kraut atlantik

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Archive for anthropology

ethnography vs. anthropology

John Postill recently posted Tim Ingold’s Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, held on 14 March 2007 at the British Academy, a pretty interesting piece on the issue. See media anthropology

Anthropology has been shrinking. Once an inclusive inquiry into the conditions of human life, it has increasingly turned inwards on itself. One reason for this shrinkage lies in the identification of anthropology with ethnography. Such identification leads us to think of observation as a means to the end of description. The lecturer will aim to show, to the contrary, how description not just literary but graphic and performative – can be re-embedded in observation. Overturning the relation between observation and description will enhance anthropology”s potential to engage with biology, psychology and archaeology on the great questions of the origins and destiny of humankind.

Professor Timothy Ingold, FBA, University of Aberdeen

complete lecture available at british academy (audio) and here as a .pdf file

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