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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.

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Behind the Scenes at the National Museum of African Art

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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.

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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!

AAA Deadlines For This Friday

Friday, March 15th is a busy day here at AAA. The following deadlines occur this Friday:

AAA2013AAA’s 112th Annual Meeting submission deadline for Section Invited Sessions and Public Policy Forum proposals:

Visit the Meetings page for complete details and to submit your proposal. Click here for details and submission requirements.

The 112th AAA Annual Meeting will be held November 20-24, 2013 in Chicago, IL. This year’s meeting theme is Future Publics, Current Engagements. For complete meeting details, please visit the AAA Meetings webpage.

The AAA Summer Internship Program Application Deadline:

AAA Summer Interns 2011 005The American Anthropological Association is pleased to offer two internship opportunities funded by member donations and one internship opportunity funded by the Association for Feminist Anthropology for the summer of 2013.

Internships are six weeks in length from June 30 through August 17, 2013.  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.

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

And the following award nominations are due:

Margaret Mead Award
This $1000 award is presented annually to a younger scholar for a particular accomplishment such as a book, film, monograph, or service, which interprets anthropological data and principles in ways that make them meaningful and accessible to a broadly concerned public.

AAA Leadership Fellows
Awarded annually and established to provide a unique opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about AAA and leadership opportunities and to encourage future leadership in the association. A $500 travel subsidy will be provided to attend the annual meeting.

Anthropology In Public Policy Award (AIPP)
The AAA Committee on Public Policy (CoPP) is pleased to announce the establishment of a biennial award, the AAA Anthropology in Public Policy Award to honor anthropologists whose work has had a significant, positive influence on the course of government decision-making and action. Starting in 2013, this $500 award will be conferred every other year in rotation with the Kimball Award.

New Appreciation for Professional Anthropology

Today’s blog post is by one of our two summer interns, Eric Rodriguez. This is the second year of the AAA Summer Internship Program. Learn more and support the program today!

Eric Rodriguez here, one of two 2012 AAA summer interns. I am just reaching the midway point of my dual internship with the AAA and the Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) located in Washington D.C.

Reflecting on the first half of these internships, it amazes to me to see how far I have come in a short time span. Whether it is primarily the social or work environment, my understanding of Washington and professional anthropology has matured and increased my love for both the city and this career field.

These first weeks of the AAA internship have embedded a better understanding of the publishing and outreach programs of anthropology. As Susannah and I continue to work on our summer project, I have come to a personal understanding of the detail that is required to launch a nationwide campaign. When I review a budget or revisit proposals for the National Association of Student Anthropologists, I realize the inner workings of professional anthropology and how I can potentially see myself entering this area of anthropological work.

Conservation lab at the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

My new found appreciation for professional anthropology can be best captured by my time at the Naval History and Heritage Command. In the first weeks at the Naval Yard, my time was focused on more clerical work rather than conservation. I have had the opportunity to continue primary document research for the USS Scorpion and to assemble a lesson plan for high school students to learn about the opportunities and technologies that are available in maritime archaeology. I have also been able to continue sharpening my ArcGIS skills by assembling lithology, podology, and topographic maps for the USS Penobscot project in Rhode Island. While I highly enjoy working on these projects, I hope to spend the second half of the internship in the conservation lab directly working with the artifacts. I am especially excited to be working with Meshlab and Scanstudio softwares, as I have not been able to sharpen my skills with them since working with Dr. Davide Tanasi in Siracusa, Italy. The NHHC experience has only increased my desire to work in maritime archaeology whether it may be in an academic setting or in a professional atmosphere. The advice given to me by my supervisors has provided venues and potential job opportunities to continue practicing archaeology before enrolling in the MA—Maritime Archaeology program at the University of Southampton next fall.

