18 December 2017

A look back at anthropology everywhere in 2017!

As 2017 comes rapidly to a close, here's our annual round-up of some of our favourite posts and content published this year.

Thanks to everyone who has read our over 90 new posts, and checked out our growing list of dedicated pages on things like Advice for Grad Students, our expanding list of links to how people are Applying an anthropological perspective outside of university, and our newly renamed Special Series: Ethnography & ... which now features reflections and insights from blogger Jennifer Long's new pedagogical research in post-secondary education.

Looking back, here are 10 of our own favourite posts from 2017 loosely organized around some key themes...

On ethnography and fieldwork:
Engaging anthropology through social media:
And to round it out, some of our favourite topical posts from 2017:

Thanks for reading this year! We'll be back in 2018 with more resources, more research, and more anthropology everywhere!

What were your favourite posts from 2017? Tweet us @anthrolens
Got ideas for posts you'd like to see (or see more of) in 2018? Send us an email anthrolens@gmail.com

14 December 2017

After a job interview...

Following up on our post about crafting cover letters from earlier this week, we thought we'd share another career-related resource today: "The Checklist You Need to Run Through Right After Your Interview."

We realize that we're kind of skipping over the ACTUAL interview, but there are a lot of great resources available on interviewing. For instance, we like the tips Basalla and Debelius outline in So What Are Your Going to Do with That? You can also check out some of the other tips posted in our Advice for Grad Students | Job Market: Realities & Opportunities page, such as Anthropologizing's Interview questions for people with [applied] anthropology backgrounds (2011).

But, after you had an interview -- hopefully a great one for an interesting position -- what's next?

Well, the muse suggests that first you get a snack (always sage advice), and then you start critically reflecting on and making notes on your interview experience. Sounds a lot like... anthropological research!
  • Write down any important points from the interview. We would add that this should include anything you want to follow up on with your own research. Is there something interesting (or concerning) that came up in the interview? Take some time to pursue these leads with your contacts or through other sources about the organization or type of role you interviewed with/ for. If you're invited to a second round interview, this will be valuable in helping you ask more pointed questions to assess your own fit and interest in the role.
  • Write Down One Reason You’re Excited About This Opportunity. This is a really useful reflection question. If you've been on the job market for a while (ugh!), you may just feel excited to finally be recognized for your skills and experience. What is it about this particular job that actually excites you? How would this opportunity help you to meet your goals (besides the overarching one of gainful employment)?
  • Send Your Thank You Notes. Now that you've had a chance to think about the interview, send a note that reflects your interest in the position. 
  • Finally, Follow Up Correctly (a Week From Now). The muse suggests that rather than waiting to hear from the hiring manager, you take a respectful but proactive approach of following up. 
If you're applying, and prepping for interviews, good luck! If you are still figuring out what career path is (or might be) right for you, check out some of our Professional Development tips and get inspired by what some anthropologists are already doing out there in the world.

11 December 2017

Applying for a job with no experience...

When you have been in university for such a long time, you may feel like you don't have any real experience for the jobs you are interested in -- or, worse hiring managers might look at your resume and make that assumption!

Never fear, UA's Liz Koblyk has some sage advice for what to do to land what might be your dream job: Treat your cover letter as a work plan.

This makes a lot of sense, really. Even if you do have experience in the field you are applying to, why not be proactive in your cover letter? As Koblyk explains, use the cover letter as an opportunity to
discuss what you would do in the role, rather than just what you have done in the past. In order to use this approach effectively, you can’t offer vague reassurances about your potential. Instead, treat your cover letter as a very brief work plan. ... You aren’t laying claim to skills you don’t have, but are giving a window into your thoughts on how you’d manage key tasks of the role.
To do this well, you are also going to have to do some background research -- which is a skill you already have as an anthropologist! (When you get that first interview, you can also roll this angle into how great you'd be for the position...). But before you get ahead of yourself, Koblyk advises that you
Find out what you can about the organization and the challenges you’d be facing, whether through news coverage, reports and SWOT analyses that a company has published, or through networking. For example, it might be through networking that you find out that there is a need for more thorough evaluation of programming, or a more collaborative approach with funding bodies.
Good luck with your next application! For more advice on figuring out what your career as an anthropologist might look like, check out our pages on:

07 December 2017

Race Reconciled - Review by Jason Antrosio

Bloggers Rhiannon Mosher and Jennifer Long wanted to point readers to an important blog post on Living Anthropologically called “Race is not an accurate or productive way to describe human biological variation” by Jason Antrosio.

In this article, Antrosio discusses a special issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and, deep in the post, the (mis) use of research in popular media and academic research articles. Antrosio writes:

As I searched relevant articles, I was shocked and disgusted to discover the materials from forensic anthropologists were not only suffering popular misinterpretation, but were also being misused in peer-reviewed academic journals. One of the only 2010 articles citing the forensic anthropology pieces from Race Reconciled is a diatribe by philosopher Neven Sesardic titled Race: A social destruction of a biological concept. Sesardic claims fuzzy-headed social scientists and philosophers have misunderstood the proper biological underpinnings of the race concept. Sesardic then uses the forensic anthropology articles to make his case. Sesardic calls Sauer a “bewildered and exasperated scientist” (2010:156) and goes on to approvingly quote Sauer’s 1992 article as supporting the idea of racial assignment. He similarly cherry-picks quotes from the 2009 articles to portray forensic anthropology as confirming traditional biological races.

What better way to end off the semester than to have students read this post and discuss how scientific research is interpreted in the media. Happy end of semester everyone!

Antrosio has updated both posts recently and they're definitely worth a read.

Quick Links

04 December 2017

Collaboration between Academics and Industry: Canhoto and Quinton

Are you an academic looking for ways to collaborate with industry stakeholders (or vice versa)? Check out a (relatively...) recent blog post on LSE Impact Blog detailing Ana Isabel Canhoto and Sarah Quinton's research which provides five practical principles to make collaboration 'work'.

Why is collaboration important?
Research collaboration is deemed to accelerate the transfer of knowledge between experts and the translation of world-class research into practical applications, which has important commercial, economic and social benefits. Collaboration between academics and practitioners can also produce new knowledge, by bringing together researchers with complementary perspectives, interests, skills and knowledge bases.

Together with Dr. Paul Jackson and Sally Dibb, Canhoto and Quinton investigated the experiences of academic academic researchers and industry practitioners who had participated in successful R&D collaborative projects in the digital arena, to identify the factors that support or hinder research collaboration.

To find out more about their project, follow the link in our Quick Links section.

Quick Links: