This panel asks how anthropology contributes to interdisciplinary research, how anthropological ideas are communicated, and how arguments and practices rooted in anthropology have influence beyond the confines of disciplinary debate.
This panel asks how anthropologists can and do communicate and collaborate beyond the discipline. We are interested in the role of anthropology as contributor to (and potentially an agent of change in) interdisciplinary research, and the public communication of anthropological ideas. In exploring these questions we are concerned with both ethnographically grounded discussions of how anthropologists have engaged across the boundaries of the discipline and with theoretical reflections on the possibilities of interdisciplinary knowledge and practice. Can we communicate anthropology without going beyond debates between anthropologists within our own journals? How can anthropological debates be opened to the experiences and contributions of anthropologists working outside anthropology, and what does interdisciplinary research offer to anthropology? At the same time, we ask how contact with the findings and theoretical debates of other disciplines can renew anthropology. Pertinent questions include: whether there are particular alliances that have been more fruitful, common or welcoming than others; what anthropologists learn from trans-disciplinary or interdisciplinary collaboration; and at what point anthropologists start to redefine themselves in these contexts. We are also interested in the experiences anthropologists have of the modes and logics of interdisciplinarity (e.g. as identified by Barry, 2007), and in how we might avoid the pitfalls of increasingly compulsory interdisiplinarity (Strathern 2006). How tightly are anthropology's disciplinary boundaries drawn, and how easy is it to work across them? Barry, Andrew (2007). Interdisciplinarity and Society: A Critical Comparative StudyRES-151-25-0042-A. Swindon: ESRC Strathern, M (2006). A community of critics? J. Roy. Anthrop. Inst. (N.S.) 12: 191-209.