Accepted Paper:

Daring to be simple and sexy: satisfactions and predicaments when challenging the scholar endogamy  


Patricia Junge (Heidelberg University)

Paper short abstract:

By commenting examples from my experience practicing anthropology outside the scholar community I will offer a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of engaging with non-academic discussions and spaces.

Paper long abstract:

I will present examples from my experience practicing anthropology outside the scholar community. Examples will refer to my experience as "native anthropologist" in Chile, were being a social anthropologist is both a scholar degree and a profession, and entail mixed motivations, questions and strategies to engage with the community were we live, work and mostly conduct research.

First, making it sexy. I write short articles for a Chilean political-ecology blog (, were I use references to my research to critically discuss environmental, healthcare and political controversies. How to write sexy and serious at the same time? What has been the impact of such articles?

Second, making it simple. Working outside the academia, among the civil society and as government officer, I learned to translate anthropology in order to move from unsuccessful to successful communication strategies. What are the opportunities and limits of such quest? How to make it simple to be effective without betraying a critical standpoint?

Third, daring to brake the scholar's endogamy. Publishing in a non-academic fashion and being creative about the disciplinary pursuits has enriched my standpoint, for sure, but has also expose me to misinterpretations about my aims and commitments and has challenged me to define were to drop anchor. How to engage with the world outside without becoming an outsider, or even worse, a stateless?

My aim is to share these experiences and questions, addressing how they appear in a non-European context and how to handle with them under such circumstances.

Panel P099
Going public: writing and speaking outside the ivory tower