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RE: [SACC-L] Advice?

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  • Lynch, Brian M
    Hello all, I sent a slightly different version of the following in response directly to Sydney, but thought I would re-send to the whole list, as I have been
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 19, 2006
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      Hello all,

      I sent a slightly different version of the following in response
      directly to Sydney, but thought I would re-send to the whole list, as I
      have been finding the exchange on this question a very interesting one.

      Brian


      *****************Original Message*************************
      Sydney,

      ..... I have been at a small, rural community college in northeastern
      Connecticut for over 13 years, and have been the one-person anthro/soc
      department for that whole period. And I love it! My own background is
      in cultural anthro (PhD in same) but with enough undergrad and grad
      sociology to be teaching 100 level (intro) and 200 level soc courses
      (like social problems, soc of family, social inequality etc.).

      One thing I do in all my classes is to assign a semester-long "clipping
      file project " ; for this, I ask students to pick up a newspaper (and
      to make an effort to pick up one they don't normally read) every week,
      to watch for things in the news that relate to what we cover in the
      class over the semester. I always get puzzled looks in anthro for the
      first few weeks, but when students start to get the idea, there is no
      stopping the process. They collect a set number of articles, and at the
      end of the semester write a brief reflection paper on the whole
      collection. The main idea of the whole project is to help open up
      awareness of where the academic discipline of anthropology (or
      sociology) peeks through everyday life, when we pay attention. (I use
      the example of when I got my first car: before I did, I couldn't tell
      you much about any type of cars, but once I had my first hand-me-down
      Dodge Dart, I started noticing how many Dodge Darts there were on the
      road, and how many variations of Darts (Dusters, Chargers etc.) All of
      a sudden it was easy to notice!

      As for ethnographies, I have tried a variety of approaches, but my
      underlying assumption is that even the not-so celebrated ethnographies
      (i.e. the "older" ones that now come in for much criticism) can be
      "teachable moments," helping students themselves to enter into the
      current dialogues about many contemporary anthropological issues.
      Though my own early focus was to make the case that we need to do
      ethnography about our own culture (studying up, etc.) I also still see
      the value in reading ethnographies about "others" (again, with all the
      teachable moments that that may afford).

      Finally, I usually give a list of potential, other selections as
      examples for people to choose one other semester reading-- and that list
      can be a broad selection of fiction, science fiction, biography etc.,
      that in some way can be related to ethnography. That assigned "choice"
      is then a further opportunity for students to review their own personal
      selection, and discuss it with the rest of the class for what they saw
      as the ethographic/anthropological value. That always generates great
      discussion.

      I am a "closet textbook user"-- I do usually order at least a small
      textbook that has the basic outline of stuff to cover, but I always go
      way beyond the basic textbook; I also try to select a book that will be
      adequate as a guide, but not super expensive-- we are, after all in a
      section of Connecticut where students are on super tight budgets.

      I hope any of this offers some insight. Good luck with your new work!
      Brian Donohue-Lynch



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Barry Kass
      Hi Sydney, Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L group is here
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 21, 2006
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        Hi Sydney,

        Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor
        of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L
        group is here to
        help, so here goes:
        The textbook and two ethnographies I am currently assigning in my
        "Cultural Anthropology" sections at SUNY Orange include:

        1. Textbook--Peoples and Bailey HUMANITY-AN INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL
        ANTHROPOLOGY 7ED THOMSON/WADSWORTH PUB. ( especially because eleven of
        my "Images of Anthropology" photographs are published in the text. I
        agree that what you just read was a shameless plug. Anyway the link
        to my website is www.imagesofanthropology.com ) The organization,
        overall appeal, chapters included, and level of writing are excellent
        as well.
        2. ethnography #1: M.Ward /NEST IN THE WIND 2ND ED. An excellent
        protrayal of an anthropologist's field experience on a tropical island
        in the South Pacific. Waveland Press.
        3. ethnography #2: M. Shostak NISA--THE LIFE AND WORDS OF A !KUNG
        WOMAN Harvard U. Press. A fascinating autobiographical account of the
        life of a woman in one of the last remnant gathering-hunting societies
        able to be documented anthropologically.

