• #metooanthro


    metooanthro is a collective of anthropologists* from around the world committed to making our discipline a safer and more just space by combatting sexual assault and harassment. This collective grew out of a meeting of anthropologists at the Shifting States conference for AAS/ASA/ASAANZ in December, 2017.

    Anthropologists face unique working conditions – both inside and outside the university – that increase our exposure to the risk of sexual assault and harassment. We want to create a safer culture at our conferences, campuses, field sites, and all spaces in which anthropologists work.

    We begin by acknowledging that that many groups in our community are disproportionately affected by assault and harassment, and are further discriminated when attempting to seek redress.

    “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”
    ― Sara Ahmed

    We are currently working on three main actions and collecting personal stories of harassment in the discipline.

    We need to hear from more voices, not the same voices, in this work. We encourage all to participate.

    * The metooanthro collective is a broad and evolving group. At the moment, our emails, social media and website are run by Esther, Hannah and Mythily, who are all based in Australia.


    Here you can find a collection of resources about the issue of sexual assault and harassment in anthropology. If you know of any other resources that could be useful, please email metooanthro.

    How to respond to and support others:

    Naomi Quinn – ‘What do do about sexual harassment: A short course for chairs’
    Laura A. LeVon – ‘Teaching fugitive anthropology with Maya Berry and colleagues’
    Kristen Drybread – Writing about violence Part I; Writing about violence Part II

    Anthropology blogs and popular reporting on anthropology and sexual assault:

    The New Ethnographer – ‘Gendered Bodies’
    Cynthia Mahmood – India’s shame: The personal ordeal of Cynthia Mahmood
    Ann Gibbons & Elizabeth Culotta – ‘Anthropologists say no to sexual harassment’
    Alix Johnson – The Self at stake: Thinking fieldwork and sexual violence; Paranoid reading, writing, and research: secrecy in the field; Violence and vulnerability in anthropology
    Megan Steffen – Doing fieldwork after Henrietta Schmerler
    Bianca C. Williams – MeToo: A crescendo in the discourse about sexual harassment, fieldwork, and the academy Part I; MeToo: A crescendo in the discourse about sexual harassment, fieldwork, and the academy Part II
    Kate Clancy – ‘I had no power to say that’s not okay: Reports of harassment and abuse in the field’
    Mingwei Huang – ‘Vulnerable observers: Notes on fieldwork and rape’
    Nell Gluckman – How Henrietta Schmerler was lost, then found
    Melissa Demian – Anthropology after #MeToo
    Danielle Bradford & Charlotte Payne – Fieldwork safety, or: ‘don’t grab my pussy’
    Lexie Onofrei – #MeToo in anthropology: A call for updating codes of conduct in the field
    Elizabeth Beckmann – #MeToo in Anthropology (on the origins of a movement, and its future)
    Holly Walters – #MeToo Anthropology (reflecting on stories and potential responses)

    Anthropology News #MeToo series:

    Mingwei Huang, Vivian Lu, Susan MacDougall & Megan Steffen – Disciplinary violence
    Cheryl Rodriguez – Black women and the fight against sexual violence
    Gil Schmerler & Megan Steffen – The disavowal of Henrietta Schmerler
    Shan-Estelle Brown – #MeToo conversations on campus
    Kathleen S. Fine-Dare – The long view on #MeToo
    Mariam Durrani – #MeToo, believing survivors, and cooperative digital communication

    Podcast episodes:

    MeTooAnthro with Mythily Meher, Hannah Gould, Martha McIntyre & Tanya King for Anthropology @ Deakin: Episode #13
    Emma Louise Backe for This Anthro Life – ‘#MeToo: Stories in the age of survivorship’
    Elizabeth Watt (interviewed by The Familiar Strange) – ‘Ep. #9 Calculated risk: Elizabeth Watt talks sexual power, politics, and vulnerability in the field’

    A bibliography of writing on anthropology, sexual assault, gendered harassment, and identity:

    Berry, MJ, Chávez Argüelles, C, Cordis, S, Ihmoud, S & Velásquez Estrada, E 2017, ‘Towards a fugitive anthropology: Gender, race, and violence in the field’, Cultural Anthropology, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 537-565.

