An essay on the anthropology of humanitarian shame

This post is part of a series linked to the workshop “Assessing the Anthropology of Humanitarianism: Ethnography, Impact, Critique”. ———————————– Humanitarian pluralism What are the cultural and historical forces and the physical dynamics that shape contemporary human displacements in the Middle East and the humanitarian efforts that follow? In this essay, I want to focus …

‘Southern’ and ‘Northern’ assistance provision beyond the grand narratives: Views from Lebanese and Syrian providers in Lebanon

Over the past few decades, scholars have increasingly employed the categories of ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’ to explore different political geographies and economies in development cooperation and humanitarian aid provision. Without doubt, whether and how these denominations make sense are not merely dilemmas of terminology. The Global South has been historically referred to in a …

A View from Beyond the Ivory Tower: An Addendum to Elizabeth Dunn’s “The Problem with Assholes.”

I am a fourth generation academic. I am the daughter, niece, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of professors.  I left academia soon after I got my PhD, because I had neither the money nor the patience to keep playing the adjunct/visiting appointment/job market game.  I became a teacher.  So my fight is not your fight.  But by …

Teaching humanitarianism in Lebanon, Turkey, and Italy

In an attempt to reflect on some lectures I have delivered on humanitarianism in Lebanese, Turkish, and Italian universities over the last three years, I would like to advance a few reflections on the “public afterlife” of my experience of teaching, the language I used in those classes, and the response I received from different …

Woe to the Poor: The Sad Face of America

Guai ai poveri: La faccia triste dell’America [“Woe to the poor: The sad face of America”, Gruppo Abele) by Elisabetta Grande, a professor of comparative law at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), is a fresh take on America’s “War on the Poor”. Engaging, well written and suitable for a non–expert audience, the book is …

Commissioned Anthropology

The account of the history and current position/role of anthropology has effectively been co-opted by academics, at the expense of the many anthropologists who “choose instead to practise anthropology along career paths outside of academia: for example, in public service, NGOs or commercial organisations” (MacClansey 2017). One of the main employment arenas of anthropologists and …