Social Space on and off the Pool Deck: Storyslamming Anthropology

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In 2017 ThisAnthroLife podcast hosted an experimental panel at the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference which explored the questions of why public anthropology cannot be written and shared in an accessible, topical, and relevant fashion? Rather than writing dense jargon filled treatises, what if we shared our ethnographic and anthropological insights in a lively, exciting, or dare I say, popular manner? Margaret Mead’s “Coming of Age in Samoa” published in 1928 captivated readers, a more recent example of palatable popular anthropology are the writings of David Graeber. Graeber’s (2019) writings consist of rigorous ethnography yet sit in the space between “pop-science” and academic monograph. His writings and others (Harari 2015; Diamond 2017) attest that the public hasn’t stopped wondering about what it means to be human in the contemporary world and in history. Taking up the challenge of creating captivating and insightful scholarship by navigating between writing for a lay audience and the rigours of academic complexity, this Storyslamming presentation aims to immerse the listener into the social space of competitive swimming in and amongst youth swimmers in the south east of England.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021
EventA BSA Postgraduate Forum Regional Event: Engaging Publics: Creative Ethnographic Methods & Representations - Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Mar 2020 → …


ConferenceA BSA Postgraduate Forum Regional Event
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period27/03/20 → …


  • Anthropology
  • Social space
  • storyslamming
  • sport


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