Anthropology finally gets some much needed public recognition, even admiration and praise…but wait, what’s this?
An assortment of some of the English-speaking world’s most prominent newspapers recently described ANTHROPOLOGY in the following terms — no this is not a joke:
- “Anthropology is very funny and very sharp” (The Times)
- “Despite being written from a male perspective, it will entertain any woman who can laugh at her own foibles” (The Times)
- “amusing and yet coloured by a deep sadness about the passing of things, you will want to hold on to the truths it so skillfully offers for as long as you would to love” (The Independent)
- “a piece of conceptual art” (LA Weekly)
- “Anthropology is a gleaming box of jazzy miniatures. Exquisitely funny” (The Guardian)
- “It could be the most enjoyable half hour you’ll have for some time” (The Big Issue)
- “full of wonderful contradictions and idiocies” (Newcity, Chicago)
- “all the punch of a good one-panel cartoon” (The Washington Post)
Some very articulate readers will pause here and say: “Huh?“
Half an hour, for all of anthropology? What do you mean “idiocies“? A cartoon!?
Many have quietly, sometimes publicly, complained about the “appropriation” of ethnography by other disciplines. Well, guess what? We just lost the word ANTHROPOLOGY too. You can’t say anymore I am studying “anthropology” without raising the eyebrows of perhaps one or two people out there, and I mean for reasons beyond the usual eyebrow-raising ones.
Why? Because ANTHROPOLOGY is the title of a successful romance novel by Dan Rhodes. It has been translated into several languages (unlike many of the texts that also carry that same title), and is apparently a bit of a hit, not that I have read it. Ostensibly, it has nothing to do with the discipline that carries that name.
Also, ANTHROPOLOGY FILM CLIPS are now available for viewing, thanks to the work of director Victor Solomon. These are adaptations for film of passages of the novel, and there are some clips with the words “linguistics” and “essentialism” in the title, so now we are veering back closer to the institutional discipline.
Much more standard, and apparently from Wikiversity (where the development of anthropology online texts seems to be the intended direction), is a slideshow which I had trouble embedding here, so try this link to view what CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY is really all about:
Hint: it has a lot to do with weird practices by primitive peoples frozen in time in distant lands. A few eyes at National Geographic would get moist at the sight of this tour of anthropology.