In Honour of David Graeber: Exploring the Fissures and Cracks

Feature

shared with thanks from> https://www.focaalblog.com/features/in-honour-of-david-graeber/

Editors: Becky Bowers, Megan Laws, Giulio Ongaro, and Alpa Shah

Sometimes, the dead can be more alive than the living. With David Graeber, one year on, it certainly feels this way.

The contributions to this feature pay tribute to his legacy by beginning to unravel the generous gifts of writing he left us with.

These conversations first took place at the LSE Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory, which, in the Michaelmas Term of 2021, was devoted to honouring David’s writings by bringing two leading anthropologists together each week to discuss one of his major works.

David was a hugely influential public intellectual. He not only produced work that spanned an extraordinarily wide variety of topics that mattered to people, but he also wrote in an accessible and engaging language that broke with the constraints of institutionalised academia.

David revelled in his success but, above all else, he wanted to be seen as an anthropologist and to be critically engaged as such.

This feature is designed to do just that—to cast a critical lens on some of his most compelling ideas, beginning a project of analysis that will occupy anthropologists for many years to come.

David’s work was wide-ranging, from debt to pirates, bureaucracy to bull-shit jobs, kings to rewriting the teleological assumptions of the history of humanity.

In this feature, we will discuss a few of his important works: from his ethnographic research in Madagascar, to his later writing on value, debt, anarchism, myth, bureaucracy, and bullshit jobs.

Topics

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Bullshit Jobs

Massimiliano Mollona: Why the End of Work Will Not Be the End of Capitalism

Andrew Sanchez: Work is Complicated: Thoughts on David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs

Bureaucracy

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Bureaucracy

Michael Herzfeld: The Slyness of Stupidity: A Commentary on David Graeber’s “The Utopia of Rules”

Debt

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Debt

Keith Hart: Comment on ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’

Maka Suarez: Thinking about debt with David Graeber and La PAH

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Anarchist Anthropology

Keir Martin: Great Resignations and Bad Colleagues: Reflections on an Anarchist Anthropology

Ayça Çubukçu: On “Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology”

Lost People

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Lost People

Jonathan Parry: The Burdens of the Past: Comments on David Graeber’s ‘Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar’

Myth

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Myth and Imagination

Giulio Ongaro and Megan Laws: Towards a Progressive Theory of Myth: Turner and Graeber on Social Creativity

Michael Edwards: Graeber, Leach, and the Revolution in Myanmar

Value

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Value

Chris Gregory: What is the false coin of our own dreams?

Don Kalb: Constituent Imagination versus the Law of Value: On David Graeber’s ‘Anthropological Theory of Value’

Debt

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Debt

Keith Hart: Comment on ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’

Maka Suarez: Thinking about debt with David Graeber and La PAH

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Anarchist Anthropology

Keir Martin: Great Resignations and Bad Colleagues: Reflections on an Anarchist Anthropology

Ayça Çubukçu: On “Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology”

Lost People

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Lost People

Jonathan Parry: The Burdens of the Past: Comments on David Graeber’s ‘Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar’

Myth

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Myth and Imagination

Giulio Ongaro and Megan Laws: Towards a Progressive Theory of Myth: Turner and Graeber on Social Creativity

Michael Edwards: Graeber, Leach, and the Revolution in Myanmar

Bureaucracy

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Bureaucracy

Michael Herzfeld: The Slyness of Stupidity: A Commentary on David Graeber’s “The Utopia of Rules”

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber LSE Tribute Seminar: Bullshit Jobs

Massimiliano Mollona: Why the End of Work Will Not Be the End of Capitalism

Andrew Sanchez: Work is Complicated: Thoughts on David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs

Author: thefreeonline

The Free is a book and a blog. Download free E/book ...”the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read...

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