Presented here is a conversation among anthropologists whose research and experience have given them special insight into recent changes in the ways scholarship is produced and shared. Christopher Kelty (CK) is the author of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software, which serves as the starting point for the discussion below. Michael M. J. Fischer (MMJF) is the author of Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice. Alex “Rex” Golub (ARG) specializes in Melanesia, and is the cofounder of the pioneering anthropology blog SavageMinds. Jason Baird Jackson (JJ) is editor of Museum Anthropology, and the founder of the parallel on-line, open access journal Museum Anthropology Review. Kimberly Christen (KC) is an anthropologist who has collaborated with Warumungu people in Australia to create the Mukurtu Wumpurrani-kari on-line archive (http://www.mukurtuarchive.org). Michael F. Brown (MFB) is the author of Who Owns Native Culture? Tom Boellstorff is the author of Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human and is the editor-in-chief of American Anthropologist.
Participants in this discussion were asked to add their own voices to a rough document created by CK and MMJF, This conversation occurred over the space of a month and was then edited and rearranged by CK, ARG, and JJ. The resulting document is less a discussion than it is a kind of improvised script, jointly signed by the authors.
JJ: Wait, before we get started, let me get this straight: we are allowed to “add to the conversation” here and rearrange it?
MFB: Yes, this is a little hard for me to understand as well. It's hard enough to cowrite something with one person, but seven?
KC: How else do you expect us to demonstrate that we live in a post-Internet, remix culture where new tools allow new modes of discourse?
ARG: Yeah, new tools that seem to keep breaking! … damn you Google Docs!
MMJF: Anyhow, let's get started…
Posted by Christopher Kelty on August 11, 2008