SXSWedu 2013

Anthropology by the Wire

Anthropology by the Wire is a multi-media research project on urban and visual anthropology in Baltimore that is part of a National Science Foundation grant at Towson University. In this project, students conduct collaborative research on different communities in Baltimore utilizing anthropological methods through the lens of a public anthropology with a variety of digital media. The goals of the project are to provide access to four year universities for community college students, create media for our community partners to use in their endeavors, and raise the critical consciousness of participants by exposing them to a variety of communities and issues. Baltimore carries a heavy representational burden in media through shows such as the landmark series 'The Wire', we are trying to create alternative visions of urban life in our city. For SXSW we propose to present our media, research and demonstrate how our project can be duplicated by other educators and media specialists.

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  1. How can educators create access to four year universities and graduate programs for students who start their education in community colleges? The completion rate for four year universities and graduate programs for these students is abysmally low. We are trying to create bridges of success for students who start their education in community colleges for their further education.
  2. How can visual anthropologists create media that directly impacts social justice efforts in urban settings? Through our community partnerships and participatory research with media we are demonstrating how educators and community partnerships can flourish through direct multi-media engagement.
  3. How can educators harness new media technologies and digital networks to not only forward their curricular goals, but also work toward civic engagement and social justice endeavors. Through our concept of a 'networked anthropology' we are demonstrating how educators can be a part of 21st century technology curves, meet students where they are as digital indigene and use collaborative media production to further the goals of community collaborators.



Matthew Durington, Visual Anthropologist, Towson University

Meta Information:

  • Tags: activism
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Dual Presentation
  • Track: Civic Engagement and Advocacy
  • Session Focus Area
  • Level: Intermediate
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