Accepted Paper:

Introducing "TRANSFORMATIONS": collaborative blogging in anthropology  


Daniel Kunzelmann (
Miriam Gutekunst (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Angela Firmhofer (LMU Munich, Institute for European Social Anthropology.
Andreas Hackl (University of Edinburgh)
Seraina Claudia Müller (University of Basel (CH))

Paper short abstract:

TRANSFORMATIONS is a network of critical social anthropologists who belief that engaging in public discourse is an important part of social science. Our writing and feedback community translates research into a rich and accessible style of writing that will be read and understood not only by our fellow colleagues, but also by a wider public.

Paper long abstract:

Engaging with a public audience has become extremely important within academia and anthropology. Writing for a wider readership can prove your ability to communicate your research beyond the borders of academia. And it certainly helps to get your name and your work out there.

TRANSFORMATIONS draws on the advantages of different styles of writing and research with the goal of creating something new. Our unique approach to online publishing becomes clear in the distinct genres we created. Each of them reflects the diversity and creativity of anthropology, story-telling and the multi-media possibilities of online publishing specifically. What the project wants is not journalism; it is not literary writing or academia. It is a little bit of each, and yet it looks beyond the limitations of each of these styles. Journalism is fast and clear but often flat. Academia is deep and complex but hard to understand. Literary writing is flowery and beautiful but often extensive. At the end of the road, it’s all about achieving one goal: telling good stories well.

Being a writing and feedback community as well, we seek to empower researchers and the people whose voices they gather because these voices matter. This is why we have built a peer-to-peer feedback community: a network of dedicated and critical social anthropologists who help and support one another to improve each other's writing together. To sharpen our research driven arguments, we think it is essential to learn how to write clearly, creatively, and even beautifully.

Panel Disc002
Engaged anthropology: Reality? Necessity? Utopia?