One year ago on Round and Square (2013 02-01)—Asian Miscellany: Sacred Mountains
Two years ago on Round and Square (2012 02-01)—Seinfeld Ethnography: Dunkin' Joe (Dimaggio)
|[a] Path RF|
Fun stuff. I love my job.
|[b] Minor bustle RF|
And now it begins anew, and that is the reason for this shiny new topic on Round and Square. You see, I spent a month at Beijing University in December-January, giving a long series of lectures and seminars on anthropology, history, sacred mountains, and that strange world traveler I have already mentioned. I raced back to the United States, where I spent seventy-two wonderful hours at home in Alexandria, Virginia. Alas, I spent much of that time packing and, by mid-January, I had settled into my new home at Carl Thiersche Straße N. 5 in Erlangen, Germany 91052.
This is the story of the Prairie Ethnographer spending six months in central Germany. I know some German, and my goal is to become relatively fluent in the linguistic and cultural matters that, well, matter in Germany. Through it all, I hope to forever bust the ridiculous assumption that there is anything that can be defined as a "Western culture." Both words are so flawed, so ridiculous, that we need to move on. We'll start, instead, with very basic things, such as getting grocery carts out of locked metal lines...of locked grocery carts...and words in the supermarket that bowl one over with their ubiquity.
We'll be little Bourdieuvians (trust me), strategizing and negotiating our way(s) through life in a place that seems familiar...but resists easy comparison.
This series will be about "culture" (whatever in hell that means), "language," and a good dose of personal idiosyncrasy. Let's get started. For those of you who recognize the reference in the topic title, just know that I am old. When "90210" began, I was already getting gray hair.
Let's explore central Germany. Whether or not you speak German, this will be a trip.
|[c] Trip RF|