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Media anthropology debates?

January 7, 2010

Update 7 Jan 2010, 17:10: see also mailing list archives for further postings on this topic

This is a slightly edited post of mine to the Media Anthropology Network mailing list sent off earlier today

Dear all

Joseph Oduro-Frimpong put an important question to this list about a month ago, namely:

>> What are the key/current debates in media anthropology?

We haven’t had too many debates (in the strict sense of the term) within this subfield that I’m aware of, but rather a number of conversations and discussions, see the media anthropology network’s working papers and mailing list webpages, http://www.media-anthropology.net/workingpapers.htm

See, for instance:

22 October – 5 November 2008. Eric Rothenbuhler (Texas A & M University): Media anthropology as a field of interdisciplinary contact. (PDF, 140 KB)

It’d be interesting to hear from other list subscribers on this, but one exception as regards debates that springs to mind is:

Postill, J. and M.A. Peterson 2009. ‘What is the point of media anthropology?‘ Social Anthropology No. 17(3), Debate Section, http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122526833/issue

This makes me think that perhaps we could have an annual (or biennial) Media Anthropology Debate via this mailing list – or on our own future collective blog to make the debate more public. Any key issues people would want to debate? I’m happy to draw up a list of suggestions and share them with the list.

I for one would be interested in debating issues arising from the global spread of mobile phones in recent years or, as a second possible topic, the much more uneven growth of ‘social media’ (these are just broad themes, we’d have to agree on an actual question to debate).

What do others think about this?

John

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