Human Terrain co-director James Der Derian discusses the use of civilian anthropologists and social scientists as on-the-ground advisors with the military on ‘To the Best of our Knowledge’ from Wisconsin Public Radio. In radio program ‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals’ Der Derian is interviewed by Anne Strainchamps about ‘Human Terrain’ and the controversial practice of embedding anthropologists and other academics in Human Terrain Teams working with combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Der Derian was featured alongside prominent intellectual Noam Chomsky, documentary filmmaker Astra Taylor and critic Christopher Hitchens, who also appears in ‘Human Terrain’ at Marine Corps Base Quantico and gives his opinions about the creation of soldier-scholars for counterinsurgency. The segment with Der Derian focused on military policies characterizing contemporary warfare as the “anthropologist’s war” and explored these issues through the lens of Michael Bhatia’s life and death while working on Human Terrain Team One in Afghanistan. The discussion also features excerpts from the film including quotes from Bing West, Hugh Gusterson, Michael Bhatia and Jarat Chopra.
You can listen to the show here.