Last September I wrote an article in Anthropology News encouraging my fellow anthropologists to get online. I was frustrated that while there are numerous blogs by just about every other branch of academia, anthropologists were still largely absent from the online hubbub. Since I wrote that article, the anthropological blogsphere has been slowly expanding. This was encouraging, especially with blogs like Anthropology in the News, Motes and Theories on Anthropology, Field Notes, Safe Space, and newly discovered The Old Revolution, all of which were much more anthropologically focused than the older anthropologist-authored blogs, like my own, that were only occasionally or tangentially anthropological. Spurred on by these newcomers, four of us who have been blogging for quite some time: Alex, Dustin, Antti, and myself got together to start an anthropology group blog, in the tradition of Crooked Timber, The Valve, Language Log, Cliopatria. The result is Savage Minds!
One of the goals of Savage Minds, besides encouraging ourselves to write more about anthropology, is to also encourage other anthropologists to blog. Accordingly, we have two “newcomers” to the world of blogging. Chris Kelty, who has written extensively about technology and intellectual property, and Nancy Leclerc who studies “gender, sexual behaviour and human relations.” As we get established we hope to bring newer members on board as well. And hopefully some guest appearances by more established anthropologists.
Since we launched yesterday there are already a bunch of new posts. I wrote about informants who like being interviewed a little too much. Alex wrote about the continued importance of all four fields in anthropology. (With a followup here.) And Dustin has commented on the David Graeber affair, placing it in a wider historical context. Even more exciting, there has already been some active discussion in the comments!
One thing I haven’t decided yet is whether to mirror my Savage Minds posts here or not. I think I will probably do “round-up” posts instead — pointing to those posts which have a broader appeal outside the world of anthropology, but not everything I write over there. Keywords will continue to be home to my more political, linguistic, Taiwan focused and eclectic thoughts, although it is unlikely that I will be posting as much here as I did before.
For more information about the blog’s name, and the reason we have pansies in our masthead, see our about page. There are also some nice graphics there that you can use to help spread the word!