W051
Reshaping the conditions of anthropological practice: problems and possibilities

Convenors:
Noel Dyck (Simon Fraser University)
Jon Mitchell (Sussex University)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
V214
Start time:
12 July, 2012 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This workshop will examine the ways in which anthropological teaching and research are being reshaped in different countries by administrative and bureaucratic pressures that call for greater interdisciplinary and evidence of the likely 'impact' of the knowledge to be produced by our research.

Long abstract:

In many countries the conditions and purposes of anthropological teaching and research are being reshaped by administrative and bureaucratic pressures that call for greater interdisciplinarity as well as evidence of the likely 'impact' of the knowledge to be produced by our research. Although individual anthropologists have at different times chosen to participate in interdisciplinary research and teaching projects, what was once optional is in some places becoming expected practice. Anthropologists are also being pressured in some jurisdictions to form partnerships with community, government, and business groups in order to generate what is often termed as more 'practical' forms of knowledge that can be applied beyond the academy. This workshop will consider the sources and forms of such initiatives as well as their implications for anthropological research and/or teaching in a range of national and institutional settings. How, indeed, are anthropologists responding to these types of pressures and 'opportunities?' What is involved in seeking to reconcile anthropological research with the analytical concerns and methodological preferences of those working within other disciplines and/or the priorities of those in business, government, and/or the non-profit sectors? How might the logistical and intellectual arrangements generated by these types of undertakings shape the professional activities of anthropologists who enter into these by choice or necessity? What are the risks and rewards both for individual anthropologists as well as for the discipline as a whole that are associated with reshaping the conditions of anthropological practice?