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JPASS – AAA’s newest benefit for members

In collaboration with JSTOR, AAA is pleased to offer you a special, discounted fee for JPASS, a new JSTOR access plan for individuals.

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Designed for those without institutional access to the JSTOR archival collections, JPASS is ideal for AAA members working outside of the academy. It is also valuable for faculty members at institutions with limited access to JSTOR, and for adjuncts with sporadic access to library resources. Regardless of your institutional affiliation, JPASS serves as your personal library card to the rich selection of journals on JSTOR.

As part of your AAA membership, you are eligible to purchase a 1-year JPASS access plan for $99—a 50% discount on the listed rate. JPASS includes unlimited reading and 120 article downloads to more than 1,500 humanities, social science, and science journals in the JSTOR archival collections, including American Antiquity (full text content from 1935-2010), American Indian Quarterly (full text from 1974-2007), Anthropological Linguistics (full text 1959-2010), and American Journal of Archaeology (full text from 1897- 2007). Click here to view the complete JPASS journal list.

Log-in to AnthroGateway. On your My Information Page, click on the JPASS to purchase this members-only offer.

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Statement by AAU Executive Committee on Support for the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Following is a newly released statement by the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities on the importance of the federal investment in research in the social and behavioral sciences. The Association of American Universities is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian research universities organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate and professional education, undergraduate education, and public service in research universities.

AAU logoOn behalf of the 62 leading research universities that make up the Association of American Universities, the AAU Executive Committee wishes to express its unequivocal support for federal funding of the social and behavioral sciences.

We make this statement now because of a number of disturbing actions indicating that some in Congress seek to relegate such research to a second-class status in federal research funding by imposing restrictions on it, or worse, barring federal funding of such research entirely.

These actions include a provision in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-6) that puts new conditions on the funding of political science studies by the National Science Foundation (NSF), a provision proposed in a House subcommittee but not included in P.L. 113-6 that would have barred economic health research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and recent communications from Members of Congress which have questioned the value of social science research grants awarded by the NSF and other federal research agencies.

We understand that there are significant constraints on the discretionary funds that support research and education, and we strongly believe that taxpayer dollars used to fund research should be spent wisely.  Indeed, AAU has long supported merit-based allocation of federal research funds as the surest means of supporting the best science.

Even in the context of federal budget constraints, we believe that actions by Congress to defund or stigmatize entire disciplines of research would severely cripple, in principle and practice, the federal government’s historically productive commitment to the funding of basic research across all disciplines.  The social and behavioral sciences – anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, linguistics, sociology, among others – have been funded by NSF, NIH, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies to directly support their missions by advancing fundamental new understanding of business and the economy, of human development and behavior, of groups and organizations, of other nations and cultures, and of our democracy and how it can be strengthened.  This research has been important to addressing the nation’s most pressing challenges in areas such as national security, education, commerce, health, energy, crime and public safety, and transportation.

For example, NSF-funded social sciences research has strengthened public safety by helping governments at all levels to prepare for and respond to natural disasters; made possible the development of life-saving kidney transplant exchanges; provided the Federal Communications Commission market-based auction tools for selling the electromagnetic spectrum to communications companies, maximizing both government revenue and economic use of the airwaves; provided the nation’s military with tools for educating personnel on nonverbal communication that is critical for troops working with non-English speaking citizens overseas, and compiled enormously useful longitudinal data in such areas as science, innovation, income and other economic indicators, political participation, health, violence, and social networks.

Insights and innovations from the social and behavioral sciences are no less valuable than discoveries in the physical and life sciences.  Moreover, interdisciplinary research engaging the social and behavioral sciences is producing new knowledge and understanding that would not have emerged from research within single disciplines.  In fact, many innovations and new technologies, such as touch screen tablets and mobile phones, rely upon knowledge and discoveries from the physical and life sciences combined with insights from the social and behavioral sciences.

The extraordinary success of federal research agencies such as NSF and NIH over the decades has been a result, in significant measure, of Congress providing strong funding of fundamental research across all disciplines based on proven merit-review processes and refraining from a political process of picking winners and losers among grants or disciplines. We urge Congress and the Administration to provide robust funding for federal research agencies without inappropriate restrictions, so that they can continue to fulfill their missions of supporting the full range of scientific research across all disciplines.

2014 Building Future Faculty Program Announcement

North Carolina State University will offer the 2014 Building Future Faculty Program on April 2-5, 2014. This is an all-expenses paid workshop for diverse graduate students and post-docs who are preparing for a faculty career. It is targeted to students who are currently about one year away from beginning a faculty job search. The workshop provides information about what to expect as a faculty member, the kinds of resources available to faculty for teaching, and the type of research productivity that is expected of faculty. During the workshop, participants spend time with faculty and department heads in their discipline discussing how to best prepare for this type of work, what the life of a faculty member is like, and receiving personal tips and feedback. The program aims to increase faculty diversity and inclusion.

Click here for more information about the 2014 Building Future Faculty Program is available at  along with the application form. Applications are due by November 10, 2013. For more information, contact Marcia Gumpertz (gumpertz@ncsu.edu).

Why Students Should Attend the AAA Careers Expo

Today’s guest blog post is by Kyle Simpson. Kyle is a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Memphis.

When I tell people that I am working towards a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, the question is always the same, “What are you going to do with that?” I usually laugh and tell them that after my MA I plan to get a PhD and then teach at a university. But the truth is, like many graduate students, I don’t know what jobs are available to anthropologists outside of the academy.

