Bard Events Calendar

Middle Eastern Studies Program and Anthropology Program Present

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Engaged Ethnography in Iraq with Kali Rubaii, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kline French Room
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Kali Rubaii is Charlotte Newcomb Fellow at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, Counterinsurgency and the Ethical Life of Material Things in Anbar Iraq, documents the impacts of the Global War on Terror on farming families in Iraq.

In 2014 and 2015, at the height of militia struggles among ISIS and other subnational militias over Anbar province, Kali lived and travelled with farming families as they traversed war-pocked landscapes to access their crops and livestock; sought alternative methods of conceiving children, fertilizing date trees, and supplementing soil; and interacted with militias, drones, and toxic military waste. She later conducted fieldwork with counterinsurgency operatives in the United States, Jordan, Denmark, and Kurdistan, who work frequently in Iraq.

In approaching the Global War on Terror as a concerted effort to preempt organized armed resistance by making Anbar’s social and physical landscapes docile, Kali’s ethnographic methods highlight the turmoil underlying a study of violence and harm. When we begin to examine a concept like war or counterterrorism, where do we find ourselves looking for answers? What does participant observation mean in a study of harm: to what degree does an ethnographer participate in harming and being harmed? What kind of conversation happens when we speak to people who kill the people we love? What is the role of fear in limiting our capacities to know things? And what are our obligations to distant or even unknown others over a lifetime?

The workshop will be informal, so students, faculty and staff interested are welcome to come (and bring your lunch!) for any amount of time they can. See you there!

For more information, call 845-758-7201, or e-mail sstamato@bard.edu.

Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Location: Kline French Room