Jamie Saris Guest Speaker by Bethany O’Sullivan Person: Jamie Saris Date

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Jamie Saris Guest Speaker by Bethany O’Sullivan

Person: Jamie Saris

Date: 11th October 2017

About the person: Jamie Saris is a medical anthropologist which includes global health. Jamie particularly focuses on anthropology of Europe (particularly Ireland), Psychological anthropology which focuses on mental health illnesses and addiction, anthropological history and structural violence issues in European cities along with cultural and political issues around HIV treatment.

What Jamie spoke about? Jamie first began discussing his background as a medical anthropologist. He mentioned that he predominantly studies European anthropology particularly Ireland. However, he has also studied Tanzania. Jamie then began discussing the Ilongot. Jamie began by discussing the history of Luzon, he highlighted that it was an extremely difficult country to get into during the 1980’s and many people that came over such as military brought diseases with them. Jamie stated that the Ilongot were from a place called Luzon which is an Island north of the Philippines. Jamie described that the Ilongot took the heads of their enemies while they were in a rage of anger and fury.

Jamie continued to mention Michelle and Renato Resaldo. Michelle Resaldo studied emotions and believes that people can only understand the Ilongot through certain symbols. Michelle had gone to Luzon in 1980’s during a dual crisis. Which she revisited in 1981 which caused tragedy. Jamie illustrates that while Michelle was climbing a jungle trail she took a tumble and fell. Renato then began to experience grief and rage.

Jamie highlights that the Ilongot understand emotions more than modern day people. They cannot be “bought off” which certain products and therefore the only way to “settle” their anger is to draw blood and take the heads of their enemies. Jamie then discusses the “yellow bile anger” which means to “chew over anger”, it is a process of digestion when angry or in a rage. Zeus does not allow humourism and in order to release anger you must digest the bile or release with murder.

Jamie discusses that culture is the internal consciousness of understanding the same things in the same way that thoughts and feelings are culturally valuable. He suggests that emotions are primal and primary. That you are your emotions and external stuff interfere with your emotions. Jamie gives an example of the movie “the purge” and questions “What would we do if there was no law?” Therefore emotions are dangerous and unbounded.

Jamie then begins to discuss Michelle and Resaldo’s different viewpoints and opinions. Michelle’s belief was to question rationality “Why does that make sense”. Whereas Resaldo’s viewpoints are a monistic society, with individuals in society. Jamie gave an example of calling your mother/partner saying “it’s me” We would assume that people close to us would know who we are by saying that.

Anthropology questions western structures between individual and universal relationships. For example the majority of first grad students have not seen a parent die and the majority of first grad students are not married with children. In conclusion, before Michelle died Resaldo did not understand the actions and emotions of the Ilongot. It was only after that Michelle died that he understood the emotions of the Ilongot. Anger could be directed at certain people after a loss. Jamie gives the example that the insurance agents did not believe that Michelle died due to a work related incident because it was believed that she was on holiday instead of doing fieldwork.

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