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Anthropology Matters, Public Relations, Promotion, Value

Anthropology MattersLots of links this week around various aspects of public anthropology, promotion, and the value of anthropology. Featured book is Anthropology Matters.

  1. Evolution’s got a P.R. problem by Holly Dunsworth:

    Evolution’s got a public relations problem that spans beyond fundamental Creationism. It’s not exactly looked upon favorably by many non-fundamental yet kind, open-minded, and educated folks either! [and click the link for interesting thoughts on why…]

    I’ve added this to Living with Darwin & Evolution-Creation Controversy and would be grateful for updated suggestions on good articles. Also, congratulations to Holly Dunsworth on writing just a good little book.

  2. Anthropology: It’s not just a “promotion” problem by Ryan Anderson:

    Sure, we have a public image problem. And sure, promotion is not a bad idea. But before we start talking out full page ads in the New York Times to announce how great our “brand” is, we might want to do a little soul searching. Maybe we should think deeply about the gaps between the ideals of anthropology and the actual practices of anthropology. If we really think that all we’re missing is some good PR, then we’re completely deluding ourselves. [and click the link for more and an intersting comment stream…]

  3. AAA Applauds Report of Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences:

    The American Anthropological Association (AAA) applauds report The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences. Released this week by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, the report is a call to action for the US to make significant investments in the areas of social science research and education. The report makes three recommendations: Invest in educating people with the humanities and social sciences to provide an intellectual framework for understanding a changing world; focus not just on instruction for specific jobs, but on the development of professional flexibility and inquisitiveness; and acknowledge how the humanities and social sciences enable us to understand diverse cultural perspectives, making it possible for people around the world to work together to address issues of mutual importance.

  4. Public anthropology in times of media hybridity and global upheaval by John Postill. Abstract:

    The growing popularity of new social and participatory media at a time of global turbulence raises challenging questions for anthropologists wishing to engage with publics beyond academia. In this chapter I draw from my experience as a media anthropologist researching activism and social protest to explore some of these challenges. I argue that an updated public anthropology is required if we are to reach out beyond the mass media channels familiar from previous decades. The new digital media environment is a ‘hybrid’ system made up of old and new technologies, actors and practices interacting in contingent ways (Chadwick 2011) as well as a domain of cultural production mired in a deep political and economic crisis. This situation demands open-ended, idiosyncratic, and collaborative approaches to public engagement that take into account both the unique affordances of today’s digital technologies and the aftereffects of the 2011 and 2013 waves of social protest around the globe. I exemplify this argument through my experience with four distinct platforms, namely a mailing list, a research blog, Twitter and Facebook, in a range of public contexts.

  5. International Affairs as if Compassion and Cooperation Mattered by Caroline Conzelman:

    We cannot resolve the complex problems of our global system by applying more of the principles and policies that caused them. We need new generations of global citizens who are brave enough to challenge the status quo, and to privilege compassion and cooperation over hierarchy and competition. Cultural anthropology provides the tools for such critical reflection and creative action. I explain here how I teach an international affairs course from an anthropological perspective, and I offer my views on why I believe professionals in business, development, government, the military, and elsewhere stand to gain from adopting anthropological methods and values.

  6. Hau Journal, Special Issue: Value as Theory – Part 1 of 2. From the introduction by Giovanni Da Col:

    HAU’s first special issue, which is guest-edited by Ton Otto and Rane Willerslev and includes an impressive and original collection of papers. The theme of value is one which has a distinguished anthropological pedigree and finds its most eminent heralds in Louis Dumont, Nancy Munn, Terry Turner, and David Graeber, among others. Questions of value have been stirring much interest in the last decade, yet the discipline lacks a thorough collection exploring the multifariousness and theoretical potential that the concept could mobilize.

  7. 7 anthropology blogs and websites (and one listserv) you should know about. Amy Santee’s Anthropologizing discovers some new gems and old favorites.
  8. I now have an agent! Michael Smith moves from “clear” to “vivid” prose. Congratulations!

I’ve been trying to do my part, updating the What is Anthropology? page, and for more links see also Twitter Academia.

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