"Practicing Anthropology" Goes Palestinian
I am waiting patiently for the Spring issue of the Society for Applied Anthropology's publication "Practicing Anthropology". This is due to the fact that the SfAA turned it's control for its Winter issue over to a Palestinian guest editor and produced a quite ridiculous issue of what is supposed to be a serious academic journal into an advertizing campaign for the Palestinian cause. The editor has assured me that the next issue is to have an Israeli guest editor and will focus on the Israeli side of the issue, but I'm quite apprehensive regarding what I will find in the new issue, as previous articles in this journal on the Israelis have primarily focused on Israeli peace activists and spoken negatively of the more hard-liners in Israel.
As for the winter issue, it features such absurd articles as "Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center: A Narrative of Beautiful Resistance" which focuses on a center in the West Bank "refugee camp" of Aida, which has a history "of continuous tragedy". No doubt that it does. How can any place that advocates constant resistance and intifada, meanwhile glorying in it and calling it "beautiful" not have a tragic history? They do not report on the number of suicide bombers from this community, but do detail the Alrowwad Centre's program of teaching the camp's children to use theater to tell the story of their tragic lives. The children and their plays have even toured the United States.
There are many more articles, including one about Israel's "Apartheid Wall", most quite unprofessional as far as more traditional anthropology is concerned. I will be co-writing a more detailed report on this publication with a practicing Anthropologist later on, and we will delve further into the issues brought up in this publication. Suffice it to say, it is the political shifts to the extreme Left in academia that keep quite intelligent students from even bothering to go into fields such as Anthropology as well as causing many Anthropologists to either keep their mouths shut or to seek work in related or other fields. Publications such as this issue of "Practicing Anthropology" serve as rather sturdy ideological signs reading essentially, "Dissenters Need Not Apply".
But then, as the editor wrote me, "resistance IS beautiful".
For the table of contents for this issue, please see the SfAA's site, specifically: http://www.sfaa.net/pa/pa28-1.html
For a much more detailed image of the magazine cover, please see the large version of it online at Flickr at: