Re: Power and influence

Hugh W. Jarvis (hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 22:58:09 -0500

Dear Mr. Griffin,

I was directed to read your message to Anthro-l. Far from being
"direct" message to me as you state, it was never posted to me
and I would have missed it otherwise. I suggest in future that you
at least cc the people involved so that they have a fair chance of
actually receiving what you write!

I have attempted to address your concerns, which fall into two
subject areas, the one addressing the nature or handling of this
list, and the other being those that address the situation at teh
University of Western Australia about which I have been providing
updates to the Net.

In regards to Anthro-l, you state:

"I especially note Kathy Hildebrand's rude and ignorant response
to my attempt to start a discussion on Jean Baudrillard."

I personally saw nothing rude about her remark. It was a brief,
jovial comment made in response to a lengthy request for information
by you. As a member of the Anthro-l Managerial Board I will note that
any unhappiness between the two of you is a personal matter and best
kept off the list. Thank you.

You also state:

"...reception of Baudrillard in American Anthropology. With reference
to this list, Ms. Hildebrand will be quoted, and her affiliation to the
Society for Applied Anthropology noted. Ms. Rogers characterization of
the behaviors of an uncaring, arrogant, and inept community of faculty
are more than proven."

Here you almost appear to have a personal cause with the Society in
question. Additionally, and most interestingly due to the strong
response you give to her little reply, Ms. Hildebrande is a graduate
student and not a faculty member as you erroneously assume. Perhaps
you should be more careful to verify your assumptions before you speak
out in the future...?

You ask:

"Also, do the guidelines for Anthro-l mean anything, or are they just
a convenient backup for list-owners to manipulate issues in which
they chose to involve themselves?"

Let me say that if you, or anyone else, should wish to complain about
the running of Anthro-l, we welcome your comments and have both a List
Manager and a whole Managerial Board set up to handle them! You might
want to take time to look through the Anthro-l Welcome Message which
gives more detail on these matters. (I would be happy to send you a
copy if you have deleted yours.) When you contact us, it would be very
helpful if you will grreatly assist us by fully documenting your
concerns, as that will help us to address them as quickly as possible.
Send your email to Patrick Miller at <>.

And now we turn to your statements about me and the situation at
the University of Western Australia. You complain:

"I was also so appalled concerning Hugh Jarvis' involving himself in
the situation in Western Australia, that I asked some contacts in the
Australian anthropological community to respond. Not wishing to
add to a situation of wild rumor and accusation, I'll ask Mr.Jarvis

As already noted, you failed to ask me 'directly'. I am also at a
loss to determine why *you* would be so appalled at my involvement
with this issue, unless you have a personal stake in this issue? Or
perhaps you have strong feelings about what your colleagues should
be doing...? Those who are familiar with my work on the Net will
already know that I frequently act as a purveyor of information,
attempting to make scarce resources available to people and to keep
people informed about matters of importance to the world
anthropological community. This UWA issue is no different.

These are important concerns and yet you seem to desire to handle
them in a distinctly cavalier manner. Far from being 'wild rumour
and accusation', these issues form the subject of a continuing series
of University and Parliamentary inquiries, and, I will add, an
upcoming University Senate inquiry. There are available (including
at the Web Site
volumes of documentation supporting what I am describing. While
the existence of these inquiries and documents do not prove my
point, anyone who is informed by them knows that some very
unusual events certainly occured at the Archaeology Department,
and that the University has not been open about them or helped
in clearing them up.

You wonder:

"1. Is the heart of Mr. Jarvis' support for Rindos a "gay" issue?
2. Is there a personal relationship between Mr. Jarvis and Mr.
Rindos which directly relates to the accusations against the
administration at the University of Western Australia?"

Oddly, while standing on one foot you decry the lack of
professionalism on Anthro-l, yet after hopping over to the other
you stoop to the lowest level to suggest the only reason I attempt
to bring the UWA situation to light is because of some personal
involvement with Dr. Rindos. Those more familiar with me and my
handling of this issue will be able to tell you that I have never
met Dr. Rindos in person, nor even spoken to him on the telephone,
let alone entered into some sordid personal relationship with him.
What you may detect in my spirited reply is a deep respect for an
individual and scholar whose work is acclaimed worldwide.

Your own 'wild accusations' are clearly rather poor attempts to
redirect people's attention away from the facts of the issue at
hand. Yet, intriguingly, you are on the right track in being
receptive to sexual antics in academia, as the heart of the
demise of the Archaeology Department at UWA lies in the alleged
sexual abuses and sexual politics that occured there before Dr.
Rindos even arrived. I assume that your well-informed 'contacts
in the Australian anthropological community' must surely have
told you that.

You continue:

"3. Will the Web site Mr. Jarvis is to establish on these matters
include all documentation from both sides of the controversy?"

As already stated to the Net, the answer to this is "yes". I have
asked all sides in the past for their input and continue to do so!
We welcome all documentation that helps to clarify what is going on
at UWA and I encourage you and your "contacts in Australian
anthropology" to contribute!

And on:

"4. Will Anthro-l be an open and uncensored forum on all the issues
raised concerning both the public accusations and the "whispered"
undercurrents of the Rindos/UWA matter?"

I think your posting has certainly answered that question, no....?
But all joking aside, you must surely recall that I have posted
comments sent to me by UWA representatives to the list, and that the
Head of Anthropology recently made a comment too.

Thanks for your intriguing remarks,

Hugh Jarvis