Long week is long. And yet, I can't seem to remember most of what I did.
Monday are my class days. I'm taking Spanish Florida and Presenting Anthropology, the latter of which I believe I have mentioned.
In Spanish Florida we are undertaking a class project to build a comprehensive bibliographic database of all materials related to Spanish Florida. It's going to be interesting. We divided it all up into chunks. My little piece will be focusing on the family lives of both the natives and the Spanish colonials. I'm tentatively optimistic, but I'm afraid that the reality is not a lot of focus was given to women and children by early historians.
In Presenting Anthropology we had a lovely discussion of anthropology and its relationships with Web 2.0 technology. We talked about the feasibility of anthropologists sharing their works in progress online. Well, not only is this feasible but it has been done and is being done. The Prescott Street Project is a brilliant example of what archaeologists can do with public outreach during a dig. I think this is a wonderful thing that archaeologists can do and I hope more projects embrace this kind of openness. However, during the discussion I voiced my doubts that a cultural anthropology project can experience the same kind of openness. Although, I'm sure there are many exceptions. But generally, cultural anthropologists are interacting directly with people, many of whom (for whatever reason they may choose) may not want to be exposed to the public. Obviously, we have to respect that. Dr. Killgrove pointed out that similar circumstances would prevent biological anthropologists from being completely "open". For instance, NAGPRA and the photographing of native remains. I also thought of forensic anthropologists. Surely they couldn't share the details of their cases with the public until after closure. Still, it would be better than not attempting to reach out to the public.
We also talked about open sourcing and open access in the discipline. There are plenty of people within the discipline pushing for more openness, in that sense. I believe people in and around DANG! would be good examples of what I'm talking about. As we discussed in class, on one hand having wide open access to our publications could potentially circulate research in anthropology to the public much quicker. On the other hand, anthropologists use closed journal review processes and publications to build up credibility in our careers. If we refuse to publish in these journals or if we no longer have these journals, how we will we go about establishing research credibility?
For a better perspective on this conversation visit Dr. Killgrove at her blog, which is awesome. You should check it out (Powered by Osteons).
In addition, members of Presenting Anthropology are LiveTweeting during class. It's fun on one hand, but I worry about it being distracting. At any rate, I think we're doing it anyway and you should check that out, too. Look for #shareanthro every Monday on Twitter.
In other news, I got my first draft of my thesis prospectus back. Let me go ahead and say that I'm thankful for the reviewing process. I make a lot of just stupid little mistakes. Although, while I'm glad those mistakes get caught, I still hate looking at them. Revision can seem like such a daunting task. Or maybe it's just me.
Yesterday in the classes where I TA, the lecture topics were Rene Descartes/Auguste Comte and dialects, accents, and verbal hygiene respectively. It was interesting. Doubly interesting for me, I think because I had watched Blade Runner with my fiancee the night before. I'm not going to claim any deep thoughts, but it seemed to me that Blade Runner could be analyzed in relation to Descartes. And apparently some individuals have done that. (See What Defines Human? and Philosophy Meets Hollywood: Descartes Among the Androids.) Also, I found the "CitySpeak" used in the film to be very interesting.
Today I'm hoping to accomplish at least a third of my workload. I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow, so nothing will probably get done. And then I have Sunday and MLK Day. For the record, I want to say that I use WorkFlowy to manage a whole bunch of lists and I love it. I could be a paid spokesperson. I'm not, but I could be.