Anthropological Publics, Public Anthropology: An AAA Annual Meeting Roundtable

Bangstad, Sindre, Irfan Ahmad et al 2017. “Anthropological Publics, Public Anthropology: An AAA Annual Meeting Roundtable”. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. 7(1): 489-508.

Abstract: I begin with two propositions. First, if there is to be any meaningto the anthropological dictum that to know only one society is to know no society,we also have to add that to know only anthropology is to know no discipline. Andby this, I do not mean the lazy ritual of only adding the prefix “anthropology of”before any particular phenomenon or body of knowledge. At the intersection ofpolitical science, international relations, religion, and philosophy, my public an-thropology is mostly through the media. Applied anthropology is one aspect ofpublic anthropology, but it is not always ethical. So my second proposition is thatfor anthropology to be public, it must also be ethical. I will present a case study ofmy own engagement, and conclude with two sets of questions which in my experi-ence doing public anthropology raises.