    Bohannon, J 2013, ‘Survey of peers in fieldwork highlights an unspoken risk’, Science, vol. 340, no. 6130, p. 265.

    Clark, I & Grant, A 2015, ‘Sexuality and danger in the field: Starting an uncomfortable conversation‘, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 1-14.

    Congdon, V 2015, ‘The ‘lone female researcher’: Isolation and safety upon arrival in the field‘. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 15-24.

    Isidoros, K 2015, ‘Between purity and danger: Fieldwork approaches to movement, protection and legitimacy for a female ethnographer in the Sahara Desert‘, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 39-54.

    Johansson, L 2015, ‘Dangerous liaisons: risk, positionality and power in women’s anthropological fieldwork‘, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 55-63.

    Kloß, ST 2017, ‘Sexual(ized) harassment and ethnographic fieldwork: A silenced aspect of social research’, Ethnography, vol. 18, no. 3, p. 396-414.

    Krishnan, S 2015, ‘Dispatches from a ‘rogue’ ethnographer: exploring homophobia and queer visibility‘,Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 64-79.

    Lewin, E & Leap, WL (eds.) 1996, Out in the field: Reflections of gay and lesbian anthropologists, University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

    McDougall, S 2015, ‘Will you marry my son? Ethnography, culture and the performance of gender‘, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 25-38.

    Miller, T 2015 ‘‘Listen to your mother’: negotiating gender-based safe space during fieldwork‘, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford: Special issue on Sexual Harassment in the Field, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 80-87.

    Moreno, E 2005, ‘Rape in the field’, in D Kulick & M Willson (eds.) Taboo: Sex, identity and erotic subjectivity in anthropological fieldwork, new edn, Routledge, London, pp. 166-189.

    Nelson, RG, Rutherford, N, Hinde, K & Clancy, KBH 2017, ‘Signalling safety: Characterizing fieldwork experiences and their implications for career trajectories’, American Anthropologist, vol. 119, no. 4, pp. 710-722.

    Pandey, A 2009, ‘Unwelcome and unwelcoming encounters’ in P Ghassem-Fachandi (ed.) Violence: Ethnographic encounters, Berg, Oxford, pp. 135-144.

    Pollard, A 2009, ‘Field of screams: Difficulty and ethnographic fieldwork’, Anthropology Matters, vol. 11, no. 2.

    Scheper-Hughes, N 2016, ‘James X: A reflection on rape, race, and reception’, Anthropology Today, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 21-25.

    Schneider, LT 2020, ‘Sexual violence during research: How the unpredictability of fieldwork and the right to risk collide with academic bureaucracy and expectations’, Critique of Anthropology, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 173-93.

    Williams, BC 2009, ‘”Don’t ride the bus!”: And other warnings women anthropologists are given during fieldwork’, Transforming Anthropology, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 155-158.

    Willson, M 2005, ‘Afterword: Perspective and difference: Sexualisation, the field, and the ethnographer’, in D Kulick & M Willson (eds.) Taboo: Sex, identity and erotic subjectivity in anthropological fieldwork, new edn, Routledge, London, pp. 190-207.

    #metoo #sexualized_harassment #gender #university #fieldwork #anthropology #collectiv #ressources #support #blog #reporting #podcast #references


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      Needless to say, there is a great deal of diversity in both the kinds of change being experienced in these places and the local reactions. To some, change offers job opportunities, peace, and improved infrastructure; to others, it means pollution, eviction, and a loss of livelihood. What all residents have in common is a loss of political autonomy. The decisions shaping their lives are being made further and further away from the specific locales where they live.

      One example from our research is a town in the Peruvian Andes where water was becoming scarce a few years ago. The locals suspected that a new mine was using their water, and they went to complain. However, the mining representatives claimed that it was not their fault and blamed global climate change for the erratic water supply. The question of who to blame and what to do suddenly became insurmountable for the townspeople. What could they do—send a worried email to then U.S. President Barack Obama and the Chinese government, urging them to curb greenhouse gas emissions? The gap was, naturally, too dizzying. Instead, some of them resorted to traditional healing rituals to placate the spirits regulating rain and meltwater. They trusted Pachamama, the goddess of Earth, more than their government or distant international organizations.

