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December 17, 2014: Mastering the Campus Visit with Karen Kelsky

December 17, 2014: Mastering the Campus Visit with Karen Kelsky

karen

Dr. Karen Kelsky is the founder and principal of The Professor Is In, a blog and business dedicated to helping Ph.D.s turn their advanced degrees into jobs.  A former R1 tenured professor in Anthropology, and department head in the Humanities, Dr. Karen demystifies the unspoken rules that govern university hiring. In addition to blogging on every aspect of the job market, from building a competitive record and planning a publishing trajectory, to writing job applications, interviewing, and negotiating an offer, Dr. Karen works directly with clients on their individual job searches.  She also has a book in press with Random House, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job.   It comes out August 4, 2015.

In this webinar, I walk you through the basic expectations and potential pitfalls of the dreaded Campus Visit (sometimes called a Fly-Out) in Anthropology.There will be time for Q and A at the end, so bring questions!

We will examine:

 -The basic organization of a campus visit  -The job talk and Q and A
 -The single biggest pitfall for candidates  -The teaching demo
 -The initial arrangements and scheduling  -Handling meals gracefully
 -Preparing for the visit  -What to wear, especially in cold weather
- Meetings throughout the day

This amazing webinar is complimentary so register here, the password is “anthro”. And be sure to put it on your calendar so you don’t miss it.

“Why I signed” (the petition for academic boycott of Israeli institutions)

Guest blog post by AAA member,  Steven Caton (Harvard U).

I have not been a fan of boycotts in the past, so why did I change my mind?

The Gaza war in June and the continuing settlement finally made me reconsider. All the hand wringing over the Palestinians and pronouncements critical of Israel and its policies were doing absolutely no good. I spoke to a number of colleagues and friends, two of them Israeli, and two of them not (no Palestinians I regret to say) about the pros and cons of the proposed boycott, and after contemplating what they said for several weeks, I finally decided to sign. In other words, I did not take this action lightly. I have thought longer and harder than ever about questions of academic freedom that boycotts raise, and whether it’s impossible to distinguish between boycotting institutions and individual scholars, as it is claimed by boycott opponents.

Let me try to tackle the issue of academic freedom first. Opponents of the boycott argue that the freedoms of individual academics will be jeopardized, Israeli, Palestinian, and even scholars like myself who might “self-censure” by not publishing in journals supported by Israeli academic institutions, and that the boycott will not only be counter-productive but wrong in principle. It’s hard for me to buy this argument, when the range of academic journals, publishers and internet sites are so numerous and various as to make it possible to communicate one’s research outside the boycotted venues. A more reasonable concern is whether by not attending Israeli conferences or not teaching in Israeli classrooms, one is weakening these institutions to the point where they will see a cut-back in support for, say, anthropology, and thus do damage to the discipline inside the country as well as to individual anthropologists working in these institutions who are critical of Israel’s policy towards Palestinians and other marginalized groups within the country. Or conversely, that I am denying the possibility of my own speaking out within Israel against Israel’s policies and the university system that supports them. Let’s face it, even if we were given the chance to make that point or debate it, it would be dismissed as a personal view. I’d rather forego the opportunity to debate the issues within Israel, where these things tend to get coopted or marginalized in any case, and align with my colleagues in condemning what I think is unjust, which I think is a much more powerful tactic.

Speaking more abstractly, there is the “infra-structural” or “material” argument that says academic freedom is dependent on certain conditions being operative, and of course I have to acknowledge the merits of this argument in that Palestinian scholars are being deprived of the material infra-structure they need to exercise their academic freedoms within Israel. Am I therefore being illogical by arguing that two wrongs make a right? That if Palestinians are being denied their academic freedom, then so should Israelis and others working in Israeli institutions?
The answer to that question gets to the other, whether it is possible to distinguish between institutions and individuals. The boycott does not say that an Israeli (or non-Israeli) working or teaching or otherwise doing research at an Israeli institution of higher learning ipso facto will be boycotted, it only says that the institution will be. Impossible to make this distinction in practice between institutions and individuals? Again, I have a hard time believing that it is impossible; difficult, at times, perhaps, but certainly not impossible. I have supervised several Israeli students and otherwise closely advised or mentored others, all of whom fall within the spectrum from right to left on the question of Israel’s policies, and I don’t see my practice changing. The question is the intellectual merits of the individuals and the proposed research, and also the degree to which the project is critical of existing injustices that fall within the scope of the topic. I suppose I can only make this judgment on the basis of the facts of the application but that is only all we ever have before us when making collaborative decisions such as these. Might the research I collaborate with be used later to support the oppressive policies of the Israeli state? Perhaps. But all of us take this risk with the research we publish once it is in the public domain. So, would I accept to work with a student (Israeli, Palestinian or other) from an Israeli university whose project explores a research topic within, say, Israel, but also looks at the question in a balanced way deploying critical anthropology at its best? Yes, absolutely I would work with him or her. Where I would have a problem is with someone who seems not to be aware of or averse to pushing a critical perspective, or is simply an apologist for one side or the other in the conflict. Where I would also have a problem is accepting an invitation from that student’s home institution to give a lecture or teach in the classroom.

