Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Week minus 1

In her introduction the head of Department insists we can refer to ourselves as anthropologists. I’m not so sure because there’s a mountain of knowledge for those without a background in anthropology (the majority on this course) to absorb.
The key challenge is learning how to frame our investigations into areas such as human behaviour around new technologies with reference to over 100 years of thought in anthropology, at the same time drawing on even longer standing intellectual fields to provide context.
On the other hand I think the head of Department was right in stating that the diverse group of students on this course will each have something unique to contribute. They range in background from journalists to advertising and design professionals who recognise that digital technology has profoundly changed both the way these fields operate and how the public consumes their output.
These are just two of many implications of digital technology addressed by this course, which is designed to help us understand and explain them from a point of view that places (observed) human experience at its heart.