NAPA and Practitioner Relevance in the Blogosphere

Where can anthropologists find work these days? What is the public perception of anthropology? And what does the future hold?

If you are following NAPA’s three blogs, you should be well informed on all these questions.  

AnthroJobs
Let’s start with a question asked each year by hundreds or maybe thousands of newly minted anthropologists: “Great, I have this degree; now how do I get meaningful employment with it?” Pretty much every Friday, Adriana Szabo is going to give you the answer in her “AnthroJobs: Job(s) of the Week” blog.

Her blog presents an interesting job or jobs that are suitable for fulfillment by practitioner anthropologists. In the past weeks these have covered openings at various organizations not only in the United States, but also abroad—from Lebanon to the Philippines. Do you want to live in New England? There is a job opening there. Ever thought of doing contract work for the United Nations in Ethiopia? You can find out about that as well by tracking AnthroJobs. 

As an MA anthropologist based in North Carolina, Adriana often provides her own perspectives and notes of interest for those on the prowl for meaningful employment. Here are her words on how the blog developed:

AnthroJobs was born out of discussions with undergraduate and graduate students at NC State while I was getting my masters in Anthropology. We all knew what we would like to do with our degree, but that and what the job market needs are not always the same thing. I hope the blog is a starting point for job seekers in our field. Even if the jobs listed for the week are not a perfect match, my aim is to show how our skills could be put to good use in different fields and different areas of the world. I try to post both entry- and senior-level jobs. I hope that our readers feel encouraged to further explore the websites of the organizations or the recruiting websites that I use to find jobs for anthropologists. 

AnthroCurrents
You know those blank looks you get when you tell folks you are an anthropologist? If you take time to look, it turns out we actually get a fair bit of press in the mass media. Julia Wignall tells you all about it in the AnthroCurrents blog, a biweekly look at how the world sees anthropology. Her postings typically go live every other Wednesday.

Where can anthropologists find work these days? What is the public perception of anthropology? And what does the future hold?

Would it surprise you to know that one business writer suggests that employers hire anthropologists over MBAs? Or that an anthropologist notes that her ability to bring complex ideas together and actually listen to people would make her a good politician in these times, and so she’s running for office? These and other items are a part of the AnthroCurrents blog.

AnthroCurrents was launched by Julie White a few years ago, and Walter Pond took a turn at the wheel as well before Julia embarked on the journey in January 2017. The blog has always provided a broad overview of where anthropologists appear in the mass media, as well as some occasional revelations into the surprising contexts in which you can find working anthropologists.

Julia works at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and wears several types of hats at her job, as the institution calls upon her broad anthropological skill set. AnthroCurrents helps Julia keep up to date with what colleagues are doing in their own right. As Julia says:

Working at a hospital in an applied role where I am the only anthropologist, I find it encouraging to know how others are using their degrees, promoting anthropology and contributing to the public conversation about a practitioner’s skillset. From a business environment, I constantly see ways an anthropologist’s worldview and methods could be leveraged to make systems and processes more equitable and easier to digest. AnthroCurrents is a space to learn how others are reconciling their own experiences. It also provides an interesting glimpse into the mass media perspective on anthropology. I hope this column motivates others to see that their news contributions could impact how the public hears about and views anthropology quite significantly!

anthro/studio
A new blog series also launched just before press time. The anthro/studio will be conducted by Marion Tanis. Marion will provide an occasional, thought-provoking piece about the state of anthropology and its significance in the modern world. This blog is scheduled to be posted the second Sunday of the month. 

In his first posting, Marion discourses on iPads at hospitals, white boards in elementary schools, and related aspects of human-centered design. The larger message of his piece, though, is urging anthropologists to accept our calling to explore the future, in particular how the uncertain developments created by fast-advancing technology will create cultural change. Through Marion’s lens: 

I’m exploring a concentration in applied anthropology for my doctorate but I am very interested in writing about anthropology’s journey into industry and application to contemporary topics, given my practice-based trajectory. I am a freelance consultant with interests in ethnographic design and innovative anthropological insight. I’d say I’m inspired by EPICpeople.org and Anthro Design in my intellectual development and apply these types of skills to my work and studies. And mariontanis.com is my portfolio if you’d like to take a peek.

Keep track of all the NAPA blogs at http://practicinganthropology.org/blog/. And thanks to all the authors for keeping up with their challenging duties!

The NAPA website, although still under development, also offers a broad range of career-oriented materials, such as job sites, mentoring and career development information, and interviews with practitioner anthropologists. Drop in and take a look, and please give us your feedback on what you find and what you did not find.

Terry Redding is an independent evaluation consultant and editor based in Washington, DC. He is chair of NAPA’s Communications Committee.

To submit contributions to NAPA Section News, please contact contributing editor Alice Larotonda ([email protected]).

Cite as: Redding, Terry. 2017. “NAPA and Practitioner Relevance in the Blogosphere.” Anthropology news website, April 25, 2017. doi: 10.1111/

 

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