Interesting article in Anthropology News October by Brasilian antropologist Gustavo Lins Ribeiro on the lacking globalisation of anthropology:
Globalisation in anthropology has mirrored unequal relations existing within larger structural processes. Theory, for instance, has flown from metropolitan centers to non-metropolitan centers while the flow of “raw data” makes the opposite movement.
The consequence is that a large part of anthropological knowledge remains unnoticed:
English has become the global language to the detriment of a more diversified linguistic and stylistic scenario. Think, for instance, of the size of anthropology in Japan or Brazil. But few read Japanese or Portuguese outside of their original language communities. Furthermore, only a small internationalized elite interacts on a global level. Nation-states remain the primary place where the reproduction of the profession is defined in particular ways.
So what can be done? How can foster the visibility of non-metropolitan works of quality and enhance our modes of exchanging information? How can we create and consolidate a more plural anthropological community?
He suggests among others:
- Translation of different anthropological materials into English. But to to avoid linguistic monotony, German anthropologists should be translated into Japanese, Mexicans into German, Australians into Portuguese, Brazilians into Russian, and so on.
- Online communication: An electronic collection of classics from different countries and a global anthropology e-journal are real possibilities.
- Increased presence of international participants at national anthropology congresses and creating connections and fostering exchange is to capitalize on already existing national and international anthropological associations. The creation in 2004 of the World Council of Anthropological Associations was an important step in this direction.
I couldnt agree more…
Two days ago i just wrote some article(in portuguese, rs.) and while i was writing i was thinking about how closed we are(on Brazil particularly) to this global idea of anthropology.
But i think this is cannot be resolved just translating texts, our prograns has to be change too.
Here in Brazil(my case) we dont have a graduation course on anthropology, we have a Social Science course when the anthropology stuff has limited places(it has to be divided with sociology and political science).
These make that people in Brazil like me(and like Ribeiro) who like anthropology one step donw os these academic climb. At least theoricaly, cuz those how read a lot, and study goes far.
But, any way, i think global anthropology has to be not only with global lenguages, but global teachings.
dont know for sure.
Just a though.
No anthropology courses in Brasil (for graduates)? Anthropology doesn’t have a high status? Or do you work more interdisciplinarily there?
What do you mean with global teaching? Teaching about different concepts of anthropology in other parts of the world? Having not only American and British anthropologists on the reading list? I suppose, that’s what Ribeiro had in mind, too.
yeah, thats almost that, the best you can find here, is a Social Science course that on the last year give you the option to choose between sociology, politics our anthropology, but we dont have a full anthropology course…sad.
about global teaching, i mean that we shoudnt be teach to be an anthropologist in our country (at least here in Brazil on our graduations courses) we should learn how to be a global anthropologist. Every one knows “global” is taking a huge place in “local". We dont interact with only our local reality any more, cuz when this local start to be change by global, it´ll not be local any more, but another little part of the global totaly.
Maybe is kind of messing, but, i´ve been thinking some stuff about that.