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Routledge Series for Creative Teaching and Learning in Anthropology


About the Series

Editors: Richard H. Robbins, SUNY at Plattsburgh and Luis A. Vivanco, University of Vermont 

This series is dedicated to innovative, unconventional ways to connect undergraduate students and their lived concerns about our social world to the power of social science ideas and evidence. We seek to publish titles that use anthropology to help students understand how they benefit from exposing their own lives and activities to the power of anthropological thought and analysis. Our goal is to help spark social science imaginations and, in doing so, open new avenues for meaningful thought and action.

Books proposed for this series should pose questions and problems that speak to the complexities and dynamism of modern life, connecting cutting edge research in exciting and relevant topical areas with creative pedagogy. We seek writing that is clear and accessible, yet not simplistic. The series has three primary projects:

The Anthropology of Stuff

This project invites proposals for 100 to 120 page books devoted to tracing the biographies and social lives of commodities that illuminate for students the network of people, institutions, and activities that create their material world. The series already has successful titles on milk, coffee, lycra, counterfeit goods, bicycles, Wal-Mart, and alcohol, as well as a forthcoming title on seafood. We seek books that:

  • Focus on specific problems or issues (e.g. social inequality, violence, gender discrimination, consumption, environmental degradation, urban mobility, etc.).
  • Use close description and analysis of everyday objects to stimulate students to think about their own culture and their place in it.
  • Make complex concepts (e.g. capitalism, the nature of hegemony, commodification, etc.) accessible to undergraduate readers.
  • Integrate a set of learning and teaching tools that could include the use of field research projects, group projects, media analysis, films, web-based research, and other relevant activities.

Anthropology and Civic Engagement

This project invites proposals for 100 to 120 page books that examine anthropology’s historical, contemporary, or potential involvement in civic affairs, contributions to key public debates, and/or engagement with diverse notions of citizenship and civic participation. Its goal is to illuminate for students how anthropological concepts, methods, and approaches can create powerful insights about critical social issues, while at the same time providing useful models for civic engagement for the construction of a more equitable society. We seek books that:

  • Focus on specific problems or issues (e.g., the health care debate, school violence, environmental activism, historic preservation, gender inequality, intellectual property, equity and social justice movements, food justice, rights of marginalized groups, etc.).
  • Help students understand how concepts such as citizenship, engagement, public participation, collaboration, activism, etc. are constructed and mobilized in specific political and social contexts.
  • Examine how anthropology’s concepts, methodological tools, and ethical principles relate to strategic and effective engagement with public concerns and dilemmas.
  • Integrate a set of learning and teaching tools that could include the use of field research projects, group projects, media analysis, films, web-based research, and other relevant activities.

High-Impact Anthropology

This project invites proposals for 150-350 page introductory texts that integrate high impact teaching and learning practices with treatment of specific topical areas that are the focus on undergraduate courses in anthropology. These specific topical areas could include Anthropology of Religion, Economic Anthropology, Political Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Environmental Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality, etc. The texts should examine the development of the field and provide coverage of key concepts and theories. At the same time, they should integrate high-impact educational practices into the structure of the text and its features. These practices could include:

  • Problem-centered learning
  • Question-based learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Community-based learning
  • Writing-intensive approaches
  • Experiential learning
  • Co-curricular learning
  • Field-based learning

 

If you have a proposal that you believe would fit into the series in one of its three project areas, or if you have any questions about the series, please contact Richard Robbins at [email protected], or Luis Vivanco at [email protected]

13 Series Titles

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Violins Local Meanings, Globalized Sounds

Violins: Local Meanings, Globalized Sounds

1st Edition

By Pamela A. Moro
December 03, 2018

Violins: Local Meanings, Globalized Sounds examines the violin as an object of meaning in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, and as a vehicle for introducing anthropological issues. Each chapter highlights concepts as taught in lower-level anthropology courses, and includes teaching and...

Seafood Ocean to the Plate

Seafood: Ocean to the Plate

1st Edition

By Shingo Hamada, Richard Wilk
August 28, 2018

Seafood draws on controversial themes in the interdisciplinary field of food studies, with case studies from different eras and geographic regions. Using familiar commodities, this accessible book will help students understand cutting-edge issues in sustainability and ask readers to think about the...

