is the author of "Memory Bank" and former head of the Department of African Studies in Cambridge.,com_mediadb/task,view/idstr,S-531659/Itemid,26

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  5. Interview with McKim Marriott, part 2 of 2

    An interview with the American anthropologist McKim Marriott about his life and work, principally in India.

    Interviewed by Kalman Applbaum and Ingrid Jordt on 14th June 2008, edited by Sarah Harrison and submitted by Alan Macfarlane.

    Original files:

    Summarized transcript:

    —Huffduffed by RobertsonCrusoe

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