"ANTHROPOLOGY'S PUBLIC FACE: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE MEDIA"
American Anthropological Association
This symposium seeks to bring together professional anthropologists who have worked with and through the mass media with media professionals who have had anthropological training.
The purpose of these encounters is to examine the public face of anthropology:
Early communication efforts
The media of the time was well situated to welcome anthropologists. The declining cost in newsprint and the increasing efficiency of printing technology had led to the proliferation at the turn of the century of as many as a dozen daily newspapers in a given metropolis as well as hundreds of niche publications.
As the century passed, both institutions increasingly specialized and professionalized. Today, anthropology and the mass media industries represent two distinct modes of knowledge production, embedded in quite different webs of social relations.
While anthropology and mass media both produce factual accounts of the world, each is bound by its own professional methodologies, specialized languages, epistemologies and interpretive frameworks.
Encounters between the two are fraught with risk:
Does anthropology, particularly cultural anthropology, have a part in the public sphere beyond the education of undergraduate students?The stakes are high: do the mass media have roles to play in the anthropological understanding of the human condition?
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Email: Merry Bruns, Dir.