Mattering Anthropology, Anthropology Matters

6 Dec

The Geek Anthropologist

By Emma Louise Backe

Anthropology Matters! was the exhortation of the 116th American Anthropological Association Annual meeting this year in Washington, D.C. The frenetic energy of the 115th meeting, marked by the recent 2016 election of now president Donald J. Trump, has instead hardened around an overt and concentrated attempt to historicize the sociopolitical events of the present and prognisticate directions for the future. Yet the exclamatory nature of Anthropology Matters feels ineffectual. Are we trying to signal to the broader intellectual community and American public that anthropology does indeed matter? Or are we instead convincing ourselves that our choice of discipline was legitimate, necessary?

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