Varieties of Public Anthropology

So I wrote an overview of Rob Borofsky’s efforts in Public Anthropology the other day. But there are plenty of other varieties of public anthropology.

So here’s a quick guide to some that I’ve found in the form of blogs, associations and communities, some literature that you can access online, and graduate programs with a public anthro emphasis. It’s a US emphasis, as that is what I am most familiar with – though I really wish it could be more international. Feel free to comment to add more!


Society for Applied Anthropology – Podcasts
See in particular the podcast from this session, Public Anthropology, Applied Anthropology and Ethically Engaged Ethnographic Writing.

Culture Matters focuses on all sorts of applied anthro, but you can see all the posts with “public anthropology” here

Open Anthropology – looking for a critical take on the world? Max Forte’s blog is a great place to start and to return.
Here are posts that specifically mention “public anthropology.”

Savage Minds, the leading cultural anthropology blog, has a whole “public anthropology” category, which contains all their relevant posts.

Digital Ethnography – Michael Wesch does public anthropology on YouTube and more.

Antropologi.Info helps spread the word. You can specifically find “public anthropology” mentions here.

On the Human – While more than just anthropology, this project engages the question of what it means to be human, with a particular focus on the issue of “human singularity.” Offers posts, resources and more.

I could go on as I consider most blogs as an explicit form of public anthropology. But I’ll stop here and direct you to two ways to explore more. First, our Best of Anthro 2008 Initiative gives you public anthropology on the internet – a collection of the best and most popular anthropology writing and blogging of 2008.

Second, you can check out this “Public Anthropology” Google Blog Search.

Associations & Communities

Society for Applied Anthropology. The society also has its own Ning online community, which is getting close to 800 members strong.


National Association for the Practice of Anthropology

The American Anthropological Association has a Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology

Open Anthropology Cooperative. Join the global ground-up online association over at Ning.
If you want more anthro online, check out our round up on anthropology and social networking.

Articles & More

Call for Public Anthropology Reviews in the American Anthropologist

Wikipedia has a public anthropology entry

2006 chapter on Public Anthropology by Carole McGranahan

Louise Lamphere 2004 article, Convergence of Applied, Practicing, and Public Anthropology in the 21st Century

Book review of some recent public anthro titles, including Why America’s Top Pundits Are Wrong

Anthropology Matters journal

Public Anthropology – A Personal Perspective by Rob Borofsky

Public Anthro Syllabus by Nancy Scheper-Hughes

For more (pdfs all), see this search for “public anthropology” on Scribd


Public Interest Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania

Public Anthropology at Duke University

Public Anthropology at Cal State Fresno

Public Anthropology at American University

Public Anthropology at Tufts

For more, see the Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s