Disc002
Engaged anthropology: Reality? Necessity? Utopia?

Convenors:
Seraina Claudia Müller (University of Basel (CH))
Miriam Gutekunst (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Andreas Hackl (University of Edinburgh)
Daniel Kunzelmann (TRANSFORMATIONS-BLOG.com)
Angela Firmhofer (LMU Munich, Institute for European Social Anthropology. www.transformations-blog.com)
Stream:
Disciplinary discussions
Location:
A128
Start time:
24 June, 2015 at 10:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to discuss 'engagement' in anthropology against the backdrop of utopia, asking: Is the idea of a publicly engaged anthropology, just an idealised and naive conception, impossible to implement? Or is it a guiding principle and the motor for change behind the work we do?

Long abstract:

This panel seeks to discuss 'engagement' in anthropology against the backdrop of utopia, asking: Is the idea of a publicly engaged anthropology, just an idealised and naive conception, impossible to implement? Or is it a guiding principle and the motor for change behind the work we do? Anthropologists aim to understand social phenomena from a personal perspective. That calls for a close and intimate relationship with the informants and for a responsible use of the information and insights one gets. Some critical questions arise from this: What is the purpose of the research? What is the impact of the ethnographic work besides producing texts? How can the research results flow back into the field? Space and time for such questions and for activities that are not considered academically valuable are shrinking, while academics struggle to secure positions and funding. Never the less there are numerous initiatives addressing these issues. One of them is transformations-blog.com whose funders are the organisers of this panel. Contributions on the following questions and themes are welcome: Which trends are currently influencing the public engagement of anthropologists? What does public anthropology in the digital age look like? How have new technologies changed the relationship between anthropology and the public? How can art and anthropology work together ('art as method')? How can insights and know-how be presented in an appealing way, both within the scientific community and to the public? Social Anthropology and activism: Where are the limits and overlaps?