24 August 2017

Anthropology Podcasting

Heard any great podcasts lately? What about anthropology podcasts?

We've posted about anthropology and podcasting before on anthro everywhere! as a way of communicating ethnography in a different format, as Dr. Lindsay Bell has done with her students. Podcasting can be an opportunity to engage a wider or different audience than text-based communications. The medium and our possible audiences might also challenge us to think through and present theoretical ideas and ethnographic details as a public anthropologist speaking to a perhaps non-specialist audience.

So, what about the podcasts that are already out there? You might be surprised that so many anthropological associations and initiatives have jumped into podcasting to share our insights. From audio versions of academic lectures to more intimate conversations about ideas, here's a by no means definitive list for your listening pleasure:

  • As you might have suspected, the RAI Lectures podcasts are audio files of keynote lectures given mostly by anthropological rock-stars on a variety of topics.
  • This Anthro Life might be the best known anthropology podcast. Episodes run about 20-30 minutes, and are put together by a team of grad students on issues "inspired by Anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s claim that anthropology’s job is to make the world safe for human differences."
  • AnthroPod: The SCA Podcast is hosted by Cultural Anthropology  in line with their open-access format and mission. Many episodes deliver interviews with anthropologists on their work, while others explore particular issues more broadly. Episodes vary from about 30-60 minutes in length.
  • A Story of Us comes from Ohio State's Anthropology graduate students, with series themes from researchers in the department, such as childhood, death, and migration.
  • Anthropological Airwaves is American Anthropologist's new podcast series, and aims to mirror the journal's "four-field, multimodal research, the podcast hosts conversations about anthropological projects—from fieldwork and publishing to the discipline’s role in public debates."
  • Oxford Podcasts from the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. With over 200 episodes since 2010, this podcast showcases lecture and seminar discussions from the department.
  • Thinking Allowed is BBC4's ethnography podcast, which bills itself as "New research on how society works." While the presenter, Laurie Taylor, is a sociologist by training, the focus really is on the value and power of an ethnographic perspective.
  • The Sociological Imagination podcasts from a sociological and interdisciplinary perspective, and is worth including in this list. It's also a great site to mine for further listening, through posts like "The LSE’s remarkable archive of public talks."
  • You can also check out AAA's Podcast Library and its impressive list of archived podcasts, which include episodes covering the four-fields of anthropology.
Inspired to make your own podcasts? Check out this informative piece on the podcasting medium, "Talking Anthropology: Podcasting for the Public," (and Part 2) from Teaching Culture for ideas about how to craft your own and/or bring podcasting into the classroom.

Know about other great anthropology podcasts that should be on this list? Tweet us @anthrolens or email anthrolens@gmail.com. Here are few more from readers like you:
  • Updated - 25 August 2017: From the Relevanth blog, Anthropologist on the Street interviews anthropologists and others about "today’s controversies, debates, and trending issues to examine the hidden cultural forces at play."
  • Updated - 27 August 2017: The Sausage of Science Podcast with Cara & Chris is a new podcast series from the Human Biology Association. This podcast "combines interviews and lectures with and by new researchers and research in science writ large and that applies to those interested in the field of human biology."
  • Updated - 27 August 2017: You might also want to check out The Leakey Foundation's Origin Stories, podcasting "about what it means to be human and the science behind what we know about ourselves and our origins."
  • Updated - 10 November 2017: Thanks to RenĂ© Herrera for alerting us to AnthroAlert - live on Fridays or catch up on past episodes with this public anthropology project (@AnthroAlert).
  • Updated - 14 January 2018: Have you heard The Familiar Strange podcast yet? Besides having a great name, this project in public anthropology is supported by the "Australian Anthropological Society, and the Australian National University’s Schools of Culture, History and Language, Archeology and Anthropology, and the Centre for Public Awareness of Science." They've got a blog too!