About this Blog

As of August 2009, anthropologyworks joins the growing list of blogs related to the discipline of anthropology. Drawing on insights from contributors worldwide, I hope this blog will:

  • provide an important place for highlighting what is new and important in anthropology and how anthropology connects to important current affairs
  • share information and approaches for enhanced teaching within and beyond anthropology at all levels
  • energize future research through exchange
  • contribute to policy dialogue and policy formation
  • lead to a more global anthropology that crosses regional divides
  • help us be more informed about real people around the world, the challenges they face and how they are attempting to deal with them

This blog is a project of the Culture in Global Affairs (CIGA) research and policy program of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Along with several colleagues at GW and anthropological professionals working in the Washington area, I founded CIGA in 2002. Its mission is wide-ranging: to promote awareness of the relevance of anthropological knowledge to contemporary issues and to enhance discussion and debate within and beyond anthropology about contemporary issues.

While centered on cultural anthropology, CIGA’s mission, and that of this blog, encompasses all four fields of anthropology as defined in anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology (in alphabetical order).

For example, the situation of mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda has much to do with poverty, employment, and cultural survival of forest peoples in the region. The effects of war and military occupation on archaeological sites in Iraq incontestably links the present with the past and with policy questions of culpability and compensation.

From Aug. 2009 to Aug. 2010, Graham Hough-Cornell assisted with publishing the blog posts, and he contributed several guest posts as well. Graham received an M.A. in Middle East Studies at the Elliott School in 2010 and has an interest in culture and culinary history.

From Sept. 2010 to July 2012, Erica Buckingham managed publishing blog posts. She received her M.A. in International Development Studies at the Elliott School in 2012 with a concentration in gender and anthropology.

Starting in July 2012, Cait O’Donnell took over the publishing of blog posts. Cait has a B.A. from Berkeley in English and Global Poverty and Practices. She spent two years with the Peace Corps in Ukraine where she led civic education and HIV/AIDS-related initiatives.

I am grateful for financial and other support from the Elliott School, and its Dean Michael E. Brown, which makes this blog possible. In the early design stages, I was expertly guided by Menachem Wecker, then working in the Elliott School’s public affairs group, and Jaclyn Schiff, a journalist/media consultant.

This blog’s header is a detail of Wecker’s “Children in Soweto,” viewable in full here.