      Meanwhile in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, people were looking forward to job opportunities in a new mine (which, in any event, never opened) and a biofuel plantation (which did open). Globalization had brought them many benefits, notably an improved infrastructure. They relished the fact that, for the first time, they could buy bread from a roadside vendor that wasn’t covered in dust, since the road had finally been paved. But even in the midst of some positive outcomes, rapid change is creating discontent and frictions, not least over property rights. In traditional African societies, land was not considered property and could not be traded: It was allocated by the chief, used as a common resource available to all, or cultivated according to customary law. More recently, land has been privatized and turned into a form of capital, and suddenly, boundaries need to be drawn in an unequivocal way. Needless to say, these boundaries are contested.
      Various stakeholders try to work out a land dispute near Lunsar, Sierra Leone, in connection with a mining project.


      In the mid-1800s, when Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto, capitalists were easily identifiable. They were typically men, and the property owner was the proverbial man in the top hat, with his waistcoat, paunch, cigar, and gold watch. Today, the situation is far more complicated since ownership structures are transnational, corporate, and complex. Even in democratic countries, where political leaders are elected, there is a widespread feeling that the “powers that be” are further away and less approachable than before, and that there is nowhere to go with your complaints. In other words, both the economy and politics are less manageable, more difficult to understand, and harder to effectively react to.

      There are alternatives to the current situation of powerlessness. One way to counter globalized power is to globalize the response by forging alliances between local community groups and transnational organizations that are capable of putting pressure on governments, public opinion, and corporations. This has been a successful strategy among feminists, trade unionists, and environmentalists in the recent past. Another option—an opposite yet complementary strategy—is to resist the forces that threaten to overrun and disempower local communities. One of the most striking examples of this strategy is the burgeoning support for locally grown food.

      Gladstone is unique compared to previously traditional societies in that it is enmeshed in the economic globalization, which makes the little man and woman even smaller than they used to be. The city’s rise to prosperity was indeed a result of globalization. Yet, the same forces may well cause its downfall. Crucially dependent on fossil fuels, the city may once again become a dusty backwater should the world find better energy solutions.

      Signs of the city’s vulnerability are already evident: Since coal and gas prices began largely declining in 2013, and then a major construction project ended in 2015, the city has seen an unprecedented rise in unemployment and a steep fall in real estate prices.


  • The #Anthropology of #Security
    Perspectives from the Frontline of Policing, Counter- #terrorism and #Border Control


    In a post-Cold War world of political unease and economic crisis, processes of securitisation are transforming nation-states, their citizens and non-citizens in profound ways.
    The book shows how contemporary Europe is now home to a vast security industry which uses biometric identification systems, CCTV and quasi-military techniques to police migrants and disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This is the first collection of anthropological studies of security with a particular but not exclusive emphasis on Europe.
    The Anthropology of Security draws together studies on the lived experiences of security and policing from the perspective of those most affected in their everyday lives. The anthropological perspectives in this volume stretch from the frontlines of policing and counter-terrorism to border control.

    About The Author:

    Mark Maguire is Head of Anthropology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.
    Catarina Frois is Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Lisbon University.
    Nils Zurawski is Visiting Professor in Security, Social Conflicts and Regulation at the University of Hamburg.

    Table of contents:

    1: Sarkozy and the Roma: Performing Securitisation, by Marion Demossier
    2: Video-Surveillance and the Political use of Discretionary Power in the Name of Security and #Defence, by Catarina Frois
    3: Location, Isolation, and #Disempowerment: The Swift Proliferation of Security Discourse among Policy Professionals, by Greg Feldman
    4: Compensating (In)Security: Anthropological Perspectives on Internal Security, by Alexandra Schwell
    5: Petty States of Exception: The Contemporary Policing of the Urban Poor, by Didier Fassin
    6: Counter-terrorism in European Airports, by Mark Maguire
    7: Whose Security? The Deportation of Foreign-national Offenders from the UK, by Ines Hasselber
    8: Grey Zones of Illegality: Inhuman Conditions in Receiving Irregular #Migrants in Greece, by Jutta Lauth Bacas
    Security: Encounters, Misunderstanding and Possible Collaborationsm, by Didier Bigo

    #anthropologie - #sécurité #pauvreté #illegalité
    #migration #terrorisme #défence