Seeing Finance in 360°

Hey there TAL listeners!

Aneil has been working on a project centered on capturing the experience of working in finance with a fellow anthropologist and a filmmaker in London, and wanted to share it with you. Check it out:

Visualizing Finance: An Anthropology and Film Collaboration in London

Hi everyone, Aneil here. While Adam and Ryan have been holding things down at This Anthro Life (And managing our awesome ongoing Patreon campaign to make TAL financially sustainable!), I have been off doing fieldwork in London amongst climate finance practitioners: people involved in an emerging sector of finance dedicated to shifting capital into investments that could help humanity adapt to and mitigate climate change. Lots of cool stuff that I’m sure you’ll all get to hear about in future posts.

Now at This Anthro Life, we love to share anthropological knowledge in formation and in that vein, I want to tell you a little about a project that developed while I was in the field in the summer of 2016 with a fellow anthropologist/climate finance practitioner and a filmmaker.

I met Olivia Seddon-Daines in July 2016 through a colleague of hers who said I had to meet the fellow anthropologist he worked with. Olivia, who studied anthropology as an undergraduate and masters student, was working on a project to map the financial sector as a Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab, and we talked about how we could collaborate to communicate and capture through different mediums the everyday experience of life in finance. Our goal was to make this sector that has such a tremendous impact on our lives more transparent to society at large.

To this end, Olivia introduced me to Katherine Waters, a filmmaker and Masters student at the London Film School, and we thought that a first project could be capturing the everyday of financial work on Level 39, a financial technology innovation hub in Canary Wharf, London.

With a 360-degree video camera, Katherine recorded locations throughout Level 39, at all times of day and in all directions. She captured white collar employees busy at work on their laptops, computers, smartphones, and paper, as well as sunsets and the static noise of air conditioning and monitors. The videos produced were divided into approximately 2-minute- clips and uploaded to YouTube.

Now that the videos are online, I thought that it would be a good time to record a quick reflection on the project, and give you, the TAL audience, a chance to experience the videos and give us feedback as we continue to develop this work: Listen to my reflection on the project with Olivia here.

Check out a sample of the 360 videos on Katherine Waters’s website and for the full display of the Level 39 videos click here.

Let us know what you think, and any thoughts you might have on finance as an industry and its impact on your world. This is an ongoing project so we are very welcome to suggestions about what to do next.

[email protected] | @AneilT || @_kwaters_

Cheers! Aneil

If you like what you’re listening to be sure to check out our brand new crowdfunding campaign with Patreon. We’re excited to announce that we have already surpassed our first goal of 10 patrons, who are most certainly keeping the website up in running! Check out our Patreon page and help support us.

As always, TAL is brought to you in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association, the The SfAA Podcast Project, and SAPIENS.

Cover image courtesy of Ben Gebo Photography

TAL Goes to the Smithsonian

Hey Listeners!

We are incredibly excited (and humbled) to announce that This Anthro Life is partnering with the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to head to DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year! We’ll be there June 27-July1 and July 4-8 on the National Mall.

As part of AAA’s awesome World on the Move: 100,000 Years of Human Migration initiative, TAL’s Adam Gamwell will be heading to Washington DC for the Folklife Festival to record and create new content for future podcasts!

Adam will be working on site with the AAA’s Leslie Walker throughout the festival to conduct interviews with festival presenters, local experts, museum curators and guests. We will be bringing you a new short run series that details the diverse cultural experiences and worlds of humans on the move. The festival focuses on Armenia, Catalonia, and African Fashion, so there will be a huge diversity to the stories we collect and share.

If you’ll be in DC, hit us up, it’s always great to say hi :).

Checkout the new Festival On the Move Landing Page here for more information. Hope to see you in DC!

Lessons on Social Difference from an Ancient Maya City | Ryan Collins | TEDxBrandeisUniversity

Hey Listeners, we wanted to share some news. As you have probably noticed, TAL has been slow to post as of late. Both Ryan and Adam have finished their dissertations (and Adam defends in one week!). But, TAL has remained busy behind the scenes developing and producing new content. In the meantime, we wanted to share that Ryan gave a TEDx Talk at Brandeis University in April. The talk is live on YouTube now! We’ve shared the video for you here, check it out.

TEDxBrandeisUniversity was great to let Ryan have this incredible opportunity. Sharing our passions and curiosity with public audiences is central to the goals of This Anthro Life. Ryan’s talk begins by asking what lessons we can learn from the ancient past on mediating social difference today. To answer this, Ryan defines social difference and how we recognize it in various forms. To balance social difference, Ryan also draws attention to the causes that bring communities together.

At the heart of this conversation are rituals of social solidarity – collective events which bring communities together under a common cause to express a core value. Today, such events are visible in the March for Science, the Women’s March, and other movements. Believe it or not, we see similar events having played out in the past as well. Studying such events, how rituals of social solidarity as well as communities changed, over long time scales can grant insight into how we can reflect on the causes which bring us together and inadvertently separate us.

If you enjoy this talk then you should also check out the other great talks from TEDxBrandeisUniversity which are all live now on the TEDx YouTube channel! This was an outstanding group and each of them deserve to be watched. Go check out the TEDx Youtube Chanel to show your support!

Contact Us

Contact Adam and Ryan at thisanthrolife -at – or individually at adam -at- or ryan -at-

Find us @thisanthrolife on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

You can download and listen to all our content on Apple Podcasts or on  and be sure to leave us a review.

This Anthro Life is an official collaborator with the American Anthropological Association, The Society for Applied Anthropology, SAPIENS, and EPIC. Be sure to check them each out for more insightful and thought provoking anthropology content.

