Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Issue: Anthropology?

Ideas never materialize out of thin air, that's for sure. That's definitely the case with this site, which was little more than a Sunday afternoon plan that came together after reading some of the latest posts about the dissemination of anthropology by Daniel Lende and Greg Downey over at Neuroanthropology. But there are lots of others whose work and ideas have really made me think (and rethink) about how and why anthropologists create and disseminate media (since that's what anthropologists are, at least in part, producers of very specific kinds of media). This project derives from lots of other work out there, there's no doubt about that.

This includes the work of the folks who created the site Open Access Anthropology, the whole crew at Savage Minds, the always prolific Max Forte at Zero Anthropology, Keith Hart, Francine Barone, and everyone else involved with the Open Anthropology Cooperative, Colleen Morgan at Middle Savagery (whose creativity is seemingly boundless), Johan Normark at Archaeological Haecceities, and numerous others. All of these folks have been contributing to the creation of an online cadre of anthropologists that is, at least in my opinion, getting better by the day. There's a lot of great work out there, and it'll be fascinating to see how this changes the ways in which we think about, write about, and communicate anthropology. And that's what this site is all about. We'll see where it goes.

This first issue of "anthropologies" explores the seemingly simple but deceptively impossible question: What is anthropology? Stacie Gilmore, David Picard, Keith Hart, Alyson O'Daniel, Megan Maurer, and yours truly take a preliminary stab at this massive question through a set of reflective essays.  Of course, there really isn't one clear answer to that question anyway, and that's part of the reason for the pluralistic name of this site in the first place.  We all have our versions. Definitions, after all, are a continual process. This issue also has a few photographs that I took several years ago when I first started studying anthropology. That was when I was in the middle of my transition from photography to anthropology--and things never looked the same again, that's for sure. Zoos included. Lastly, there is also an Open Thread in which any of you can chime in on your thoughts about anthropology--feel free to jump on in and tell us all how it *really* is. One thing that I am most interested in is hearing a diversity of voices on this site--whether in the main articles, the Open Thread, or in the comments sections. I want to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to submit their thoughts and ideas to contribute to this new project. I didn't give them much of a heads up, and I really appreciate their efforts. Thanks for helping me get this started!


PS: If you're interested in participating in an upcoming issue, email me: ethnografix at gmail dot com. Also, I am planning on having a visual anthropology component to each issue, so if you are one of those visually-inclined anthropological folks, contact me as well at the same address!

No comments: