WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn40 )

Anthropology and creativity: reaching new audiences.

Organizers

    Giovanna Guslini

    Italy

    Formely of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Mary J. Hallin

    United States of America

    University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Online - Presence

    Lukasz Kaczmarek

    Poland

    Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

IUAES Affiliation: Anthropology and Education

IUAES Affiliation: Documentation

Keywords:

communication, new audiences, anthropology across disciplines, inter/transdisciplinarity, creativity

Abstract:

In this panel, we want to create a space for discussing different creative forms of communicating anthropology to new audiences of non-anthropologists and working across disciplines. This includes examining modes of communication and language to facilitate understanding of anthropological knowledge and perspective by the public and media. How do we make anthropology relevant to those outside the discipline? Anthropology has long been exploring new topics, forms of action, and expression. These explorations require working across disciplines and entering into relationships with new interlocutors. To reach out to new audiences and implement public anthropology, many anthropologists are trying to make jargon understandable and to “translate” academic language into one that can be easily figured out by non-anthropologists. A more attractive and engaging way to communicate is often more suitable for non-professionals, and so professionals have to invent how to amuse, intrigue, surprise, discover, and excite through new creative ways. They also understand that it is essential to know better these new audiences, their contexts, expectations, habits, curiosities, interests, and backgrounds. Anthropologists, working across disciplines, collaborating with colleagues within and outside the university, and interacting with the public, then need to define a common creative space of experimentation, creativity, innovation, and production. Thus they can talk about anthropology and concretely show its outputs, using also the different languages of communication and expression of multiple disciplines. Writing stories, painting, acting out a play, composing songs or poems, running an experiment in the lab, creating a robot, drawing cartoons, or taking photographs and videos are just a few examples that can be inspired by fieldwork. Talking to the media, participating in television broadcasts, organising events for school students, parents, and teachers, writing for magazines and newspapers, telling stories or composing biographies, making yourself available for interviews, designing itineraries for exhibitions, providing accessible materials in museums, involving policymakers, raising awareness through social media and film-making are just some of the ways to make anthropological perspective available to everyone and able to shape public debates. In this panel, we would like to share our knowledge, experience, and outputs on the opportunities, methods, techniques, and tools that anthropologists can use to develop innovative ways to exchange their knowledge and collaborate with non-anthropologists. The anthropologist can attract and engage non-professional audiences in the practice of different cultures, build a link between the academic world and society and finally enhance the figure of the anthropologist among those who still ignore her/his role in today's society. We invite papers that propose new modes of expression and new audiences, as well as those describing experiences in such directions and discussing their actual and possible consequences for anthropology. Creative modes of translating and collaborating with diverse audiences can enrich cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations.