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A Memory of History or History of Memory? – A War Memorial ‘Simpson and His Donkey’

The Familiar Strange , June 5th, 2022


I remember when I was a little girl, I was fascinated with war memorials. Stone colossi towering over people, gravely staring into the infinite as if seeing something…


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Living with Long Covid: A Reflection

Clair Zhang , April 24th, 2022


As a COVID long-hauler, I inhabit a liminal space of intractable uncertainty with regards to diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and prognosis. COVID infections have blurred the boundary between the two…


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Heroes of Our Economy

Alex D'Aloia , March 27th, 2022


A social economy approach therefore asks why people are engaged in specific enterprises. Are they simply out to make the most money they can? Many people do. Or…


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Slutever, Pegging the Patriarchy, and Normalising BDSM

The Familiar Strange , November 21st, 2021


Cara Delevingne’s ‘Peg the Patriarchy’ moment from the 2021 Met Gala undoubtedly missed the mark. Delevingne and Dior both failed to credit the original creator of the slogan,…


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Bring Me the Head of Norman Vincent Peale: Self Care and the American Obsession with the Power of Positive Thinking

The Familiar Strange , November 7th, 2021


I don’t know when I first heard the term “toxic positivity” but it was sometime after my father was diagnosed with advancing dementia and before my own initial…


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Too Fat to Be an Anthropologist

Alex D'Aloia , October 24th, 2021


In what now feels like a lifetime ago, I was having one last catch up with a mate from my PhD cohort before we both set off for…


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Masks and Their Moralities

joeclifford95 , August 29th, 2021


For some, instructions to wear masks in public places have been an opportunity to chart new courses in fashion or have simply been a minor inconvenience in the…


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Boob Boxes: Post-Mastectomy Prosthetics and the Artifice of Breast Cancer

The Familiar Strange , March 14th, 2021


I chose to go flat. But I almost wasn’t allowed to. This is largely due to the unacknowledged psychological tension that underlies deeply gendered illnesses: that it is…


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Taking Stock in California: Inequity & Grief

Julia Brown , February 28th, 2021


Having meaningful conversations about systemic racism and social immobility can connect people as much as the act of absorbing someone else’s microcosm of grief and relating to it….


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Mission By Mail: Evangelism in a Pandemic

The Familiar Strange , December 6th, 2020


Religion is no “opiate of the masses.” Rich and poor, educated and ignorant alike flock to the call of certainty in these uncertain times. Rather than action based…


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Navigating Lockdown: What Studying Vipassana Mediation Taught Me About Surviving Melbourne’s Intense Lockdown

The Familiar Strange , November 22nd, 2020


While last year I was busy being quite the adventurous backpacker, this year my biggest achievement has been to walk beyond the well-worn path between my bedroom and…


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Called to the Torah: Navigating Feminism and Jewish Law in Modern Orthodox Communities

The Familiar Strange , September 27th, 2020


The synagogue – a deeply symbolic cultural space – is a place where feminist congregants are increasingly seeking equality. These women wish to read from the Torah (a…


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Strange Work in Familiar Places: Inside Aotearoa/New Zealand’s Border Hotels

The Familiar Strange , August 16th, 2020


The new appreciation of previously dismissed types of work may be short lived, and their ongoing fight for a living wage is certainly not won. However, this crisis…


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Blokes and their casual racism

Matthew Phung , June 7th, 2020


Being of South-East Asian background growing up in Australia, these types of comments are not something unfamiliar to me. I have grappled with race and culture many times…


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How COVID-19 makes us use our bodies differently

The Familiar Strange , May 10th, 2020


COVID-19 has prompted a renewed awareness of how we use our bodies under “normal” circumstances. COVID-19 is also demanding that we change our bodily behaviors to prevent the…


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The home, the office and the home-office: What makes it ‘work’?

The Familiar Strange , April 26th, 2020


Yesterday, I started an email to my supervisor with the opener “I am wearing shoes today and it seems to make me more productive. How’s it going in…


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Taking it Seriously: Comparing COVID-19 to malaria

The Familiar Strange , March 29th, 2020


The situation in which we now find ourselves in the privileged postcolonial West is a new one in the postwar period, but one that is more known to…


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Beyond the Irish Border: A plague on both my houses in the time of COVID-19

The Familiar Strange , March 26th, 2020


Differing approaches to COVID-19 divided by the rolling hills and windy roads (of which there are many) of one of Europe’s most porous borders, have precipitated a personal…


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Collecting Relationships: the Phenomenon of Ooshies

Alex D'Aloia , November 17th, 2019


Anthropologists have long acknowledged that ownership is a far more complex phenomenon than it seems at first. What on the surface appears to be a relationship between you…


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“It’s a lot of sand”: An anthropological take on Trump’s Syrian withdrawal

Simon Theobald , October 20th, 2019


That Syria has “a lot of sand” is meant to stand in for its lack of value. As a place that is sandy, it is not worth US…


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The arguments against climbing Uluru… and why people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

The Familiar Strange , August 11th, 2019


Author: Dr. Yasmine Mushbarbash, senior lecturer in anthropology at the Australian National University. The focus of her ethnographic work has been on Warlpiri people living in Yuendemu, in the…


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Participant observation from a first-timer at the AAA conference 2018, San Jose

Ian Pollock , December 2nd, 2018


This first experience of a really big conference makes me want to go to smaller conferences, where it would be easier to find the people who share my…


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Eduardo Viveiros de Castro: “I would like the Museu Nacional to remain as a ruin, a memory of the dead things.”

The Familiar Strange , September 12th, 2018


This week, a translation of an interview between anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro of the Museu Nacional in Brazil, and journalist Alexandra Prado Coelho. “My wish, with the…


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Does Anthropology Have a Point?

Simon Theobald , July 4th, 2018


Even as I attempted to (re-)present my research as anthropological, on its journey into the public sphere and a wider audience, it was interpreted and reinterpreted as ‘international…


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