First Light

Welcome! At long last this blog is up and running. After a certain delay it is seeing first light, and I want to thank all those of you who visit, read and contribute to making this a stimulating exercise.

Herein you will find informal musings related to my academic subjects of interest, which are primarily directed at general discussions about anthropology and history, with a marked geographical interest in the two regions in which I have carried out certain periods of ethnographic fieldwork, namely, Oceania and Tibet. It is my wish that I may engage readers with issues having to do with anthropological practice and the writing of history. However, this is not meant to be a purely academic endeavour; hence, interspersed within and among the broader discussions I will include items of personal interest – such as news clippings, video links, literary topics – that might also stimulate reader reaction and discussion. Ultimately, the objective is to teach and learn by communicating, debating and sharing in an informal atmosphere of tolerance and openness; with the help of you, Gentle Reader, this initial effort may become a self-correcting construct that will eventually iron out its rougher edges and provide some food for thought.

I should add that it is my firm intention to henceforth update regularly, so that visitors will find fresh content and a sense of motion, even if not necessarily direction. But if this prove to be too ambitious a purpose, then we can always scale down and concentrate on that which proves to work best. That, after all, is the flexibility which these instruments allow.

Welcome once again.

And to kick us off, I cannot help opening with an irresistible quote (which may or may not be interpreted as naive, or even polemical, if judged by contemporary standards) from of one of the venerable predecessors of the ethnographic effort in the South Pacific:

 “It has been my purpose to set forth as much as possible what natives say about themselves, not what Europeans say about them.” Rev. Robert Henry Codrington, The Melanesians: Studies in their anthropology and folklore (1891)

*Con una disculpa anticipada para lectores hispanoparlantes, este blog tendrá un carácter fundamentalmente internacional, y por lo tanto el idioma de preferencia tenderá a ser el inglés, aunque seguramente habrá novedades ocasionales en español, bislama y otras de las lenguas en que a veces se me ha visto balbucear.

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