Supporting Practicing Careers

 If you are a student of applied anthropology, a faculty member teaching applied anthropology, or an early, mid, or late career professional anthropologist, NAPA is the place for you.

The National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) promotes the work of practicing, professional, and applied anthropologists and the practice of anthropology as a profession. A section with a diverse range of academic, professional, and student members, NAPA is led by a Governing Council and current president Lisa Henry of University of North Texas, “If you are a student of applied anthropology, a faculty member teaching applied anthropology, or an early, mid, or late career professional anthropologist, NAPA is the place for you. Join NAPA to network with practitioners, to discuss career advice, and to advance the practice of anthropology within AAA.” A vibrant committee structure and energetic volunteers help keep NAPA one of the most active sections.

With a commitment to engaged and timely programming, NAPA sponsors events such as the Global Enterprise Anthropology Summit, where academics and anthropologists working in a variety of industries will convene to discuss best practices for anthropological research and practice in the contemporary world, and collaborates with initiatives such as Business Anthropology Matters that aim to promote the visibility of professional anthropologists. At the AAA Annual Meetings, NAPA also offers a variety of panels, roundtables, and workshops. NAPA workshops have included topics such as Evaluation Anthropology, Design Anthropology, Consumer/Advertising Anthropology, and Consulting, emphasizing skills for those interested in applied and practice-centered projects. NAPA has a longstanding focus on support for early career development for applied and practicing anthropologists. NAPA has organized the Careers Expo at the AAA Annual Meetings for over a decade. The Careers Expo provides networking opportunities for young professionals, offers preparation for job interviews, and exposes participants to new job opportunities. For deeper professional guidance, the NAPA Mentor Match program pairs those entering the workforce with career professionals in a relevant field of practice or academia. A leading source of mentorship within the AAAs, NAPA mentoring has been growing over the past 25 years.

A NAPA networking event. Lisa Henry

NAPA continues to build dialogue on issues relevant to the practice of anthropology. NAPA has recently worked to update its Ethical Guidelines for Practitioners to help practicing anthropologists navigate the ethical challenges that can arise when engaged in work outside of academia. NAPA also publishes original materials, including the journal Annals of Anthropological Practice. The AAP welcomes volunteered submissions from practicing anthropologists working across academic and practitioner contexts. NAPA members also publish on a variety of interactive and online platforms, including Anthropology News, the NAPA Notes members newsletter, and the NAPA blog, which hosts features like a weekly AnthroJobs section and the bi-weekly AnthroCurrents column.

For further details about the variety of NAPA programs, updates, and news about NAPA activities, visit our website and follow NAPA on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Alice Larotonda is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department at Brown University and Rachel Hall-Clifford is an assistant professor of anthropology and public health and the Director of the Public Health Program at Agnes Scott College.

Alice Larotonda ([email protected]), Rachel Hall-Clifford ([email protected]), and Briana Nichols ([email protected]) are the contributing editors for the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.

Cite as: Larotonda, Alice, and Rachel Hall-Clifford. 2017. “Supporting Practicing Careers.” Anthropology News website, August 4, 2017. doi: 10.1111/AN.548

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