The dust storm kicked up over the dropping of the word “science” from the introduction to an internal long-range planning document reminded us that there are still a lot of anthropologists who still call themselves scientists. But how many anthropologists still call themselves “poets”? Rereading Recapturing Anthropology I came across a reference to this Pat Caplan article where she says
it is perhaps not insignificant that quite a number of American anthropologists are poets.
Is that still true? I asked on Twitter and was told that the Society for Humanistic Anthropology has poetry readings at the AAA (or at least used to) and that they still publish poems in their journal. So at least there are still some poets in anthropology, but were they a much bigger presence in the eighties than they are now?
Perhaps we need to write poetry into the long-range plan?