Loss: Daphne Berdahl 1964-2007


U professor watched as Germany reunified

When I read her book on Kella, Germany – “Where the World Ended” – a few years ago, I was inspired by Daphne Berdahl’s ethnography of borderlands. She had a tangible, physical boundary but focused on people’s orientations to the border as well as their adaptations when the border changed. Her notions apply to the work I hope to do at “the border” of languages, a borderland occupied (physically,materially) by simultaneous interpretation.
I need to read the essays in this book now, Altering States: Ethnographies of Transition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, which she co-edited.
I’m stunned at her age – roughly mine. So much accomplished: not just the academic contributions, but goodwill in the world. A worthy life, albeit all too short.
Learned via an H-Net List for the Society for the Anthropology of Europe.

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