25 May 2017

Teaching Resource: Social Inequality and Teaching in the Academy

As anthropologists, we frequently teach about power dynamics and social inequality in our classrooms. Especially in the context of efforts to decolonize anthropology, many of us reflect on these relationships within our classrooms, within the university, in our relationships with our students, and the course content/ materials we teach.

In this vein, we offer this five-part series (2017) in which sociologist Elaine Coburn explores "Social Inequality and Teaching in the Academy." Coburn writes that "We live in an unequal world; these inequalities do not stop at the university classroom door." In this series, she considers "some ways unjust inequalities are (re)produced in the classroom" and through our relationship with our students.

Part I: Pedagogy is Not (Just) About Technique
Part II: The Problems with the Conscientious Pedagogue
Part III: The Practical Challenges of Broadening the Scholarly Canon
Part IV: As Professors, We are Not All Equal Before Our Students
Part V: “Imagine Otherwise” – Ways Forward

How might Coburn's reflections and suggestions be useful for how you plan your next class?

Additional resources:

22 May 2017

Undergrad & MAs career paths

If you're familiar with anthro everywhere! you might know that we have a special page addressing where and how people are Applying an anthropological perspective outside of university. Most of these links profile folks with PhDs in (sociocultural) anthropology making careers outside of the academy in "alt-ac" or applied careers.

Anthropology Major Fox
In my department, most anthropology majors or Masters students also follow career paths that take them outside of the university. A growing number of anthropology departments do offer some information on where their grads find jobs (e.g. University of British Columbia, York University, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University). Yet, it can still be difficult to find these examples and other hard data to share with our students -- or prospective students who aren't quite sure how a background in anthropology will serve them well after they graduate. There isn't a clear career path from anthropology major to anthropology job! It's with this in mind that this post offers a few links directed specifically toward undergraduate and MA-level anthropologists and their career choices and possibilities.

In 2016, the AAA Blog published this post to answer the question, What exactly are Anthropology MAs doing with their anthropology? You might also want to check out the (2010) report “Changing Face of Anthropology” from the AAA’s Committee on Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA), which provides some data regarding length of time to employment, types of jobs and tasks, the role of anthropology in respondents' workplaces/ work, and skills training.

For undergraduates who don't plan to pursue graduate studies, there are still many ways in which your anthropological training and perspective matter. Jason Antrosio's post Anthropology Major Jobs: Advice for Undergraduate Majors (Living Anthropologically, 2015) is a good place to start (re)thinking what majoring in anthropology might mean for your career prospects. Professional anthropologists offer a lot of great advice in the comments on this post, and on the FaceBook post for undergrads. You might also want to check out the AAA page Antrosio links to providing some more data on the kinds of careers (American) anthropology majors pursue.

More resources:
  • Our ability to conduct qualitative research -- including interviewing -- is an important part of the anthropologist's toolkit. So, it only makes sense that students use these skills in gathering information about potential future careers! One way to do this is through "informational interviewing," which we wrote about earlier this year. Informational interviewing is also a good way to begin networking with professionals working in fields that you might be interested in working in after graduation.
  • It's also important to learn how to think and talk about your anthropological training in a way that makes sense to people who might never have heard of anthropology. Have a look at our post on Articulating the Anthropological Toolkit to Non-Anthropologists for some tips on how to do this -- and also how to rethink what it is that you learn as an anthropology major or MA.
  • Our Advice for Grad Students page covers a lot of ground, but you might want to check out the "Professional Development Strategies" section for tips on how to start thinking about and preparing for life after university.
  • Check out this post (reviewing Field notes: A Guided Journal for Doing Anthropology) for a discussion of some of the insights that ethnographic methods training and experiences in the field allow anthropologists to develop.
  • Although a resource created by VersatilePhD, this Career Finder contains a lot of really useful information about careers in different sectors for Social Sciences & Humanities grads. Click on the "General information" tab to read a summary of what careers in a wide range of fields are like, including Business, Finance, Government, Institutional Research, K-12 Education, Law, Marketing, Nonprofits, Policy, Publishing, Technology and more.

Quick Links:

18 May 2017

Islamophobia is Racism Syllabus

Adding to the impressive list of open access teaching resources, the Islamophobia is Racism Syllabus provides texts for "Teaching & Learning about anti-Muslim Racism in the United States."

The authors identify the following goals of their Syllabus:

  1. Define anti-Muslim racism as an alternative to the concept of Islamophobia
  2. Understand the relationship of race and religion to white supremacy through the racialized figure of the Muslim
  3. Provide an intersectional and comparative analysis to anti-Muslim racism
  4. Strategize ways to challenge anti-Muslim racism and resist white supremacy
  5. The syllabus is organized by the following themes and topics, which move from broader framing issues to more specific examples. Later readings may benefit from the contextualization provided by earlier sections.  

Bringing into conversation a wide variety of interdisciplinary texts -- both scholarly and popular -- this syllabus interrogates the relationship between Islampohobia and Racism through the following sections:
I. Race, Empire and Islam
II. The Production and Reproduction of Anti-Muslim Racism
III. The Impact of Anti-Muslim Racism
IV. Policing, Security and Anti-Muslim Racism
V. Resisting Anti-Muslim Racism
VI. Further Reading and Resources
While this syllabus provides a valuable resource for teaching on these topics, what further reading suggestions would you like to add to this collection? Do you have additional ethnographic or anthropological texts you would like to propose? Or perhaps texts that interrogate this relationship in non-American contexts? If so, email (anthrolens@gmail.com) or tweet us (@anthrolens) with your suggestions and we'll add them here!

Quick links and further reading: