Different Worlds Podcast
Coming soon, from Anthropology Now magazine.
Ethnographic participant observation is the extreme sport of academic research. While many other disciplines study people at a remove through archives, surveys, data sets, or texts, anthropologists are expected to leave the library and actually talk with folks on the ground. Anthropologists often spend years getting to know the places and people they study, forging deep ties and through their experiences, gaining an unparalleled understanding of other cultures, as well as perspectives on their own.
In an era where foreign desks are dwindling and news outlets continue cutting their focus on international reporting, we tap this army of international correspondents already are deeply embedded in communities around the world, Each week, we hear from researchers in the middle of fieldwork telling stories of life in locations ranging from the remotest rural villages to the world’s largest mega-cities. Through conversations and first-hand dispatches, “Different Worlds” aims to reveal the richness of ways to be human on this planet.
A Different Kind of Academic Podcast
In describing his inspiration for creating “This American Life,” Ira Glass has commented that working in the newsroom, he noticed how public radio journalists would return from their reporting trips with humorous and captivating moments of experiences during the course of reporting. But then, when they turned around to make “the news,” they would strip out all that humor and human detail. The same is often true of anthropologists, researchers who travel to some of the farthest reaches of the globe, spend years away and come back with incredible stories. However, in writing their ethnographic accounts, anthropologists too often code their insights in a dense and sterile academic jargon that makes it is inaccessible to most readers. In anthropology, a successful publishing run of academic monographs rarely exceeds a thousand copies.
The podcast will….
About The Team: Background / Project Goals
Will Thomson – Before coming to anthropology, I worked in new media and public radio journalism. I began in 1999 as a producer at a pre-YouTube video start-up in Los Angeles. From 2000-2005, I worked in on an online news producer and reporter at WBUR 90.9 Public Radio.