• 2016 AA Editor Search
  • Get Ready for the Annual Meeting

    From t-shirts to journals, 2014 Annual Meeting Gear Shop Now
  • Open Anthropology
  • Latest AAA Podcast

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 18,304 other followers

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.

2014 AAA Summer Interns Announced

Through generous member donations, two anthropology students, Joshua Anderson and Katie Patschke, will have the opportunity to spend this summer working with the AAA as part of the Association’s Summer Internship Program. They will also work with partnering host organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The students were selected from more than fifty candidates based on their field of anthropological interest, academic strength, and recommendations from their professors.

Joshua AndersonJoshua Anderson is a senior at Minnesota State University – Mankato, and majors in anthropology with an emphasis on archaeology. He has a technical degree in Honda and Yamaha motorcycle mechanics from Universial Technical Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Joshua has served in the United States Army Reserves for 12 years, serving two deployments. Currently, he is an instructor teaching Carpentry/Masonry courses as well as actively working as a field supervisor for a county-wide archaeological survey at Minnesota State University – Mankato. As an AAA summer intern, Joshua will intern with Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). NHHC is the official history program of the Department of the Navy. He will be working with the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the NHHC and will be conducting archaeological and historical research, synthesizing field information to prepare policy and case studies, as well as conserving artifacts and assisting with the inventory, management and artifact loan programs.

Katie PatschkeKatie Patschke, is a junior at Susquehanna University. She will graduate December 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Anthropology, and Studio Art. She is an active student leader who currently holds three president positions for clubs as well as being a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Katie will intern with the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and be placed in the museum’s curatorial department where her tasks would include research on gender theory and object-based work related to a future exhibition on the contributions of, and issues addressed by, African contemporary woman artists.

Both Anderson and Patschke will also spend a portion of their time at the AAA offices, where they will be working with the Association’s public education program, RACE: Are We So Different?, researching various pieces of Federal legislation and regulatory initiatives and sharing their internship experience with members in Association publications and social media.

The AAA Summer Internship Program is in its fourth consecutive year. The internship provides professional experience to anthropology students and assists in shaping the foundation of their anthropological careers. This program is fully funded through member donations.

Make a donation to the Summer Internship Program, today!

AAA Student Summer Internship – Applications due 3/15

The American Anthropological Association is pleased to offer two internship opportunities funded by member donations.

Internships are six weeks in length from June 30 through August 8, 2014.  Internships are unpaid however; interns will be provided housing and a meal/travel stipend.

Interns will spend approximately 40 percent of their time working onsite at the AAA offices in Arlington, Virginia, and the other 60 percent of their time working on-site at one of three locations described below.

Eligibility:

  • Undergraduate students in their junior or senior year
  • First Year Graduate students (completing the first year of graduate work by June 2013)

Visit the AAA Summer Internship Program webpage for the application. Application deadline is March 15, 2014.

Click here to support this Internship Program through a financial contribution.

Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at the National Museum of African Art

IMG_0045

Today’s guest blog post is by AAA Summer Intern, Jalene Regassa.

Earth Matters! That is the title of a current exhibition at the National Museum of African Art (NMAFA). During my first week as a curatorial intern at the museum, I walked through this exhibition as any tourist would do. I read some of the tablets explaining about the artists and their art works in order to get the general idea of the exhibition and how each piece fit into the bigger message. Of course, I was also trying to make use of my critical eye afforded to me by my Anthropology education. However, I left the exhibition feeling unsure about some of the pieces and wondering if I understood their meaning to the full extend. Lucky for me, I was not left to wonder for too long as I was given the opportunity to join a guided tour by the curator of the exhibition, Karen Milbourne.   It was surprising, exciting, and inspiring to discover the level of depth of meaning that each piece held on its own and within the context of the exhibition. I was amazed by the amount of research Ms. Milbourne had conducted in order to be able to present the art pieces in a meaningful manner that asserts their historical context and maintains their integrity.

Thus, for me, the most exciting part of my experience interning at the NMAFA has been discovering and learning about all the work that is involved in putting an exhibition together. As you walk through museums glancing at the spaciously displayed art works, it often seems as though they were effortlessly put together. Consequently, I never seriously thought about or realized the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing an exhibition. This internship allowed me to see the activities that take place behind the scenes of the museum in corners that I never knew existed. The staff members at NMAFA graciously organized a guided, behind the scenes tour of the museum for the interns and volunteers, in which we had the opportunity to learn about the various departments of the museum and their responsibilities. For instance, I had no idea that there was a wood workshop where NMAFA makes its own cases for displaying objects or a library where curators can find books and archived documents to conduct their research.

IMG_0087

From the conception of an exhibition idea to its realization it may take up to a year to finalize everything and open it to the public. The in-between processes include deciding on a theme, researching artists and their creations, acquisition of the art pieces (with plenty of paper work), and preparation of the exhibition area (which often includes painting walls and building special display cases). Though I got a glimpse of what everybody does, as a curatorial intern, my focus was on the curating process of an exhibition.

Fortunately, the project I am working on is in the beginning stages, so I have the great opportunity and pleasure of working with curator Christine Kreamer to help refine the exhibition plan and observe as it takes shape. This particular project aims to bring African American art from a very important private collection and present it in conversation with African art to highlight some of the common themes and issues that the artists addressed in their work.

My job is to conduct research on the art pieces that have been chosen to be displayed from the private African American Art collection and learn when, how, and why they were made. In other words, I need to find out about the artists and their motivations or sources of inspiration: What themes interested them? What issues did they seek to address? By doing so, I will assist in the selection of compatible African Art pieces to be included in the exhibition.

