Reflections on public engagement by intellectuals and activists seeking to facilitate change.
A Personal Perspective (2007) Rob Borofsky In the late 1990′s, when searching for a name for the new book series Naomi Schneider and I were developing at the University of California Press, we considered various possibilities. We chose Public Anthropology because it seemed to best represent a key goal of the series: addressing important social concerns in an engaging, non-academic manner. Public, in this sense, contrasted with traditional academic styles of presentation and definition of problems. To provide a context and direction for...read more
Envisioning a More Public Anthropology An Interview with Fredrik Barth April 18th, 2001 Fredrik Barth: Let me begin with a general preamble to our conversation. Since anthropology draws on the ethnography of the whole world—as it must and should—it has a unique potential to supplement Western science and Western humanism. It can contribute broadly to human thought, to human imagination. Robert Borofsky: Your are referring to anthropology’s role in broadening people’s perspectives? FB: Yes, to opening up windows of human...read more
Intellectuals and the Responsibilities of Public Life An Interview with Noam Chomsky May 27th 2001 THE MORAL ROLE OF INTELLECTUALS Robert Borofsky: You write, in Powers and Prospects, that “the responsibility of a writer as a moral agent is to try to bring the truth about matters of human significance to an audience that can do something about them.” Would you generalize that to intellectuals and academics more generally or not? Noam Chomsky: If a person chooses not to be a writer, or speaker, then (by definition) the person is...read more