To those who say there are better ways to address the very injustices that they too want to change, I ask that you please put them forward so that we can debate the proposal and decide whether we should support it. Give us the alternative. To those who say the boycott is ineffective, then propose something that is. To those who say that it will do more harm than good, it is hard to imagine how the present state of affairs can possibly be worse. But I hope the debate will allow us to explore what are obviously difficult and thorny issues.

The 2014 Annual Meeting Mobile App has arrived!

Print I’m sure you’ve all be waiting with baited breath for the official release of this year’s annual meeting mobile application.  There are quite a few search-ability enhancements you’ll all appreciate. Be sure to take advantage of the communication and scheduling options as well.

I wanted to take some time specifically to address an issue we had last year, which was availability to recently registered attendees.  While we would like to provide you with instantaneous access to this amazing app, it isn’t always feasible.  I won’t bore you with details, but there will be a lag between the time you’ve registered and the time you have access to the mobile app. With any luck this will be mitigated to an hour or so. If you go a day without having access to the mobile app, then you might want to contact one of the staff (who will probably direct you to me).  You patience during this process is greatly appreciate, as we are a constantly evolving (and hopefully improving) association.

For example, I just ran the attendee list. So if you registered after 11/24/2014, then you will likely not be on the mobile app list until the next update is done, which will be tomorrow.

Without further delay, you can pick your app up on the iTunes Store or the Android Store. We don’t have a Windows App or one for Blackberry, but if there’s enough of a demand, I’ll try and get something together for next year.

New booklet and installation showcase popular anthropology

Today’s guest blog post is by Erin Taylor and Gawain Lynch.

Where are anthropologists publishing these days? Most of us probably know that Gillian Tett writes for The Financial Times and Sarah Kenzidor for Al Jazeera. Paul Stoller has a column in The Huffington Post, and there is also the AAA’s Huffington Post blog. We occasionally stumble across various other articles penned by anthropologists.

A couple of years ago we began searching for anthropology that is written for a public audience. We now have a rather long and impressive list, and we’ve only just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Around the world, we’ve found anthropologists publishing in places like The Guardian, The Conversation, Nigerians Talk, the Jamaica Gleaner, The Big Issue, O Magazine, Psychology Today, Scientific American, and many more.

But most of use aren’t aware of the extent of popular writing that anthropologists do – not even those of us who do it ourselves. This limits anthropology’s’ potential public voice.

We can change this by learning more about who is doing popular anthropology and by building connections between us.

First, if we share each other’s public work, we help to lift anthropology’s public profile. This helps anthropology have an influential voice in society. It also helps us as individuals: greater visibility for anthropology means that it will be easier to make our own voices heard.

Second, if we know who is writing for the public, we can learn from them. There are many anthropologists who believe that public communication is important and we write regularly on our own blogs. But these have a limited audience, and it’s hard to figure out how to take the next step. We need more avenues for mentorship and learning.

Third, if we network and collaborate as popular writers, we have a stronger bargaining position when it comes to our promotional committees and workplaces, who might not see the value in writing for the public. Most of us who produce popular anthropology do so as individuals. This makes it difficult to convince our workplaces need to understand that contributing to anthropology’s public profile has many benefits. But a show of force can change how popular anthropology is valued.

How do we do this? As a first step, we are running an installation at the AAA meetings in Washington D.C. on Friday 5 December. It will feature short talks by Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, and Greg Downey. We’ll show a video of interviews with popular anthropologists, produced by Natalia Reagan from the BOAS network. And you’ll get to participate, too, as the bulk of the installation will be taken up by a Town Hall meeting.

