This project was originally inspired by the overuse of jargon and the inaccessibility of anthropological writing to those outside the discipline. The first two Anthroquilts were created for an installation at the 2013 AAA meetings in Chicago, and were meant to challenge anthropologists to confront the all-too-common disconnect between our work as writers and the communities we study.
Passersby at the Chicago meeting were invited to contribute to a clothesline and air their own writerly frustrations—anthropology’s “dirty laundry” in the form of scribbled haikus or six-words stories. The fabric scraps inscribed with their contributions, which can be seen on the AAA CHICAGO tab above, were then stitched into a new quilt for the 2017 AAA meetings in D.C. (See AAA WASHINGTON D.C. tab above), themed Anthropology Matters.This new quilt served as the backdrop for that year’s challenge to participants – to write, in six words or less, why and to whom their research matters. It called for reflection and conversation on the uses (and usefulness) of our scholarship in a time when engaged research seems more crucial than ever.In turn, the six-word poems produced in D.C. are now being pieced together into a a collective “Meaningful Anthropology Quilt” for the 2018 meetings in AAA SAN JOSE, CA.
Please visit the MAKING OF THE QUILTS page for an explanation of the quilts in the background and photos of the quilting process.
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