2011 SfAA Podcasts are available

5 May

The SfAA Podcasts, a project I started with the support of UNT anthropology, continued this past March for the fifth year at the Annual Meeting of the SfAA in Seattle, WA.

We’re started to publish the 19 sessions that we recorded (links below).  I think that there are a few that will be of particular interest to business anthropologists and I’ve added a star to them below.  My panel, Ethics in Online Research, was recorded.  We focused on what it takes to make online ethnography and research practical in a business-context and how to balance ethics and client needs.

Becoming an Applied Anthropologist: Diverse Training Models With a Common Goal

Addressing New Frontiers of Applied Anthropology

Urban Food Systems: Culture and Security

Learning from Sol Tax in 2010, Part I

Learning from Sol Tax in 2010, Part II

“We Are All Arizona”: Expanding Immigration Enforcement and Political Struggles of Undocumented Immigrants, Part I (SLACA)

“We Are All Arizona”: Expanding Immigration Enforcement and Political Struggles of Undocumented Immigrants, Part II (SLACA)

Anthropological Insights into the 2011 Uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East

*Corporate Ethnography: Issues and Challenges, Part I

*Corporate Ethnography: Issues and Challenges, Part II

A Tribute to Franz Boas by Amelia Susman Schultz, His Last PhD Student

Environmental Impact on Public Health: Domestic and International

SfAA Awards Ceremony and Malinowski Lecture

*Ethics in Applied Online Research

What I’m up to these days. Making a career move.

3 Mar

Phew- these last two and a half years have been a whirl-wind. Back in September 2009 I thought I had the time to get back into blogging but I was wrong.  In fact, my 2010 was probably my busiest year yet while the small market research boutique I was working at went through a merger with a social media company and then an acquisition by a marketing company.

The merger and acquisition was an exciting time to be at Intrepid Consultants, especially because the focus was turning to virtual ethnography which was why I ended up at Intrepid in the first place.  I did my master’s thesis in translating virtual ethnography from academia into practice and I got to watch it become a true commercial product.

I’ve since left Intrepid.  Back in December 2010 I decided it was time for a change.  I felt like I wasn’t growing as much as I wanted to in my career.  I also realized that virtual ethnography was actually not what I wanted my legacy to be.  It was a hard decision to make and admittedly I didn’t have a plan when I put in my notice.  Crazy? Maybe. The right decision? Definitely.

Later this month I will start at SapientNitro down in Santa Monica.  I’m excited about the new opportunities and new climate.

I’ve realized a few things through this self-imposed sabbatical:

  • Job hunting and interviewing is a full-time job- I wasn’t on the hunt for long but properly going through the interview process did take a lot of my focus on many days. I wouldn’t have been able to properly do my job if I was going through an interview process
  • I need to learn to balance work and non-work life better. I fell so far behind in non-work things that I’ve spent the last six weeks catching up
  • An unemployed anthropologist can easily get involved in things that keep their CV growing. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities with the AAA, SfAA, etc. and these opportunities can be put on your CV
    • I’ve taken over as the Communications Committee Chair for NAPA and a lot of my days have been spent re-designing our website from an IA perspective and working with web designers (the new design isn’t launched yet)
    • I’ve also put a lot of work into the SfAA Podcast Project and helping the SfAA Office plan for the 2011 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA later this month

I feel mentally refreshed and I’m ready to get back to work.  But I admit I have really enjoyed these six weeks to focus on playing catch up, relaxing, and tending to my projects.

Help select the 2011 SfAA Podcast sessions due by 1/18

15 Jan

It’s that time again! We’re currently working to select the 17 sessions that will be recorded by the SfAA Podcast Team at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. Just like the last four years, these sessions will start to appear on this site in April as free audio recordings.

As co-manager, Yumiko, has already started to innovate the project. This year we’re using a survey tool to collect the many suggestions we get. We’d love to have your suggestions so please fill out the survey by the end of the day on Tuesday Janaury 18.

We’re asking for your help so that we can ensure a wide range of topics and interests are covered. We would like to request your input on what sessions we should record. Suggested selection criteria include:

  • Topic is “hot”
  • Topic is of widespread interest to many people
  • Well known speakers
  • Student speakers
  • A wide range of all disciplines and the four sub-disciplines are included
Please let us know your session suggestions by filling out our survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5RV8576!
We’ve created this survey off of this version of the program.

If you have comments or suggestions about the survey or the experience please email the team at sfaapodcasts(at)gmail(dot)com

AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION DISSOLVES, DECIDES TO START OVER TOMORROW

2 Apr

reposted from the anthrodesign Yahoo! listserv (Thanks Mark!):

APG Newswire WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Anthropological Association (AAA) made the announcement today that its Joint Committee for Publishing and Employment Services unanimously recommended the immediate dissolution of the AAA, stating there was nothing left to study.

