Last updated: June 26, 2018        

“#Hautalk is emblematic of the slow-motion crisis at the heart of the discipline—old problems of marginality folded and repeated in the cadences and rhythms of our work, punctuated by moments of outcry. So let us begin our marginal work.” (Emma Louise Backe)

Allegations against Giovanni da Col, current editor of HAU

Details of these allegations can be found via the links below, as offered by two groups of anonymous whistleblowers (comprised of current and former HAU staff).

HAU whistleblower statements

The Mahi Tahi Steering Committee’s statements on, among other things, the journal HAU’s appropriation of the term hau as an anthropological concept and erasure of its Māori origins

The best, ongoing chronology of recent events regarding widespread mistreatment of employees at HAU

Thread by @hilaryagro*

*This document was inspired by Hilary’s thread, and is an attempt to make the thread more accessible to those not on Twitter.

The best, ongoing thread of important commentary online about HAU and related issues

“If you're a senior scholar, these discussions may be especially valuable to read. Enjoy!” @hilaryagro

Public statements by HAU: a case study in avoidance, gaslighting, protecting those in power, and doing absolutely nothing

Current issue of HAU (published without comment after whistleblowers’ statements):

Society for Ethnographic Theory (SET):

*This includes a removal of GDC from his research assistantship at SOAS in light of the recent accusations.

**SET’s new partner is the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. This announcement seems to be out-of-date, but on message with HAU’s ill-advised recent statements, as Board members who have since resigned are still listed.

Current HAU governance

HAU staff statements (both current and former staff)

Statements dismissing or directing attention away from whistleblower accounts:

Resignations, disavowals, and statements in support of whistleblowers:

Statements in support of whistleblowers by those no longer involved in HAU:

*It is important to note that a number of signatories are still intimately involved with HAU and have made no other public statements directly naming Giovanni da Col or referring to the specific whistleblower accounts. Only a few of those still involved with HAU have taken further action, such as resigning or refusing to publish until (among many other requests circulating) GDC is fired, concrete steps are taken to prevent future abuse (or to account for past abuse), and a plan is made to decentralize power.

**This is a statement in the form of a petition with 600+ signatures from anthro faculty, students, and others from around the world.

Recently published commentary and reporting on HAU

White colonial elite masculinity*

“The injustice of such an inflection point is not the stripping away of ‘Ivory Tower’ honors from those accused of misconduct. Our attention should instead be focused on the scholars who never got to join the conversation because of harassment and abuse, such as latent racism, misgendering, benevolent sexism, ableism.” (Emma Louise Backe)




Open secrets: abuse, silence, complicity, and everyday violence

“For a discipline that has built up substantive bodies of knowledge by trading on gossip, rumour, hearsay, and whispers in the dark and has drawn deeply on the concept of the public/open secret, this silence is deafening.” (Nayanika Mathur)



Appropriation and decolonization



Open Access (OA)

“Open and accessible writing, in other words, will be for many of them a pragmatic imperative rather than a matter of personal predilection. These circumstances and their pressures come ever more sharply into focus. How will the discipline—its leaders, seniors, and elites—respond? What if we tried for a moment to imagine what a truly open anthropology might be?” (Anand Pandian)

“Transforming an unsustainable undertaking into a fully fledged pyramid scheme that breathed hope and spelled new magic for a happily superstitious discipline in very uncertain times. He [GDC] did so by combining crude exploitation and extortion with a smartly set up, effervescent, and continuously expanding prestige economy. This lured ever-more players into the game. There was now a visible multiplication of academic value going on, an accumulation that was deliberately wielded toward realizing exciting broad goals.” (Don Kalb)



Various topics

“The case at hand thus underlines the existence and maintenance of particular lineages in HAU, infused with ideologies that are to large degree fundamentally opposed to what contemporary anthropology champions otherwise: decolonial practices and theorizing, critiques of persistent racism and emerging fascism, and, bracketing all this, a fierce opposition to overarching and persistently escalating global economic inequality.” (Patrick Neveling)



Reporting (from outside the discipline)

On the work that needs to be done

“Faculty members of all #anthropology departments anywhere, we, your (former) students, hereby approve of your leave of absence from your usual work to sit down with colleagues & seriously discuss how to make your departments a caring, inclusive work space. You're welcome #hautalk @g_mascha

“Agreed. Wanna hear from senior scholars. Don’t wanna hear though how they can relate to those on anthro margins (‘cause it tends to make it about themselves). Wanna hear them reflect on their privileges. #Hautalk @tsd1888

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