Author: David Berliner

How our contradictions make us human and inspire creativity

(published on AEON, 7/12/16, https://aeon.co/ideas/how-our-contradictions-make-us-human-and-inspire-creativity Have you ever wondered how many contradictory thoughts you have in a day? How many times your thoughts contradict your actions? How often your feelings oppose your principles and beliefs? Most of the time, we don’t see our own contradictions – it’s often easier to…

Living with our contradictions

During my anthropology of gender class last week, one student explained to us her embarrassment when, a convinced feminist, she realized that she was enthusiastically singing the sexist lyrics of a popular track. In the same vein, I often think about these environmentalists who are, at the same time, smokers.…

Four propositions to study memory

My relationship with the notion of memory is a complex one, a true love-hate story (1). From my first passionate reading of Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, and Paul Connerton to my teachings of an “anthropology of memory” course, many times I felt the desire to throw in the towel. Too…

Academic anxieties

“You start with herbal meds, you end up with Xanax”. This formula summarizes the psychological trajectory of many researchers in academia today. I don’t want to pity them more than other professions that are so much more exposed to the effects of neoliberalism and global burnout. Not all researchers are…