Our weekly gleanings present the latest happenings, research and writing along the tangled banks of culture and agriculture.
In 1998 Alfred Gell gave his opinion on what anthropology does best:
Anthropology is, to put it bluntly, considered good at provided close-grained analysis of apparently irrational behavior, performances, utterances, etc
Some have questioned farmer support for Donald Trump as such “apparently irrational” behavior, particularly in light of proposed budget cuts to the USDA, potential loss of agricultural labor and antagonism towards climate change measures. There is a certain smugness here, that these irrational people are getting what they deserve for making such an obviously wrong decision, against their own self-interest. Perhaps we need more close-grained analysis from anthropologists doing what they “do best”.
Since almost all behavior is, from somebody’s point of view, ‘apparently irrational’ anthropology has, possibly, a secure future
Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue defends the re-organization (read: demotion?) of rural development within the USDA and the budget proposal
The National Sustainable Agriculture weighs in on the budget and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
A new documentary film from FarmAid unravels the 80s farm crisis
Remembering Sydney Mintz
Cacao ceremonies in San Francisco
Exploring the Plantationocene in Malaysia and Indonesia