Love Letters Saving Romance in the Digital Age

Love Letters: Saving Romance in the Digital Age

1st Edition

By Michelle Janning
June 28, 2018

In today’s world of Tinder and texting, do we write and save love letters anymore? Are we more likely to save a screenshot of a text exchange or a box of paper letters from a lover? How might these different ways to store a love letter make us feel? Sociologist Michelle Janning’s Love Letters: ...

The Baseball Glove History, Material, Meaning, and Value

The Baseball Glove: History, Material, Meaning, and Value

1st Edition

By David Jenemann
June 07, 2018

The baseball glove is a ubiquitous item, a crucial piece of equipment in the game of baseball, and it offers the opportunity to examine the production of material culture and social practice at numerous levels. Where and how is a glove made, and how does its manufacture square with the narratives ...

Persian Carpets The Nation as a Transnational Commodity

Persian Carpets: The Nation as a Transnational Commodity

1st Edition

By Minoo Moallem
May 30, 2018

Persian Carpets: the Nation As a Transnational Commodity tracks the Persian carpet as an exotic and mythological object, as a commodity, and as an image from mid-nineteenth-century England to contemporary Iran and the Iranian diaspora. Following the journey of this single object, the book brings ...

An Anthropology of Money A Critical Introduction

An Anthropology of Money: A Critical Introduction

1st Edition

By Tim Di Muzio, Richard H. Robbins
March 23, 2017

An Anthropology of Money: A Critical Introduction shows how our present monetary system was imposed by elites and how they benefit from it. The book poses the question: how, by looking at different forms of money, can we appreciate that they have different effects? The authors demonstrate how ...

Coffee Culture Local Experiences, Global Connections

Coffee Culture: Local Experiences, Global Connections

2nd Edition

By Catherine M. Tucker
February 02, 2017

Coffee Culture: Local experiences, Global Connections explores coffee as (1) a major commodity that shapes the lives of millions of people; (2) a product with a dramatic history; (3) a beverage with multiple meanings and uses (energizer, comfort food, addiction, flavouring, and confection); (4) an ...

Re-imagining Milk Cultural and Biological Perspectives

Re-imagining Milk: Cultural and Biological Perspectives

2nd Edition

By Andrea S. Wiley
December 02, 2015

Milk is a fascinating food: it is produced by mothers of each mammalian species for consumption by nursing infants of that species, yet many humans drink the milk of another species (mostly cows) and they drink it throughout life. Thus we might expect that this dietary practice has some effects on ...

Reconsidering the Bicycle An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing

Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing

1st Edition

By Luis A. Vivanco
February 14, 2013

In cities throughout the world, bicycles have gained a high profile in recent years, with politicians and activists promoting initiatives like bike lanes, bikeways, bike share programs, and other social programs to get more people on bicycles. Bicycles in the city are, some would say, the wave of ...

Alcohol Social Drinking in Cultural Context

Alcohol: Social Drinking in Cultural Context

1st Edition

By Janet Chrzan
January 07, 2013

Alcohol: Social Drinking in Cultural Context critically examines alcohol use across cultures and through time. This short text is a framework for students to self-consciously examine their beliefs about and use of alcohol, and a companion text for teaching the primary concepts of anthropology to ...

The World of Wal-Mart Discounting the American Dream

The World of Wal-Mart: Discounting the American Dream

1st Edition

By Nick Copeland, Christine Labuski
December 18, 2012

This book demonstrates the usefulness of anthropological concepts by taking a critical look at Wal-Mart and the American Dream. Rather than singling Wal-Mart out for criticism, the authors treat it as a product of a socio-political order that it also helps to shape. The book attributes Wal-Mart’s ...

Lycra How A Fiber Shaped America

Lycra: How A Fiber Shaped America

1st Edition

By Kaori O'Connor
February 02, 2011

"The Anthropology of Stuff" is part of a new Series dedicated to innovative, unconventional ways to connect undergraduate students and their lived concerns about our social world to the power of social science ideas and evidence. Our goal with the project is to help spark social science ...

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