Public Anthropology in 2015: Charlie Hebdo, Black Lives Matter, Migrants, and More

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Abstract

In this review essay, I focus on how anthropologists have addressed salient public issues such as the European refugee and migrant crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the attack on the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Public anthropology relies on slow ethnography and fast responses to breaking news stories. It is theoretically informed but reaches out to audiences beyond the academy. Drawing on proliferating anthropological contributions to news media and blogs, as well as scholarly articles and books, I explore how anthropologists today counter grand narratives such as the “clash of civilizations”; how they grapple with risky popular misconceptions of culture, difference, and suffering; and how they surface less visible forms of compassion, care, and solidarity that have long sustained our species. The challenges of this era of growing polarization and anti-intellectualism appear to have energized rather than quieted public anthropology. [public anthropology, Charlie Hebdo,Black Lives Matter, migrants, year in review].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-601
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Volume118
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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