This panel aims to develop a deeper understanding of and dialogue about the possibilities of anthropological working and co-working outside conventional academic anthropology. The panel is convened by the ASA's Network of Applied Anthropology: 'Apply'.
Anthropologists have long-since engaged in various ways with work outside conventional academic anthropology departments. Whether working in commercial, not-for-profit or public service settings, anthropologists arguably have much to offer and much to gain from this type of engagement. Their position can be viewed as outward facing in two senses: those with training in academic anthropology turn to face the world beyond the academy, but may also face back in from those new contexts. Such contexts are likely to be inter-disciplinary and shaped by the various 'non-anthropological' values and forms of understanding of research and engagement. This panel seeks to explore the challenges and possibilities of facing outwards on multiple levels, as well as in terms of how anthropologists and forms of anthropological knowledge are shaped by these unconventional orientations. In more general terms, the panel aims to develop a deeper understanding and dialogue about the possibilities of anthropological working and co-working outside conventional academic anthropology. Topics to be addressed in the panel might include: the ethics of research and engagement; methodological challenges; employability and the definition of 'work'; equality and representation; examples of practice outside the academy; and the conditions of anthropological knowledge. We would also welcome papers on other themes related to anthropology beyond the academy, and would encourage submissions from those with practical experience of this kind of engagement as well as papers that reflect on the implications of engaged or applied work in the widest sense.