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Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice


Understanding the human experience.
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One Year on the Scientific American Blog Network

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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I started writing AiP in 2009. I was writing for you, Readers, of course. But I was also writing for me. Why? Kate Clancy said it best,

Blogging is a selfish endeavor, a desire to be heard. Blogging is insisting you have something to say. Blogging is saying come here, come here and respond and tell me that at least some of what I am saying means something to you.

Over the years, in the tradition of It’s Not Exactly Rocket Science’s Ed Yong, I’ve called for Readers to delurk a few times, and I’ve gotten to know some of you quite well. I’ve shared moments of frustration and embarrassment and joy excitement with you. We have traversed a range of experiences together.

When Scientific American invited AiP to join the network, it was an opportunity to explore these experiences with a larger audience. So on this first anniversary of the Scientific American blog network, along with my fellow SciAm bloggers, I’m inviting you to tell us your stories. Borrowing from Ed Yong and DrugMonkey, we’ve compiled the questions below:

    1. Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in anthropology? If so, what draws you here? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed?
    1. Tell someone else about this blog and in particular, try and choose someone who’s not a scientist or anthropologist but who you think might be interested in the type of stuff found in this blog.
      Ever had family members or groups of friends who’ve been giving you strange, pitying looks when you try to wax scientific on them? Send ‘em here and let’s see what they say.
    1. Do you have a favorite AiP post? Or what topics have most interested you?
    1. How did you find me? Do you regularly follow AiP, through Twitter, Facebook and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms that you may use to corral your information stream?

So come on, Readers. Say hello and tell me about yourselves. And long time Readers, I want to hear what you’ve been up to recently. You can reach me in the comments below, on Twitter (@krystaldcosta), on Facebook, or even (gasp) Google+ (though G+ is admittedly the worst way to reach me).

Krystal D'Costa About the Author: Krystal D'Costa is an anthropologist working in digital media in New York City. You can follow AiP on Facebook. Follow on Twitter @krystaldcosta.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. killgrove 9:58 pm 07/5/2012

    1) Tell me about you.

    My particular spin on anthropology is like one of those soft-serve twisty cones with two distinct flavors that eventually melt together into one big delicious mess. Mmmm, tastes like bioarchaeology.

    When I started reading Anth in Practice, I was a grad student, and now I’m off to be a new assistant professor. I frequently point my students at AnthinPractice as a great example of communicating anthropology and will continue to do so.

    2) Do you have a favorite AiP post?

    My favorite was the Rise of the Hydra, on the phenomenon of couple-profiles on Facebook (please expand it for a new SciAm post?). The topics you cover that interest me the most involve looking at my own society/culture in a new way, using a more etic perspective. These posts try to actually provide an answer to the perpetual Seinfeldian question, “What’s up with…?”

    3) How did you find me?

    I think it may have been through Twitter originally, or friends in common? Jeez, it’s been ages in internet time… I can’t recall.

    4) Do you regularly follow AiP, through Twitter, Facebook and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms that you may use to corral your information stream?

    Mostly RSS. Also Facebook and Twitter, but those mostly to share links.

    Link to this
  2. 2. Krystal D'Costa in reply to Krystal D'Costa 11:00 pm 07/5/2012

    I’m so glad there’s someone out there!

    And I’m thrilled to have been a part of your journey—congrats on your professorship!

    Rise of the Hydra was a fun piece to write. It was one of those that essentially wrote itself—the “Seinfeldian posts” are usually the ones where I’m up to my neck in putting anthropology in practice and loving every minute of it.

    Thanks for stopping by, KK.

    Link to this
  3. 3. michellespidermonkey 4:26 pm 07/6/2012

    I’m a primatologist with undergrad degrees in bio and psych, but have been in anthro for both my masters and phd. I am currently frantically trying to get my dissertation done. I also have been blogging since 2009, and I believe I started following your blog around then.

    My favorite post was the post about tattoos… Probably because I am in the tattooed nerd club–I have two and one of them is a beautiful spider monkey. I believe it was also around the same time a fellow tattooed anthro nerd wrote a post about her tattoos, so I immediately commented on her blog with a link to that post!

    I follow your blog through a feed in blogger, which is odd, because while I didn’t have a problem adding yours to the feed, I haven’t been able to Context and Variation or The Primate Diaries.

    Link to this
  4. 4. Krystal D'Costa in reply to Krystal D'Costa 11:58 pm 07/6/2012

    Hi Michelle! I hope the end of your dissertation is in sight and that you’ll get a short break before beginning your next chapter.

    I wrote that particular post to explore how I felt about tattoos myself … because I would like to get something done, and I’ve been thinking about it for ages and I wanted to explore what some of the reasons might be that I’ve hesitated. I followed the “tattooed nerd club” exploits closely during SCIO12 (which I could not attend at the last minute) and loved the personal expressions that people chose. I’m sort of hoping that there’ll be another round of inking during SCIO13, which I would really like to attend.

    My feedburner subscription in blogger was pointed to the new AiP domain, so that may be the reason CV and PD may not work for you.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Link to this

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