Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two Blogs are Better than One: Material World and Museum Anthropology

It is exciting and curious that two weblogs devoted to the fields of museum anthropology and material culture studies have both officially launched in the same brief time span. While the Museum Anthropology blog was begun quietly during the summer of 2006, we authored a story for the November issue of the AAA's Anthropology News that had the purpose of launching the blog officially. This appeared in digital form on AnthroSource in the last days of October. Unbeknownst to us, at the same time, a circle of colleagues at New York University and University College London began publication of Material World, a blog that will be "an interactive, online hub for contemporary debates, discussion, thinking and research centered on material and visual culture." One of the Chief Editors for Material World is Haidy Geismar, a great colleague who, during the past year of my editorship of Museum Anthropology, has proven to be an extremely active and energetic contributor to the journal. A review of the Darwin exhibition by Haidy and her NYU students will appear in the journal's next issue. One of the blog's Editors-at-Large is Aaron Glass, another stalwart supporter of Museum Anthropology. Aaron published one fine paper in my first issue as editor (29.1) and he has another one accepted for publication in volume 30.

I hope that there will be fruitful traffic between the two blogs and that they will both thrive, each in its own way. The Museum Anthropology blog is an extension of the journal and will be, in some ways, constrained by this fact and by the limits that editing the journal will place on my time. Material World has a more distributed editorial approach and it is not bound to the lifecycle of an established journal. It will be fun and productive to see where both efforts lead. I intend to read and contribute to Material World and I hope that Museum Anthropology readers and Council for Museum Anthropology members will do so as well.

Good luck to the Material World editorial team. Please visit the blog at

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