The Romance of Anthropology & Getting Real Public Attention

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:

Anthropology Slideshow

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.

Have fun.

4 thoughts on “The Romance of Anthropology & Getting Real Public Attention

  1. Pingback: “Me so horny, me love you long time”: The Phallo-Fascism of an Anthropologist in the Academilitary « OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY

  2. Pingback: Stuff White People Like: Anthropology, apparently « OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY

  3. victor solomon

    to be fair, mr. rhodes did not attempt to appropriate the word anthropology.

    consider it the press and distributors laziness. the book, 101 short stories, (which are in alphabetical order) was originally called “Anthropology and a hundred other stories” because the first story in the book is called “anthropology” (and is used correctly)

    Somewhere along the line, the “and a hundred other stories” was dropped, leaving the title as “Anthropology”. And from the little I know of Mr. Rhodes, I’m sure that this linguistic injustice drives him mad to this day.

  4. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks very much for your visit Victor Solomon, I recognized your site as I now returned to it.

    Frankly speaking, I have no problem at all with Dan Rhodes using, or misusing, or appropriating, or whatever, when it comes to anthropology. I think it’s a great thing to see others owning this word, making of the idea what they will, in their own way. I am almost sad now to hear that he used the word “correctly” in his first story — he should be adventurous, rebellious, rupture it, reshape it. He should rest at ease about the title change, it grabs attention.

    So there is no grudge from my end, except the one I hold against myself for not making the time to take a closer look at his work. Many thanks again for visiting and writing and have a very happy new year.

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