In preparation for our installation, we’re pleased to launch “Showcasing_Popular_Anthropology”(PDF), a compilation of short articles published in newspapers and blogs. It includes contributions from Sarah Kenzidor, Joris Luyendijk, Keith Hart, Dori Tunstall, Susan Blum, Helen Fisher, Vito Laterza, Olimide Abimbola, Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, Greg Downey. At the back is a list of further reading to help you learn more about who is doing what and where.

This is just the beginning of the conversation, and taking it further will require a collaborative effort. So, if you will be in Washington D.C., come along and tell us what you think we can do to help popular anthropologists to join forces. If you can’t make it to the AAA meetings, you can still get in contact with the many anthropologists who are doing public work. Communicating among ourselves is an important step on our path to communicating with broader publics.

Practicing, Applied & Public Anthropology: Sessions of Interest

Today’s guest blog post is by the Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA). NOTE: All rooms are at the Marriott Wardman Park, unless indicated otherwise. Check program for NAPA-sponsored workshops and to confirm times and places of listed sessions.

Wednesday, December 3

Paradox and Resolution in Consumer Research
8 pm—9:45 pm Delaware Suite B

Thursday, December 4

Producing Anthropology and Tourism: Practicing Anthropologists in the Tourism Sector
11 am—12:45 pm Roosevelt Room 5

Spinning Anthropology in the Anthropocene: Integrating Theoretical & Applied Approaches to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change
Part 1 9am—10:45 am Marriott Balcony B Part 2 2:30 pm—4:15 pm Harding Room

Pathways and Approaches to Practicing Anthropology in Veteran and Military Health Services Research
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite C

Five Fields Update
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Delaware Suite B

Friday, December 5

9th Annual NAPA/AAA Careers Expo: Exploring Professional Careers
11am—4:00 pm Exhibit Hall C

Producing the Anthropology of Policy Across the Discipline
11am—12:45 pm Delaware Suite A (sponsored by CoPAPIA and ASAP)

Public Policy Forum on Indigenous Educational Policy in the U.S.
11am—12:45 pm Roosevelt Room 2

Producing Health Policy with Anthropology: Case Studies of Planning, Implementing & Evaluating Policy
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite A

Producing Anthropology in Evaluation: Connecting Culture, Equity, Value, and Program Effectiveness
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Marriott Balcony B

“Producing Anthropology” Through Community Engagement
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite C

Honoring J. Anthony Paredes (1939-2013): Ethnologist, Applied Anthropologist, and Friend
2:30pm—4:15 pm Wilson A

The Practice of Anthropology: Consider the Past, Focus on the Future
6:30 pm—8:15 pm Jackson Room

Saturday, December 6

Critical Issues in Anthropology: Constructing Local Practitioner Networks
9 am—10:45 am Washington Room 1 (sponsored by CoPAPIA)

Engaging Anthropology: Experiences from Scandinavia
9 am—10:45 am Thurgood Marshall East

Medical Anthropologists in Dept of Veteran Affairs: Our Network, Collaboration, and Methods
9 am—10:45 am Johnson Room

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Life in the Federal Government
9 am—10:45 am Thurgood Marshall South

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Private Sector Applications
11 am—12:45 pm Forum Room (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

NAPA Networking Event: Producing Connections through Conversations
1 pm—2:15 pm Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: International Development Opportunities
2:30 pm – 4:15 pm Roosevelt Room 5

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Student Experiences
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Roosevelt Room 1

Negotiating Public Policy: Actors, Knowledge, and Contested Political Fields
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Forum Room (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

But Is It Science? Producing Justice-Oriented Ethnography of Education for Varied Publics
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Palladian Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

Sunday, December 7

The Relevance of Anthropology: Using Anthropological Theory & Methods to Address Complex Questions
8 am—9:45 am Taylor Room

Research Methods, Media Campaigns, and Collaboration: Innovative Approaches in Applied Anthropology
10 am—11:45 am Marriott Balcony B

Understanding Community in the [Applied] Anthropological Context
12 pm—1:45 pm Marriott Balcony B

Negotiating Boundaries and Contesting Terrain: Anthropological Knowledge in Legal Settings
12 pm—1:45 pm Virginia Suite B

 

Making More Connections at Your Annual Meeting

Today’s guest blog post is written by Guven Peter Witteveen.

