In the Bay Area, “move fast and break things” is pervasive, as is “fear is the disease, hustle is the antidote.” These slogans map onto the egregious wealth inequalities that drive our everyday anxieties and aspirations. But pressures to deliver and innovate in Silicon Valley echo the demands of higher education: We can take lessons from anthropology’s shifting approach to work in order to support the types of work and life in the Bay Area that we deserve.
Public and feminist anthropologists use multiple modalities to remap the traditional distinctions between university and community through rigorous scholarship and a commitment to social justice.
At my current institution, a group of interdisciplinary faculty gathers every so often to talk about ways to “decolonize” our syllabi. In our meetings, we discuss how the use of “decolonize” remains fraught and even nonviable given our location on stolen land, and I share with them anthropologist Yarimar Bonilla’s use of “unsettling colonial logics and institutions” (2015) as a modus operandi for thinking about and engaging in such efforts.