A Partial View of Contemporary Anthropology

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Abstract

This address considers ethnographically a range of sites and practices central to sustaining the intellectual, pedagogical, professional, and public life of anthropology and related disciplines: research funding, human subjects review, scholarly publishing, program and personnel assessment, and intellectual property among them. The talk points to current practices of knowledge production and circulation in the United States and to the increasingly complex intersections among scholarly knowledge, managerialist language and practice, and private capital, intellectual and otherwise. It is meant to encourage serious ethnographic examination of the contexts within which anthropologists work, consideration of the potential consequences of these contemporary changes, and creative thought about the kinds of collegial and collective action that might be pursued to help sustain what we find to be of real value in the discipline and in our professional practice.

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