Conferences normally have consisted of formal sessions, informal shoptalk, and hatching ideas with a mix of well-known and new colleagues. The events last a few days and then the momentum fades a few days later when the catch up work at home faces you. With a view to extending the period of conference enthusiasm and contagious ideas, this year in keeping with the “Producing Anthropology” theme we would like to encourage presenters, attendees, and those unable to be physically present to share part of their work for a few days before the Annual Meeting, during events, and a few weeks after the conference. That way it will be possible to interact with the authors, ideas, and source materials beyond the face to face time of a given session.

Online services make it easy to share your presentation, abstract, bibliography and resource links, draft writings [marked not for citation], images and video or audio clips. The idea underlying this online initiative is for you to be in charge of your own material in full or in abbreviated form at a hosting place of your choosing (personal account, workplace webspace, or one of the free online services -see a summary of several usefully scholarly services at http://bit.ly/2013tools). Then you submit a link to that sharable material at a single, one-stop input form so that anyone can browse the resulting list of authors’ links and choose to interact with the thinkers and materials of their choosing.

Ultimately the authors of the materials who have uploaded their things will control how long the files are viewable, but the one-stop list of this Annual Meeting’s materials makes a simple way to centralize things. This project to gather links to your materials is not an archive. There is no permanence. That would be a job for archive.org. Instead this online page is intended to streamline the sharing of presented subjects and related materials in the run-up to the Annual Meeting and for a few weeks following the event.

So no matter if you are scheduled to present a numbered scientific session, speak at a round-table, create a poster session, or attend a section event on-site or off-site, please feel free to share your materials by uploading to a place of your choosing and then giving the link to the material at http://tinyurl.com/2014aaalinks or view the cumulative results submitted in the days to come at http://goo.gl/4Q6OZE.

Guven Witteveen belongs to Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) and works with colleagues to produce more and better outreach beyond campus. Some of his work is linked from www.linkedin.com/in/anthroview.

Over 300 Anthropologists Oppose a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

Today’s guest blog post is written by AAA member, David M. Rosen (rosen@fdu.edu).

More than 300 anthropologists have now signed a statement strongly opposing efforts by the political organization Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) and it supporters within the American Anthropological Association to organize a boycott of Israeli academic institutions (http://anthroantiboycott.wordpress.com). The goal of the boycott is to sever all ties between members of the American Anthropological Association and Israeli anthropologists, many of whom are also members of the AAA. A boycott will severely damage professional anthropological life, scholarly interchange, free speech, and free association. The boycott effort damages the American Anthropological Association by giving a partisan political issue center stage at the annual meetings. Finally, a boycott will create a discriminatory and hostile environment against Israeli anthropologists and anthropologists working in Israel, and a rift with many members of the American Anthropological Association who refuse to become collaborators in this process.

Boycott supporters offer a strange and dangerous theory of vicarious complicity to bolster their arguments. Israeli academic institutions, they assert, must be punished because, as institutions, they have not adopted public positions against Israeli government actions and policies with respect to the occupation of Palestinian lands. But no such idea of second- hand complicity has ever been applied to any other academic institutions. Many BDS supporters themselves come from universities that never took official positions against the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Indeed, many come from state universities that were major recipients of defense funding at the time that thousands of innocents were killed by US forces. Furthermore, when the American Anthropological Association voted to boycott the state of Arizona over its immigration laws, it did not target Arizona public universities and our colleagues in Arizona because Arizona universities did not take a public stand against such laws. We did not treat such universities as complicit simply because they did not act against state government actions and continued to accept funding from the state of Arizona.

Indeed, many Israeli academics, in their work within and beyond the university, are leaders in advocating peace, non-violence and the end of the Occupation. Our unique skills as anthropologists lie in examining and challenging the taken-for-granted while suggesting new perspectives and previously unimagined ways to subvert the violence of the status quo. We urge all anthropologists to consider the manifold ways in which anthropology and anthropologists might move forward in the search for justice and in striving for peace in Israel/Palestine. Boycotting and demonizing Israeli academic institutions and our Israeli colleagues is not one of them, and is in fact, counterproductive. We urge our colleagues to join the thousands of others in organizations such as the American Association of University Professors and Modern Language Association in wholly rejecting boycotts of academic institutions. Such boycotts are subversions of the academic freedoms and values. necessary to the free flow of idea in the anthropological community. Anthropologists interested in signing this statement can go directly to the petition at http://anthroantiboycott.wordpress.com/sign-the-statement or forward an email with your name and academic affiliation to anthro.anti.boycott@gmail.com.

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