Friday Special Seminar (10 Aug) by The Familiar Strange Team: The Case for Public Anthropology: About ‘The Familiar Strange’ Blog and Podcast

10 August, 3-5 pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Building

“To me, it is the scholar’s obligation to reach out to the public, especially in these times. If anthropologists have insight and knowledge, they should obviously pursue the professional outlet and scholarly monographs. But they should not neglect the public dimension.” Paul Stoller, (2017) Professor of Anthropology and Author of ‘Adventures in Blogging: PublicAnthropology and Popular Media’.

The Familiar Strange is an anthropology social engagement project launched by four PhD students – Ian Pollock, Jodie-Lee Trembath, Julia Brown and Simon Theobald – in the Schools of Culture History & Language and Archaeology & Anthropology. Begun in late 2017, the site publishes weekly blogs and fortnightly podcasts, and maintains a strongly engaged social media presence across various platforms.

TFS was established to fill a void in Australian anthropology’s presence online. The project began with the intention of providing a space particularly for students and early career researchers to engage with a broader public. Our short podcast panel discussions amongst ourselves (students and ECRs), as well as longer interviews with more senior anthropologists, provide a platform for a more accessible anthropology that is engaging for audiences beyond academia. Likewise, our blogs are directed at both insider anthropology audiences and the educated public. Via social media, we are able to engage in real time discussions with anthropologists and non-anthropologists around the world about questions of importance.

This seminar will provide a brief discussion of the project’s growth from experimental project to established player, while making the case for an even greater commitment to public anthropology at ANU. The seminar will familiarise you with what The Familiar Strange project entails, and what it hopes to achieve. Above all, in this seminar we hope to encourage the greater participation of the anthropology community – broadly defined – at the ANU, and to invite critical feedback from the audience.  We are looking to recruit new members, as well as encourage increased content contributions from the ANU community.

Their latest content:

Podcast panel discussion “Anthro & policy-making, digital disruption, online research, & what is love? This month on TFS”

Blog post “Imagining new imaginaries for the university”

Podcast interview with senior academic “What taste is made of: Brad Weiss talks pig farming and the meaning of food in America”

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