We want to familiarise you with the strange, after estranging you with the familiar. This is an anthropology social engagement project.
Anthropology need not be so weird and difficult to comprehend. We pursue uncommon knowledge about what it means to be humans enmeshed in culture.
At present, anthropological thinking mainly occurs within ‘field sites’ and the ivory tower, and there are plenty of misconceptions about what anthropologists even do.
We wish to engage anthropologists (and other social and interdisciplinary scientists) in edgier, relevant and more accessible forms of communication. Whether this is considered public, engaged, popular or activist anthropology, The Familiar Strange project just wants to open up your thinking.
We want to encourage ways of knowing that are based on the experiences of listening, looking, trying out, and being with – you know, ethnography – rather than knowing from “convictions,” or reasoning from first principles. We wish to engage theory in a manner that is more relatable to a non-academic audience, to help both anthropologists and non-anthropologists alike to support anthropology’s relevance. As the frontiers of anthropology have moved significantly from its’ non-reflexive beginnings, we would like to capture some of the experiences of anthropologists today and the impact that their field sites have on them.
We aim to broaden understanding of, and engagement with, anthropology among students and the wider community. We want to unpack the familiar and the strange in ways that are inclusive rather than divisive. We hope to also provide our colleagues and teachers with an attractive and accessible platform for their ‘unpolished’ ideas, to provide stepping stones for good debate or personal reflection.
We have both blogs and podcasts to give the thoughts and lives of anthropologists some more critical – but informal – exposure. We particularly encourage early-career anthropologists to blog with us, while we run the podcasts to tap into more refined thinking from more established anthropologists, to facilitate our learning of anthropology and improve dialogue.
The Familiar Strange project has been made possible by the support of the following sponsors and creatives:
- The Coral Bell School School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University (website hosting and professional and administrative support in 2018, 2019) – special thanks to Dr. Nicholas Farelly
- The School of History, Language and Culture, ANU (financing podcasting equipment and providing additional studio support in 2017)
- The School of Archeology and Anthropology, ANU (financing the website in 2017)
- The Centre of Public Awareness of Science, ANU (podcasting advice and studio support 2018, 2019) – special thanks to Dr. Will Grant
- The Australian Anthropological Society (professional endorsement)
- The American Anthropological Association (professional endorsement)
- Maud Rowe (graphic design)
- Pete Dabro (podcast music: https://dabro1.bandcamp.com/releases)
- Nick Trembath (professional support)
- Teena Saulo (portrait photos of us)
[Image by Julia Brown]