Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Change Agents in Anthropology

Despite our proclivities for emergence, assemblage, and all manner of objects and behaviors in the process of becoming, the institutions of anthropology appear downright procrustean: the lengthy apprenticeship of graduate school, the sycophantic ranking of programs . . .and the fetish for paywalled, proprietary publications.

There are several anthropologists who have worked to challenge these staid formations, and they were active at the 2012 American Anthropological Association in San Francisco in a series of powerful panels on publishing, social media and digital anthropology.  Now that we're all back at our desks, they've had time to reflect, and posts are popping up all over the place.

There's Jason Antrosio in Living Anthropologically, who took his paper from our panel ("Sharing Anthropology") and infused it with insightful reflections on the entirety of the conference.  And Matt Thompson and others at the Digital Anthropology Group (DANG) have continued to press for open access.  Finally, Barbara King weighs in with an ode to the dialogical ecologies of the blogosphere. 

All of these bloggers make me hopeful for changes not only in the ways we communicate anthropology, but also in the ways we organize its production (and its reproduction).