Occupational Hazards Revisited: Reply to Moshe Shokeid

Peer Reviewed

Essay Excerpt

In "Commitment and Contextual Study in Anthropology" (this issue, pp. 464- 477), Moshe Shokeid raises the following significant charges in relation to an article I previously published in Cultural Anthropology (Swedenburg1989a):I have abused the ethics of the anthropological profession, I have concealed truths, I have tailored my facts to suit a personal ideological agenda, and I have imposed an idiosyncratic version of history upon the Palestinian community. All this I have done, he implies, simply to demonstrate an abiding personal commitment to the Palestinian cause.

I believe these claims are based not only on (1) arguments flawed by fundamental inconsistencies, but also on (2) inadequate and inaccurate readings, and (3) the applicationof double standards. I will address each of these items in detail. (Swedenburg, 478)

About the Author

Dr. Swedenburg received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas in 1988. His dissertation, a study of popular memories of the 1936-39 revolt in Palestine, involved interviewing elderly peasants living in Palestinian villages in the Galilee and the West Bank. He taught at the University of Washington -Seattle between 1988 and 1991, and at the American University in Cairo from 1992 to 1996. He joined the University of Arkansas in 1996.

Dr. Swedenburg's recent research focuses on popular music. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Sounds from the Interzone, that deals with "border" musics of the Middle East as well as Middle Eastern-inflected musics of the West. He has done research and presented papers on Franco-Algerian rai music, "Islamic" African-American rap, and Mizrahi dance music in Israel. His most recent fieldwork has been on the popular music of Nubians in Egypt.

Dr. Swedenburg teaches courses on the Middle East, race and ethnicity, gender, and public culture. He is on the editorial committee of Middle East Report, and is actively involved with the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

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