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At Obama’s Inauguration, Millions of Bodies that Matter

In the days leading up to today’s historic Inauguration, my
friends debated (via Facebook) the potential costs and rewards of schlepping to
the Mall or just watching from the comfort and safety of their sofas. On the
one hand we have hoards of people, 20 degree weather, foregoing a chance to
sleep in, the shameless merchandise (Obama puppets… really?!?!).  On the other, one cannot deny the desire to be
as close as possible to the History that was made this week. Continue reading

Blog Wrap Up: Thesising kicks off and classes begin

We’re back and have gotten the semester off  to a strong start. Check out what’s going on
in and around CCT.

On Gnovis:

As Margarita embarks on her thesis research, she shares with
gnovis
the deeply personal and complicated relationship she has with her
subject matter.

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In the field: the challenges of ethnographic research in rural Ecuador

This is the story of how I became an active member of the Ecuadorian real estate market.  You see, I went to Vilcabamba – a tiny town in the south Andes – to study the emergence (the construction?) of a modern real estate market.  The town is a microcosm of what is going in many other places in South America (and Asia, for that matter), which is that increasingly more regulated real estate markets are replacing informal land sales, and the corresponding changes in land representation inevitably alter the cultural fabric of the towns and eventually the countries where this takes place.   I have my opinions about the phenomena, which I tried very hard to keep out of my research, but needless to say, they do not align well with being a part of it.   Looking back, it seems that once I was in the system, regardless of my initial role as an observer, I soon was balancing two additional, and conflicting roles – that of watchdog and that of agent. Continue reading

Our Generation, Unimaginative?

In a recent article in the Atlantic, P.J. O’Rourke discusses the difficulty Disney’s had in renovating the House of the Future attraction in Tomorrowland. The problem is of course that when it came out, folks apparently were willing to accept that the 1950s was the golden age of Americana (an ideology most recently and perhaps effectively argued against in AMC’s "Mad Men.")

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Book Review – “Hacking: Digital Media and Technological Determinism”

On Friday afternoon, during my third attempt to locate Steven Weber’s book "The Success of Open Source" at Lauinger Library, I scanned the spines of several hundred books, hoping to find it misshelved nearby. Instead, I stumbled across Tim Jordan’s "Hacking: Digital Media and Technological Determinism," which has turned out to be the most delightful read I’ve come across since I began working on my thesis.

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Why We Blog (Revisited) & Our Holiday Hiatus

Our editorial team will be wrapping up our Fall issue next week, but for our bloggers the holiday break starts today. We’ll be back in early January. Before I retreat to the editor’s corner, though, I thought I’d wrap up our semester in a pretty little bow. I swear I didn’t plan this.

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