Andrew has never been the same ever since

A rite of passage, a transition ceremony of sorts! Andrew’s identity changed when he left the group of non-shoe tyers and became a member of the shoe-tyers group.

Click on image to enlarge it. Incidentally, this actually happened in the mid 1990s, a couple of years after completing my doctorate, and it encapsulated in a single episode my sociolinguistically-oriented dissertation research in a bilingual Kindergarten classroom near Washington, DC in the mid 1990s that was undergoing a reform of its mathematics curriculum. Learning is identity change. Andrew has never been the same ever since!

Robert E. Lee Shook the Hand of Ely S. Parker

Lieutenant Colonel Ely S. Parker, whose photo can be found by clicking here , (born Hasanoanda, later known as Donehogawa), a Seneca lawyer, engineer, and tribal diplomat, was present when Confederate General Robert E. Lee (See drawing below) surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865.

At the surrender meeting, seeing that Parker was an American Indian, General Lee remarked to Parker, “I am glad to see one real American here.” Parker later stated, “I shook his hand and said, ‘We are all Americans’.”  (Sources for further general reading: this and that.)

Parker went on to head up the Bureau of Indian Affairs and collaborated with American anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan. Read on, by all means!

Robert E. Lee

Technical:

When my wife and I lived in Charlottesville, VA in the mid 1990s, I developed an interest in Robert E. Lee for reasons that continue to intrigue me, not the least of which is related to my having read Don Quijote de La Mancha as both an undergraduate and a graduate student. I’m fascinated by the man and how he is viewed in retrospect.

The reference photo I used can be found here along with others. I imported the photo into Procreate, drew it freehand using various brushes to apply and smudge color, and cropped it out. I could have spend more time on this one.

Marketing Anthropology or Vice Versa

My dad once told me that, when he was growing up as an Italian American in the 20s and 30s, he was ashamed to admit to his schoolmates that his mother made bread at home. Can you imagine that? Store-bought-bread was considered more modern; and even though Wonder Bread barely protected your fingers from the mayonnaise, it served to help folks shift upwards even before the advent of aluminum siding! Nowadays, making homemade bread is interpreted differently. Things change. What goes around – comes around, I guess.

What got me going on this? Yesterday Amy Santee got my wheels turning in a wonderful post about the value of ethnographic research for use in general marketing on her blog, Anthropologizing. Then today I saw a post by Tom Maschio in a LinkedIn group about the ways in which big business sometimes draws on anthropological notions. In Maschio’s post he shares a YouTube video by Abigail Posner, Google, Canada, who describes a few ways in which ethnography and anthropological concepts have helped Google and the rest of us make extraordinary sense of some pretty darn ordinary things that we habitually overlook.

Why wouldn’t these anthropological perspectives and ethnographic insights come in handy? They’re about people and the people-ish ways people do people things. In my view, a lot of the really good stuff came from anthropological research and theory in the first place; but, nowadays it’s either called something else or done by modern folks to look even more modern.

Still, ain’t nothin’ better than homemade bread! Oh, and I’m so glad there are creative, productive, professional anthropologists in the classroom and beyond sharing this delicious stuff!

(Sorry for the technical difficulties and the uploading fragmentation involved in this post. I hope you were lucky and didn’t even notice it.)

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Propiopasta and Culture

I’d much rather maintain a collectivist, communitarian perspective; but, when it comes to defining culture – and, don’t worry, we’ll get to pasta soon enough – I’ve always liked how Ward Goodenough distinguished between private culture and culture in general, Cf. Cooperation in Change (1963:260). In Culture, Language, and Society (1971:31, 1981:98), Goodenough subsequently coined the term propriospect to shed additional light on this important distinction in perspective. Let’s look at culture in general first and then propriospect (Goodenough 1981:98) … and then PASTA:

Culture consists of
standards for deciding what is,
standards for deciding what can be,
standards for deciding how one feels about it,
standards for deciding what to do about it, and
standards for deciding how to go about doing it
.

Propriospect [An individual’s private, subjective view of the world and of its contents – his or her “personal outlook.” Note: Goodenough considered using the Greek derivative, idiorama, but ultimately went with the Latinate, propriospect. See? We’re closing in on pasta!]
Included in a person’s propriospect and indeed, dominating its content are the various standards for perceiving, evaluating, believing, and doing that he attributes to other persons as a result of his experience of their actions and admonitions.

Simply put, propriospect is to culture as ideolect is to language.

I think it’s very helpful to look at culture(s) from both of these COGNITIVELY-ORIENTED perspectives simultaneously and in all cases. Otherwise, we might easily get carried away by overlooking Goodenough’s distinction and embracing only one perspective to the detriment of the other. For example, in pasta making…

propriopasta

Is there an anthropologist in the house?

Here I am in the Firestone waiting room again, and it’s an expensive wait. I brought my iPad and just started drawing one the ideas that I have listed on my Evernote list of drawing ideas. The item on the list was this: an anthropologist saying, I’d like to talk to you about your familiarity. The great Gary Larson has done some funny cartoons about anthropologists in tribal contexts. So, I knew I wanted to underscore the relative absurdity by using a contemporary, family, living room setting.

Half way through the drawing my stylus had a flat. This is, as they say, a whole nother story, this topic of styluses. I’m using some pretty basic styluses, nothing battery operated or fancy. They’re built in such a way that the tip isn’t really a tip; it’s a bulbus nubby kind of tip-ish sort of thing made of some sort of special material and meant to impersonate the finger…a small finger. At any rate, my rounded, bulb of a nub kinda went flat.

Now I know I need to carry a back up, especially when I’m in a waiting room.

Behind the scenes here is the notion of “familiarity.” I’m not knocking anthropologists. Familiarity is a tricky concept. There is something to be said of the unique role that anthropologists play in facilitating the familiarization of familiarity, not unlike the role of a midwife in some respects.

This time, because of the flat stylus, I spent very little digital attention on the faces. I kinda’ like that effect. I’ll try that again on purpose.

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