July 6, 2009

The Open Anthropology Cooperative

I have heard about it, and I finally joined it. I like the idea of an open-to-the-public anthropology collective, and I like a lot of the ideas that are circulating there. From the "About" page:

The Open Anthropology Cooperative is not just for the members of an academic discipline; we welcome anyone for whom our conversations are interesting. An engaged anthropology for the 21st century should also be an interdisciplinary project aiming to discover what we need to know about humanity as a whole if we would make a better world. Such a project depends on making full use of the emerging social and technical synthesis entailed in the digital revolution. It also means engaging with a new kind of inequality, the digital divide.

Considering how the AAA runs its online interface, and many of the debates around open access and such, I think this new group is a good thing (although I think that the new AAA blog is opening up things there a little). There are definitely restrictions with how a member of the AAA can interact with the organization, and what I like about the OAC is the fact that members can take part in shaping what the group will become as it happens in a more organic (and chaotic) form. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

It also makes me think about the different ways that anthropology can be brought to various audiences--and it makes me wonder what works. What are the different forms that can be used to talk about human cultures and histories across the world? Maybe the OAC is one more way to get some ideas out there.

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