Anthrodendum, the revival

Anthrodendum, the revival

Early in 2020, we faced a decision. For the past couple of years, things have definitely slowed down here on Anthrodendum. You may have noticed. So we asked ourselves whether it was time to close up shop for good and move on to other things…or keep this project going.

We decided to keep it going. We started sharing our ideas and plans for pushing this project forward. We had plans. Ideas. Changes. And new people we wanted to bring in.

And then COVID hit.

Needless to say, everything–including this site–went on the backburner.

Like all of you out there, many of us are just trying to get through the days. There’s not much time for writing and extra projects. There’s not much time for anytime. Many of us are just trying to keep up. It was a long year.

But we are pushing forward. We’ve had some great new content this year, ranging from the Quaran-Teens 2020 series (which has continued in 2021) and the Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series in addition to some great guest blogging from Bicram Rijal, Patricia G. Lange, David Vine, Christian Elliot, Bricoleur, Rituparna Patgiri, Caitlin E. McDonald, Elena Burgos Martinez, Joelle Powe, Thea McRae, Christina Jones & Laith A. Ayogu, and most recently Rine Vieth.

All of us here at Anthrodendum want to thank each of our contributors for helping us keep this project going…especially during such difficult times. We recognize and appreciate your work, your ideas, and your contributions.

We think we need these kinds of alternative spaces. We need something else. Something other than the publish and perish world that tends to rule our academic lives. We need different spaces for our collective conversations. About a decade ago, there were numerous anthropology blogs and spaces out there. Where have they all gone? Some of them, like Somatosphere, continue apace. We do have many new spaces for publishing accessible, short-form anthropology, including Sapiens and the multifaceted platform that has been created by the Society for Cultural Anthropology. Still, many of our conversations have migrated to Twitter threads and other platforms. And we think it’s important to bring things back. To rebuild spaces that bring us together.

This is what we want to see this site do going forward. We see it as a potential pooling mechanism for bringing together ideas and people who are doing anthropology in some different ways. We see anthropology as something more than just the institutions and conversations in US and European academia.

We’re going for a version of anthropology that’s beyond the institutions that control it. We’re turning our backs to the institutions and habits that dominate anthropology. We want to focus on being a positive space that is based in reciprocity and kindness. We also want to build and support publishing venues that openly and actively allow authors to retain the rights of their own work.

Toward that end, we want to open up this site to make it more thoughtful about our readership and open to getting them more involved in what we’re doing (not just limited to posting comments, liking, and sharing on social media). We have ideas, but we want to hear what you’re thinking as well. If you’re interested in submitting something, you can contact us here, or just send a message to Ryan Anderson via Twitter: @anthropologia

As part of the site revival, we have already added two new members: Sarah Shulist and Andrea Rawluk. We are so glad to have them on board with us. Are you interested in writing with us too? We’re also looking to build our network of contributors. If you have ideas…let us know!

Let’s see what we can do with this thing.

-The Anthrodendum Crew

Photo: Open book, pages turning. Ryan Anderson, 2021.

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