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Tag: anthropology at universities

Busting apart the silos of knowledge production

Below, a blog by Erin B. Taylor, published earlier on the blog Anthropologies (see Anthropologies or even the summary of the Anthropologies issue), and re-published on StandplaatsWereld with kind permission of the author and the Anthropologies-blog. The contribution addresses an issue important to anthropology and to our students. The message: knowledge production does not only take place in universities – and maybe universities are not even any longer the best places for the production of knowledge. There are lots of other places where new knowledge can be created!

By Erin B. Taylor The southern European sunshine bounces off the Atlantic Ocean and into my eyes, making it difficult for me to read my laptop screen as I work at the dining table in my Lisbon apartment. Closing the curtains, I return to concentrating on my work. A few emails, some editorial work, and polishing off a journal article are my tasks for the morning. Later, I’ll go for a stroll along the beach to stretch my body and my mind.

Today’s nothing special: this has been my everyday life since I began my research fellowship eighteen months ago. Funded by the Portuguese government and based at the University of Lisbon, I have no classes to teach and not a shred of administrative responsibility. I’m expected to publish, of course, but like many of my colleagues, I work at home most days, and turn in a yearly report detailing my achievements. The pay isn’t great, and the job is temporary, but the freedom is insurmountable. Freedom to think, freedom to create, and most importantly, freedom to fail. The perfect conditions for the production of knowledge.

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