With a new project and new visitors to the blog I thought it was about time I updated the info about myself. Please read on.

My name is Benjamin Manktelow and I’ll be honest with you, I won’t tell you everything, but whatever I say will be truthful.

I’m from London, the south east, Greenwich in particular, but I don’t sound it. There’s a ‘london’ accent, one which I am only able to identify recently, and I don’t sound like that. But just because I don’t drop all my h’s, t’s and th’s when I speak doesn’t mean I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth or went to school with a top hat.

Why I’m here reading this to you: Ideas: the why’s and how’s of the world, especially the people within it, at any point in time, fascinate me. Thats why I’m an anthropologist, I study being human in any way i find interesting or relevant. There is so much going on here, there, everywhere and i haven’t even finished examining, and enjoying, a single molecule of it yet.

Right now I have two long(ish) term research projects:

(1) The first is building a new framework for how, and what it means, to study the material history of humanity. I am doing this by dis-unifiying the discipline of archaeology and seeing what I find. It is the differences, conflicting ideas, and what is between the cracks of the different approaches to humanities material history that most excites me. This way of investigating archaeology means we have to change how history is talked about and (re-)presented. – The beginning of this research will see the light of day through my MPhil thesis currently in preparation.

(2) My second project is the contexts, people and stuations that gave rise to the cybernetics movement, and I am doing this with Matt Webb. At the time of Cybernetics something special seemed to be happening, but appears lost to the here and now. Many of the ideas and insights seem to have been either fed into other things or subverted. My aim is to plumb the depths and find out what happened. – See this post for details