Don Kalb: HAU not: For David Graeber and the anthropological precariate @FocaalBlog
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-06-27
"When HAU was launched, my grad students at Central European University were celebrating. Open access! Finally, a breach in the wall that separated the haves from the have-nots. Their local universities in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe hardly had the resources to pay for these Western journals offered at extortionate prices by the likes of Elsevier, Springer, Oxford, Chicago. Indeed, even CEU did not have sufficient means to pay all the subscriptions that scholars were asking for. Now the have-nots would finally have unlimited access. More, the HAU journal preached what it imagined itself to embody: self-conscious intellectual revolution in the apparently newly found horizontalist mode: Occupy anthropology! For the intellectual assertion of the commons! My rightly rebellious students loved it. And went on producing some great open access undertakings—but not in academia—that helped to feed the ongoing mobilizations in their countries (most prominently: http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast). They had all my support while we continued to disagree about HAU....
We now know that the executive man at the top was all but kind and honest. It is good that his excesses have been exposed in a remarkable anthropological #MeToo moment. Interestingly, this was allowed to come into the open through an informal alliance between David Graeber, who was crudely disposed of his role as “Editor at Large” after clashing with da Col, and the exploited workers. On their own, Graeber or the HAU precariate would never have gotten so much public attention. It was their alliance that allowed Graeber an attack that was not just selfish, and Graeber’s gesture allowed the frustrations of the precariate to be publicized and get attention...."