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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Anthropology Matters is the official postgraduate network of the Association of Social Anthropologists of UK and Commonwealth (the ASA), which received start-up funds from the Centre for Learning & Teaching - Sociology, Anthropology & Politics (C-SAP), and is run by a steering committee of postgraduate researchers and early-career anthropologists. The site includes the open-access academic Anthropology Matters Journal, various anthropology resources, and an e-mail list that distributes information about jobs, conferences, etc. Anyone interested in anthropology is encouraged to use and contribute to the Anthropology Matters website, where you can register to receive journal alerts as well as join the email list.
The lAnthropology Matters Journal is aimed at stimulating discussion on the production of anthropological knowledge through a focus on training, teaching, research and writing. At its inception it proposed to publish material arranged around a theme in any of ten different sections: Foreword, Editorial, Articles, Reviews, Research, Bibliographies, Afterword, Contested Knowledge, Embodied Knowledge, and Arrested Knowledge. Most recent issues include a Foreword section, an Articles section, and an Afterword.
For example, the current issue, Volume 15, No 1 (2014), titled, "Ethnographies of the Opportunities and Risks of Neoliberalisation," offers the Foreword, “Ethnographies of the Opportunities and Risks of Neoliberalisation” by the issue editor, Ainhoa Montoya (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), which is a research article in itself, in which Dr. Montoya discusses the overarching ideas within the issue, asks the question: “Is It Time We Talked about Post-Neoliberalism?” and then leads the discussion about neoliberalisation’s opportunities and risks. This is followed by four articles “that make the case for approaching neoliberalism as a transnational phenomenon”: “Neoliberalism Writ Large and Small,” “Tracing Contradictions of Neoliberal Governmentality in Tijuana’s Sex Industry,” “The Scientific Community: Creating a Language to Deal with the ‘Everyday Geopolitics’ of Neoliberal ‘Transition’ in Post-Socialist Serbia,” and “HIV/AIDS, ‘TRIPS plus’ and ‘Knowledge Ecology:’ Unpacking the Semantics of Transnational Intellectual Property Harmonisation’.” These, in turn, are followed by an Afterword, “Neoliberal Opportunism,” by Madeleine Reeves (University of Manchester), which summarizes the points highlighted in the issue. It’s a cohesive whole constructed of seemingly disparate parts, but the Afterword provides the larger perspective that brings it all together.
The previous issue, Volume 14, No 1 (2012), Visibility: Representation and Recognition, also opened with a Foreword (“The Paradox of Representation and the Problem with Recognition: What Does it Mean to be Visible?”) followed by the three articles, “A Question Concerning the Visible,” “Beautiful Barriers: Art and Identity along a Belfast Peace Wall,” and “The Lines Between: Relational Subjectivities and the Practice of Observational Drawing.” Once again, the Afterword tied this image-rich issue together, describing the ethnographic images in each article (photos and drawings) thusly: “In performing the ethnographies for us, and in having their interlocutors and collaborators perform and strike our senses, the authors endow their pieces with a sensory rhetoric that has its own poetics, politics, and pleasure.”
This is a little gem of a journal; it saddens me to see that a year elapsed between the current, 2014 issue, and the previous, done in 2012. I can imagine that it’s difficult to pull together thematic issues and do them as well as the past issues of this journal have. The Anthropology Matters site should be made known to all students of anthropology; it is an international meeting place for them to extend their contact networks and to learn about global studies and approaches. The Anthropology Matters Journal should be brought to the attention of all those researching in various areas of anthropology; it offers a good means of communication among postgraduate and postdoctoral anthropologists working in the UK and around the world.