thx. This is why I use a “hosted solution”.  I’m a user. I don’t know how the technique I use works and I don’t know what other beings inhabit the ocean I surf.   


On Thomas Hylland Erikson’s site Engaging with the World  some nights ago I came across his keynote speech to the conference “Bi- and multilingual universities: Challenges and future prospects” [University of Helsinki, Sept 1 – 3, 2005] wherein he reflects  cultural implications of English as a universal academic language: McDonaldisation or diversity? Notes on the use of English as a foreign language

I won’t try to reproduce it here, you can go and have a worthwhile look yourself icyai. While both title and the initial lines, which are said to be an “aphorism from the internet” are provokingly set, it is a sensuous reflection on what it means for non-native speaking academics to professionally communicate in English–especially in the humanities. You know these nightmares in which one cannot speak, only grumbles and strange sounds coming off one’s mouth, like a video that is on slomo?   

The use of English moreover may impact the representation of non-native speakers’ research in the academic community and on the publication market, as far as I ve understood Erikson–whom I would not have been able to read without him presenting in English. 

The last line of that internet aphorism btw–I think–Adrian would have answered by “an australian? “.   


pain or nature of discomfort

Cultural Relativism in sociocultural anthropology is taught, but I for myself have not yet sufficiently answered questions of is something like that really practised or is it an abstract paradigm. 

Pain–n’importe physical or mental pain–and culturally shaped attitudes, practices and discourses in western societies that relate to physical and/or mental pain (medication) seems to be one key complexe that is related to contemporary debate on ‘moral’ and ‘cultural relativism’.  

This entry mainly is an attempt to begin to figure my mixed emotions after having read a male anthropologist’s recent article on female circumcision some days ago.  My immediate association in the first place really only is the note that–at least–the “pharaonic circumcision”  is not comparable to the practices of circumcisions on e.g. jewish or muslim males that are mostly known. A “pharaonic circumcision” transfered on human male genitals means that your penis is cut off in its totality. 

Can’t tell–ask the children. Not their parents.  



kyrill waters


Big wind outside tonight, category 2. Someone has put up an orkanblog. Storm warnings on the media all day, schools closed and traffic stands still. People are advised to stay in their houses on all channels and streets are totally empty.  

I didn’t know ‘Orkan’ translates to ‘hurricane’. An Orkan is the same phenomenon as taifuns and hurricanes are. As one can look up on the Saffir-Simpson Scale Orkan Kyrill is not so much of a problem regarding wind but regarding the water that is pressed into the land. The North Sea is just one hour drive away. 85% of Bremen’s town area would be flooded by river Weser without an Orkan two times a day by nature, if there wasn’t a complexe system of dikes.      


Open J-Gate and Captive Madrillus leucophaeus

3921 open access journals, full texts pop up. Searching for titles containing ‘Anthropology’ my attention was caught by one Oxford Journal of Anthropology article entiteled Activity Budget of Captive Madrillus leucophaeus in the Confines of the Atlanta Zoo. This is remarkable in so far as I don’t even from the abstract get a glimpse of what this paper is about.  

Google in turn asked me whether I meant Captive Mandrillus leucophaeus.  (Those Bioko guys do survey the local bushmeat market ??) 

And no, I’m not spotting a typo.

media, reality?


just be at ethno::log puts up a nice one questioning western images of ‘the arab’: Where does the cultural ‘arab’ stereotype come from?

She links to a mash-up that contains scenes taken off several audiovisual media, mostly mainstream films, anglophone each, as far as I figured the sources and asks how far we think to be influenced by certain stereotypes circulated by media as represented in said moviefile.

Having reflected the position I instinctively took on first, after a few hours I must admit, I can’t but recall a very moment from my early studies. Dirk Hoerder, who gave an introductory class on the history of the Northern Americas, asked us how the indians of the great prairees had hunted the buffalo before the europeans came. Sitting in the first row his eyes fell on me. On horses, I said. No, he said, horses were brought to the american continent by europeans. And then he turned around and stopped in for a second, smiled at me and said, thx that was exactly what I wanted to hear. I understood a lot from that dialog because by my biography I became aware certain knowledge of mine indeed was rooted in images created by Karl May.

(Tokei-ihto was there, too. But that’s another entry.)

question and answer

In case one is interested in learning more on academia, the columns of inside higher ed, I think, really are a place. I actually am not aware whether there exists an equivalent in german language. It even seems hard to only imagine there was one.

From a comments section: “Then (…) there’s the reverse: editors who collect papers together, then sit on them. For years. Maybe editors learn this skill early in their careers. Mind you, it can be a hard one to avoid.A useful skill for editors is shadow-writing when contributors fail to produce for a volume. I recall a couple of articles that I basically wrote myself, from the author’s raw text or data (and twice in a foreign language, too). Funny how these two papers later appeared on author’s cvs, without coauthorship or acknowledgement of the extra input.”

Another commentor adds, “as an over-extended graduate student, I must lift my glass to Mr. Weir. We must remember those articles we have listed as ‘in press’ on our CV’s which, if not submitted, revised, or otherwise completed, make our documentation blatantly false… (…)”

My simple lesson here is, things are more complexe than I knew. Somehow I had only thought up to “acceptance” and imagined “publication” to be the immediate follower on some level of abstraction. On the way I already had learned that academic authors must be aware of their texts being modified in the publication process. I now am aware of there being much more (f)actors that take impact on things (academic) publication and (academic) vita.