"You would have a Republican shop, a monarchist shop, a
communist shop, a fascist shop, an anarchist shop, a papist shop...etc.
The shops could be decorated with posters or other artifacts of the
time, and you might select music that might play in each shop. You could
conceivably design an interactive robot who would spout the political
platitudes of that particular shop owner. The final activity would be to
go around and visit all the shops and do some comparing/contrasting.
"I always thought this was the best way to understand "thick
description" and similar concepts."
One problem I always had with Geertz was that "thick description" remained just that . . . an observational/contemplative perspective . . . as though somehow there is such a thing as a culture that you can understand without entering it, without being a part of it, that is w/o taking a position in something that is already polarized in the conflictual structure of History since a long time ago
--> leads to -->
considerations on the spain '36 Second Life scenario (Second Life,the ideal kind of peaceful, friendly, very unrealistic space that epitomizes the contemplative attitude Marx descried in the Theses on Feuerbach) and I couldn't help but think that such a situation could never give an idea of what Spain must have been like back then (collectively paying for the sins they committed against the peoples of the southern part of the western hemisphere of planet earth??).
To make such a scenario more real, it might be better to set it up as different stars systems in EVE (which has more realistic graphics anyway) where the Fascists would have their shops that you could visit and read all about cultural degeneracy and such, meet the founder of Opus Dei, etc. but you could also witness them bombing Guernica , murdering Garcia Lorca, and the like when you visited the Republican systems which they were attacking. And in general, everyone would be toting guns and shooting at each other but I think the Republicans would have better art and poetry, be on the right side of History, and in the end be more worth taking a side with.
Mike Cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Amazing, larry. Thanks for that story.
Republican Spain was not utopian. Today I teach Orwell. But some truly
people with the good sense to be premature anti-fascists died there, to save
On 11/1/06, Davies, Larry wrote:
> Today seems to be one of those days where a lot of things come together.
> I have a presentation tonight in my doctoral class (I'm the student, not
> the teacher) where I need to explain concepts of "deep description" in
> qualitative research methods, and here is the passing of Geertz.
> Then Mike asks who knows about the Lincoln Brigades. Coincidentally, or
> not, the most interesting class I ever had as an undergrad (LONG AGO, don't
> ask!) was a history of the Spanish Civil War class. Our instructor
> introduced himself on the first day..."My name is Jon Vigoda, and I'm a
> carpenter." We all looked at each other wondering who this old man was and
> what made him qualified to teach the course. "I was a member of a group
> called the Abraham Lincoln Brigades and I fought against Franco and the
> Fascists in Spain. That got me labeled as a 'pre-mature anti-fascist' by the
> US government and, as a result, I wasn't allowed to enlist to fight the
> Well, of course, I can't ever forget the class, or the activities we did,
> like try to hold a cabinet meeting with all the different factions in Spain
> So, Mike, your comment now gets me to thinking...was that the place and
> time where I first became interested in what is now called "Activity
> Finally, as I work with faculty here and try to describe effective
> teaching, I use the following example: one effective way to build in an
> online world like Secondlife.com would be to have students recreate, for
> example, a street in Republican Spain in 1936. You could have students
> working in groups to design a shop owned by people from across the political
> spectrum. You would have a Republican shop, a monarchist shop, a communist
> shop, a fascist shop, an anarchist shop, a papist shop...etc. The shops
> could be decorated with posters or other artifacts of the time, and you
> might select music that might play in each shop. You could conceivably
> design an interactive robot who would spout the political platitudes of that
> particular shop owner. The final activity would be to go around and visit
> all the shops and do some comparing/contrasting.
> I always thought this was the best way to understand "thick description"
> and similar concepts.
> At any rate, RIP Professor Geertz.
> Larry Davies
> Faculty Instructional Technician
> St. Thomas University
> Miami Gardens, FL 33054
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com on behalf of Mike Cole
> Sent: Tue 10/31/2006 10:15 PM
> To: Paul Dillon
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] :-(( The Passing of Clifford Geertz
> It seems a time of loss on many many fronts, Paul.
> How many members of xmca understand what it means to have been a member of
> the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in
> Spain? How many have read about Balanese cockfights? Tell use more about
> Murra, and perhaps point us at a work on
> ethnohistory. After all, this is a group who at least have an interest in
> the role of cultural history in ontogeny and we are
> all, for the time being, developing!!
> PS-- thanks for the interview, phil
> On 10/31/06, Paul Dillon
> > mike,
> > more of those uncanny coincidences: on Saturday night I saw my first
> > fight and was thinking about Geertz after many, many years. Although
> > are perfectly legal here, unlike Bali, they still provide the kind of
> > cultural thickness Geertz described and flower networks of
> meaning. It is
> > sad to read how he passed since nowadays 80 seems young (at least for
> > with good health insurance).
> > Not too long ago (10/6 I think) another significant figure in
> > anthropology died as well; although more famous as an ethnohistorian,
> > Andeanist, and French-Russian translator for the Abraham Lincoln brigade
> > during the Spanish Civil War: John V. Murra who was instrumental
> > in creating the field of ethnohistory.
> > Changing of the guard
> > Paul Dilllon
> > *Mike Cole * wrote:
> > Damn!
> > http://ias.edu/Newsroom/announcements/Uploads/view.php?cmd=view&id=354
> > mike
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> > ------------------------------
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