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Comment (1) on Rothenbuhler’s paper

October 25, 2008

I think Eric Rothenbuhler’s timely paper articulates a number of issues that had been circulating within media anthropological circles, both privately and publicly (incl. via this mailing list). It certainly reinforces my own impression about the existing disciplinary divides at work beneath the broad umbrella of ‘media anthropology’, e.g. when it comes to media and ritual. While most anthropologists who’ve studied media have largely avoided the concept of ritual, this is precisely one key area of interest for non-anthropologists attracted to the anthropology of media. I agree with Eric that it makes little sense to judge a discipline by the standards of another, and that specialists in a particular discipline will have their own aims and interests.

My question to Eric (and to others on this list) is: In your view, given these considerable disciplinary differences, are there any specific media questions of general interest within the broad contact zone of ‘media anthropology’ that could lead to future collaborative work across the disciplinary divides?

NB – I’ve edited slightly this comment, which I sent to the Media Anthropology Network mailing list a few moments ago.

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