This is not a personal journal, so I don’t intend to log my everyday life here unless I’ve been to an interesting event or had an experience worth discussing in a sociological or historical context. That said, there are a few things that I want to share with the world.

Continue reading

On the 20th of January, several events were held in Oxford to show our solidarity with Americans protesting the Trump administration, and to demonstrate our commitment to fighting fascism in our own communities. I was able to go to two of them and take photos.

Continue reading

A black and white drawing of people looking at a man with a comically large nose.
The Nose Man, 1867.
The festive season in Catalonia, an area in Northeastern Spain, is characterised by several colourful characters. Two have became quite well-known because of their scatological humour, the Caganer and the Caga Tió, but there’s a third who I think is just as interesting.

Continue reading

A small tree pangolin being held.
A tree pangolin, by Valerius Tygart.

This cute Pokémon-like creature is a pangolin. Pangolins are interesting to anthropologists because they tell us something about how we classify things, and how we react to things that can’t easily be classified.

Mary Douglas was anthropologist who wrote about the Lele people of Central Africa in the 1950s. She was particuarly interested in how people classify things and what it says about our cultures. She thought that we felt strong emotions towards things that we couldn’t classify, we could consider them taboo or somehow special.

Continue reading