Engaging Anthropology in Practice


Engaging Anthropology in Practice

For those interested in taking anthropology to audiences beyond the academy. We hope to share ideas about achieving a more publicly engaged discipline and specifically about training anthropologists to better communicate with non-academic audiences.

Website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/anthropology/EAP.php
Location: Scotland
Members: 106
Latest Activity: Jun 20, 2016


Welcome to our group!

The coordinators are currently running a workshop series entitled ‘Engaging Anthropology in Practice’ for postgraduate students and early career anthropologists in Scotland. The project aims to develop training models for engagement that incorporate collaboration with professionals working through different media to reach non-academic audiences. Please see our website (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/anthropology/EAP.php) for more information.

Panels that we organised at the ASA conference in Bristol in 2009 and the EASA conference in Maynooth in 2010 provoked interesting and energetic dialogue about training models.

We hope that this group will become a forum for discussing engagement and training issues and sharing models developed elsewhere.

Those wishing to keep in touch with events pertaining to engagement, or the EAP workshop series may also wish to join out mailing list at JISC.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Joe Long, Caroline Gatt, Rachel Harkness.

Discussion Forum

anthropology in development policy and practice 2 Replies

For many years I have been working as a social anthropologist (and more broadly as a social scintist) in the field of development studies and in development policy and practice. while there has been…Continue

Started by david seddon. Last reply by Karen Marie Greenough Apr 16, 2012.

'Anthropology in the World' the Royal Anthropological Institute conference, June 2012

Hello Everyone, Members of the group may be interested in the RAI conference coming this June. Below is my call for papers and links to the conference website for more information on the conference…Continue

Started by Beata Switek Jan 8, 2012.

HUMANS: an online magzine featuring ANIMALS 3 Replies

Hello all, For a while now I've been thinking about how we remix the animal kingdom and move humans out of the center and into a more fibrous, star-like vision.  Sort of jumping beyond what…Continue

Started by Kathryn Papp. Last reply by david seddon May 12, 2011.

Anthropology and the Performng Arts 3 Replies

What creative potential does an anthropology with, not of, the performing arts offer?Can such a collaboration offer the tools to better communication with non-specialist audiences?Or is it primarily…Continue

Started by Caroline Gatt. Last reply by Ragnhild Freng Dale Mar 3, 2011.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Engaging Anthropology in Practice to add comments!

Comment by Marek Mikus on September 11, 2013 at 1:18pm

Hi, does anyone know of any engaged anthropology grants other than the Wenner Gren ones? Thanks in advance.

Comment by John McCreery on October 12, 2011 at 7:49am
Look here for a link to a fascinating interview whose subject is design anthropology.
Comment by Rachel Joy Harkness on July 14, 2011 at 8:57pm
Perhaps this conference is of interest to our group?
The Public Mission of the Social Sciences and Humanities: Transformation and Renewal

Transatlantic Conference with Jutta Allmendinger, Lisa Anderson, Thomas Bender, Michael Burawoy, Craig Calhoun, Klaus Eder, Rogers Smith, Wolfgang Streeck, Jacques Revel, Stephen Walt, and others. Leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic who have studied the history of their disciplines will analyze the historical transformation of the public role of their professions comparatively and critically. 

Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), Berlin, Germany, September 16-17, 2011
To follow from a distance (conference-related conversations, content and outcomes), you can sign up for the newsletter [http://bit.ly/l0orVo] or follow updates on Twitter: http://twitter.com/PublicSphereHub
For those who can make the trip to the conference, we have compiled a page with practical information, including tips for hotels in the area and cheap accommodation for students: http://bit.ly/m2Uvqc
* Conference registration (free, but RSVP required): http://bit.ly/lILnic
* Conference outline and preliminary program: http://bit.ly/jIv0tP
* Companion to the conference (research resources): http://bit.ly/hDwOhe
Inquiries: for questions about the Berlin conference, please contact our European partners atpublicmission@wzb.eu

The transatlantic conference is inspired by and builds on the SSRC's Academia & the Public Sphere Essay Series: http://bit.ly/fVf5Ux

Sponsored by the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), The Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at Humboldt University, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) at New York University.
The SSRC's Public Sphere Hub [http://publicsphere.ssrc.org/], an open educational resource and research hub on the public sphere, is co-sponsored by New York University's Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK). Newsletter: http://bit.ly/l0orVo - Twitter: http://twitter.com/PublicSphereHub
Comment by Jennifer Clarke on March 7, 2011 at 1:45pm

Re: ALlternative Census

Hi Joe, 

I happened to hear the 'alternative census' (being an avid radio 4 listener) and have a brief response. The form is interesting, in that it follows and then segues away from the actual census questions, into the private lives of individuals and couples (the one I heard tackled the transvestism of an elderly gentleman, and his wife's response). The reporter, Hardeep Kohli, is a comedian or sorts (or tries to be - he gets mixed reviews, and has, apparently, a dubious record in a few ethical areas, but I only know what the newspapers say!) and this is reflected a little in the structure of the programme. But even so, I felt it was a gentle humour, and people talked openly with him; it was an intriguing series of vignettes, about how people live their lives "behind closed doors". 

The census questions (such as "how many people sleep here") shift into "who do you sleep with" - perhaps not a direct question posed, but that was the gist) but I will probably listen to some more, and see if the connection between census and personal stories is developed more - otherwise it's just a hook for interviewing people in their homes about their private lives.


Comment by Joe Long on March 7, 2011 at 9:33am
During the UK 2011 census Hardeep Kohli is conducting an 'alternative census' for a BBC radio programme, According to the website, ' he takes on the bold and sincere aim of gauging who we are as individuals, rather than as statistics.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yssmc weekly podcasts are online.
I am unable to listen to it here in the field, but would be interested to hear any responses. Does this focus on qualatitive rather than statistical methodology give us any interesting pointers for a public anthropology? Could we use such a program to make clearer what we do as anthropologists?
Comment by John McCreery on January 10, 2011 at 3:55pm

Joe, perhaps we could elicit responses to a distinction drawn by a friend of mine, Larry Brouhard. Larry is a guy who founded a company that produced documentation for a Japanese mainframe computer manufacturer. At a presentation to the Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET) in Tokyo, Larry distinguished between writers, people who write something and then hope to sell it, and people who write for a living, who never write anything unless they know what they have to write and what they will be paid for it.

Writing advertising copy, which I have done for a number of years, falls somewhere between these extremes. The copywriter is usually briefed on what the client wants to sell and the target to which the client wants to sell it. But whether the client will buy the copywriter's ideas is still up to the client. 


Another thing that being a copywriter entails is close attention to the medium in which ads will appear. In extreme cases, e.g., 15-second TV spots, the copywriter's words will be seen or heard for a maximum of 8 seconds. 


In any case, the basic questions for people who want to write for a living are always the same: Who am I writing for? What do they most want to read or hear? What tone and manner are best? What will I be paid? People who succeed in writing for a living develop strong answers to all of these questions. 

Comment by Joe Long on January 10, 2011 at 3:03pm
Thanks for your support John! Sounds like you are exactly the person to advise on some of these issues and questions. We look forward to your thoughts.
Comment by John McCreery on December 10, 2010 at 4:22am

Joe, this is an exciting initiative. If there is anything an aging anthropologist, adman, sometime political activist living in Japan can do to lend a hand, please give me a shout.


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