What is Collaborative Anthropology?
What is collaborative anthropology? The journal description for our journal of the month, Collaborative Anthropologies, states that it provides a “focus on the complex collaborations between and among researchers and research participants/interlocutors”. Let’s take a look at a couple of articles from a recent issue, v. 7, no. 2, (Spring 2015), to see how that collaboration occurs.
Eugenia Kisin, “Terms of Revision: Contemporary Complicities and the Art of Collaboration,” discusses collaboration between art and anthropology. In particular, Kisin (an anthropologist) uses her collaboration with First Nations artists in British Columbia to explore a range of issues that arise in the collaboration between an anthropologist and indigenous artists. She uses the art installations of Luke Parnell as a starting point for her discussion.
Another example of collaboration is provided by Samuel R. Cook, “The Activist Trajectory and Collaborative Context: Indigenous Peoples in Virginia and the Formation of an Anthropological Tradition.” Cook describes the history of the study of indigenous peoples in Virginia, going back to the 19th century, as a prelude to discussing his own work with Virginia Indians. The early history of this research was conducted by anthropologist James Mooney and others from the Bureau of American Ethnology during a time of Social Darwinism. How does a late 20th or early 21st century anthropologist conduct research with indigenous peoples in view of this difficult past? What is the difference between a participant-observer and collaborative research?
Explore these and other topics in our journal of the month for August, Collaborative Anthropologies.