About TAL

Our vision: “Crowdsourcing the human condition to inspire communication, foster wonder and generate empathy”

We’re podcasters and anthropologists on a mission: to inspire communication, foster wonder, and generate empathy through open format dialogues and conversations. We are inspired by Anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s claim that anthropology’s job is to make the world safe for human differences. Why does all this matter? Ecological and political crises that affect the entire world force us to recognize that there is no ‘outside’ from which we can just sit back and observe. Rising nationalism, resource shortages, rights abuses and migration plague many around the globe. We podcast to reveal the social processes and systemic violence behind these issues, bring to light the lives of people living these realities every day, and give listeners positive tools to better engage and thrive in today’s world.

The This Anthro Life family includes three doctoral students and three masters students, all studying anthropology. Our team has presented the work of TAL at multiple national conferences and is now officially collaborating with the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Additionally, This Anthro Life has published about podcast pedagogy on the University of Toronto Press blog Teaching Culture and has an upcoming month-long miniseries with the prominent international anthropology blog Savage Minds. We are thrilled that our 75th episode was released on January 25th, 2017. Our episodes run between 20 to 30 minutes – just long enough for a quick morning commute or a workout. In our weekly Conversations episodes our three hosts participate in an open-format dialogue with themselves or a guest, diving into the hidden worlds behind topics like protesting, beer, emoji, democracy through an anthropological lens.

We work between public, corporate/industry, scientific and academic cultures. These different social arenas provide an immense wealth of insight and data into human behavior, culture, social norms, and how we (create and) solve problems. But insight can often get buried inside complex language or lost in the contemporary flurry of digital and print publishing. The good thing is we are trained to deal with this kind of informational complexity and know how to turn observation into insight. We do the heavy lifting, sifting, and distilling for you. We make complexity manageable, put context before events, and demonstrate how to think holistically. And here’s the crucial point: we’re educators too. Like good math students, we show you our work, and how we got from A to B. Part of our work on TAL is to provide sources and detailed information about the authors, ideas, theories, and issues we cover on the podcast. You’ll find all this in the show notes of every episode.

In the future, we plan to expand our content to include vlogging and on-the-scene interviewing. By sending members of our team into the field we are staying true to our anthropological roots and providing our listeners with authentic voices and experiences. Youtube is another sector of the internet we would like to explore as Google predicts that 2017 will be the year of the video. In the short term, we recently began an audio series on applying anthropology that focuses on actionable steps listeners can use in their day to day lives, and hope to expand to video. These are shorter episodes (5-10 minutes) that are even easier to digest than our Conversations episodes.  

You can find us on iTunes and a number of other subscription services or download every episode to your heart’s content on the Downloads Page.

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