New Allegra week: #Boredom, Laughter – and a few farts!

Image by Piumadaquila (

And what do you know – it is AGAIN time for a new Allegra week! Where does the time go, despite of our determination to chew our intellectual food slowly! Oh well, there it is, so on with the ‘show’. What does this week bring with it, you ask? We have once again an exciting, fun mix of posts!

Yet like all good scriptwriters, we know that good comedy requires ideal timing. Thus what better way to get started than by first getting a bit bored. Or rather, by returning to our debates around the topic. Some of our devoted Allies will remember that exactly two years ago we fuzzed about this theme quite a bit. The debate was first set in motion by some rather (gasp) boring conference experiences that pushed us to call for the ‘anthropology of boredom’.

The theme then followed us to the 2014 European Anthropologial Association’s bi-annual meeting via our panel titled ‘Boredom, Intimacy and Governance in ‘Normalized’ Times of Crisis’ convened by Allegra’s editors Miia Halme-Tuomisaari and Julie Billaud – in an experience that was as far from boredom as we could imagine!

To kick-start this week we return to some of the aftermath of our panel as we recall what we made of the theme at the time. The post summarizes the papers of our wonderful participants, namely Sylvain Piron, Antonio De Lauri, Heath Cabot (who regrettably was only able to join us via her paper, at the end), Daniele Cantini, Bruce O’Neill, and finally Aman Mojadidi, who combined the session into an interactive art experience (of which you can still get a glimpse via this video). It was left to the hands of the good Ghassan Hage to make analytical sense of it all – which he, of course, did masterfully.

It is very appropriate to return to the excitement of EASA 2014 of Tallinn also as we are soon in for another treat – namely EASA 2016 in Milan! Allegra will of course be there too, and we look forward to seeing many of you there!

After treading down memory lane we move on via a new contribution to the boredom debate – namely the post by Stefano Pontiggia titled ‘Every Day is a Copy-And-Paste’. The post is based on his fieldwork on waithood among Tunisian men (and it is also, actually, exactly the kind of stuff that we have in mind for the Allegra-SAPIENS writing contest – hint-hint!).

On Thursday, following all this boredom (NOT!) it is certainly time for a laugh – and we have just the post for that! Namely Marianna Keisalo shares a glimpse into her research of stand-up comedians in Finland, simultaneously introducing the budding scene on the anthropology of laughter.

And there is certainly NOTHING funnier than the good old ‘pull my finger’ joke – and hence there is no better way to end this week than by revisiting an all time Allegra favourite, namely the by-now classic piece on ‘flatulanthropology’ by Gavin Weston and Jon P. Mitchell. A post that simply cannot grow old with time!

Enjoy! And while you’re at it, pull a finger for us, won’t you!



“Allegra, dedicated to putting a smile on your face – AND making you think – since 2013”

To get a glimpse of EASA 2014 while we start getting in the mood for EASA 2016, revisit this fab photo archive, courtesy of Juho Reinikainen!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *