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Midway Conversations 2016: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

Last night at the Turf Club the Spring 2016 Visual Anthropology Class screened a selection of the work they have been doing with their neighborhood partners this semester. As with previous years the work they shared illustrated the special relationship that many of them have developed with neighbors in the Hamline Midway. The neighbors shared … Continue reading

Haunting the Campus 2016

Yesterday morning at 8am students in our Pilgrims, Travelers and Tourists class spread out across campus, took empty spaces and narrated them into existence—haunting the campus with the likes of pirates, magical ravers, Paul Bunyan and revelations of improbable things just below the surface. The rainy weather wasn’t ideal, but the signs did attract a great … Continue reading

Hacking With Squirrels: Yeti Campus Stories

This semester our digital anthropology seminar has covered a lot of ground. We have been so busy, in fact, that I haven’t had much time to even do all of the blogging that I had planned. I hope to do some catching up at the end of the semester. We have read many interesting things, … Continue reading

Midway Conversations 2015: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

 “We aren’t training to be filmmakers, but use our cameras to learn. Our neighbors have taught us so much.” This past Sunday afternoon our Visual Anthropology class hosted its fourth annual public screening and “thank you” party for our neighborhood—The Hamline Midway. While in previous years we had an early evening slot, this year the … Continue reading

Good Food Class: Ramen Cookoff

“In fact, instant noodles may well be the most successful industrially produced food, at least in terms of world penetration: they constitute a huge social reality—and one inviting attention. Much like sugar, instant noodles are a capitalist provision that provisions capitalism…Because they feed people quickly and cheaply, they appeal to busy and economy-minded people everywhere” … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part Two

  This past Monday night our First Year Seminar gathered together for a food tasting meal—an event that gave us a chance to taste a wide variety of foods in dialogue with the books we have been reading and discussing so far this semester. In Part One of this post I summarized some of those … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part One

This semester I am teaching a First Year Seminar titled Good Food: Eating and Culture. For the first half of the semester we have been learning about different aspects of the American food system and its history. Beginning with Michael Pollan’s classic Omnivore’s Dilemma and James E. McWilliams Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can … Continue reading

Good Food: First Day Food Activity

This semester I am teaching a first year seminar (FYSEM) called Good Food: Eating and Culture. The primary goal of the class—in addition to all of the standard introduction-to-college kinds of things required of all FYSEMs—is to consider what makes a food “good.” Humans can and do eat pretty much everything on the planet that … Continue reading

Midway Conversations 2014: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere

On May 20th from 5:30-7:30pm at a local neighborhood venue, the Turf Club, this spring’s Visual Anthropology class premiered their final mini-documentary projects to a packed house of 100-120 people. This was the second such public event (the first was written about here) and the first to actually be pulled off during finals week at the … Continue reading

Haunting the Campus, Making Spaces

In spite of the overcast skies, students in Pilgrims, Travelers and Tourists fanned out across campus to renarrate its spaces in an application of concepts we have been discussing in class. This is the second year I have done this with the class and it seems to be an enjoyable exercise. This year I also went … Continue reading


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