Open Anthro Vol 5-3 Open Anthropology Matters
Keywords:Open Anthropology, anthropology, annual meeting
The Editors’ Note: Open Anthropology Matters
Jason Antrosio, Department of Anthropology, Hartwick College
Sallie Han, Department of Anthropology, SUNY Oneonta
For this issue of Open Anthropology we are promoting material linked to the 2017 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), Anthropology Matters. From a potentially enormous selection of themes, we’re particularly highlighting work by the keynote speakers, Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim. We are also using this opportunity to showcase the efforts of outgoing AAA President Alisse Waterston, who was the founding first editor of Open Anthropology.
Open Anthropology is a public effort of the AAA, and so we concentrated on the Executive Sessions with the theme of Anthropological Knowledge Creation/Dissemination. Since we began editing Open Anthropology, we have tried to feature articles that are useful in teaching—both teaching anthropology and allied endeavors. Within the category of Anthropological Knowledge Creation/Dissemination, we focused on the session titled Why Anthropology Matters: Making Anthropology Relevant and Engaging a Larger Public Audience through Pedagogy. Additionally within the category of Anthropological Knowledge Creation/Dissemination is the perhaps provocatively titled Do Black and Brown Lives Matter to Anthropology?: Race, Bodies, and Context. This roundtable is relevant both to anthropology and pedagogy, and for this issue we’ve included articles from several of the presenters.
We begin with Deprovincializing Trump, Decolonizing Diversity, and Unsettling Anthropology as a frame for anthropology’s current possible contribution. This invited commentary by Jonathan Rosa and Yarimar Bonilla appears in the May 2017 issue of American Ethnologist. In some ways this may be seen as an update and companion piece to their previous “#Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States” which also was published in American Ethnologist (February 2015) and was included in the Open Anthropology issue on Race, Racism, and Protesting Anthropology. In their “Deprovincializing Trump” reflections, Rosa and Bonilla “share the general concern over the impact of [Trump’s] win, and believe that anthropology can and should play a critical role in examining the importance of this moment.” However, they “contend that there is just as much to be learned from the reactions to the election as there is from the results” (201). Rosa and Bonilla resist the urge to see recent events as a definitive or exceptional break from the past. “The characterization of Trump’s election, as well as related global events such as Brexit, as exceptional effectively delinks present-day racism from colonial histories of power, disavows US settler colonialism, and silences critiques of global coloniality” (203).
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