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Re: [SACC-L] Interesting Article: A Radical Anthropologist Finds Himself in Academic 'Exile'

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  • 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 1 of 3 , Apr 18, 2013
      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!


      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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