Bloggers and Digital Anthropologists Unite at AAA

I’m going to the AAA in Chicago this year and am keen to meet other blogging and tweeting anthropologists. There are a few of us here in New Zealand and it will be great to meet others from all over the place! I’m not presenting on digital anthropology but will blog and tweet from the conference as I can.

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AnthroPod: The SCA Podcast

Seems I’m not the only one who likes the name anthropod!* The Society for Cultural Anthropology has recently launched a podcast series dedicated to interviewing cultural anthropologists about their work and experiences in the field.

The two podcasts available so far feature interviews with Michael Fisch (episode 1) about his research on commuter train suicides in Tokyo, and Richard Handler (episode 2) about how he helped to found the graduate Global Development Studies programme at the University of Virginia. Both Fisch and Handler have recently published articles on these topics in the journal Cultural Anthropology, and the podcast links to those articles (one is available through open access, the other is behind a paywall).

I was pleased to discover that the interviews don’t simply repeat what is in the articles; instead they provide the anthropologists with an opportunity to talk about their work in a more informal manner. I enjoyed hearing them enthuse about their work, discuss the challenges of fieldwork, and talk about how they developed their research projects and theoretical frameworks. Prof. Handler’s interview in particular was thought-provoking because of my own research interests in development, and like him I have found a lot of anthropology students are keen to work in the field of development.

The SCA promises more podcasts featuring interviews like this as well as shorter snippets explaining what anthropology is and what anthropologists do. If these first two are anything to go by, I will be a regular subscriber.

* anthropod: a term sometimes used in science fiction to describe humanoid alien beings. (That’s where I came across it, at any rate!)