This is the presentation I gave at the 2013 American Anthropological Association meeting in Chicago. Turn up on your speakers or headphones because audio is included. Enjoy!
I have gotten a lot of traffic over the years from people searching for what to wear to conferences, particular anthropology conferences. So, I decided to post my AAA Conference wardrobe for this year. I hope it helps!
From my experience, conference goers wear a wide range of clothes from suits to blue jeans. However, my advice is to dress professionally but comfortably. You never know who you might meet at a conference and first impressions mean a lot, especially when you only get to talk to someone for a few minutes. I suggest wearing clothes that would be acceptable for a business casual environment.
That said, conferences can be long days in cities that require a lot of walking. So, be sure to wear something comfortable (especially your shoes). And, if you are going to the AAA conference this year in Chicago, dress warm; it is going to be cold!
Being a Curious Potential: Collaborating With Muslims On Ethnography and Conversion
Angela Kristin VandenBroek (Binghamton University, State University of New York)
Friday, November 22, 2013: 11:15 AM-11:30 AM Continue reading
Generalists and Specialists
During my History of Anthropological Thought course (with Dr. Thomas Wilson & Dr. Mike Little) last Thursday, a student asked, “Will there be another Boas?” We had been discussing Boas, Kroeber and some of their contemporaries and how holistic they were during their careers. These holistic scholars shaped the path of anthropology in a way that transected every sub-field (cultural, physical, archaeology and linguistics). Through the discussion we attributed this to their brilliance and charisma, but also because they were generalists with a hand in every pot in the kitchen. We discussed the possibility of a new generalist who could shape the future of the discipline and we agreed that being a generalist in the Boasian sense today was neither possible nor particularly desirable. Continue reading
This semester I am taking a course in Digital Anthropology Dr. Josh Reno. We each have to lead discussion and write a short paper on one of the readings. Below is my short paper on one of this week’s readings.
2012. Rethinking Digital Anthropology, in Digital Anthropology. Pp. 39-60.
In “Rethinking Digital Anthropology,” Tom Boellstorff (2012) tackles the complex issue of refining the study of digital anthropology by clearly defining a core theory of the virtual to build upon and an essential method for ethnographic analysis of the virtual. Boellstorff begins by arguing that recent work within digital anthropology that questions the validity or “sharpness” of the online and offline distinction is flawed (35). The virtual, or online, distinction from the actual, or offline, is not blurred and should not be erased (45). Instead, he argues that the virtual and the actual are culturally organized and created and their meaning depends upon the “context of social interaction” (46) and thus the concept of virtual should be understood as an index (46-48). It should be strongly tied to social context (48). Boellstorff bolster’s this argument by presenting the virtual as a space or place that cannot be collapsed into the space or the actual (45). He provides the example of Facebook users in Trinidad, “forms of expression and relationship can take place on Facebook, but the space of Facebook and the space of Trinidad do not thereby collapse into each other” (45). From his fieldwork in Second Life, he draws on the distinction of place in virtual worlds, such as the places of Sims Online, There.com and Second Life and the landscapes of each virtual world, to demonstrate the realness of the virtual as a distinct place (44). Boellstorff concludes that the collapse of the virtual and the actual within anthropological literature fails to reflect his view of the empirical evidence of digital study: “indexical relationships link the online and offline through similitude and difference” (51). Continue reading
I am taking a graduate seminar this semester on ethnographic analysis with Dr. Douglas Holmes. The project for the term is to produce an exploratory research proposal.
See part one, the research problem.
Research Question & Hypothesis
How are iamamiwhoami, Minecraft, and the Curators of Sweden Project situated within a practice of design and the context of Swedish innovation and discourse? The most common argument for why Sweden has fostered innovations in technology, music, business and other areas of design is that the nation of Sweden has strong educational and research investments that allow its citizens the knowledge, mobility and funding to thrive. The Swedish government website answers this question (What makes Sweden so innovative?) by straightforwardly stating that “the country invests heavily in research, encourages critical thinking from an early age and is open to international influences” (Krutmeijer 2013). However, this perspective lacks the nuance necessary to grasp the complexities of design as practice. It fails to encompass the social and environmental factors that influence the development of design practices as they mesh with the individual histories, motivations and projects of the designers. Further, these social institutions of education, research, governance, and social welfare are themselves design projects that have had equally as interesting impacts and histories as this project’s proposed focuses. Hanging the success of one project on the success of another can not adequately capture the complexities of Swedish design and largely ignores the individual agency of the designers.
I am taking a graduate seminar this semester on ethnographic analysis with Dr. Douglas Holmes. The project for the term is to produce an exploratory research proposal. The first assignment was to state the research problem. Here is mine.
The Research Problem
Today, Sweden has one of the most highly developed social welfare systems in the world, a growing immigrant population, a slowly growing economy in a declining economic environment, and is consistently ranked positively on gender equality, poverty levels, education, and other markers respected by the international community. Out of this milieu of Swedish modernism, Swedes have produced innovations in business, technology, science and the arts that play with cultural forms in critical and reflexive ways that seem reflective of academic postmodern thought. The following three Swedish projects demonstrate this behavior from different industries and populations within Sweden. Yet, each demonstrates a conscious engagement with fluidity, cultural criticism, and reflexive social engagement that is peculiarly similar. Continue reading
Alright folks, I am back! I am now a doctoral student at Binghamton University (SUNY) and working as a part-time web developer for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Life has changed a lot in the last few months.
Things to come…
I am taking three course this semester, History of Anthropological Thought, Digital Anthropology and Ethnographic Analysis. So, you can pretty much expect that most of my posts will be in one of those areas. I am thinking about doing some creative work to present some of the theories from History of Anthropology, perhaps aimed at undergrads or the general public. I am thinking something with memes… For Digital Anthropology, I am working on a term project involving the @Sweden twitter account; you can expect some updates there. Ethnographic Analysis is essentially an exploratory discussion course where we read and discuss the beautiful mess that is ethnography. Also, for this class we are writing mock project proposals, more on that at a later date.
I am also going to be at the AAA conference this year in Chicago. Look for more details on that in the near future. (Meet up anyone?)
Oh, did I mention that I won an EduStyle Award for best Annual or Community Report web design? So geeked! I beat Michigan State, NC State, Memorial, and Texas A&M. Wahoo!
Thanks for Hanging in There
Well enough catch up. I am going to get busy on writing new posts! Thanks for hanging in there through this crazy summer.
This is a presentation I did online for the North Carolina Community College Digital Designers and Developers Association on Friday. Enjoy!
P.S. This presentation was given as part of the awesome job that I am giving up to go back to school. Do you want to come work with me this summer and take over my job in the Fall?