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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.

2014 AAA Photo Contest

If you could define your work in a single picture, what would it look like?toy-camera125x100

AAA members work all around the world, in the most diverse cultures imaginable, and we want to showcase them.  If you attended the annual meeting last year in Chicago, you may have noticed a calendar waiting in your complimentary bag with some truly gorgeous pictures—drawing not just from cultural anthropology, but also archaeology, linguistic, biological and political fields.

We’d like to do it again this year, drawing from a new batch of photographs provided by you, our membership.  Photographs can be anything you believe relates to your work; the photographs may not portray any nudity or illicit activity.

Contestants may submit their work in one of three categories: people, places, practice.  Along with your photograph, include a caption for your work, and a brief autobiographical statement of no more than 150 words.  Your biography will not affect your likelihood of being featured in the calendar—we just like to learn a little bit more about our active members. Photographs must be your own, and you must be a current member of the AAA.  Winning photos in the calendar will be printed at 11×8, so be sure the resolution is good enough to print at those dimensions.

For complete contest details and submission information, click here.

2014 AAA Photo Contest

If you could define your work in a single picture, what would it look like?toy-camera125x100

AAA members work all around the world, in the most diverse cultures imaginable, and we want to showcase them.  If you attended the annual meeting last year in Chicago, you may have noticed a calendar waiting in your complimentary bag with some truly gorgeous pictures—drawing not just from cultural anthropology, but also archaeology, linguistic, biological and political fields.

We’d like to do it again this year, drawing from a new batch of photographs provided by you, our membership.  Photographs can be anything you believe relates to your work; the photographs may not portray any nudity or illicit activity.

Contestants may submit their work in one of three categories: people, places, practice.  Along with your photograph, include a caption for your work, and a brief autobiographical statement of no more than 150 words.  Your biography will not affect your likelihood of being featured in the calendar—we just like to learn a little bit more about our active members. Photographs must be your own, and you must be a current member of the AAA.  Winning photos in the calendar will be printed at 11×8, so be sure the resolution is good enough to print at those dimensions.

For complete contest details and submission information, click here.

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