It goes without saying that the job market for academic anthropologists is bleak given the number of PhDs looking for jobs at universities and colleges. On top of this, a recent article in American Anthropologist highlighted the fact US academic anthropology mostly hires anthropologists from 15 PhD-granting programs, while there are many more high quality training programs that offer a doctorate in anthropology.
As the lone anthropologist at a small teaching university in West Baltimore, I have often sought collaborative opportunities with disciplinary colleagues at nearby institutions.
The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love.” When I first encountered this Peace Corps motto as a child in the 1970s, I could not have known that I would join Peace Corps in Armenia, or that the country’s people would make such an impression that I would return there twenty-five years later. Going back to Armenia recently has led me to reflect on my experiences, on the value of Peace Corps, and on anthropological goals.
My daughter Luna is now eight months old, chubby, with a wide-mouthed smile and bright eyes. I’m here to study community responses to youth “return” from the United States and Mexico—return often, although not always, being a sanitized word for deportation. We have been in Guatemala eight weeks now, long enough to begin settling in, and slowly to understand the vastness of what I don’t understand.
There are moments in life when the stars align and you rush to go where the path leads. In 2016, we had the opportunity to help inform developing health policy and programs in California—and we took it. We created two ethnographic videos designed to be used by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to inform policymakers at the state and federal levels, senior program designers, legislators, and service organizations in California.