Mediated Cultures

TEDxNYED. Every year I take the stage in front of hundreds of students under the auspices that I am to teach them “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” that not-so-humble study of all humans, in all times, in all places. For me, it is the opportunity to pull back a curtain and open a window to the world. Like many teachers, I have dreams of shaking them to their core, inspiring a total transformation in how they see themselves and others. I want to help them understand what it is to make a life, not just a living … to see something in themselves they had not yet seen, to reach across vast cultural differences and say “yay” to it, to inspire an intellectual throwdown within themselves, to wrestle their new self out of the grasp of their old self, to accept and even embrace failure as a natural part of this ongoing transformational process, to see deeply, beyond the surfaces, to see connections they had not seen, patterns they didn’t think to seek. I want them to leave my class as open, daring, caring, creative, collaborative, self-motivated and voracious learners.


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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