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Michael D. Fischer is an anthropologist who has worked mainly in the Punjab and Swat in Pakistan, and the Cook Islands. His major interests are in the representation and structure of indigenous knowledge, cultural informatics, and the interrelationships between ideation and the material contexts within which ideation is expressed.

Fischer is Professor of Anthropological Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kent and is currently Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. After a misspent youth in the music and computer businesses in Memphis and Austin, he became an anthropologist, doing his doctoral research in Lahore, Pakistan on arranged marriages. Following his doctorate at UT Austin, in 1985 he joined Kent as Lecturer in Anthropology and Computing. Fischer promotes the use of computers in anthropological fieldwork, with his fieldwork mostly in Pakistan and the Cook Islands. In 1986 he initiated the first interactive anthropology resource on the IPSS network, which was viewed by the Queen in 1988. Fischer is thus occasionally referred to by students at Kent as the only person at Kent who has met both the King and the Queen. In 1989 he became Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing at Kent. In April 1993 he initiated the first anthropology web site, which became the Ethnographics Gallery in January 1994. In 2005 AnthroGrid was initiated in hopes it will someday become a major resource for anthropologists, perhaps through the thin veneer of AnthroSpace in coming years.

Email address: M.D.Fischer@ukc.ac.uk

Surface Mail:

Department of Anthropology
The University of Kent at Canterbury
Canterbury, CT2 7NS
United Kingdom

Tele: +44 1227 823144/823942
FAX : +44 1227 827289

Michael Denley Fischer

Degrees.

  • B.A.1974, M.A 1980, Ph.D. 1986, University of Texas, Austin, Texas in Anthropology and Linguistics.

Posts and Positions.

  • 2005 - Professor of Anthropological Sciences, University of Kent.
  • 2002 - Reader in Anthropological Sciences, University of Kent.
  • 1993- Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent.
  • 1990- Director, Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent.
  • 1985-92 Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent.

Selected Publications

  • 1991 Fischer. M. and A. Finkelstein. A case study in social knowledge representation: arranging a marriage in urban Pakistan, in Qualitative Knowledge and Computing, eds. N Fielding and R Lee. Sage. (with A. Finkelstein)
  • 1994 Applications in Computing for Social Anthropologists, ASA Research Methods Series, Routledge.
  • 1994 "Modelling Complexity: Social Knowledge and Social Process". in When History Accelerates: essays on the study of rapid social change ed. C. Hann.
  • 1995 "Computer-assisted Ethnographic Research". in Information Technology in Social Sciences Research, ed. R. Lees, UCL Press.
  • 1997 Fischer, M., O. Kortendick and D. Zeitlyn. The APFT Content Coding System.. CSAC Monographs, Canterbury.
  • 1998 Counting Things and Interpreting Ideas: Anthropological Conventions in the Use of "Hard" Versus "Soft" Models, in Postmodern Applications to Natural Resources Development. ed. M. Fischer, CSAC Monographs, Canterbury.
  • 2000 Fischer, M. and W. Lyon "Model Marriage in Pakistan". Kinship and substance in South Asia. ed. Rao and Boeck.
  • 2002 "Indigenous knowledge and Expert Knowledge in Development". The contribution of indigenous knowledge to economic development, ed. Silatoe and Bicker. Harwood.
  • 2002 "Integrating Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Culture : The "Hard" and the "Soft"`. R. Trappl (ed), Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 1. Vienna.
  • 2002 Classification, Symbolic Representation and Ritual: Information vs meaning in cultural processes R. Trappl (ed), Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 1I. Vienna.
  • 2002 Bharwani, S., M. Fischer and N. Ryan 'Modelling Adaptive Dynamics and Social Knowledge' R. Trappl (ed), Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 1I. Vienna.
  • 2002 Fischer, M., O. Kortendick and D. Zeitlyn. The CSAC Context Coding System.. CSAC Monographs, Canterbury.
  • 2002 Zeitlyn, D. and M. Fischer `Ritual, ideation and performance: A Case Study of Multimedia in Anthropological Research - the Mambila Nggwun Ritual' R. Trappl (ed), Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 1. Vienna.
  • 2003 The CSAC Context Coding System. with O Kortendick and D Zeitlyn. CSAC Monographs, Canterbury
  • 2004 'Integrating Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Culture : The "Hard" and the "Soft"'. Cybernetics and Systems.35:2/3 pp147-162
  • 2004 'Culture and Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Emergent order and the internal regulation of shared symbolic systems' Cybernetics and Systems Research 2004
  • 2005 Culture and Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Emergent Order and the Internal Regulation of Shared Symbolic Systems, Cybernetics and Systems: an International Journal. 36(8), pp. 735-752.
  • 2005 Fischer, M, S. Lyon and D. Read 2005. Introduction (to Cultural Systems issue), Cybernetics and Systems: an International Journal. 36(8), pp. 719-734.
  • 2005 Kinship Algebra Expert System (with Dwight Read). A computer program and documentation for formal modelling of kinship terminologies and the simulation of populations that under these models. http://Kaes.anthrosciences.net. CSAC Monographs, Canterbury.
  • 2006 Configuring Anthropology, Social Science Computing Review. 24(1), pp. 3-14.
  • 2006 Configuring Anthropology (special issue editor), Social Science Computing Review. 24(1).
  • 2006 The ideation and instantiation of arranging marriage within an urban community in Pakistan, 1982?2000. Contemporary South Asia 15(3) pp 325-339.
  • 2006 ?Cultural Agents: A Community of Minds?. Engineering Societies in the Agents World VI. Oguz Dikenelli, Marie-Pierre Gleizes and Alessandro Ricci (eds). Lecture Notes in Computer Sciencee 3963 pp 259-274. (Springer-Verlag)
  • 2006 Lyon, Stephen M. & Fischer, M.D. 2006. Anthropology and displacement: Culture, communication and computers applied to a real world problem. Anthropology in Action 13(3): 40-53.
  • 2008 The Internet and the Future of Social Science Research. in Online Research, (eds) N. Fielding and R. Lee. Sage, London.
  • 2008 Cultural dynamics: formal descriptions of cultural processes. Structure and Dynamics. v3:1.
  • See also http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk

Grants

I have received grants from the ESRC, AHRB, SERC, MRC, HEFCE, JISC, Leverhulme and Nuffield, on topics including ethnography of Pakistan and the Cook Islands, formal analysis, multi-media databases, coding methods, virtual reality, performance and large scale networked databases, historical anthropology and textual markup

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