The Relevance of Anthropology – Part 2 on the Best of Anthro Blogging 2008

Here I continue to build on all the passion other anthropology bloggers have put into their writing, their sites, and their preferred media. In Part One I covered how anthropology blogging is relevant using three different categories: Public Relevance, Anthropological Vision, and Being Human.

In Part Two I will cover four more themes: (a) Controversy, Commentary and Critique; (b) Empiricism and Scholarship, (c) Language; and (d) Blogging. As before, these are the categories that came to me as I read the submissions and represent one way to parse the great work others have done. I hope it proves useful for exploration, teaching, fun, and sharing with others what anthropology is all about.

Controversy, Commentary and Critique

Anthropology courts controversy and revels in critique, and we bloggers produce a running commentary on events of the day. Or events of the past, for that matter. Given our anthropological vision we indeed find strength, perhaps even some authority, in offering critique that takes “common sense” and shakes it up, questioning common assumptions through cultural insights, cross-cultural data, and archaeological and evolutionary ideas.

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Some Best of 2008 Lists

Mind, Brain and Science

A Blog around the Clock, The Open Laboratory 2008 – And the winners are…
The selections for the best science writing of the blogosphere during 2008

Edge, The World Question Center 2009: “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?”
151 prominent scholars and public figures give their answers

Channel N, Video of the Year 2008
The best online videos of 2008 related to science, brain, mental illness and more. A powerful and useful selection

The Dana Foundation, Eric Kandel on the Year in Neuroscience
The Nobel prize winning neuroscientist covers the best of the past year

Ed Yong, Not Exactly Rocket Science Review of 2008
Ed chooses some of his favorite stories from the past year, going from animal behavior to neuroscience

Mind Hacks, A very rough guide to highlights of 2008
Personal highlights from Vaughan about the past year, from the funniest to the most overdue decision

The 2008 Weblog Awards
The best blogging in English in a variety of categories


Martin Rundkvist, Best of Aard
Aardvarchaeology covers some of the best posts his site has to offer

Jay Sosa, Savage Minds Rewinds… The Best of 2008
The cultural anthropology blog gives us its best blogging of the past year

Greg Laden, Year in Review
The anthropologist covers his best stuff from 2008

Alexandre Enkerli, My Year in Social Media
The Disparate review of the past year of Alex’s blogging, through the lens of social media

Dienekes P., 2008 in Review: Ethnicity Strikes Back
Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog covers genetic anthropology work during the past year, with a focus on “application of microarray technology to the problem of inferring ethnic ancestry.” A controversial topic, and the comments really show that.

Thadd Nelson, Top ten Pseudo-Archaeological Subjects of 2008
Archaeoporn takes on the top hoaxes, media mash-ups, and other pseudo-archaeology of the past year

Maximilian Forte, The Two Terrors of 2008: End of Year Post
Open Anthropology covers its critical anthropology for the past year, with a focus on the global war on terror and the global financial meltdown and a summary of its most successful month ever

Jon Swift, Best Blog Posts of 2008 (Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)
Jon hosts his annual best from bloggers who share his blogroll (it’s a conservative blog with a liberal blogroll policy). Some good reading focused mainly on politics and culture, but with plenty more thrown into the mix as well

Mark Dingemanse, One year of ideophones
The Ideophone wraps up some of the best sound symbolism around, explored through a variety of cultures and settings, as well as comments on language and language processing

Wednesday Round Up #45

Happy New Year to everyone. I wanted to start out 2009 with some entertaining pieces, so that’s the focus of the top of the list. Then it’s some extensive anthropology and the brain, and three really good pieces on evolution at the end.

Top of the List

Alexandre Enkerli, Brewing Tips and Tricks
Some informed advice on homebrewing beer – “brewing wisdom” and experiencing beer in that new way

Jeff Scher, You Won’t Remember This Either
The NY artist shares his latest painted video, this one about his second son as a toddler. Besides being delightful, what I find interesting about it are all the additional images and snippets that pop up around his walking son. It’s an interesting way to think about how culture surrounds a child. Scher’s previous video “All the Wrong Reasons” also sparked some thought for me about culture.

Greg Laden, Fuck this!
Planet Earth – telling it like it really is. Very funny.

Mike Fahey, A Field Guide to Second Life Animal Hybrids
Your anthropomorphic guide to furries, nekos and tinies in the online user-created world of Second Life


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