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ruin wrote

My relation to academia is definitely cynical.

I don’t mean to call out Hartman individually, she’s certainly a fine person and we all have to make a living somehow.

I had been thinking on just what bothers me about texts like these for a while. That is, besides the politicized aspect, which I don’t care for.

/u/_Caspar_ has recently renewed my interest in Viveiros de Castro and his description of the “anthropologist” and “native” (his quotes) seems as near an explanation as I can come up with.

In the investigation (social, anthropological, historical) the academic fixes its subject in the “native” framing. An actor(-ant) immersed in a relationship with its cultural and social environment that is intrinsic, spontaneous, immersive, unconscious, etc. Basically, this amounts to objectification of the subject (“native”) while the academic (“anthropologist”) is free to maintain a level of relational separation from their own cultural milieu and create a portrait of the subject as knowledge, representative of their broader relations through this binding native framing. The “anthropologist” engages in a relational survey but they set its terms and dictate the interpretation.

More broadly, the academy controls the narrative through its approval through funding, publishing, tenure, etc. It controls what discourse is legitimate and what isn’t. What is serious scholarship and what is farce. I can’t get on board with that type of thinking.