Artifact storage center of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Living and working in DC has brought a new appreciation of the city. Growing up close to the DC area, I would often make family trips to the see the museums and tourist attractions of the city. While my family loved the area, I never fancied DC itself. However, my current experience here has changed that. Not only has the amazing work experience led to this realization, but also the opportunity to explore the various districts. One habit I have acquired is walking to and from my internships, trying never to take the same path twice. This choice has allowed me to appreciate the beautiful architecture and neighborhoods of Washington. Urban exploring always reveals the soul of a city and what I find to be the more enjoyable aspects of larger urban environments, cultural districts. By myself or with friends, I take great efforts to visit hole-in-the-wall restaurants and shops. A favorite of mine has been Busboys and Poets located in Columbia Heights, a must for anyone looking for a restaurant with a great atmosphere, open mic nights and fantastic cuisine. Thanks to venues such as this, I think it’s safe to say that this city has finally charmed me over.

As I continue to work and explore DC, I hope to continue gaining insight into professional archaeology and Washington as I may one day find myself working in this field and in this city once again. Until then, I will continue enjoying the rest of my time here both inside and outside of the workplace.

Ciao for now!
Eric Rodriguez

Introducing Eric Rodriguez, AAA Intern at the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval Heritage and History Command

Today’s guest blog post is by one of two AAA Summer Interns. This is the second year of the AAA Summer Internship Program. Learn more and support the program today!

Hello all,

My name is Eric Rodriguez and I am one of the two summer interns for the American Anthropological Association (AAA). For the next five weeks, I will be splitting my time between the headquarters of the AAA in Arlington,Virginia and in the Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) located in the Washington Navy Yard.

This past April, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Philosophy in Anthropology and History with a focus on maritime archaeology and Mediterranean history. For this degree, I published a thesis focusing on research conducted last summer under the supervision of Dr. Bryan Hanks of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Sheli Smith of the Partnering Anthropology with Science and Technology (PAST) Foundation. The shipwreck under study was the Austro-Hungarian vessel Slobodna located in Molasses Reef off Key Largo, FL. Using structural analysis and the interpretation of excavated artifacts and historic documents belonging to the ship and its time period, I was able to address the profitability of the vessel as it pertained to the unique circumstances that Austria-Hungary was situated in the 18th century. I drew from this experience a love for maritime archaeology that I would carry from that point onward.

Following my thesis defense, my professor, Dr. Kathleen Allen informed me of the AAA internship. Hoping to continue gaining experience in this field, I applied. A few weeks later, I received Damon Dozier’s call informing me that I was selected for the internship, which promptly led to dancing in the hallways of the anthropology department. A few months later, I found myself here in Washington,D.C.with my first week set an exciting pace that I’m sure will carry on in the weeks to come. I spent the first half of the week at the AAA, where I hope to gain experience outside of the research component of anthropology and into the public and publishing sectors. My first project for this internship is to boost student membership in universities, a task that I am quite sure Susannah and I are more than capable of completing.

On Wednesday, I made my way to the Navy Yard to intern at the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the NHHC. The purpose of the NHHC is to control and apply preservation and conservation on all sunken military craft and the artifacts that have been exhumed from these sites. After meeting the staff and other interns, my supervisor George Schwarz and I discussed some of the recent projects in maritime archaeology and shared personal field stories. Due to my strong background in the subject, I was given the opportunity to immediately join ongoing projects. One of my many responsibilities is to respond to inquiries concerning the history of vessels that have been recently discovered and identified.  This research has allowed me to gain insight into the designs and functions of many crafts such as WWII-era German U-boats and several confederate ships from the Civil War. My tasks are not solely research; they stem into public education as well. This first week I had to opportunity to prepare a lesson for high school students, introducing them to maritime archaeology. Some of the long-term projects I have the opportunity to assist in concern the USS Scorpion, which the 2011 AAA/NHHC intern had the opportunity to conduct research, and the Bonham Richard. The Bonham Richard has a special place in my heart as its famous Captain John Paul Jones and his battles aboard this ship have been a favorite of mine since childhood. It is truly an amazing privilege to be working with such vessels that hold great significance in American history and maritime archaeology.

