This category contains 8 posts

Essentializing Eastern and Western Culture Through Infographics

While going through some old files on my computer this morning I came across a file I had saved with a collection of graphic illustrations of differences between “Eastern” and “Western” culture. Drawn a few years back by a Chinese artist named Yang Liu in Germany, some of them are very humorous and thoughtfully executed. For … Continue reading

What The Photograph Takes, What the Photograph Misses

Fujiazhuang Beach in Dalian presents a dizzying array of of activities and actions, social and personal trajectories of participation and involvement—all jostling up against one another on a small strip of sandy shore. My first day there, as I walked its length I saw a huge group of Russian children having a squirt gun fight next … Continue reading

Experience Japanese Culture Free of Charge! Let’s Try!

Just as I was heading to the gate to catch my flight leaving Narita airport I passed a last-chance culture display. In the vast neutral space of the terminal the small tatami covered stage, complete with paper screen, umbrella, lantern with Japanese characters and a koto was like some kind of cultural drinking fountain. A last … Continue reading

Amanda, The Computerized Telemarketer Who Insisted She Was Human

“The Master created humans first as the lowest type, most easily formed. Gradually, he replaced them by robots, the next higher step, and finally he created me, to take the place of the last humans.”― Isaac Asimov, I, Robot I just had the strangest conversation with a telemarketer. Well, actually I’m not sure I can consider it … Continue reading

What Weibo Wipes: A Collection of Censored Images

Sometime this last week a colleague shared a link to a very interesting collection of images erased from the Weibo microblogging website (“China’s Twitter”). The collection is being made by ProPublica and also includes some very interesting related articles about online censorship in China, such as “How to Get Censored on China’s Twitter.” I saved the link … Continue reading

On Becoming An Anthropologist (in 1970)

Last month, while doing some deep cleaning in our anthropology lab, I came across a small booklet titled On Becoming and Anthropologist: A Career Pamphlet For Students. Prepared by Walter Goldschmidt at UCLA, it was published by the American Anthropological Association in 1970. Its attractive burnt orange color, retro font, and the unidentified “ethnic symbol” … Continue reading

Tom Skype’s Sensitive Words: A Trove of Keywords for Contemporary China

In China, pretty much everyone knows that the Internet is heavily policed. The people know. The government knows the people know. The people know the government knows the people know. In fact, the “open secret” of the Great Firewall is surely an important part of the way censorship works in China. Precisely because people know … Continue reading

Cultural Script: How to Use Chopsticks


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