20 Questions - Anselma Gallinat

1. Who are your intellectual heroes/heroines?

Anthropologist Nigel Rapport, he can write and write and write…

2. Who are your favourite sociologists/social scientists?

Gregory Bateson (such an intellectual all-rounder), Jerome Bruner whose arguments about narrative have influenced my thinking a lot.

3. Can you name a critical moral, political or intellectual issue on which you have changed your mind?

Not at the moment, although witnessing socialism fall had a big impact.

4. What is the last piece of music you’ve bought or downloaded?

Elbow’s Build a Rocket Boys.

5. Who are your political heroes/heroines?

Being eastern German, I’d have to say Gorbachev.

6. What are your favourite movies?

Memento (nothing to do with my current work on memory of course), Ghost in a Shell 1+2, The Lives of Others.

7. What sociological idea do you think every sociology graduate should understand?

That ‘that’s just how things are’ is never a satisfactory answer.

8. Who are your cultural heroes/heroines?

As an anthropologist, culture to me is that ‘complex whole’ of everything that surrounds us. People make culture happen every single day all over the globe, each of them is a hero to me.

9. What was the last novel (s) you recommended to a friend?

Herta Muller’s The Appointment. I like the German title: I’d rather not have met myself today.

10. What philosophical thesis do you think it is most important to disseminate?

You can make change happen without the use of violence (is that a philosophical thesis?)

11. What philosophical thesis do you think it is most important to combat?

Not sure it’s a thesis, but Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations, or at least the way it is read by some people.

12. If you could have three guests over for dinner who would they be?

Three very good friends, who else?

13. Is there a work in the social sciences which has had a profound effect on how you view the world?

Scary’s The body in pain and Linde’s Life-stories: The creation of coherence.

14. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Near a velodrome, by the beach, not far from some mountains…

15. What is your favourite example of architecture in the world?

I remain intrigued by Hundertwasser’s creations, which feature trees as tenants and have no straight lines.

16. What talent would you most like to have?

Flying, always flying.

17. If you could alleviate one social problem in the world, what would it be?

The tension between state security and human rights. –More of a political or practical problem, than social.

18. If time travel were possible, which historical period would you choose to visit?

I’ve lived in two historical periods already, I think that might be enough.