In March of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis precipitated an abrupt and unplanned shift to online instruction that is unlikely to completely reverse once the pandemic retreats. Thus, the academy and, by extension anthropology, stand at a COVID-19 accelerated crossroads between a corporeal tradition, a “virtual” present, and an unknown but transformed future. This article briefly explores existing tensions of anthropology and the academy online with the aim of informing a reflexive, equity-minded, and viable way forward. I draw from personal experience, empirical inquiry, and extant literature to examine the challenges and opportunities of online education, with a view to the potential future(s) of anthropology online. Issues explored include institutional trends and imperatives to go online, faculty resistance, student engagement, and the role that online instruction may play in disrupting/maintaining inequities in higher education.



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