Outside of my internships, I have done a great deal of exploring the lesser-known areas of DC, braving the recent heat wave. I am residing in one of the WISH Foundation’s Capitol Hill locations with interns from various regions of  the United States. With such a variety of people, I get a chance to understand different perspectives, something anthropology has trained me to enjoy. I’m sure my time with these individuals in this city will provide a fruitful experience that I will cherish for years.

I am very grateful to both the AAA and the NHHC for granting me the opportunity to continue gaining experience in the many aspects concerning anthropology and archaeology. I am anxious to continue working with these organizations and my supervisors and look to the next five weeks with great anticipation.

Eric Rodriguez
eric.rodriguez117@gmail.com

Susannah Poland, AAA Intern at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Today’s guest blog post is by one of two AAA Summer Interns. This is the second year of the AAA Summer Internship Program. Learn more and support the program today!

My name is Susannah Poland, and I am an intern for the American Anthropological Association (AAA). I divide my time between the AAA offices in Arlington, VA, and the curatorial department of the Smithsonian National Museum for African Art, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

I have a background in cultural anthropology, with an emphasis in studies of arts and creativity. I graduated this spring with a Bachelors of Arts from Stanford University, for which I completed an Honors thesis on beaded body adornment of the Chagga culture group in northern Tanzania. Under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Thompson, curator at the Cantor for the Arts at Stanford University, I explored museum collections and colonial archives in England, and conducted ethnographic research among the Chagga people. This work over the last 18 months exposed me to many of the methods and stores of information used by cultural anthropologists, and gave me a taste of the long, solo process of reflecting and writing on personal experience. Though my product was a thesis and an academic paper, independent curatorial work under Dr. Thompson and another Africanist curator in Stanford’s department of Art History helped me learn about alternative ways of interpreting and representing knowledge.

Emerging from this intense research and writing phase, I hope to take a step back and gain perspective on the breadth of anthropological work today. At the AAA, I am helping to expand their membership base, particularly in student communities. I will help the AAA better reach and address the needs of youth like me – those who are curious and excited about anthropology, still searching for their niche, and still developing a sense of the extent of the discipline and the possible reach/impact of its many applications. I am lucky that the AAA affords the perfect vantage for these explorations.

At the National Museum for African Art, I work under Christine Kreamer, the Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the museum. She is just starting the brainstorming phase for an exhibition and book on work by contemporary African women artists that address current issues in gender and feminist studies. As her research assistant, I am compiling and digesting literature on these topics to identify past and emerging themes,both in academic study and artistic practice.Together, Dr. Kreamer and I will choose a few important thinkers and artists to invite to a meeting in September, to further develop this project. My background research will help us frame and structure the forthcoming conversations, and I will help Dr. Kreamer begin to weave narratives between objects, performances, and writings. In this stage of early development, I will be exposed to the guiding principles which shape the creation of museum exhibitions and publications. My everyday process is unstructured, my research goals fairly abstract, and I have enormous resources to explore at the Smithsonian. I am honored by the autonomy and trust placed in me, and very eager to immerse deeply in this learning process.

Outside of the workplace, I am exploring DC and its environs. The AAA provides housing for interns on Capitol Hill, and I am lucky to be situated just behind the Supreme Court, on Constitution Ave NE. I am living with other interns from around the country, many of whom are working for senators or representatives. The AAA is involved in the regulation of ethical and human rights concerns in much legislation, and I have had very interesting conversations with my housemates about the intersections of our respective fields. I am learning about the value of anthropological thought as a source of social critique and deep inquiry, particularly in the rapid but impactful decision-making on the Hill.

I am fortunate to have this privileged view into professional worlds where anthropological thought is applied in meaningful ways. I feel very young in my studies, and am humbled by the earnest work of my mentors at the AAA and Smithsonian. Their warm welcome has made this transition smooth, and I am very excited about the coming five weeks.

I will reflect this internship experience again in late July, then at its conclusion in mid August.

Susannah Poland
Susannah.poland@gmail.com

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