Introducing the Anthropology@Deakin podcast

This year I am co-hosting the Deakin Anthropology Seminar Series with my friend and colleague David Giles. David and I are both podcast listeners, and have some rudimentary skills in audio engineering, so we thought we’d try our hands at producing some conversations with the seminar series speakers about their research, how they got into Anthropology, and whatever else feels interesting and relevant. There are a few (more cleanly produced) podcasts around in this vein, such as Cultures of Energy and AnthroPod.

The Anthropology@Deakin podcast now has three episodes, each involving a conversation with a seminar series speaker and a Deakin University guest. So far we have had:

  1. David Boarder Giles (Deakin) with guest Sabra Thorner – dumpster diving, the politics of waste and capitalism
  2. Eben Kirksey (UNSW) with guest Emma Kowal – multidisciplinarity, multispecies ethnography and critters
  3. Cris Shore (Auckland) with guest Jill Blackmore – neoliberalism in the academy, the ‘knowledge economy’ and audit cultures

Keen to hear what peoples’ impressions are – our production quality is about to take a giant leap as David has located some new recording infrastructure for us! You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or on iTunes.

Also: our theme song is from an unreleased song called ‘Shout to Deer’ by Brand New Math, an Auckland band lead by Bradley Fafejta that I was in during the late ’00s. Thanks to Bradley for letting us use the tune.


Second half of a seminar series


Over the past six months or so I have been the chair of the seminar committee at WSU’s Institute for Culture & Society. As an Early Career Researcher (or ECR), it’s been an instructive professional experience in managing priorities and logistics. Just like a conference, those organising a seminar series have to think about not only what interests them, and what sits well with the given institution, but also what is going to be possible (given budgets and schedules) and how to distribute opportunities. Seminars can be great places to test out ideas and get feedback, but, at the same time, many academics are reluctant to speak amongst close peers or about work-in-progress (just as some audiences are reluctant to listen to work that’s been published already).

I’m starting a new position soon at Deakin University (more to come at a later date), so unfortunately I will not get to see out the program, but I’m proud of where it has ended up. We’ve managed to nab a fair number of visitors to Sydney (Emma Kowal, Jenny Pickerill and Celine Granjou) as well as inaugurate the ‘Thinking in Common’ panels (where several people with different fields/disciplines present thinking about a given ‘it’ term) thought up by my ICS colleague Gay Hawkins. In May, we staged a panel on ‘anticipation‘ with myself, Catherine Phillips, Chris Vasantkumar and Juan Francisco Salazar. Some of the work I discussed has recently been published in a paper in Environment & Planning A, titled ‘Burning Anticipation‘.