Welcome to Anthrozine

We would like to acknowledge that we illegitimately live and work on lands and waters stolen from the peoples of the Kulin nation, particularly the Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri Willam) and Boonwurrung (Yalukit Willam) people from here in Narrm (Port Phillip Bay/Melbourne), for which sovereignty was never ceded and for which no treaty has ever been made. We duly pay respect to all those who live here and in the lands beyond, and to their families and elders; those in the past, those in our present time, and those emerging now, onwards to the future.

We would also like to acknowledge the problematic role that our discipline of anthropology has played in relation to First Nations people in this country and beyond in the past, and state our ongoing commitment to correcting this relationship, towards its continual reform as a field of research, study and practice exceptionally based upon justice, emancipation and respect. Decolonize now.

M.C. Escher’s Plane Filling II. An assemblage of creatures.

Hello and welcome to Anthrozine, a blog created by Anthropology Honours students at the University of Melbourne to give you the (abridged) A to Z on anthropology, and a smattering of other digressions that illustrate the expansive philosophies and scopes of anthropology.

This blog forms part of our assessment for the Honours subject Philosophy & Scope of Anthropology, taught by Tammy Kohn, whom you might be lucky enough to meet in your first year subject(s) (we would highly recommend attending lectures for a glimpse of Louie, Tammy’s very sweet dog).

We created this blog with the memory of our undergraduate years in mind: the fresh curiosity and intrigue, the concomitant confusion and disorientation, the persistent tendency to justify human behaviour or cultural habits with anthropological theory…And although we’re still learning, we thought we might be able to demystify some of the pre-eminent ideas and debates taking place in anthropology – from the past, the present, and the future.

Our hope is that after browsing through this blog, you’ll see the mundane and familiar in a new light: birthday celebrations will become sites of liminality, going to the footy will become an instance of collective effervescence, and you’ll start interrogating the ethnocentrism of established assumptions and norms, and consider culturally relative perspectives in encounters with the unfamiliar.

Here you’ll find a collection of definitions and clarifications that we wish we knew in first year (which are by no means expert or absolute), and articles which have been situated in relation to the past, present and future. Rather than strict categories, these links are only one way to guide your perusal of the blog. For example, posts about past debates in anthropology will be found in the “past” link, whilst posts about the directions in which anthropology is heading will be in the “future” link. Some posts will be in more than one, or even all three, and they don’t have to be read in a linear fashion. Some posts also utilise tags, which can be clicked to bring up all other posts on that topic. At the bottom of the blog, you’ll find our author biographies on the left and a search bar on the right.

Please also feel free to comment or ask questions, we hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as we enjoyed writing it!

— Anthropology Honours Class of 2019.

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