#53 Making Meaningful Anthropology: Amita Baviskar on Maggi Noodles and Anti-Dam Movements

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“It was a really difficult dilemma for me, because I felt that I needed to stand by my work, but at the same time what was more important was the social movement, because you know, what am I writing for?” In this episode (which is our first interview of 2020!) we bring you our interview with Dr Amita Baviskar that was recorded at the AAS Conference last year, which Amita was one of the keynote speakers at. Amita is currently based at the Institute of Economic Growth in India, with interests in food, social inequality and ecological politics, author of multiple books including 'In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley', recipient of the 2010 Infosys Prize, and is a visiting fellow at several universities, including Stanford, Cornell, Yale, The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and UC Berkeley. Amita spoke with our very own Alex D'Aloia about her work on the anti-dam movement in the Narmada Valley, India, discussing the controversy that arose among other activists after publication, her tips for early career anthropologists looking to make meaningful anthropology, and wrap up by unpack(ag)ing the meaning behind Maggi 2-minute noodles and how this relates to caste distinctions in India. We should also mention that this is Alex’s first interview! Let us know what you thought about the interview, or any questions you have about the episode, certain topics you'd like us to tease out more, or just anthropology in general, at either @ TSFTweets on Twitter or search for The Familiar Strange Chats group on Facebook. For full list of quotes, links and citations, visit our website thefamiliarstrange.com Our Patreon can be found at https://www.patreon.com/thefamiliarstrange This anthropology podcast is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society, the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and College of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and is produced in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association. Music by Pete Dabro: dabro1.bandcamp.com Shownotes by Matthew Phung and Deanna Catto Podcast edited by Alex D’Aloia and Matthew Phung

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