Welcoming the New Amateurs
A future (and past) for non-academic anthropologists
Keywords:History of anthropology, Amateurs, United States, Aotearoa New Zealand
How can we create a more inclusive Pacific anthropology? This article argues that contemporary anthropology’s disciplinary norms are based in the Cold War period. These norms are inappropriate given anthropology’s current situation. This article argues that interwar anthropology (the anthropology practiced between World War I and World War II) provides us a better set of imaginative resources to create a more common ethnography. Interwar anthropology was more welcoming of amateur scholars and less concerned with rigid norms of professionalism. Reframing a common ethnography in terms of ‘amateurs’ and ‘professionals’ may give us new ways of imagining a discipline that is increasingly moving outside the academy.
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