How can we as anthropologists entertain and educate a broader public? What stuff do most people like, how do we write for them, and where do we reach them?

PopAnth aims to a) produce stuff for public consumption; b) work out better ways to write and disseminate for the general public; c) agglomerate popular anthropology that's already been published.

This group also accidentally launched the website PopAnth: Hot Buttered Humanity. We hope to create more collaborations in the future and welcome new ideas!

Members: 67
Latest Activity: Oct 18, 2014

Discussion Forum

Supporting each other's public engagement 1 Reply

Hi all,It's long been my belief that anthropologists can increase their public visibility and engagement by working together, especially cross-promoting each other's work. The …Continue

Started by Erin B. Taylor. Last reply by ryan anderson Oct 20, 2013.

Getting to know each other! 8 Replies

Dear all,We have a small but burgeoning group here at PopAnth. To stimulate community development, I thought that it might be useful for us to introduce who we are, why we're interested in popular…Continue

Started by Erin B. Taylor. Last reply by John McCreery Oct 18, 2013.

Social anthropology hasn't got the stuff! 14 Replies

I have probably looked at the the front page of the BBC news site almost every day for the past seven years (perhaps not every). It's rare that anything to do with anthropology makes it to the top so…Continue

Started by Nathan Dobson. Last reply by Francine Barone Apr 24, 2013.

Lifelong learning in anthropology 4 Replies

So, I have an idea for a series of anthropologically-inspired kid's books. A friend of mine writes books about historical figures for 7-9 year olds. They begin with a semi-fictional story based on…Continue

Started by Erin B. Taylor. Last reply by Larry Stout Dec 28, 2012.

Comment Wall

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 15, 2012 at 3:30pm
I'm collecting stuff written by anthropologists in public forums such as these articles by Rozanna Lilley on sleeping rituals and kids starting school. If you find them or have written them, please feel free to pass them on! 
Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 15, 2012 at 4:32pm

Fascinating Google stats on anth bw 2004-9. Marshall Sahlins most popular in Brazil; Kenyans like linguistics most!

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 15, 2012 at 4:33pm

Here's a list I found of popular popular anthropology books :)

Comment by Keith Hart on July 17, 2012 at 10:40pm
Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 17, 2012 at 11:32pm

Here is a blog about digging up dead people:

Maybe there should be one on vampires as well, that would generate popular interest!

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 18, 2012 at 9:20am

What do all humans have in common? Here's a list! See Part 1 and Part 2.

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 18, 2012 at 10:42am

Are deer afraid of menstrual blood? Find out in this blog post by Kate Clancy in the Scientific American!

Comment by Keith Hart on July 18, 2012 at 10:54am

Come back,Chris Knight, all is forgiven! His book, Blood Relations: menstruation and the origins of culture, argues for a paleolithic sex strike as the revolutionary source of human culture. Lots of good stuff on Aborigines, rainbow serpents, Levi-Strauss and Engels of course.

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on July 19, 2012 at 11:22pm

Welcome, Ashkuff! Yes, you can most definitely help, and you can start by answering this one easy question: What do people like?

Comment by Keith Hart on July 20, 2012 at 3:08pm

Here's another example, a bit more popular than the first, but probably yet more proof that I don't get what it means to do PopAnth. I was asked to do a column for The Big Issue in a series called King for a day, 330 words, just one thing you would legislate if you were king. It was meant as a plug for my new book. The idea might work in an analogous form for PopAnth.

The Big Issue

King for a day


If I were king, I would make the human economy a compulsory subject in schools. There is nothing wrong with the mission of economics, just with the economists. We would all like our questions about economic life answered in a reliable and reasonable way. But we can’t find any reflection of our own lives in the impersonal models and quantities published by the economists and financial media. It is an urgent task to devise ways of thinking and talking about the economy that make human sense.

The market is democratically open to anybody: all you need is the money. It is an impersonal sphere kept separate from home, a protected zone where intimate relations hold sway. Some adults go out to work, to ‘make’ the money on which the household subsists. The economy of the home rests on spending this money and performing services without payment. This is the moral and practical foundation of capitalist society.

Children belong to the sphere of life outside the market. Their exposure to money is carefully controlled. We turn things bought for them into gifts. If they ever get their hands on any money, it is not usually related to the work they do. As teenagers, their engagement with money widens through taking on part-time jobs, but their earnings are personal, not a contribution to the domestic budget. Growing up consists in postponing our relationship to money; and financial independence may be delayed indefinitely these days. The education our children get in school perpetuates the norm of their separation from the world of money.

The fastest-growing sector of world trade today is in cultural services such as entertainment, education, media and communications. The predominant focus of the economy may be reverting to the production of human beings. If so, we all need an economic education that would prepare us to take part in it more effectively.


Keith Hart, an anthropologist, co-edited with Jean-Louis Laville and Antonio David Cattani The Human Economy: A Citizen’s Guide (Polity, 2010).


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