Applied anthropology as a source of innovation (EASA Applied Anthropology Network)

Dan Podjed (ZRC SAZU)
Rachael Gooberman-Hill (University of Bristol)
Rachael Gooberman-Hill
Start time:
31 July, 2014 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel provides examples of anthropology in practice outside the academia, reflecting on collaboration and contribution in various settings and with different disciplines. The debate is centred on current trends and possible futures for applied anthropology.

Long abstract:

Europe is witnessing a new expansion of applied anthropology, with anthropologists contributing widely outside the academia. Anthropologists work in a variety of areas, including, but not exclusively, business, design, health and medicine, work, education, media, tourism and policy. In all these applied fields anthropology has a capacity to foster innovation at multiple levels. Anthropologists may generate innovations within interdisciplinary research and development teams (in private and public sectors). Applied anthropology may also provide a source of innovation for anthropology as an academic discipline, through identification of new research fields, themes and methodologies, and opening debates around the ethics in research and engagement. Presenters are invited to talk about: 1. examples of innovative use of anthropological skills and knowledge beyond academia; 2. development and use of new methodologies or methods 'borrowed' from other disciplines; 3. transfer of applied anthropological knowledge into research projects and study programmes, and the so called intertwining of academic and applied anthropology. Presenters are also encouraged to address the possible futures of applied anthropology and its potential contribution to economic and social crisis. The panel will discuss how the current applied anthropology in Europe compares with applied anthropology elsewhere, and will try to establish the opportunities which are especially relevant and promising. Discussion will also explore whether and how professional links on a global scale would help anthropology to broaden its scope from a descriptive, hermeneutical and interpretative branch of humanities to an applied and normative science, and the desirability for such shift.