AAA Digital Anthropology Interest Group – Take Part!

We need 25 names! That is what it takes to form a new interest group within the American Anthropological Association. If you would like to be a part of a Digital Anthropology group AND are an active member of the AAA, please send Matt Thompson an email at MDTHOMPS @ ODU.EDU with your contact information.

Matt has also worked hard at collating different statements about the AAA digital anthropology group into one coherent document. So we now have a potential mission statement. I’ve posted it below. Please add any thoughts or reactions below, and also head over to the Savage Minds post on the new interest group and the mission statement to check out and add to the comment stream there.

Also, we’re still deciding on the name. Right now it’s called the Digital Methods group. But you can register your own vote for what name you like from different proposed options using this Survey Monkey.

Another couple notes: (1) This is just a first step, and the interest group already plans to work with non-AAA members – we just need registered members to get this thing going. Hopefully it will become a larger initiative; and (2) If you have any interest in an Open Access panel at the AAAs, also contact Matt. He’d even be willing to have someone take charge of organizing that!

Initial Mission Statement:

The Digital Methods Group is a network of anthropologists interested in how Internet driven platforms of social exchange are challenging the way research is done, how anthropology is taught, and how anthropologists communicate with each other, the public, and our subject communities. Organized as an interest group under the American Anthropological Association it acts as a forum for sharing ideas, promoting online activities, and advancing our professional concerns.

Our aim includes seeking out connections with similar efforts in other disciplines and professional associations who are interested in promoting the professionalization of online activities. We envision creating and maintaining an online presence through multiple formats including a website that will archive all of the interest group’s work and serve as a hub where anyone can freely participate, access material and information, and communicate.

The goals of the Digital Methods Group include:

• To make connections across all major subfields of anthropology by examining how researchers are using digital methods in data collection, analysis, and storage as well as their application in peer-reviewed publications.

• To consider how anthropology courses, classrooms, labs, and field schools at the undergraduate and graduate levels might be transformed by the introduction of net platforms in lecture, seminar, student collaboration, and course assignments.

• To encourage communication among anthropologists through blogging and online social networks, promoting the good work already being done and recruiting others to join the conversation.

• To raise anthropology’s profile among the general public through online communication.

• To document how net platforms might impact the ways in which anthropologists nurture long term ties with subject communities, research participants, and other stakeholders.

• To discuss and refine ethical use and best practices for the above by hosting workshops and roundtables that consolidate our experiences, successes and failures, and spread the technical knowledge necessary for using these platforms with ease.

• To promote the professional interests of its members by framing discourses within the discipline of anthropology concerning digital methods of research, teaching, and communication so that the practice of using such net platforms becomes more widespread.

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One Response to AAA Digital Anthropology Interest Group – Take Part!

  1. Looks great and somethign that I would support. I would suggest that from my vantage point I don’t see the act of being digital as somethign that fundamentally changes what we do; rather it extends what we do.

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