        The above combination ( one text, two ethnographies ) have worked very
        well for me over my 37 years of college teaching. Of course there
        have been many different texts and other ethnographies along the way.
        As I see it, the textbook allows for an important organization to the
        course as the students follow the presentation of chapters, as well as
        enabling me to call apon two other anthropologists, Peoples and
        Bailey, the text authors, to assist in the teaching of anthropology to
        my students. As I always say to my students, I can't cover all of
        cultural anthropology by myself in the course! The ethnographies add
        a more vivid in-depth approach to class exporation of key issues and
        topics in cultural anthropology.

        Sydney, any questions concerning my approach, please call 845 341-4364
        (office) leave a message if you have to, I'll get back to you as soon
        as I can. Much better than plunking out lengthy e-mail messages like
        this one!

        Hi to all of my many (I hope, especially after the 'shameless plug'
        above) friends in SACC. Hope to see you at the next SACC conference
        in California.
        Barry Kass
        --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "sydneyhart1" <S-Hart1@...> wrote:
        >
        > I just got hired full time at a community college and I'm teaching
        > three sections of Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. I've been using my
        > Sociology background for a long time, so I'm a bit rusty in Anthro. I
        > plan on using a textbook and one or two really good ethnographies. Any
        > suggestions?
        > --Sydney
        >
      • anthony balzano
        Barry, These look great. Congratulations on getting them posted for everyone to see. Actually, I was looking for the ones from Seattle and couldn t find
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 31, 2006
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          Barry,
          These look great. Congratulations on getting them posted for everyone to see. Actually, I was looking for the ones from Seattle and couldn't find them! Ha-ha. Hope things are going well.
          Regards,
          Tony Balzano

          >>> bkass@... 07/21/2006 03:59 PM >>>
          Hi Sydney,

          Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor
          of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L
          group is here to
          help, so here goes:
          The textbook and two ethnographies I am currently assigning in my
          "Cultural Anthropology" sections at SUNY Orange include:

          1. Textbook--Peoples and Bailey HUMANITY-AN INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL
          ANTHROPOLOGY 7ED THOMSON/WADSWORTH PUB. ( especially because eleven of
          my "Images of Anthropology" photographs are published in the text. I
          agree that what you just read was a shameless plug. Anyway the link
          to my website is www.imagesofanthropology.com ) The organization,
          overall appeal, chapters included, and level of writing are excellent
          as well.
          2. ethnography #1: M.Ward /NEST IN THE WIND 2ND ED. An excellent
          protrayal of an anthropologist's field experience on a tropical island
          in the South Pacific. Waveland Press.
          3. ethnography #2: M. Shostak NISA--THE LIFE AND WORDS OF A !KUNG
          WOMAN Harvard U. Press. A fascinating autobiographical account of the
          life of a woman in one of the last remnant gathering-hunting societies
          able to be documented anthropologically.

          The above combination ( one text, two ethnographies ) have worked very
          well for me over my 37 years of college teaching. Of course there
          have been many different texts and other ethnographies along the way.
          As I see it, the textbook allows for an important organization to the
          course as the students follow the presentation of chapters, as well as
          enabling me to call apon two other anthropologists, Peoples and
          Bailey, the text authors, to assist in the teaching of anthropology to
          my students. As I always say to my students, I can't cover all of
          cultural anthropology by myself in the course! The ethnographies add
          a more vivid in-depth approach to class exporation of key issues and
          topics in cultural anthropology.

          Sydney, any questions concerning my approach, please call 845 341-4364
          (office) leave a message if you have to, I'll get back to you as soon
          as I can. Much better than plunking out lengthy e-mail messages like
          this one!

          Hi to all of my many (I hope, especially after the 'shameless plug'
          above) friends in SACC. Hope to see you at the next SACC conference
          in California.
          Barry Kass
          --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "sydneyhart1" <S-Hart1@...> wrote:
          >
          > I just got hired full time at a community college and I'm teaching
          > three sections of Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. I've been using my
          > Sociology background for a long time, so I'm a bit rusty in Anthro. I
          > plan on using a textbook and one or two really good ethnographies. Any
          > suggestions?
          > --Sydney
          >







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