Where do you turn if you want to get an anthropological take on current issues? Of course, you turn to this blog! But what other blogs should be on your anthropological blog roll? Here are some of my personal favorites...
The overall view and current trends
First up on my blog roll is the group blog Savage Minds, which covers everything from original scholarship and contributions by famous guest bloggers to news from the anthro-world and commentary on contemporary events. Particularly useful is the weekly digest, which gives a round-up of anthropology-related items from around the web.
Anthropology News, is another great source for reading up on current trends in anthropological research and teaching. It is affiliated with the American Anthropological Association. I’m not sure if the term “blog” is technically correct — but note that I didn’t define my terminology to begin with, as I’m not interested here in terminological issues. In any case, the short articles (dare I say blog posts) address a different theme each month and always are well worth a read.
Also worth mentioning is that Cultural Anthropology — definitely not a blog, but a scholarly journal — has recently gone open access, so now everybody can read current, peer-reviewed anthropological scholarship for free. Go check it out!
Individual anthropologists and subjects
Whereas the above blogs are group efforts, individual anthropologists of course blog, too, and their individual blogs are a wonderful way to find out more about the discipline through the research and other interests of a particular anthropologist.
Jason Antrosio, at Living Anthropologically takes his inspiration for a “world-changing anthropology” from the moral optimism of Michel-Rolph Trouillot and engagingly writes about race and racism, teaching anthropology, and new books in the field. Plus, he publishes a yearly list of all anthropological blogs he can find, which is way more extensive than I can cover here.
Sarah Kendzior is another trained anthropologist who now is an active blogger and writer for Aljazeera (among other outlets). Her blog proves the relevance of anthropological scholarship for elucidating pressing social issues; be they the state of higher education, the demise of the middle class, or the “apocalypsticle” of the Ukraine.
The Ukraine connection brings me again to another group blog, Anthropoliteia, which normally deals with anthropological perspectives on “policing” around the world, but which has teamed up with yet another anthro-blog, Allegra to host a virtual roundtable on Ukraine and Crimea from which I learned a lot.
Anthropology is of course a broad discipline, and anthropologists’ diverse interests frequently make us branch out in different disciplinary directions. Since I’m interested in religion, I religiously check the The Immanent Frame associated with the Social Science Research Council.
Making it visual
I like Sociological Images for its effective use of visuals to discuss important social issues, such as gender and inequality. These pictures, for example, beautifully illustrate how gender is actively performed — sometimes using no more than one’s face to do so. Language Log also often uses pictures (of signs, or packaging, or comics) as a starting point to discuss linguistic features, sometimes rather funny ones. And frequently funny — despite the seriousness of the topic of the blog (racism) — is “Yo is this racist?”, a blog where people share short observations and the blog’s author weighs in on whether the event described is racist (often, it is).
Besides our thematic interests, we anthropologists frequently have a geographic specialization as well. Since mine is Africa, I frequently turn to Africa is a Country. The blog is as great as its tagline, “the blog that’s not about famine, Bono, or Barack Obama.” I’m also always pleased to read Paul Stoller at the Huffington Post, and not only because we share a fieldwork region. SocioLingo Africa is another favorite blog about social issues in Africa in general, and as an added bonus from time to time some personal recollections about Mali.
European and Dutch Anthropology blogs
You might have noticed a decidedly American bias in my blog roll so far, which probably reflects the fact that I received most of my graduate training in Anthropology in the US. Since moving back to the Netherlands, however, I have been trying to add more European and particularly Netherlands-based blogs to my anthropological blog roll. I readily found the VU anthropology blog, which, like our own Leiden Anthropology Blog, allows faculty and students to share their work with a broader audience and to approach contemporary issues from an anthropological perspective.
However, I am sure there must be many more anthropology blogs out there that I don’t know about, but would love reading. Please fill me in on what I’m missing in the comments!