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Interning At the Smithsonian

Katie Patschke - 2014 AAA Summer Intern

I couldn’t thank the American Anthropological Association’s member donations enough for this experience. At the Smithsonian Institution-National Museum of African Art I am just finishing up the research for the project creativity of work assigned to me by my coordinator, Dr. Kreamer. Dr. Kreamer is the Deputy Director and Chief Curator for the National Museum of African Art.  I intend to edit my findings and continue researching throughout the next few weeks. Dr. Kreamer and I had a conversation about the next step to the project which will include constructing a list of images that go along with the concept of work and that can be displayed in the exhibit. We intend to go into storage and find images, sculptures , and other pieces of art that will work with the project to tell the story of work and how it contributes to people’s everyday lives in Africa.

Dr. Kreamer and I were also able to discuss post-graduate opportunities with a possibility of me continuing to work with the Smithsonian Institute on other research projects after this experience.

National Museum of African Art

Last Wednesday I attended a meet and greet information meeting for Smithsonian interns where I met fellow Smithsonian employees. At the meeting they were able to give me insight and encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion of curatorial work with the intention of continuing my work with the Smithsonian.

Air Force Memorial

This Tuesday I attended an event offered to the African Art interns where we were given a personal tour of the museum and all of the hidden places that the museum had that weren’t open for public view. On the tour we were able to see the archives, the private collections, and the storage facilities where they keep all of the extra art. We met with workers to discuss the processes of woodwork and construction that goes into building packaging to ship artwork and how they build the sets that the artwork is displayed in in the museum. We also had the opportunity to talk to a curator who gave us a personal tour of Camille and Bill Cosby’s collection of artwork. The African Art museum is preparing for an opening in November that the Cosby’s are contributing many pieces of work too. We were given an inside look of the artwork that is about to be put on display. The artwork is fascinating. Their collection is truly inspiring and I encourage everyone to check out their art when the exhibit opens in November.

At my internship at the American Anthropological Association we are currently working on outlining essay and poster projects for students to become involved in. These projects will provide students the opportunity to present their research and build their resumes. These events will be surrounding the very first National Anthropology day which will be celebrated in February 2015.

Katie Patschke - 2014 AAA Summer Internship

Last weekend I went to the Newseum, the National Archives to see the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the Library of Congress where I used my library card access the bottom level and explore the vast collection of novels and articles. The following day I went on a hike at Riverbend Park and where I saw the great falls along the Potomac which separates Virginia and Maryland. After the hike I went to see the Pentagon and tried Vietnamese food. I really enjoyed adventuring around the area and I am looking forward to exploring more museums and parts of DC this weekend.

Riverbend Park

The AAA Summer Internship Program is funded entirely by AAA member donations. Make your contribution today!

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.

New Changes to the AAA Annual Meeting Program

The AAA Meetings & Conference Department is pleased to announce a broad range of changes to the Annual Meeting, adopted by the Executive Board. These changes will enhance the Annual Meeting experience and better meet the needs of our members and attendees.  The following changes will begin for the 2014 annual meeting to be held in Washington, DC December 3-7.

In particular, new session types and configurations go into effect for the 2014 meeting. As parts of these have changed, we recommend reviewing them closely as you prepare your abstract for the 2014 meeting.

New Session Types

  1. Retrospective sessions
  2. Annual opening plenary session
  3. Permanent inclusion of Installations

Read more about session types at the Annual Meeting.

Session and Participation Transformations

  1. Elimination of double sessions
  2. Allocation of 1 invited session to the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA)
  3. Unified submission deadline of April 15 for all invited, volunteered and installation sessions, as well as individual volunteered papers and posters
  4. Chair role no longer counts against the 1+1 role rule

Read more about presenting policies and roles at the Annual Meeting.

Other Aspects of the Meeting

  1. Fuller engagement with social media (Introduce E-Posters, create alternative media centers, create a Speakers’ Corner, and create opportunities for live-streaming presentations to/from the meeting)
  2. Provision of internet access to the all of AAA’s meeting spaces.
  3. Officially expand the Executive Program Committee (EPC) to approximately 10 members

For the complete announcement, objectives and rationale for these changes, please visit the New Program Changes webpage.

RACE in the Community

This summer the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit opened at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Coinciding with the opening of the exhibit, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region held  its annual meeting and kicked off the themed series Putting Race on the Table.

On Wednesday, September 14, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region will continue its Putting Race on the Table series by bringing the topic of race into the community through a community tour, entitled Race and Revitalization. The tour will explore the H Street corridor in Washington, D.C.

In its heyday the H Street NE corridor in the District of Columbia was a bustling neighborhood as well as a destination for food, entertainment, shopping and other services for African-Americans. But in recent years, the demographics of the neighborhood have changed, as new businesses and new residents are taking advantages of the area’s revitalization. Join us on our exploration of H Street and speak with residents and business owners, old and new, to explore whether the revitalization of H Street is creating equitable opportunities for all residents.

The tour begins at 8:30am. The tour is free and open to the public. Click here for complete details and to RSVP.

Not in the Washington, D.C. area? Visit the virtual exhibit of RACE: Are We So Different?

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