I usually take a starting point in my books, and almost always in my field. Anthropology has the privilege of being the study of humanity, which includes basically everything that exists and is of interest.
I strive to be thoroughly knowledgeable about any subject, without claiming expert status on all subjects (although on some, I do). I am happy to speak about gender, but not to participate in a battle between the genders, I am happy to speak about religion, but not with someone who has completely entrenched views on it, and I am happy to speak about politics, but wouldn’t begin to think about discussing the banal strategic shenanigans known as ’spin’ which muddle what politics should really be about.
I have often talked about Danish culture and understanding of culture, but would also be pleased to touch on subjects such as the distinctive features of humans, our history of evolution, and our cultural history. Why are we not similar to other animals, why did we become so exceptional, and why do we cause ourselves so much trouble?
Religion draws a lot of my attention. I, myself, am a godless humanist and am pleased to explain what that entails and how I think we should understand and criticize religious alternatives.
If I were to explain what qualifies anthropologists in general, I would say that it is that we, more than any other profession (perhaps with the exception of sci-fi writers), are able to describe different worlds and thereby to challenge others’ and our own conceptions of the life we live and which we believe to be the only right one. Westerners suffer from the basic assumption that they possess the most developed skills and live the best life possible. I don’t necessarily want to dispute that, but at least to challenge it by showing that there are actually other ways to live, and other alternatives. Smugness and ethnocentrism are useless. It is only possible to understand your own position in this world when you understand what you are missing out on.
Therefore, the main purpose of all the lectures I give is always to shake people’s confidence in the things they thought they knew. If you wish to know more, please feel free to contact me.