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Anthropology Brand: Any Progress?

I began blogging by reflecting on branding anthropology. That was February 2011. There now seems to be a larger and healthier ecosystem of anthropology blogs. However, some recent posts considering the role of anthropology, its importance, influence, and outreach suggest there might not be so much change in the anthropology brand. But people are trying:

anthropology brandAnthropology in the World Conference
(thanks to anthropologyworks for the announcement)
The Royal Anthropological Institute is pleased to announce that a conference ‘Anthropology in the World’ will take place at the British Museum, Clore Centre, in conjunction with the BM Centre for Anthropology. The aim of this conference is to explore the manifold ways in which anthropology in its widest sense has been influential outside academia. It is aimed therefore at having a widespread appeal to the general public and to those anthropologists who are working in careers outside the university. We hope too that it will be of interest to academic anthropologists who are interested in the way that their subject is diffused and used in wider society, and to those students who are interested in applying their anthropological skills outside the academic arena.

Some Foundations for Anthropological Praxis, Mary Alice Scott
I know I am far from alone in my struggle to reconcile “academic” anthropology with my visions of a more just world. And I am far from alone in my often only partial attempts to envision what that world might look like. But I’ve mainly stayed in my own head musing on the wisdom of my teachers. So in this series of guest posts, I want to engage with some voices outside my head to think about anthropological praxis through the lenses of critical epistemologies and pedagogies.

Savage Minds, 7 June 2012

Which came first, rewarding outreach or doing it? On chickens, eggs, and overworked scientists, Kate Clancy
I take the calls to redefine our work lives very seriously. Public outreach isn’t about adding more hours to your job. It’s about redefining the hours you have and pushing others to recognize the value you bring to your field. . . . A twenty-first century academic is going to have to cause some discomfort to move twentieth century academia along, and true to our science, I think we can provide empirical evidence of the worth of our paths.

Scientific Outreach at Liberal Arts Institutions, Rebecca Dean
My own experience with outreach suggests that liberal arts professors, at least, can integrate outreach into their research and teaching in ways that benefit all. The higher value placed on teaching, student engagement, and pedagogical innovation makes this much easier at a liberal arts institution than at an R1.

Old Bones, 7 June 2012

Why no one gives a damn about anthropology, A. Ashkuff
“Nobody gives a damn” about anthropology, because nobody knows what it is. . . . So what can be done? For starters, anthropology needs mainstream interest, so we should market toward non-anthropologists. I’ve already conducted some market research, and deigned a tactic that motivates professors of other subjects to teach students about anthropology.

Ethnosnacker, 6 June 2012

Screw the transit of Venus, Alex Golub
Often this validation of disciplines like astronomy is made by delegitimizing disciplines like–wait for it–anthropology, which deal with topics which are extremely value relevant to most people. Hiding behind the transit of Venus is a glorification of ‘hard science’ which goes hand in hand with the dismissal of the ‘soft’. Riding alongside it is media coverage telling people to spend a portion of their day thinking about the stars rather than whether austerity will actually lead to economic growth.

Savage Minds, 6 June 2012

What is Anthropology?
Patrick Clarkin calls my video a nice primer, sparking a conversation with Robert Cooper about anthropology, Boas and Tylor.

Explosion of Images: My Anthropology Senior Seminar Experiment, David Davies
Recently I have become fascinated with the explosion of images in our lives. Social media—Facebook, Flickr,YouTube and Vimeo—combined with shrinking cameras and increased storage capacity have inundated us with images—saturating our lives with a constant stream of digital visual material. The technology is now so cheap and commonplace that a student with an iPhone can be a filmmaker. How do we make sense of this? How do we teach with this? How and what do we learn with this?
Note: David Davies brought this blog-post and his blog to my attention in relation to Extending Anthropology. Thanks!

Museum Fatigue, 2 February 2012

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