My online Ohio State University class in Cultural Anthropology began today. We can download the textbook for free, but I’ve ordered a paperback copy of it, because I don’t like to read things at length from a screen if at all possible. Here’s our textbook:

The author, Michael Wesch, is a professor at Kansas State University whose major fieldwork has been done in Papua New Guinea. Our local instructor at Ohio State is Harold “Butch” Wright, a PhD student who has spent 18 years in Manaus, Brazil, in the Amazonian rainforest. Here is Butch with a young friend in Brazil:

Butch Wright

The class is going to be a lot more active and “hands-on” than I had expected. Basically, we are going to be working as novice cultural anthropologists for the next six weeks. The introduction to the course says:

You cannot think your way into a new way of living;
you have to live your way into a new way of thinking.

This is the idea behind Anthropology 2202. You learn to try new things, make connections, and ask questions about yourself and the world. The course will take you out of the classroom and from behind the computer into the real world.

It is really a 14-week course, compressed into six weeks, so things are going to be rather hectic! Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we will be doing all of our interviews with people onine, so that’s a bit different from the usual way the course goes.

The first thing I need to do is to figure out how to download the course app onto my phone. I think I’ll go work on that now!