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The Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard is something of a documentary hit factory. Sweetgrass (2010) and Leviathan (2012) were both tremendous critical hits, dominating year-end top 10 lists and inspiring much of the growing excitement around creative nonfiction cinema. The same happened last year with Manakamana, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez‘s minimalist journey up and down a cable car in Nepal. All of their films are formally experimental and dramatically intimate, whether it be spending time with an old woman eating ice cream or waist deep in a pile of fish.

As is true of every hit factory, there are some Sensory Ethnography Lab films that sit a bit further outside the chorus of critical acclaim. Foreign Parts, directed by Verena Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki, slipped under the radar back in 2011. Sniadecki’s most recent feature, The Iron Ministry, was made outside of the purview of the Lab and does not currently have U.S. theatrical distribution. Both are excellent, complex portraits of communities in a state of flux.

It’s always been a little ironic that the most popular Sensory Ethnography Lab films are those with the least explicit engagement with people. Sweetgrass and Leviathan are nature films just as much as they are ethnography, if not more so. Foreign Parts and The Iron Ministry, on the other hand, are very specific portraits of two places and those who inhabit them. The former is a study of Willets Point, an odd industrial neighborhood in Queens, New York, where automobiles are scrapped, stripped and salvaged. Sniadecki’s latest solo project, meanwhile, is the result of three years spent riding the railroads of China. His fascination with mechanical images echoes both Foreign Parts and Leviathan, while his pursuit of a relaxed Chinese body politic in the passageways of its rail cars seems like new ground for the Lab’s associated filmmakers.

Both Foreign Parts and The Iron Ministry combine the kinetic representation of place and the less tangible distillation of very local culture. Willets Point frequently floods, allowing Paravel and Sniadecki to capture truly strange and unique images of New York City’s fringe. The messy state of the neighborhood has driven the city government to try and demolish it entirely. The only remaining official resident of the neighborhood becomes the hero of a grand and absurd tragedy, forming a community with those homeless New Yorkers who take refuge in the area’s industrial haunts. Local personalities are an equal part of this sensory ethnography with the landscape itself.
Read more at (gehiago…)


cooperacion y desarrollo

Comunicado del Comité Científico de las IV Jornadas de Antropología Aplicada al Desarrollo

Debido a la coincidencia de las Jornadas con la convocatoria de huelga del sector de la enseñanza el día 24 de marzo de 2015, y nuestro apoyo a la misma como miembros de la comunidad educativa, hemos tomado la decisión de posponer las Jornadas a los días 21 y 22 de abril de 2015 (Salón de Actos Polivalente, Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología, UCM).
Sentimos este nuevo cambio y pedimos disculpas por las molestias causadas.

Graduate Students Needed for the Cultural Horizons Prize Jury

For more than twenty-five years, the Society for Cultural Anthropology has been distinguished by having the largest graduate-student membership of any section of the American Anthropological Association (besides the National Association of Student Anthropologist). Recognizing that doctoral students are among the most experimentally minded—and often among the best read—of ethnographic writers, the SCA wants to know: Who is on your reading horizon?

This spirit gave rise to the Cultural Horizons Prize, awarded yearly by a jury of doctoral students, for the best article appearing in Cultural Anthropology during the preceding year. The 2014 Horizons Prize was awarded to Kevin Lewis O’Neill (University of Toronto) for his article, “Left Behind: Security, Salvation, and the Subject of Prevention,” Cultural Anthropology 28, no. 2 (November 2013): 204–26.

The SCA is now soliciting volunteers to serve on the 2015 doctoral student jury. The work involves reading through the 2014 volume of Cultural Anthropology over the summer, and delivering a collective decision by early August. Each member of the jury will receive a modest honorarium to help defray costs of attending the 2015 AAA meetings, in order to present the award to the recipient.