2012 Careers Expo

2012 Careers Expo

This is why I’m looking forward to attending this year’s AAA meetings in Chicago. I’ve never been to our profession’s annual conference but will be attending this year. The event I’m most excited about is the Careers Expo. Each year, the NAPA/AAA-CoPAPIA sponsored Careers Expo brings together a variety of professional anthropologists representing widely diverse career paths. They have found employment in government, private, and non-profit organizations. In previous years, there have been representatives from Veteran’s Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Yahoo, Sapient, State Farm, CRM firms like ACE and SRI, and anthropological consulting firms like LTG Associates. While it is not a job fair, the Careers Expo provides a great opportunity for networking with practicing/professional anthropologists. Until recently, I was unaware that most of the work being conducted by anthropologists takes place outside of the academy, but several studies have shown that the vast majority of anthropologists do not work in the academic setting. Therefore, it is important for students to get a better sense of what they can do with their degree. The Careers Expo seems like the perfect way to learn about the diverse career options for graduating MA and PhD students.

Attendees will be exposed to a variety of anthropological career paths and will also have the opportunity to talk to anthropologists who have made the transition from the academy to practice. This is a chance to ask questions about making that transition, why you should think about pursuing a career in practice, and how to prepare yourself before graduating for a career in practice. Because this is not a job fair, there is no pressure on attendees. This should allow students to feel more comfortable in their interactions with exhibitors because the environment is informal and the conversations are casual.

The Careers Expo is one of the most heavily attended events at the AAAs. I heard that over 500 people attended it last year and the AAA expects even more to attend this year!

This year the Careers Expo will be held on Friday, November 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall at the Chicago Hilton. To register, click here. I look forward to seeing you there!

Who Teaches the Teachers?

In 2008, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education surveyed more than 3,000 PhDs to help “assess the career paths of PhDs and the quality of doctoral education in U.S. social science programs.” Many of their findings are very interesting in their own right, but Table 17 is the starting point for this post: only 37% of the respondents reported that there was formal instruction in teaching available in their doctoral programs; fewer than that (34%) reported formal supervision and evaluation of their teaching.

This raises the question: How, where, and when do most anthropologists who go on to teach learn how to teach?

Assuming that the answer is that most anthropologists are self-taught in the ways of the classroom through failure and success, I thought our autodidacts might be interested in some resources.

This 1999 Science article offers some good reflections on the topic. Its suggestions for resources include: Talk about teaching with your colleagues.

For some, with limited departmental or extradepartmental possibilities, this is harder to do and these readers might want to check out the AAA Teaching Materials Exchange to help pool and share ideas. Contribute your assignments, ideas, and syllabus. Investigate new readings and fresh discussion ideas. Contact your fellow teachers.

For others, this chatter might be virtual. The RAI developed a teaching forum. A huge number of our members have blogs (Anthro Brown Bag, Living Anthropologically, and Neuroanthropology come to the fore of my mind because they have content on teaching) for exploring and honing pedagogical ideas.

In the meanwhile, maybe you want to share your story of how, where and when you learned how to teach anthropology.

Anthropology and Archaeology Resource Network

Have you added your gray literature to the Anthropology and Archaeology Resource Network lately?

These anthropologists added their working paper and have received more than 4,000 abstract views and 1,400 downloads.

The Resource Development Committee raised funds to support AAA members and anthropologists in sharing their research faster and more efficiently. With donations for the Gray Literature Portal, AAA has partnered with the Social Science Resource Network (SSRN) to create the Anthropology and Archaeology Resource Network (AARN).

Photo Courtesy of SSRN.

Last summer AAA Director of Publishing, Oona Schmid met with SSRN President Gregg Gordon to discuss this opportunity for anthropologists. Listen to their conversation to learn about how gray is the new black in scholarly literature.

Spring Internship for the Office of Science and Technology Policy

OSTP Student Volunteer Oct DeadlineThe Office of Science and Technology Policy is currently accepting applications for its Spring 2014 Internship Program.  The application deadline is 11:59pm Friday, October 4, 2013. Students who are U.S. citizens and who will be actively enrolled during the Spring 2014 semester are welcome to apply.

More information and application instructions are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/about/student/.

About OSTP.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy advises the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The office serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans and programs of the Federal Government.

 

About the Internship Program.  Interns are accepted for one of three annual terms (Spring, Summer, or Fall), which each last no more than 90 days. While these positions are without compensation, the assignments provide educational enrichment, practical work experience, and network opportunities with other individuals in the science and technology policy arena.

For questions, please contact Rebecca Grimm rgrimm@ostp.eop.gov.

AAA Back-In-Print Program

In response to member demand for out-of-print AAA works, the AAA Publishing Department is pleased to announce that it has inventory of the following titles:

Order your books through the AAA online store to purchase your books at the discounted AAA member rate.  Stay tuned for upcoming releases on the Back-In-Print Program webpage.

Not a member? Join today!

Teaching Materials Exchange

Looking  for new ideas and materials for fall term? Check out AAA’s new Teaching Materials Exchange.
Run a search by course, syllabus, keyword or even instructor. Or browse through the database of more than 90 syllabi and teaching tools.

Don’t forget to submit your materials to share as well.

Action Alert: Ask Congress to Support NEH

The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee released its FY 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill this morning with a 49 percent ($71 million) cut for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). If enacted, this funding level would devastate an agency that has already been reduced by 19 percent since 2010.

This drastic cut would end programs that provide critical support for humanities teaching, preservation, public programming, and research, and result in positive impacts on every community in the country. Programs supported by the NEH teach essential skills and habits including reading, writing, critical thinking, and effective communication that are crucial for ensuring that each individual has the opportunity to learn and become a productive member of society. Further, NEH’s programs strengthen communities by promoting understanding of our common ideals, enduring civic values, and shared cultural heritage.

The National Humanities Alliance has made it quick and easy to contact your Representative through their online form. Simply write to your Representative today and urge them to vote against these devastating cuts.

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