What do anthropologists care about cosmopolitanism?

On the last day of the [ASA 2006] conference [on cosmopolitanism and anthropology], Keith Hart declared (perhaps a touch harshly),

Anthropologists don’t care for cosmopolitanism. It’s just an excuse to come together. We’re not engaging in the world. We don’t talk about Iraq and Iran. Our detached discourse lacks wider relevance.

As I have since found out, many delegates would agree with Hart’s view, but perhaps didn’t dare to say so openly.


From Lorenz Khazaleh, p. 26:

Khazaleh, L. (2006). Cosmopolitanism and anthropology. Anthropology Today 22(4), 26.

3 thoughts on “What do anthropologists care about cosmopolitanism?

  1. Owen Wiltshire

    Hey can you give us a rundown as to how you keep up with all this? Do you access most of it online? Do you read journals cover to cover? Which ones do you follow? How many articles a week do you read? Why the hell can’t we get a copy of this newsletter in the anthropology reading room at our school?

    Open access is great and all, but sometimes I wish I could read this stuff on the can or at least with a coffee. Would give me more time to digest it all.

  2. Maximilian Forte

    Hi Owen, I’ll answer the questions in the order they appear:

    I only keep up with materials of direct relevance to whatever it is I am writing. I produced a database of notes for a volume I am editing on indigenous cosmopolitanism, and these were some of the quotes I remembered, that seemed relevant to this blog.

    I access as much as possible online, even books.

    I never read journals cover to cover.

    I don’t follow any journals to be frank: it depends on the research project, and I do keyword, title, author, and subject searches that lead me to the articles and books. I don’t have a favourite anthropology journal. In fact, to be honest, I am not sure there is one I could say I even like.

    Why can’t we get a copy for the reading room? Because the institution you and I are both in is way too stingy, and cuts all of our departmental budgets, earned by research grants incidentally.

    I agree with your last point as well — but then again I end up doing so much work at the computer that it ends up being a shortcut to have it here.

  3. Maximilian Forte

    I have a correction to make:

    …it’s not exactly a journal like others, but I do follow the Annual Review of Anthropology. As far as I am concerned it is the best reading resource in anthropology by very far. Second to it, and obviously far more condensed, brief, and frequent, is Anthropology Today. Even so, I do not read any issue of either from cover to cover.

    I do keep track of what all the journals are publishing in anthropology, but by “follow” I gathered that you meant something more ‘intimate’ (?).

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