momentum in autumn 2015 among humanities students and their teachers on two different courses in anthropology and among residents in a city quarter in Copenhagen. In 2016, it was replicated with other participants in another city quarter. On both occasions
Teaching anthropology through serendipitous cultural exchanges
This paper examines the decisions and motivations of graduate students in cultural anthropology when defining the field sites and topics of their final projects. The decisions among students at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia are contrasted with those at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. A review of recent final projects in both universities was conducted, along with a survey and some follow-up questions with students in both institutions. A main difference found is that students at los Andes are more willing to do applied fieldwork at 'home', while students at Pittsburgh are far more reluctant to do so and prefer to go to distant fields. This distinction is partly explained by the histories of the anthropologies practised in each locale, and of what have been considered 'proper' field sites in cultural anthropology. In particular, a vision of anthropology as an applied enterprise emerged at different historical moments in these two geo-political locations, and those visions are associated with quite different, opposed values today.
This article describes the role graduate students can play in transforming their education in the emergent field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, as occurs at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), at George Mason University, Washington, DC. It also unpacks how anthropology plays a role in the education of these students at the Master's and Doctoral levels. The primary contribution of anthropology to the conflict resolution curriculum has been conceptual, around the notion of culture. Most of our MS graduates, and many PhDs, work in government or NGOs specialising in development, human rights or conflict resolution, coming from diverse backgrounds with mature life experiences and without prior training in anthropology. Only four of our 21 faculty are anthropologists. This article discusses why these diverse graduate students and their anthropological faculty viewed the traditional foundations of the field of conflict analysis and resolution as inadequate, and why it required an infusion of culture theory and understanding into their training and education.
In this article I will present a range of experiences of graduate socialisation that have been discussed in past articles in the journal Anthropology Matters. These are the experiences of social anthropology Ph.D. students in the United Kingdom. The overarching theme for the article is 'regulating emotions', and the excerpts presented illustrate how Ph.D. students experience and deal with different emotional states that they encounter during the pre-fieldwork, fieldwork and writing up stages. I argue that the way in which these emotional states are handled may be just as important, in terms of gaining a Ph.D., as the increase in knowledge that is the ostensible marker of a completed Ph.D.
Ageeth Sluis and Elise Edwards
Many opportunities for more integrated teaching that better capture the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary scholars' work and better achieve the aims of liberal arts education still remain untapped, particularly at smaller schools where combined departments are often necessary. The disciplinary boundaries between history and sociocultural anthropology have become increasingly blurred in recent decades, a trend reflected in scholarly work that engages with both fields, as well as dual-degree graduate programmes at top U.S. research universities. For many scholars, this interdisciplinarity makes sense, with the two disciplines offering critical theoretical tools and methods that must be used in combination to tackle effectively the questions they pursue. This article asks why this interdisciplinarity, so central to professional pursuits of both historians and anthropologists, is significantly less present in the undergraduate classroom. Housed in one of the only joint History and Anthropology departments in the U.S., we detail our own efforts to make the chance joining of our disciplines pedagogically meaningful.
Ellen Bal, Erella Grassiani, and Kate Kirk
This article is based on our own experiences and that of several of our colleagues teaching social and cultural anthropology in different Dutch institutions for higher learning. We focus in particular on teaching and learning in two small liberal arts and science (LAS) colleges, where anthropology makes up part of the social science curriculum and/or is part of the core curriculum. The data collected from our own critical reflections developed during informal discussion and from formal interviews with colleagues, together with literature on recent changes in academia, leads us to argue that neoliberal individualism, shaped by management tactics that constantly measure individual performance and output, is making academia an increasingly insecure place in which to work and study. The consequences of this insecurity include increasing mental health problems among both students and staff, intensifying competition at the expense of collegiality and collaboration and an overall decrease in the quality of academic jobs and teaching. Although the discipline of anthropology can help us better understand our own conditions, the personalisation of problems and the focus on success obscure the anthropological lens, which looks at social and cultural structures of power and depends on critical reflexivity.
Fieldwork for master’s students of anthropology
Helle Bundgaard and Cecilie Rubow
for a new environment for the professional discipline of anthropology. Our particular concern here is fieldwork as part of a large, two-year master’s programme with an annual intake of approximately 80 (some years 100) students. In the second semester
Linguistic Anthropological Notes
Diederik F. Janssen
This article proposes a linguistic anthropological approach to the notion BOY, drawing attention to diverse research methods including etymology, onomasiology, corpus analysis, semantics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and comparative ethnolinguistics. As a popular and flexible lexical device, BOY may function as an operator on the received nature of manhood (by rendering it contingent on the discourse and narrative of development), but also as a possible aid in its ever-imminent bankruptcy by disengaging its stylistics from essentialist understandings of both gender and life phase. BOY, thus, lies at the heart of discussions about masculinity as it relates to performativity, language, and discourse, but, in important ways, it also exceeds and contests the confinements of gender/masculinity research.
Anthropological fieldwork is a sensual and transformative experience. Being in the field and doing ethnography means an immersion that encompasses the ethnographer’s whole person and self. In contrast, teaching methods and presentation modes in
Katherine Nielsen and Eli Thorkelson
Ethnographers have constructed contradicting assertions, and indeed assumptions,
about the nature of learning, how it is best accomplished, and
how students internalise this learning in order to form both individualised
and collective identities. Are the rites of passage, so often described in analyses
of postgraduate socialisation – the oral examinations, the viva voce, the
departmental seminar, or graduation ceremony – the only routes available
for understanding how anthropological culture is inculcated into students?
Is the role of the supervisor as mentor pivotal in the successful completion
of a Ph.D? Or is this more of a master/apprentice relationship? Does this
proc ess maintain its relevance in a globalised field and with instant virtual
access to experts from other institutions anywhere in the world? Such issues
have been of interest to both students and faculty within the anthropology
discipline, in particular, and the social sciences more generally.