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Introducing AAA Summer Intern – Katie Patschke

Katie Patschke

My name is Katie Patschke and I was selected to be a summer intern for the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art through AAA member donations. At the American Anthropological Association I am researching anthropologists and writing biographies that AAA will soon feature. I am currently working on a project with my co-worker Josh Anderson to promote National Anthropology Day through student outreach and advertising.

At the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art I am a curatorial intern where I am working under the supervision of Christine Kreamer on a research project called Creativity of Work that is going to be the foundation for a future exhibition, book, or short film. The research topics included Kongo power figures, masquerade performance, occupations, farming, healing, cooking, art of sacrifice, and gender theory. Through this experience I intend to expand my knowledge of research methods to one day conduct my own research for cultural anthropology regarding gender role issues. I am hoping to continue working for the National Museum of African Art post-graduation in December 2014.

I have lived in DC for two weeks now and have had the opportunity to explore a lot of what DC has to offer. I have visited the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the American Art Museum, the National Zoo and Georgetown cupcakes. I live with 11 other interns who work on Capitol Hill. Every weekend we go out and explore the city of DC. Last weekend we celebrated the 4th of July on the mall. All of us agreed that it was the best firework display that we had ever seen. I also had the opportunity to try out hot yoga and a cycling class. The city is very walkable so every morning I am able to run down the mall to the Lincoln memorial or the white house. I have met a few Washingtonians who all seem to be very helpful and friendly. I am enjoying DC and am looking forward to spending the rest of the summer here.

Anthropologists Uncover Harrowing Statistics On Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

A majority of researchers have knowledge of, been victimized by, or have observed sexual harassment while conducting fieldwork, based on an online survey sample of 666 respondents just published in PLOS One by Kathryn B.H. Clancy (U Illinois-Urbana-Champaign), Robin G. Nelson (Skidmore College), Julienne N. Rutherford (U Illinois-Chicago), Katie Hinde (Harvard U) (Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault).

The study revealed that the majority of those targeted for harassment and assault were undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers. In fact, “women trainees were disproportionately targeted for abuse, with women more often targeted by someone superior to them in the field site hierarchy. We worry this is at least one mechanism driving women from science,” said Dr. Clancy. Dr. Rutherford points out that “previous work by other researchers has shown that being targeted by one’s superior in the workplace has a more severe impact on psychological well-being and job performance than when the perpetrator is a peer, suggesting that women may be even more burdened than men by the phenomenon of workplace sexual aggression.”

In response to the team’s preliminary report at the April 2013 meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) issued a statement declaring zero tolerance for sexual harassment in academic, professional, fieldwork or any other settings where our members work. While the AAA does not have adjudicatory authority over these matters, our Statement of Ethics: Code of Professional Responsibility sets out our clear expectation that anthropologists “…have a responsibility to maintain respectful relationships with others. In mentoring students, interacting with colleagues, working with clients, acting as a reviewer or evaluator, or supervising staff, anthropologists should comport themselves in ways that promote an equitable, supportive and sustainable workplace environment.” Dr. Nelson added, “In many instances, our participants reported a lack of knowledge regarding institutional policies or appropriate reporting channels when misconduct occurs. These results suggested that, in effect, many researchers were ill-equipped to advocate for themselves or others in cases of harassment or assault.”

The AAA has a long-term commitment to improving the status of women in anthropology, and maintains a standing Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology. The Committee is currently developing an educational initiative to better serve members, “Addressing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Anthropology.” Committee Chair, Dr. Jennifer Wies, Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University, is leading this initiative. “Anthropologists have been researching and responding to sexual violence and sexual harassment in the field and at home for decades. The continued emphasis on this issue reminds us of the importance of proactive and effective prevention efforts and intervention strategies,” said Wies in an interview earlier today. Dr. Hinde concludes, “The discussion that emerges from the results published in PLOS One today provides an opportunity for our professional communities to come together and effect solutions to improve the experiences of our trainees and colleagues.”

 

 

 

 

Introducing the 2014 AAA Summer Intern – Joshua Anderson

Joshua Anderson

Hello, my name is Joshua Anderson. I am one of two college students that received the 2014 American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) Summer Internship. I would first like to thank all the donors who made this possible, my advisor at Minnesota State University Mankato, Dr. Ronald Schirmer, for helping me with the application process and recommendation letter, as well as Dr. Heath Anderson for providing me with the information about this internship.

I am also interning with the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) for three days out of the week. During the first week of my internship with the NHHC I was tasked to read some selected literature to get familiar with Underwater Archaeology. I have also been helping with getting equipment ready for a future survey that will be conducted shortly after I leave. Some of this equipment has not been used for a few years and needs some of the kinks worked out to make sure that there will be no problems when it is collecting data. As my internship continues, I will be working more with the equipment and getting some hands on experience in the lab learning the curation and preservation process.

For two days during the week I am at the AAA office working with another intern, Katie Patschke. The first day was full of meetings. We met with each department within the AAA office. This was a huge help in getting to know everyone in the office and what their job was. We have also been working on biographies of some well know anthropologists that will be used to acknowledge their accomplishments.

