Famished: Cathryn Townsend

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March 9th, 2021

1 hr 1 min 38 secs

Season 3

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About this Episode

What happens to humans when they are not just hungry, but truly famished? In this episode we talk with anthropologist Cathryn Townsend about the ways that starvation can change who we are and how we relate to one another. She completed fieldwork with the Ik people of Uganda who were vilified as selfish and nasty by Colin Turnbull 50 years ago when he observed their society mid-famine. Cathryn explains how the Ik are just as generous as the rest of us—and why it’s problematic to blame culture for human selfishness. This is the episode you’ve been hungering for.

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