Happy 2016 Everyone!

Happy New Year

We’re back – and full of energy for YET another exciting Allegra year! We hope that your break was enjoyable and relaxing (and do not  tell us that you spent all of it on checking proofs, like rumor has it that some of us did!)

What does this year hold in store for us? Why, we’re glad you asked! And of course you already know the answer: if we – Allegra’s humble moderators – knew, then this would hardly be Allegra!

In other words, like you, we are preparing ourselves for yet another year’s worth of ‘bizarre intellectual magic carpet ride’ that our beloved website has come to embody, boldly embracing its journey into horizons that we have not yet even dared to imagine.

However, this is not to say that there are no  plans – on the contrary! Even as we write these very words, we are scheming toward numerous thematic weeks. A gazillion – or thereabouts – reviews are being prepared.

This much is certain: year 2016 will be a year of collaborations! This was evidenced already by the BANG that set this year in motion, namely our popular writing contest with SAPIENS that will accompany us throughout this year.

Thus, if you think that you are the next Margaret Mead – please stand up and send us your stuff! (Please, no things).

What about this week? Tomorrow we wish to set things going by reminding everyone, ourselves included, just what is the vision guiding Allegra, and how we see this vision in light of both the current university crises as well as the crises of journalism.

We do so by revisiting a post we published as Allegra was re-launched last February – indeed, it is difficult to even recall that this time last year we were still operating on Allegra’s previous online platform. It was dear for sure, but by that time already technically and aesthetically far behind the reality that Allegra ‘the experience’ had become.

Thus we just have to say, once again: Michel&Michel – you sure designed one kick-ass website for us!

We look forward to developing the website even further this year, including the AVMoFA Jukebox & Allegra TV!

Tomorrow’s post includes also a plea for support – something that remains an issue to address, seriously. We remain as enthusiastic as ever about Allegra, but realistically running something this active solely on volunteer basis has its limitations.

We hope that 2016 allows us to professionalize key elements around the site so that we can become continually more effective in sharing ‘anthropological gospel’ with the world!

Happy New Year 2016

On Wednesday we offer yet another reminder of why this might be a good idea as we return to a theme that we simply cannot seem to escape: the global university crises. This time we do so via an angle that is painfully familiar to most of us: rejection.

Given how common experiences of rejection have become in today’s academia, one would think that one grows used to it. But no, it hurts just as much every time.

The post addresses a topic of crucial importance linked to rejection, namely the growing reliance on anonymous reviewers in the academia. Compellingly the post argues that this has greatly detrimental consequences on the continued vibrancy of the academia.

Simultaneously the post introduces a new author category to Allegra: Anonymous. Of course, strictly speaking, this category is not a total novelty as often – quite intentionally – we leave, for example, the opening words accompanying thematic weeks without distinct authors.

There is also a fair number of editorial comments on Allegra without identified authors. As we have noted from the beginning, this embodies likewise one of our central intentions: to challenge in direct and implicit ways the ‘single solitary genius’ myth that, sadly, is becoming increasingly prevailing in the academia via different funding schemes insisting that a ‘PI’ is identified.

As all academics know, this is simply not how things are done in reality – all good thoughts are in some way or another the result of collaboration! We want to remind everyone of this via our insistence to leave certain posts without authors.

There are also moments when writing under the safety of a pseudonym has purposes of different kinds in the continually deteriorating conditions of the academia.

Thus, get in touch with us if you wish to be our next anonymous author – we promise not to tell anyone about it!

On Thursday we take a trip down memory lane, and revisit some highlights from the past year. What were your favourites? Let’s just say that we are very pleased to share this list. Join us in discovering just what was the Allegra Top 10 (or thereabout) for 2015! We can hardly wait to see what the favourites of 2016 shall be!

On Friday – for the first time in a while – we’ll feature an AVMoFA, namely ‘a picture of a house’ by Allegra’s editor Miia Halme-Tuomisaari.

This AVMoFA has been prompted by the words of one of her professors who always reminded that when an anthropologist enters the field, she should always first draw a house. The eye of the newcomer will be sensitive to features that the old-timer will forever be blind to, and thus these fresh impressions are a crucial accompaniment to later, more profound analysis.

In reality the house in question features a context that is not really supposed to be her fieldsite, but rather a new academic context in which she will be a visiting scholar for 2016. Yet, as she concludes, there is no ‘outside’ anymore as the academia has become thoroughly penetrated by the outside logics of the surrounding world that academics are supposed to study.

What is the logical consequence thereof? To become an ethnographer of the academia.

Warm welcome aboard – we are overjoyed to have you join our ride for 2016! Let’s see where this shared journey shall take us!

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