About Matthew Timothy Bradley
I love animals, ’specially cats.
I love plants, too.
For three seasons of the year I enjoy spending time outdoors
and I’m crazy about it during the winter, something I discovered after moving to western Massachusetts in 2008.
Skills, knowledge, interests, &tc.
I am a top-notch Spanish speaker as a result of eleven months spent living in Guatemala, a month’s trip to Cuba, and a year spent living in Puerto Rico between September 1995 and August 1998.
I received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Western Carolina University in the summer of 2002. I entered the Indiana University Department of Anthropology in the autumn of 2004 and left without a degree. That fact has everything to do with how academia and I are not a good fit for one another and nothing to do with how I feel about anthropology. This blog is a part of my efforts to continue to make use of the investment my teachers and I have made in that part of myself along the way. (That’s not a lost costs thing, either. I really do love anthropology.)
Subject matter-wise, my big interest is American Indians. That’s kind of a natural given that I grew up on a reservation and all, and my geographic interest began with the Cherokee, expanded to the Southeast and then to the Iroquoian peoples, and now includes the Eastern Woodlands in general. The current and past relationships between Indians and anthropolog-y/-ists is in no way straightforward, but no one should take for granted that it is negative. To paraphrase my teacher Jason Jackson, the chances of finding an ethnography in a randomly selected American household are vanishingly slim. But the chances of finding an ethnography in a randomly selected household located on an Indian reservation aren’t bad at all.
I’ve studied enough linguistics to be comfortable reading linguistic literature but I am certainly not a good linguist. I am good with kinship, material culture, and history of anthropology. Anthropologists whose works and careers I particularly admire include Alexander Lesser, Mary Haas, Bruce Trigger, and Philippe Descola.
I have an interest in conflict (as in ‘war[fare]’) which I attribute to being raised by a mother who spent time as an officer in the North Carolina National Guard followed by living in Guatemala during an ongoing civil war. I know enough about the topic to be of the opinion that anyone who wants to talk about war should keep in mind the things that don’t make the paper—the closing of schools and clinics, the flight of skilled workers, the constant fear of the knock at the door, the years of animosities after the shooting finally ends—as well as knowing a few basics concerning the art of war, like the difference between a company and a battalion and such as that.
Finally, I am a cinephile. I will happily watch even a bad movie so long as it is bad in an inspired way.