For the selection of the jury, we aim to cover the widest range of interests consonant with SCA membership, as well as SCA’s spirit that prioritizes interdisciplinarity, ethnography, theoretical innovation, and literariness. To apply, please send:

  1. A paragraph-length statement of research interests and qualifications;
  2. A current curriculum vitae;
  3. A short (one paragraph) note of recommendation from a dissertation committee member.

Applications may be sent to: Ana María Ochoa,

Please use “Honors Prize Committee” in the subject heading when submitting your application. The application deadline is April 15, 2015.

Submissions for the 2015 Gregory Bateson Book Prize

The Bateson Book Prize is awarded by the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA), the largest section of the American Anthropological Association. The Bateson Prize reflects the SCA’s mandate to promote theoretically rich, ethnographically grounded research. In particular, the society prioritizes works with deep interdisciplinary engagements with other fields such as art, media, history, literary theory, political theory, and religion. Named after the famed anthropologist, semiotician, cyberneticist, and photographer, Gregory Bateson (1904–1980), the award honors research that stands in this innovative, diverse tradition.

The SCA requests any presses that wish to submit books published in 2014 for the Bateson Prize to select those they see as most relevant for consideration. The deadline of receipt for submissions is May 15, 2015. To submit an entry, publishers are invited to send one copy of the book directly to each of four Bateson Committee members (below). Inquiries should be directed to Laura Bear at

Laura Bear
Department of Anthropology
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Elizabeth Davis
Department of Anthropology
116 Aaron Burr Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Sarah Franklin
Department of Sociology
University of Cambridge
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 9RQ

Eduardo O. Kohn
Department of Anthropology
McGill University
7th Floor, Leacock Building
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7



RESUMEN Este artículo presenta una serie de cuadros que recogen el impacto ambiental que producen determinadas actividades físicas desarrolladas en el medio natural y las acciones que permiten controlar, disminuir e incluso anular los efectos negativos de su práctica. Propuesta que surge de la reflexión y análisis de los factores que determinan el grado de impacto que producen diferentes actividades físicas enmarcadas en el medio natural. Todo ello recae en la importancia de la educación en valores medioambientales de los jóvenes que están en los centros escolares.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Impacto, aventura, naturaleza, medio ambiente.

Function and use of technical artefacts: social conditions of function ascription


It is argued that we cannot understand the notion of proper functions of artefacts independently of social notions. Functions of artefacts are related to social facts via the use of artefacts. The arguments in this article can be used to improve existing function theories that look to the causal history of artefacts to determine the function. A view that takes the intentions of designers into account to determine the proper function is both natural and often correct, but it is shown that there are exceptions to this. Taking a social constitutive element into account may amend these backwards looking theories. An improved theory may either have a disjunctive form—either the history or collective intentions determine the proper function—or, as is suggested in the article, be in the form of an encompassing account that views the designers’ intentions as social, in so far as they are accepted by the users. Designers have authority, which is a social fact. The views argued for here are applied to two existing theories of artefact functions, a causal historic approach and an action theoretic approach.


  • Function;
  • Artefact;
  • Evaluative judgement;
  • Action;
  • Collective intentionality


As part of our support of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, we are delighted to offer you free access to a selection of articles exploring Diaspora. Simply click on the article(s) below to claim your free access.

PLEASE NOTE: free access is only available via the links on this page. (gehiago…)


Democratie - Democracy by Serge klk (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Democratie – Democracy by Serge klk (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This is all over the newspapers: MPs have found that the United Kingdom detains ‘far too many [migrants] unnecessarily and for far too long’. This makes the system ‘expensive, ineffective and unjust’.

Such are the conclusions of the cross-party parliamentary inquiry which, for the last six months, had heard directly from current and former detainees about what immigration detention really means in practice.

We are told, members of the parliamentary panel were ‘shocked’ by some of the testimonies they heard. They are now convinced that ‘little will be changed be tinkering with the pastoral care or improving the facilities’. They say, immigration detention must become a last resort and not be allowed to go on for over 28 days.

