—David Hoffman, Mississippi State University
These "Thin Partitions" explores the intellectual and methodological differences that separate two of the four subdisciplines within the field of anthropology: archaeology and cultural anthropology. Contributors examine the theoretical underpinnings of this separation and explore what can be gained by joining them, both in university departments and in field research.
In case studies highlighting the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration, contributors argue that anthropologists and archaeologists are simply not “speaking the same language” and that the division between fields undermines the field of anthropology as a whole. Scholars must bridge this gap and find ways to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration to promote the health of the anthropological discipline. By sharing data, methods, and ideas, archaeology and cultural anthropology can not only engage in more productive debates but also make research accessible to those outside academia.
These "Thin Partitions" gets to the heart of a well-known problem in the field of anthropology and contributes to the ongoing debate by providing concrete examples of how interdisciplinary collaboration can enhance the outcomes of anthropological research.
Contributors: Fredrik Fahlander, Lilia Fernández Souza, Kent Fowler, Donna Goldstein, Joseph R. Hellweg, Derek Johnson, Ashley Kistler, Vincent M. LaMotta, John Monaghan, William A. Parkinson, Paul Shankman, David Small