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Interesting Article: A Radical Anthropologist Finds Himself in Academic 'Exile'

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  • Nikki Ives
    If this guy can t get a full-time job in the U.S./Canada with his teaching and publishing record, I m doomed (and I m not even radical)!  This is so
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 16, 2013
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      If this guy can't get a full-time job in the U.S./Canada with his teaching and publishing record, I'm doomed (and I'm not even radical)!  This is so depressing...


      http://chronicle.com/article/A-Radical-Anthropologist-Finds/138499/?key=SD0lKVdjYnoZbHxgZmxCZDwAPHRoOUh1MXIeby4sbl5QGQ%3D%3D

      Nikki

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lloyd Miller
      Nikki, I found this article fascinating, and the ensuing comments even more so, and don t you let it depress you! In addition to a poor job market, David
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 17, 2013
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        Nikki, I found this article fascinating, and the ensuing comments even more so, and don't you let it depress you! In addition to a poor job market, David Graeber is fighting a battle that has more to do with politics and the current state of our national mood of extremism than with his considerable academic credentials. Even if he walked on water (and perhaps comes closest among anthropologists to doing so, in my opinion), he would probably not have gotten hired in the US because he tells the truth. Truth-telling without the polished edges, as Laura Nader said (one who tells the truth but without the rough edges), is anathema to "collegiality," a euphemism for "do as we do and don't rock the boat."

        Graeber is preceded by both Ashley Montagu and Margaret Mead, neither of whom taught regularly as tenured faculty in anthropology departments (Montagu was on Rutger University's medical faculty; Mead worked at the American Museum of Natural History and taught as an adjunct at Fordham and Columbia Universities). They nonetheless managed to analyze society truthfully and in critically constructive ways in larger public venues more than other anthropologists in their time. My own sense was that many anthropologists felt threatened by them and were jealous of them for their relative popularity and fame. I was privileged to observe this first-hand several times. So Graeber's lot may be to follow Montagu and Mead as an anthropological gadfly sans the comfortable collegiality of an American anthropology department.

        You, I think, will eventually get that job you're seeking, and you deserve it. Hang in there!

        Lloyd



        On Apr 16, 2013, at 9:21 PM, Nikki Ives wrote:

        > If this guy can't get a full-time job in the U.S./Canada with his teaching and publishing record, I'm doomed (and I'm not even radical)! This is so depressing...
        >
        > http://chronicle.com/article/A-Radical-Anthropologist-Finds/138499/?key=SD0lKVdjYnoZbHxgZmxCZDwAPHRoOUh1MXIeby4sbl5QGQ%3D%3D
        >
        > Nikki
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Mark Lewine
        Nikki, as usual, Lloyd is clear and correct...I just want to add one thing from my experience...my state and college is generally negative about anthropology
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 18, 2013
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          Nikki, as usual, Lloyd is clear and correct...I just want to add one thing
          from my experience...my state and college is generally negative about
          anthropology and has been for some time...those who were successful at
          getting a full-time tenured job in anthro had to actively and personally
          create a program with strategic planning. In my case, I started with
          finding an academic administrator who was international and understood the
          need to learn cultures and languages in a global society...he was political
          and pragmatic, so I met with him for a series of informal breakfast chats
          off-campus to discuss how the college could gain from appointing an ethnic
          community leader advisory group, an Intercultural Community Council, which
          would have an anthropologist (me) and an administrator as staff to organize
          its activities for the benefit of advancing the educational needs of ethnic
          communities at our community college. (I pointed out that such a group
          could help our international bilingual/multilingual students as community
          mentors, help the college pass educational initiatives and communicate our
          programs to their communities, help us with raising scholarship funds for
          their community residents, etc.) This group helped get acceptance for
          building our anthropology program as an external community force is most
          influential with community college boards and administrators. I then found
          one Dean on my campus who agreed to be a campus partner in building our
          anthropology curricula and instruction. (I was then teaching 1 cultural
          section and 4 sociology courses as I have a Master's in both soc. and
          anthro.) So, I kept my community advisory group active and working with
          perhaps 4 phone calls a week to our leadership, and one letter sent to each
          member each term...always asking them "what they thought of...and giving
          them clear choices among anthro supporting activities..." and also made some
          longterm friendships that became cultural/linguistic field advisors. I made
          sure that we invited our college Academic Vice President for our annual
          wrap-up meeting in June, and we would always have an exchange of gifts from
          college to Council President, and from Council President to College V.P.
          Our dean would always be present at these meetings if possible or get the
          minutes so that she would understand that her boss, the Acad. V.P. was there
          approving of us. I always made sure that we had an International Business
          program event once a year, and involved our Hospitality Management Program
          and our excellent Music Program in our meetings, to support ethnic food and
          culture, as well as global intercultural business. As Math is almost always
          mostly international/intercultural in its faculty, we would always invite
          them to participate in our annual meeting. Eventually, our Anthro Club and
          the Math dept. developed an intercultural pot luck once a year that was
          fantastic! Finally, when the time was ripe, I drafted a Strategic Five Year
          PLan for a full Anthropology Program with steady growth toward a 3 field
          freshman and sophomore level courses...and that was before web courses. We
          ended with a 14 section program, a Program Coordinator role, one full-time
          prof., 4 part-timers with sub-field specialties and instructional skills
          needed...(lab, tech, multi-media, etc.)

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Lloyd Miller
          Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 2:28 AM
          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting Article: A Radical Anthropologist Finds
          Himself in Academic 'Exile'

          Nikki, I found this article fascinating, and the ensuing comments even more
          so, and don't you let it depress you! In addition to a poor job market,
          David Graeber is fighting a battle that has more to do with politics and the
          current state of our national mood of extremism than with his considerable
          academic credentials. Even if he walked on water (and perhaps comes closest
          among anthropologists to doing so, in my opinion), he would probably not
          have gotten hired in the US because he tells the truth. Truth-telling
          without the polished edges, as Laura Nader said (one who tells the truth but
          without the rough edges), is anathema to "collegiality," a euphemism for "do
          as we do and don't rock the boat."

          Graeber is preceded by both Ashley Montagu and Margaret Mead, neither of
          whom taught regularly as tenured faculty in anthropology departments
          (Montagu was on Rutger University's medical faculty; Mead worked at the
          American Museum of Natural History and taught as an adjunct at Fordham and
          Columbia Universities). They nonetheless managed to analyze society
          truthfully and in critically constructive ways in larger public venues more
          than other anthropologists in their time. My own sense was that many
          anthropologists felt threatened by them and were jealous of them for their
          relative popularity and fame. I was privileged to observe this first-hand
          several times. So Graeber's lot may be to follow Montagu and Mead as an
          anthropological gadfly sans the comfortable collegiality of an American
          anthropology department.

          You, I think, will eventually get that job you're seeking, and you deserve
          it. Hang in there!

          Lloyd



          On Apr 16, 2013, at 9:21 PM, Nikki Ives wrote:

          > If this guy can't get a full-time job in the U.S./Canada with his teaching
          > and publishing record, I'm doomed (and I'm not even radical)! This is so
          > depressing...
          >
          > http://chronicle.com/article/A-Radical-Anthropologist-Finds/138499/?key=SD0lKVdjYnoZbHxgZmxCZDwAPHRoOUh1MXIeby4sbl5QGQ%3D%3D
          >
          > Nikki
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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