When I am not working I have been enjoying the sights of Washington D.C. I have visited almost all of the Smithsonian museums and explored most of the area around Capitol Hill. When working in the AAA office I like to treat myself to a movie after I get off work. The movie theater has very comfortable reclining seats which make for a good place to relax and wind down for the day. I have also been enjoying all of the varieties of food and festivals that D.C. has to offer. I was able to go to the Folk Festival that the Smithsonian puts on in the National Mall. I learned a lot about the history and culture of both Kenya and China, and was able to try some of their authentic food. It was delicious.

I would like to thank all the donors once again for making this happen and I look forward to getting as much experience as I can during this internship.

NEH Budget At Risk – Your Action Needed!

Today’s guest blog post is by NHA Executive Director, Stephen Kidd.

Dear Humanities Advocate,
This morning, the House subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities proposed to fund NEH at its lowest level since 1972. If enacted, this $8 million cut would bring NEH’s funding level to just $138 million for 2015.
It is time to stop the steady erosion of NEH’s capacity!
The subcommittee will be voting on the proposed cuts tomorrrow, so it is essential that you act now. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to oppose the proposed cut to the NEH.
Click here to send our message to your Representative today. They are waiting to hear from you.

Thanks for your help!

Best regards,
Stephen Kidd, Ph.D.
Executive Director
National Humanities Alliance

2013 AAA Annual Report

The 2013 AAA Annual Report is now available online.

2013 AAA Annual Report

 

 

American Anthropological Association Pioneers Digital Book Review Process

An innovative new platform for producing scholarly book reviews will be developed with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) announced today. “The new platform will reduce editorial turn-around time and expense, increase readership, and introduce dynamic content,” said Oona Schmid, AAA’s publishing director.

Using the current print-centric process, only a small fraction of books mailed out by presses results in a published book review. And even among these published reviews, they often appear at least one year – and sometimes up to four years – after a book’s publication. By using a completely digital workflow, the AAA will provide book authors with a wider audience and an opportunity for social engagement, as well as reducing costs for scholarly presses and the journals featuring reviews.

“Using digital information technology to improve the book review process is a potential game changer for academic publishing,” says Josh Greenberg, Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Scholarly Communication program. “It’s better for authors. It’s better for reviewers. It’s better for publishers. And most of all, it’s better for science, because it encourages and supports the debate, discussion, and evaluation that is the cornerstone of good scholarship. We’re honored to support the American Anthropological Association’s efforts to bring scholarly book reviewing into the digital age.”

The platform will expand the open source Open Journals System from the Public Knowledge Project. Once released, the platform will be available to any discipline or journal using OJS software. Freie Universität Berlin provided PKP with the original iteration of the Objects for Review plugin, and provides active guidance in the prototype development. Publishers will upload book descriptions into the system along with digital versions that will be electronically available to authorized reviewers. Reviewers will then upload their reviews into the database for approval and eventual publication online at the award-winning Anthropology News website.

Five university presses pledged early support of the platform, with more expressing great interest – University of Chicago Press, University of Nebraska Press, University of New Mexico Press, University Press of Colorado, and the University Press of Florida. The presses emphasized the need for improvements in the existing process. Darrin Pratt, Director at the University Press of Colorado, is looking forward to helping pioneer this “radically new workflow for scholarly book reviews.” Pratt notes, “the slow turnaround for book reviews in academic journals…is maddening for university presses.” He can recall titles that were reviewed so long after publication that the books were no longer in print. Pratt’s counterpart, John Byram, Director at University of New Mexico Press, also echoes frustration with the timely process. Byram anticipates “that these efforts will result in a more efficient, cost-effective, and accessible workflow process for a wide variety of international stakeholders.”

“This is an exciting time for publishing,” said Schmid. “The Sloan Foundation is providing the means for participating publishers and the Association to catalyze book reviews into a vibrant part of scholarly discourse.” Work will begin immediately to build the platform’s prototype version. By mid-2015 the prototype and new process with undergo evaluation to determine areas of improvement.

The prototype is expected to launch later this year.

Read more about the initiative in an article by Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle for Higher Education.

Voting on the 2014-2015 Webinar Series

As many of you know, the AAA has begun a monthly webinar series exploring the many facets of anthropology– both in professional development and topical studies.  We’re taking a little break for the summer, but look to start up again sometime in the Fall.  The professional development webinars have been pretty much ironed out, we’ll be dishing out advice on publishing your first journal article, presenting at the annual meeting, utilizing SPSS (and other quantitative software) in grant proposals, and developing a field blog (as well as many other useful topics).

However, we’ll be implementing something new in this phase: two webinars a month. The second webinar will focus on topical subjects, and we need your help to determine areas of interest.  I’ve set up an open ended survey on All Our Ideas.  What does this mean? It means, the AAA staff had a few ideas we thought would work out pretty well, but obviously the possibilities are endless, so if you want to see something happen, write it in, and other people will be able to vote on it just the same.

Since we’re basically setting up an open Mic, I would ask that people remain cordial and serious in this endeavor, no profanity in potential webinar titles.  We’d rather not take any ideas down, but if absolutely necessary we will. These choices should also be more thematic realms, rather than specific ideas– as once the voting is completed, we’ll then have to go search for someone interested in doing a webinar on the subject. It is not the AAA’s responsibility to track down your favorite anthropologist for a Q&A, but we’d be happy to run a webinar about the field of anthropology he or she works in.

You’ll find the survey here: http://www.allourideas.org/2014aaawebinars.

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