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Anthropology Speaker David Edwards

204 Maxwell Hall

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The Department of Anthropology Presents Dr. David Edwards from Williams College, Department of Anthropology  

His talk titled Dances with Wolves, An Afghan Sequel will be held on November 4, 2014 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in 204 Maxwell Hall  

This talk focuses on former Green Beret Major Jim Gant, the so-called "Lawrence of Afghanistan" and author of "One Tribe at a Time," one of the most influential and widely cited papers on counterinsurgency over the last decade, and a widely publicized memoir, American Spartan. Gant's vision of the Afghan people and of his own role in countering the gains of the Taliban was filtered through a lens that came more from his own self-conception and self-promotion as a modern-day Indian Fighter than from an understanding of the dynamics of contemporary Afghan society. This talk considers some of the ways in which the American involvement in Afghanistan has been shaped by tropes appropriated from the Cowboys, Cavalry, and Custer mythos of the American frontier, as well as by a failure at every level and every stage to engage with Afghan society on its own terms.

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