February 20, 2011
A new online journal using audio-visual material has recently been launched by Harvard University called Sensate. It’s worth taking a look at. This is one of a couple of peer-reviewed audio-visual journals appearing (for example Journal of Visual Experiments is a peer-reviewed video journal from which the video articles can be viewed and referenced as a normal academic text), and hopefully will be a trend that continues; for academia to remain stuck in text when the world around us is evolving and changing means not only that we risk being old fashioned by not keeping up, but more importantly, that we risk continuing elitism and exclusion of people outside academia. Maybe some disciplines like this, but for anthropology, which grounds itself so centrally in the lives of people, and especially for visual anthropology, which offers outstanding opportunities for public engagement in anthropology, it seems detrimental. I hope this trend continues and we see an expansion of the kind of work not only valued by academia, but also made public and engaging.