Permanent Zoom link for seminar meetings, Thursdays 9-12 PST:

Open anthropology

Spring quarter 2020 
Department of Anthropology, UC Irvine
Graduate seminar (Thursdays 9-12 PST) with Mike Fortun

Course description
Openness, in multiple ways, has been characteristic and even constitutive of anthropology. This course is organized around anthropology's "open edges," so to speak – the places where its concepts, methods, modes of production, and institutions are open to difficult uncertainty and vital change. What does anthropology promise?, we might ask. But we will also ask: who gets to be called an anthropologist? Who will pay an anthropologist to “do anthropology”? Which raises the perennial: what's an anthropologist to do?

We will explore how anthropologists are trying to open up the discipline at both the publishing end (Open Access issues) and at the data end (platforms for archiving and sharing research materials). We will also examine how professional societies and funding organizations encourage or discourage such openings, and the infrastructural challenges for supporting them. What, in turn, are the new openings for “public anthropology” created by digital technologies, when not only research results can be more openly shared, but anthropological data itself becomes more open, discoverable, and iterable? How are “alternative” genres of writing and research reporting (shared platforms, blogs, social media, etc.) opening up in these spaces, how are they valued and evaluated within the university, and what kinds of "alternative careers" are, or might be, opened up for anthropologists outside the academy (e.g. corporate/organizational ethnography)? Other topics and questions of “openness” we will explore include: 
--new forms of collaboration among anthropologists, between anthropologists and other researchers, and between anthropologists and their publics;
--new conceptual, disciplinary, and genre openings in/to anthropological genealogies
--anthropological openings in the undergraduate curriculum (global studies, science and technology studies, etc.)

And throughout, we will work to remain open to the limits of openness, reading it for its inevitable closures.

A general note: some topics may shift around a bit as some guests who I've asked to attend certain sessions may need to change their date commitments; I will try to do this as far in advance as I can. I have left the last few sessions open, to be organized around the interests of seminar participants. And I am open to changing anything in the syllabus, based on our different and emerging needs, perspectives, and directions.

Course Expectations

Course expectations 33% Participation. This course will be discussion-centric. Diligent digital attendance and full participation are essential. Everyone will be asked at some point in the term to briefly present a reading...Read more

Week 1: Open (Experimental) Systems

April 2 Week 1 Open (Experimental) Systems

Starn, Orin. 2015. "Introduction," Writing Culture and the Life of Anthropology, ed. Orin Starn. Duke University Press....Read more

Week 3: Open Data

April 16 Week 3 Open Data Guest: Angela Okune

Explore Research Data Share

Angela Okune, “Open Ethnographic Archiving as Feminist, Decolonizing Practice,” manuscript submitted to ...Read more

Week 5: Job Openings

Week 5 Job Openings

April 30 Guest: Melissa Cefkin

Cefkin, Melissa, and Erik Stayton. 2017. “Speculating about Autonomous Futures: Is This...Read more

Week 7: Decoloni* as an Open Question

May 14 Week 7: Decolonial* as an Open Question Benton, Adia. 2017. “Reading the Classics: Ideology, Tautology, and Memory.” Ethnographic Emergency (blog). December 23, 2017....Read more

Week 9: Open Classrooms

May 28 Week 9: Open Classrooms Carol McGranahan, "What is ethnography? Teaching ethnographic sensibilities without fieldwork," Teaching Anthropology 4 (2014): 23-36. ...Read more

Week 2: Open Access

April 9 Week 2 Open Access

Samuel A. Moore, « A genealogy of open access: negotiations between openness and access to research », Revue française...Read more

Week 4: Data Opened

Week 4 April 23 Data Opened D’Ignazio, Catherine, and Lauren Klein. Data Feminism. MIT Press Open. Accessed March 21, 2020. .Read more

Week 6: Open Publics in Tight Spaces

Th May 7 Week 6: Open Publics in Tight Spaces

Goldstein, Ruth. “8. What’s in a Name?” In The Ethnographic Case , edited by Emily Yates-Doerr and Christine Labuski. Mattering Press, 2017....Read more

Week 8: Academic Precarity

May 21 Week 8: Academic Precarity Anthropology, Cultural. "Academic Precarity in American Anthropology: A Forum." Dialogues, Cultural Anthropology website, February 12, 2018.

...Read more

Week 10: Open Associations

June 4 Week 10 : Open Associations Or, what professional societies need to become...

HARKIN, MICHAEL E. “Uncommon Ground: Holism and the Future of Anthropology.” Reviews in...Read more