2meI thoroughly enjoyed working on this exhibition project for many reason. One of the main reasons is that I never had an opportunity to learn about African American Art from as far back as the 1800s before. Thus, it has been fascinating to not only learn about their art work but also their struggle to make it in their profession. Many of the African American artists became activists out of necessity to claim their right to equal treatment. Some were subtle and showed their activism through their art and others were overt as they established or joined organizations that worked to advocate for African American interests.  In many cases, understanding their struggles was essential in comprehending the depth of their work, titles, and comments.

Overall, this has been a wonderful and fascinating experience.

Graduating an Anthropologist: What I’ve Learned as a Summer Intern

Today’s guest blog post is the AAA/AFA Summer Intern, Rachel Nuzman:

Rachel2Long before graduating from Saint Mary’s College in May, though exponentially more as the date approached, I got asked the two questions most graduates dread but expect to hear: what is your major? And what are you going to do?  The assumption being that we, as recent graduates, will chose a profession immediately after graduation and that will be the job from which we one day retire. Or at the very least, we will magically know and somehow manage to land a job relevant to our degree. If they do understand that a life of research and travel might be in my future, the general public assumes that research will be on dinosaur bones.  While in DC I even had a roommate’s mom refer to me as the ‘bug girl ’.

Upon learning of my double major in Anthropology and English, and minor in Women and Gender Studies, it is usually and almost always automatically assumed that I will be a teacher.  And though academia is a commendable profession and one I would love to eventually fill, there is so much more to the humanities than teaching.  There are so many more options open to Anthropologists; not to mention what I believe to be is a natural a desire to do what you have devoted four years to, rather than simply teaching those same classes that inspired you to be an anthropologist in the first place.

Besides the additional perk of attending the AAA Staff Summer Outing to ArtJamz (the pictures featured here), my time in DC as a Summer Intern has been very rewarding. As an AAA and AFA Summer Intern, I have been working on a few very different projects.  The largest project is the one specifically for the Association for Feminist Anthropology (AFA) where I work closely with AFA President Jane Henrici to create a complete history of the association for its twenty-fifth anniversary.  Over the course of seven weeks I have been and will continue to conduct interviews with members and past leaders, as well as research AFA records at the National Anthropological Archives (NAA).  This means looking at the way the association’s purpose and focus has evolved over its twenty-five years as a section under the AAA, as well as the challenges specifically related to an association dedicated to the advancement of feminist and gender anthropology.  Looking at the association’s focus on the intersectionality of gender and race, as well as minority status, sexuality, income, and education, a history comes together that represents the founding mission of 1988, while showing its relevance today.  Incredibly, through one summer internship, and specifically this project I am able to use all three of my disciplines: an anthropological approach, English writing skills, and a women and gender’s studies lens.

Rachel1While at the AAA, I am working closely with AAA Professional Fellow Courtney Dowdall on a follow up project with past participants of the Leadership Fellows Program, which is allowing me the unique opportunity to interview anthropologists just starting or well into their careers, and learn what their advice is to recent graduates.  The interviews themselves are a learning experience as I apply concepts learned in methods and theory courses.  While in college, doing field research and conducting interviews sounds far off and exciting – mostly because it is, but what is hard to grasp is how long the process takes.  Coming up with the questions and the focal point is time consuming, not to mention the extra time taken to record the answers to those questions.  When a professor tells you that transcribing a fifteen minute conversation will take over an hour, you hardly think of what the consequences of this are.  It really does take time, not only because you are tasked with recording, but also how to represent those you are interviewing.  How true do you stay to their grammar or pauses? What is most important, getting their opinion and the overall meaning, or using their exact wording, ‘ums’, ‘likes’, ‘ahs’ and all?

While doing the important task of learning where past fellows are today and their ideas for strengthening the program, I am almost greedily soaking in their career paths, looking at where they have travelled, what they have researched, and what all they have accomplished.  This, coupled with my other project of compiling a list of graduates from Anthropology Departments associated with a larger program of Applied Anthropology, has led me to a wonderful world of CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

Though seemingly innocuous and routine, what this has done is created a long list of possible career options that I can take and use to answer those who ask, ‘what will you do as an anthropologist?’ Bolstering my new found wide-eyed approach to job searching is my temporary mingling with Washington Association of Professional Anthologists (WAPA) at a delicious happy hour.  Coming together with professional anthropologists to network is an opportunity I might not have had if not for learning about the program through my internship.  Though I did not walk away with a job to present to well-meaning inquirers, I did make connections and I did get introduced to other, non-conventional, anthropological career paths.

 

The Time is Now to Support the AAA Summer Internship

Campaign ThermometerThe summer interns will be arriving in just a few weeks.

The program is exclusively member funded and is now in its third consecutive year. While the interns are not paid, housing and a stipend to cover meals and  travel expenses during their internship is provided. It costs $4,000 per intern to provide this valuable opportunity for anthropology students.

Currently, we need to raise $1,974 dollars to reach our goal of $12,000 to support the three interns.

Donate online today!

Supporting the AAA Summer Internship Program

Campaign ThermometerThe summer interns will be arriving in just a few weeks.

The program is exclusively member funded and is now in its third consecutive year. While the interns are not paid, housing and a stipend to cover meals and  travel expenses during their internship is provided. It costs $4,000 per intern to provide this valuable opportunity for anthropology students.

Currently, we need to raise $1,974 dollars to reach our goal of $12,000 to support the three interns.

Donate online today!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,304 other followers