Author Archives: jedstevenson

Talking shit

Last week at UCL, Sjaak van der Geest of the University of Amsterdam gave a stimulating talk on the topic of faeces. His point of departure was the great 16th-century humanist Erasmus’ observation that his own shit was “bland” to … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, WASH | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

*New paper* ‘Do our bodies know their ways?’ Villagization, food insecurity, and ill-being in Ethiopia’s lower Omo valley

Some results from my research in Ethiopia are now available, ahead of publication in African Studies Review. The paper, co-authored with Lucie Buffavand, is a product of several years work in the lower Omo valley, where a massive hydroelectric dam … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Living on a fault-line

Or, the challenge of thinking geologically. Last week I attended the Oxford Desert Conference, to bang the drum about work my colleagues and I are doing in the Turkana basin (stay tuned for more on that). I came away reminded … Continue reading

Posted in climate, evolution, water | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Afterlife

One of my favourite works of anthropology is a study of infancy among the Beng of Cote d’Ivoire. For people in this West African community, children are understood to come from the Afterlife. In their way of thinking, people’s spirits … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, books, children | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maps and the twentieth century

There is no internationally agreed map of the world. This is one of the more memorable things I took away from a recent exhibition at the British Library. The exhibition, entitled “Maps and the Twentieth Century: Drawing the Line,” reviewed   … Continue reading

Posted in history, politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Books of 2016

These are the books that have made the greatest impression on me this year. 1. The idealist, by Justin Peters Aaron Swartz was an IT prodigy who hacked the scholarly literature database J-Stor.  Brought to trial for doing so, he … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Evidence for zombies

Last Friday I came home from Edinburgh, head buzzing with ideas after a 2-day meeting on evidence in development and global health. ‘How is evidence defined?’ the speakers from universities and NGOs asked. ‘How is it generated and used?’ Or … Continue reading

Posted in development, health, medicine, politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment