In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Editor's Introduction
  • Luke Eric Lassiter

Collaborative Anthropologies rests on the premise that "collaboration," in its many different forms and articulations, offers ongoing opportunities for critically exploring the possibilities and challenges for the future of anthropological theory and practice. Collaboration—in very general terms, the wide range of theories and practices that relate to the dynamic and complex processes of navigating joint projects and partnerships—has always been a vital, albeit often implicit, facet of what we do as anthropologists. We all collaborate on some level in our wide range of anthropological practices. Today, however, collaboration has become more central to these practices. Collaboration is no longer just a consequence of our multiple and diverse anthropologies; it now preconditions and shapes our anthropologies more pervasively than ever before.

Several scholars have noted that at the very time these collaborative anthropologies are becoming more common, the changing subjects, conditions, and work of our field are also expanding the range of collaborative possibilities—between and among researchers and their interlocutors, anthropologists and other scholar-practitioners, academics and other professionals, universities and local communities, faculty and students. These expanding collaborative possibilities are stimulating new theoretical and methodological approaches that promise to transform our anthropologies in new and exciting ways—especially as we increasingly bring together academic, applied, and public practices within ever more dynamic, multi-sited, and globalized contexts.

This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in our research with the various and shifting publics with whom we work—publics who have increasingly demanded not only that their voices be heard but that the research on which they consult benefit them more immediately and directly. While collaborations between researchers and such publics are [End Page vii] certainly not new, our still-emergent collaborative practices continue to offer formidable challenges to the conventional power differentials between "researchers" and "subjects," and thus are becoming increasingly central to reconceptualizing conventional anthropological theory and practice.

While I personally have been keenly interested in these kinds of collaborative researches (especially as realized via collaborative ethnography), and while this journal embraces a special focus on the possibilities and challenges of these emergent collaborative researches (as noted in the bulleted list below), the scope of Collaborative Anthropologies is by no means limited to discussions of collaboration that follow these lines. More than one member of this journal's editorial board, for example, has expressed interest in how anthropologists might reconceptualize working with one another (as well as with other researchers), recapturing, as it were, interdisciplinary collaborations that reach across (sub) disciplinary divisions in anthropology and traverse the humanities and the biological and social sciences in new and innovative ways. Others have expressed interest in how anthropologists might deploy more deliberately collaborative pedagogical approaches—approaches that engage faculty and students in transformative university-community partnerships and projects. Still others have expressed interest in how we might further explore, problematize, and question the deeper meanings of collaboration itself, in whatever form it may take, and, in turn, chart new theoretical and applied trajectories for anthropological praxis.

These varied positions set out a range of possibilities for Collaborative Anthropologies to serve as a forum for engaging ever-widening discussions of collaborative research and practice in anthropology and in closely related fields. The mission of Collaborative Anthropologies is lined out on the journal's Web site but bears repeating here. In sum, this annual:

  • • facilitates dialogue about collaborative anthropologies, including but not limited to those between and among researchers and their interlocutors, anthropologists and other scholar-practitioners, academics and other professionals, universities and local communities, faculty and students;

  • • embraces a special focus on the complex collaborations between and among researchers and research participants/interlocutors, although it is by no means limited to this focus; [End Page viii]

  • • promotes discussion about new forms of collaborative research that are engendering new kinds of collaborative anthropologies;

  • • charts new theoretical and methodological approaches, especially those that theorize collaboration and imagine new intellectual spaces for collaborative anthropologies;

  • • invites essays that are descriptive as well as analytical, interpretive, and exploratory;

  • • solicits works from all subfields of anthropology (and closely related disciplines);

  • • encourages interdisciplinary inquiry into collaborative anthropologies, especially those that connect collaborative anthropologies with other modes of collaborative research practices...


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pp. vii-xii
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