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Changing the Field of Anthropology, One Book at a Time – Jim Lance

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This January 27-31, 2020, and for one week only, we are changing the field of Anthropology, with a special sale of Anthropology books just for $20.20. In anticipation of the sale, we asked Senior Editor Jim Lance for his thoughts on Anthropology, and a list of 20 Anthropology books that will help you pick wisely!

Why is publishing in Anthropology important?

The simple (no doubt simplistic) answer is that since anthropology as a discipline places supreme value on our common (and uncommon) humanity, an academic press such as Cornell would be remiss not to have an anthropology list since a key aspect of the mission of the press is to promote “a culture of broad and sustained inquiry through the publication of scholarship that is engaged, influential, and of lasting significance.” Cornell has a long and distinguished history of publishing anthropology. Without an anthropology list, the press would be falling short of its mission.

There are also political, ethical, and moral reasons for the importance of publishing in anthropology. Anthropology is not innocent and its history of linkages to eugenics, colonialism, sexism, racism, and violence are apparent. But anthropology has also challenged these issues in ways that can lead to a diminishing of devaluing ideas and practices.

Anthropology also can be a good reading experience. The best anthropology writing is evocative, poetic, literary.

Editor’s pick: 20 Anthropology books for 2020!

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