Tag Archives: New Things

Announcing: Anodyne Anthropology, LLC




adjective: anodyne

  1. not likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.

“anodyne New Age music”


noun: anodyne; plural noun: anodynes

  1. a painkilling drug or medicine.

Way back last Spring I wrote about being terrified about all the things that were to come after I and my family moved back to North Carolina from our year of living in Kingston, UK.   I have not entirely gotten rid of the fear that now that I no longer have an institutional affiliation, no one will want to work with me.

An antidote to that perspective is currently having not one but two sets of people who have actually hired and want to work with me as a consultant, as well as previous work that is still unfolding. And one thing that I am doing to make this sort of thing more likely is making official my long-time partnership-in-crime with Andrew Asher, in a venture we are calling Anodyne Anthropology LLC.  You can decide which of the dictionary definitions we will actually resemble, if at all.  

We are excited about what this means for our future work–a chance to connect ourselves and our collective expertise with those who are curious, who need us, who would find us interesting and useful.  We are anthropologists who also have considerable experience at this point in our careers doing applied research and assessment work in libraries and higher education. Our field sites have included several locations in the US, the UK, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia, and a variety of kinds of institutions (large, small, well-resourced and not, those with a research emphasis and those who are teaching focused).  Our network includes librarians, anthropologists, instructional designers, educational technologists, user experience researchers, and others. We want to bring all of those experiences, skills, and connections to bear on behalf of our clients.

What are we offering?  Here’s our first stab at a menu:

  • Original research:  interviews, observations, practice mapping, and multi-modal ethnographic research for insights into behavior, motivations, and next steps including assessment, time allocation, and space design.
  • Qualitative data collection coordination:  facilitate fieldwork conducted by in-house people, supervise and support.
  • Qualitative data analysis:  taking already collected data, identifying themes, writing report and recommendations, including possible next steps.  
  • Mixed-methods research and assessment:  how to use qualitative data to contextualize and better inform the use of quantitative data.
  • Workshops:  qualitative methods training and exploration, practice mapping and reflection for strategic planning, instruction, space planning, and digital development

Interested?  There are a few places online to find me, and Andrew.  You can find our CVs here and here. We are working on getting a separate web presence for Anodyne Anthropology, but in the meantime we’ll be communicating with potential clients via our individual presences on Twitter and our emails.  We look forward to working with you!