Activists are over the moon. The most optimists amongst them think that this may prove to be a turning point in UK immigration detention policy. Academics are more circumspect and offer a more sober assessment of the inquiry’s likely impact.

As for me, I want to ask a slightly different question.

The United Kingdom is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (let us hope this lasts), and the final interpreter of the Convention is the European Court of Human Rights. How come, then, have we not heard the Strasbourg Court denouncing immigration detention?


Lanzamiento programación FEMCINE 5





Este sábado 14 de marzo se lanza la programación de la quinta edición del Festival de Cine de Mujeres de Santiago, FEMCINE 5.

En el marco de la fiesta Cóctel de Femme, que se realizará en Bar El Clan, daremos a conocer nuestra grilla de programación que cuenta con una selección de más de cien obras audiovisuales compuesta de largometrajes y cortometrajes de ficción, documental, animación, vídeos clip, videoarte y videodanza.

Los invitamos a que nos acompañen para celebrar la riqueza y la diversidad de las películas realizadas o protagonizadas por mujeres.

La fiesta contará con la música en vivo de Aflora y continuará con DJ Atenea y Dj Alfreedelic.

Bar El Clan está ubicado en calle Bombero Núñez 363, Barrio Bellavista.

Abierto desde las 22:00 horas. Entrada: $5.000 (general) y $3.000 (preventa)

Los esperamos!


Enrico Mora / Departamento Sociología, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, España


El grito, como cualquier otra expresión corporal humana, está institucionalizado. Un contexto particularmente adecuado para identificar esta operación social la ofrecen determinados espacios cuyos dispositivitos disciplinarios (fundados en el sexismo y el clasismo) modelan y articulan el grito legítimo frente a los ilegítimos: los gimnasios. La construcción social de la corporalidad ya hace unas décadas que se ha convertido en un tema de particular interés en las ciencias sociales occidentales. Sin embargo, los estudios psicosociales del cuerpo aun no han incorporado suficientemente las aportaciones que puede ofrecer la teoría crítica feminista de las emociones para la comprensión de las fuentes de malestar y sufrimiento evitable que la actual producción sexista corporal genera en las personas. Específicamente, analizar la corporalidad como una construcción psicosocial, desde una perspectiva epistemológica feminista, implica interrogarse sobre los dispositivos psicosociales de género que constituyen al ser humano en un ser corporal femenino o masculino. Y el grito es precisamente un terreno particularmente fecundo para iniciar una aproximación de este tipo y que en este texto se desarrolla a partir de la investigación “La producción psicosocial y de género de la corporalidad. El caso de un gimnasio”, una etnografía desarrollada durante más dos años y que sigue en curso. En este texto se describen algunos de los principales componentes regulatorios sexuales y de género de los gritos producidos en el espacio de un gimnasio del área metropolitana de Barcelona y su contribución a la institucionalización sexista de dicho espacio, y a la corporalidad masculina hegemónica.



The cry, like any other human body expression, is institutionalized. A particularly context suitable to identify this social operation we offer it certain spaces whose disciplinary devices (founded in sexism and classism) model and articulate the legitimate versus illegitimate cry: we refer to gyms. The social construction of the body it has become a topic of particular interest in Western Social Science. However, even the body psychosocial studies have not sufficiently incorporated the contributions that can offer Feminist Critical Theory of Emotions for understanding the sources of avoidable suffering and discomfort that the current production of bodies sexist generates in people. Specifically, analyze the body as a psychosocial construction, from a feminist epistemological perspective, involves questioning on psychosocial gender devices that constitute the human being in a body. And the cry is just a particularly fertile ground for commencing an approach of this type and in this text developed from research “Psychosocial production and gender of the body: The case of a gym”, an ethnography that we have carried out for about 2 years. In this paper we describe some of the main regulatory sexual and gender components of cries produced in the space of a gym in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and its contribution to sexist institutionalization of that space.

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