Alisse Waterston and Charlotte Corden are the author and illustrator, respectively, of the graphic novel, Light in Dark Times: The Human Search for Meaning, published by the University of Toronto Press this past Fall. In this episode, you’ll learn how the two met, how and why they created the book, and how they both discovered and approach the field of anthropology. You’ll also hear them talk about the rich and profound story within the book. In 160 pages, any one of which could easily fill a semester’s worth of discussion if not more, Alisse and Charlotte take readers on a journey, asking difficult existential questions (like the one titling this post), getting help along the way from a variety of writers, philosophers, anthropologists, and activists. The result is a beautiful, holistic and accessible book that’s been making waves across the globe. I’m not alone in believing that it would make the ideal text for a common reading experience for college students — or for humankind.
Related bonus material:
- Fassin, Didier. 2015. “The Public Afterlife of Ethnography.” American Ethnologist 42, no. 4 (November): 592– 609. (Check your library for access)
- Waterston, Alisse. 2019. “Intimate Ethnography and the Anthropological Imagination: Dialectical Aspects of the Personal and Political in My Father’s Wars.” American Ethnologist 46, no. 1 (February): 7-19. (Open access)
- Waterston, Alisse. 2020. “Imagining World Solidarities for a Livable Future,” Swedish Journal of Anthropology , Vo.l 3, no. 1: 33-42. (Open access)
“Camoflauge” by Ellen Weinstein, is mentioned in the episode on the topic of trivia, a significant element in Light in Dark Times.
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