The night before last, I was inspired by Sesame Street. In fact, I actually model Sesame Street quite often when it comes to presenting information, but that is an explanation for a different post.
Anyway, I decided to have an ‘Anthropology 101’ day. This was meant to be an entire day devoted to simple explanations of some pretty foundational anthro stuff like ‘what is anthropology?’, ‘what does a linguist do?’, ‘who are some anthropologists?’, etc. I posted some of my favorite blogs, websites, pictures, and asked professors, museums and other grad students to join in and share their resources (#anthro101).
The Rockstar Anthropologist is primarily represented on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and WordPress. Yesterday’s ‘Anthro101’ day pulled the best all around engagement stats on all 5 platforms. That was really encouraging to me!
When I started this blog, I wasn’t looking for a place to post all my research that didn’t quite fit in a paper or to impress a professor. I have separate, less colorful blogs for that. I started it because I think anthropology is the most awesome thing around and I saw no point in confining this awesome to cold labs, journals filled with jargon, higher ed classrooms, and members-only conferences!
Margaret Mead is one of my personal heroes! She was all about engaging people in anthropology through a variety of different methods, including films and magazines geared towards housewives.
While being at the Franklin Institute and the Smithsonian, I met hundreds of people, sometimes a day, that knew very little about anthropology as a whole field, but were drawn into the exhibit because they liked mummies, or watch ‘Bones’, or wanted to see if CSI the TV show was anything like real life. However, once inside, I had this wonderful opportunity to engage and explain. One question after another, dragging them around the exhibit to show them more, I was providing context and purpose! I was de-mystifying the glory that is anthropology! And then when they came back looking for me to share their experience with their family anf friends, that was the highest compliment!
When I saw mothers concerned that their kid was perhaps too young to enjoy what they saw, finding a way to get their kids actively involved in anthropology was my pleasure! Whether it was showing them the box of bones to put together the skeleton, teaching them about aging and dentition through their little teeth, or even introducing them to mummies beyond Egypt, I was helping them make connections, experience culture, live in the past, present and future.
Well, that’s what yesterday was about! I get a nice amount of traffic generally on the blog, but there is a difference between someone reading an article or post and actively engaging with it. Yesterday, people were asking questions, answering questions, making suggestions, connecting with the experience of anthropology.
I want to do it again! And again! Let’s see this future together! I would like ‘#anthro101 to be a regular thing. Let’s coordinate it.
I would love to see professors post videos plainly explaining some basic anthro theories, maybe we can have some artists partner up and help make coloring sheets about bipedalism, or maybe someone wants to grab a Google Glass and take us on a first person excavation! I don’t know, but the possibilities are endless!
Anthropology, in my not so humble opinion, is the most interdisciplinary field out there! It is the study of what it is to be human, and people still ask questions like ‘what are you going to do with that degree?!’ Dude! What am I NOT going to do with it?!
The ‘Rockstar’ in ‘Rockstar Anthropologist’ is you! It’s not about me specifically, but about all the awesome, rockstar ways that anthropology explores and engages the world around us! It’s about who I wish to be, not who I am! It’s about all the professors and professionals that make me so excited to be a miniscule part of this world that I believe has the power to critically interface and seek holistic, sustainable solutions to many of the problems that face our global and even interstellar existence!
Anthropologists can explain how and why Kim Kardashian will “break the internet” but we won’t break it ourselves for much more honorable purposes?! If there is any group of people equipped to get the job done, it’s us!
Okay, maybe I need to calm down a bit, but I’m on a science communication, anthropological ambassador mission! Will you join me?! Will you #anthro101?!