Patreon is a crowdfunding platform where you can directly support This Anthro Life. And we need your support. Patreon helps us keep going to pay for things like our website. We’ve brought you over 100 episodes so far to over 40,000 subscribers. Read more about TAL + Patreon here. We’re trying a first push to get 10% of our subscriber base to give a dollar or more a month to TAL. If you get something out of TAL, will you help put something back in? Think of TAL as your new favorite publicly funded media source.

Why the World Needs Anthropologists

We are excited to announce our new international media partnership with the Why the World Needs Anthropologists Conference. This is an amazing group of applied, teaching, and practicing anthropologists who are dedicated to demonstrating the value and applicability of anthropology to the contemporary world.

Their theme this year is “Design the Future” and focuses on the emerging field of Design Anthropology.

Check them out on social media, and we hope to see you in Lisbon this October!

Why the World Needs Anthropologists Conference Site



Celebrate World Anthropology Day with Your Voice!

In celebration of World Anthropology Day (Feb 16) send us a brief tweet (@thisanthrolife) with #whyweanth OR an audio clip (no more than 30 seconds) of why anthropology is important to you? What is its value? What does anthropology help you see or do? Why is anthropology good for the world?

Send in your submission by end of day Feb 15 and we’ll pick our favorites and share them in a compilation! So let’s here it for you…

Cooking Up an International Market for Quinoa – photo essay by Adam Gamwell and Corinna Howland on SAPIENS

Hey there in Anthro Land, we’re thrilled to let you know TAL’s Adam Gamwell and Corinna Howland have published a feature photo essay on everyone’s favorite food – quinoa on SAPIENS. The article digs into the creation of new dishes using agrobiodiverse quinoa and the challenge of working with international demand. You can check it out below. Please enjoy, share, and help us spread the good word!

Cooking Up an International Market for Quinoa

As always if you love TAL, please consider making a small donation to us securely over PayPal. Patreon coming soon! [wpedon id=”2386″ align=”left”]

FreeThink #1: TaL Back in the Studio! What’s Next??

IMG_8528Adam, Aneil, and Ryan are all back in the TaL studio for the first time in 18 months! And it feels good. Today we talk shop about where we’ve been and where we’re going with TaL. Check out the conversation on evolving the show content with new episode lengths and direction (same great content, shorter, more-digestible bites) and new minisodes based on Adam’s growing obsession with design and applied anthropology offering you practical ways to apply anthropological thinking and action to your daily life, and professionalizing our craft with new partnerships with the American Anthropological Association among others!

We’re super excited to be back for you and can’t wait to build this new season along with you!

Talking Anthropology: Podcasting and Its Potential for the Discipline (Part Two)

IMG_0369We’re back with another post from our friends at Teaching Culture blog! This time we explore podcasting and its potential for Anthropology. Here’s an excerpt, and be sure to head over to Teaching Culture blog for the full post!

“This second entry has been much more difficult for us to write than the first. We came in with an idea that this would give us an opportunity to concisely tell a story about the promises podcasting brings anthropology. Too soon we came to realize our narrative was as broad as it was vague. Rather than working entirely from an unpolished framework (this was only somewhat true, really), we came to realize that anthropology is difficult to define because it doesn’t have clear boundaries. By definition, anthropology is the study of all things, people, and social relations everywhere and everywhen. On the one hand, anthropology is the field that begins and ends with people at its very core. Yet, on the other hand, the boundaries between anthropology and, for example, astrophysics become blurred because it’s nothing more than one version of our own cosmology. As much as it is challenging, this openness is useful for anthropologists and the stories they can tell through podcasting.

IMG_0368For its part, podcasting is a flexible medium encompassing audio and video recording, and production can range from barely edited open-format conversations to fully produced episodes with edited interviews, sound effects, and sponsors. What links the diverse formats of this medium are the characteristics of a serial format, subscription-based service, and democratized production.

Employing audio recording in anthropology isn’t new. Many anthropologists use audio and video to record interviews with informants, their own thoughts or reflections, and occasionally the soundscapes of field sites. On many occasions audio and video are used in formalized settings to record lectures and talks. However, podcasting takes this one step further, moving into relatively uncharted territory to not only collect data, but deliver that data in a flexible narrative format to a discipline uncomfortable with fixed, rigid structures.

Drawing from these broad strokes we’ve found it most fruitful to put podcasting in conversation with anthropology and fieldwork to tease out how they might work together….”

Check out the full post here

Thanks again to Teaching Culture blog for hosting us! They are a great resource for educators interested in the social sciences, and especially anthropology.

Quick updates! TAL back in Boston! Burning Man mini-series, new articles, fresh episodes!

Hello dear listeners!

Adam hanging with his cow friends

Adam hanging with his cow friends outside Puno, Peru

Just a quick update on where TAL has been and now is. Adam is back from Peru! After an incredible 18-month fieldwork excursion into the world of quinoa, agriculture, and gastronomy he’s back among the Bostonians he holds so dear. Stay tuned for some upcoming episodes on fieldwork, quinoa, and what’s coming next from Adam. hint: Burning Man is about to become an awesome series of episodes co-produced with longtime collaborator Ben Gebo.

Ryan recently finished his fourth(!) field season in Yucatán, Mexico and is moving hardcore into analysis and writing. He’s got an incredible story about Maya history, culture, and architecture to tell you through bricks, fire pits, ritual objects and more. Get ready.

Aneil is just back from preliminary fieldwork in London working with green bond financiers. Super interesting stuff. Time to talk about the future of finance.

This fall we’ll three be back bringing you new and fresh TAL episodes plus some new goodies. We have a second article coming out courtesy of our friends over at Teaching Culture Blog on the promise of the podcast medium for anthropology and social sciences. Will post the link as soon as it is out!


much love and very excited to kick up the fall 2016 season!

Adam, Ryan, and Aneil