My colleague Chris Garces has contributed this insightful post to the somatosphere blog on his ethnographic study of the Occupy Wall Street movement: http://somatosphere.net/2011/10/preamble-to-an-ethnography-of-the-people’s-mic.html. I’m fascinated by the echolalic character of the “people’s microphone”–a phenomenon that in other settings (church, court, presidential swearing in ceremonies) is less an expression of popular heterodoxy than ingrained orthodoxy.
This strange, effervescent and recently discovered mode of address is actually part-in-parcel with a much longer-standing American tradition of hallowed political speech—actively cultivating a sense of deep horizontal community and democratic process not felt on the Left in this country for what seems like generations.
Read more on Chris’s post. For me, the aesthetics of the people’s mic recalls two distinct experiences of the material world: the natural sublime of the echo (e.g., standing on the rim of a daunting canyon) and the technological sublime of the outdoor rock concert (e.g., Hello, Cleveland….leveland….eveland…eland…and…).
Scene 2: The Stuff that Dreams are made of.
The Maltese Falcon
The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of US graduate fellowships in support of research in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, and/or Azerbaijan). Awards will be made for a maximum of $1500 each. Projects in all fields in the social sciences and humanities are eligible. Proposals will be judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the Southern Caucasus. The purpose of the fellowship is to help cover travel to and/or living expenses in the Southern Caucasus. During his/her stay in the Southern Caucasus, the fellow is expected to give an ARISC sponsored presentation on a subject related to his/her research. The fellow will acknowledge ARISC in any publication that emerges from the research carried during the fellowship.
Application requirements: Please send a complete application including the application form, a project statement of not more than 3 pages, work schedule, budget, and curriculum vitae, by December 30, 2011 to email@example.com. Two letters of recommendation must also be submitted. All information must be received by December 30, 2011 in order for the applicant to be considered for the fellowship.
Please see http://arisc.org/RESOURCES/Funding-Opportunities/ARISC-Fellowships for the full description of the fellowship as well as the application form.
Under the Republican governor’s agenda, the winners would include programs in mathematics and science, but at the cost of supporting the humanities, the newspaper reports. “If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education, then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Mr. Scott told the paper. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state. Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”
via The Ticker – The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Open Context is a new effort to provide web access to digital archives of sites from around the world. As the number of sites included grows this could become a great research tool and venue for publishing original datasets. The geographic and temporal extent of sites already included in the database is impressive.