James Curry, the newly-past President of the now defunct AAA, stated the organization had no choice. “Look, it’s all been done. All of it. We have talked to every god forsaken group on the planet, and there is nothing left to study.” “Frankly there is not even a job market out there for students.” Increasingly graduate students of these former anthropology programs have found themselves with little to do even when trying to complete their dissertations, much less do meaningful publishing. John Gault from Indiana University talks about hardships in the field: “I originally wanted to work with the Tsohon-djapa tribe living in the Javari region of Brazil. Turns out the F’ing Discovery Channel gave one of the kids there an HD webcam that runs 24/7. Now my dissertation is on some group of freaks outside of town that worship an old incandescent light bulb with a grease smudge that appears to be the image of Jesus. This blows”

To hasten the demise of the former organization, the AAA is recommending the destruction of all books, letters, monographs, white papers, dissertations and even master’s thesis work in the former field of Cultural Anthropology. The committee began by burning the minutes of their own meetings along with the abstracts and agendas of every meeting and conference the AAA has even been a part of.

Foster Kerry, the head of the committee was thrilled with the move.  “I am very excited for this new untouched field. Just imagine all of those utterly primitive cultures out there, such as Ireland, we know nothing about. With the advent of transportation like the steamship and the auto-mobile we have access to so many other places. Up to this point what we know about these primitive peoples are from the writings of missionaries. 2010 looks to be a great year for this new field of study.”

Not everyone is so pleased Martin Cost, a full professor at Walknut University has serious concerns about the announcement. “What the HELL, what the hell does this do to my Tenure!?” was the first official statement from Dr. Cost when informed of the move by APG reporters. “I am not doing that fieldwork crap again, no way.  My whole career has vanished.” APG asked one of Dr. Cost’s graduate students to comment on the potential destruction of most tenured faculty members careers, including Dr. Cost. That graduate student stated “BAHAHAHAHAHA!  HAHAHAHAH! HAHAHAHAHHAHA!”

Dr. Curry has some understanding for the concern.  “Look its true; teaching positions, publishing, tenure, sex with natives before any ethics are laid out, are totally up for grabs at this point. Right now we have a lot of High School PE teachers filling in at their local colleges and universities teaching “health studies” until some real research gets underway.  We expect this to be a banner year for grants, people love to fund new fields of study.”

An ad-hoc committee has already been formed to discuss what to name this new field and set-up a professional organization. It is likely to focus on documenting the ways the simple, primitive, innocent folk lived before we were corrupted by modern conveniences.  A overall “Study of Man” if you will.

Librarians nationwide also hailed the move for freeing up an enormous amount of space in the countries libraries which is now expected to be used for coffee and pastry kiosks.

Blogging for four years!

23 Mar

I’ve been out traveling for the last 10 days attending SxSWi in Austin, then visiting family in Melbourne, FL and now in Merida, Mexico for the SfAA Annual Meeting and the SfAApodcasts.  Some how in the craziness I missed my blog birthday!  I started blogging over at AnthroBlogs 4 years ago.  I moved over to this site over a year ago (but brought the old posts with me).  Admittedly, I haven’t been very active in the last year but I’m hoping to get back with it soon.  Here’s the very first post I wrote way back before I started graduate school and anthropology podcasts existed…. I’m not graduated with my Master’s and working out in the real world and recording the SfAApodcasts for the fourth time. Oh how time flies.

Design anthropology literature review

2 Mar

I wrote a design anthropology literature review back in the summer of 2007 for an independent study course with Christina Wasson at UNT.  The paper is an overview of the field, the methodologies, the theory and the people of the field.  I get requests for this paper from time-to-time so I’ve decided to make it available on this site.  You can you download the paper here.

I’m back! Well, I never really left…

6 Sep

I graduated last month from the University of North Texas online masters program in applied anthropology. Finally. My practicum consumed most of my life for the last year as I was also working full-time in a market research agency. No excuse really, but I’m back now and that’s what counts.

Since May 15, 2008 (the last year post) sort of in this order:

  • Changed my blog name from Synthesis of Thought (but I’m not sure what I’ve changed it to yet)
  • Got an internship at Intrepid Consultants, Inc – a Seattle based market research firm specializing in technology
  • Moved to Seattle and started my internship/practicum in “Translating Virtual Ethnography from Academia into Practice”
  • Got married – eloped in San Francisco on the second day of the AAA last November
  • Gone back-and-forth on if I want to go by “Jen Kersey” or “Jen Cardew Kersey” or “Jen Cardew” professionally, but Kersey legally… it’s tough
  • Continued to work on the SfAA Podcasts (the quality is SO much better this year, check them out http://www.sfaapodcasts.net)
  • Wrote a 99 page write-up about my practicum
  • Went to Hawaii
  • Graduated!
  • Went to EPIC2009 in Chicago

I’m still working on fixing links on this site and getting it organized. Once that’s set, I’m going to start a series about my practicum.  The work itself is confidential but the issues I encountered in translating an academic methodology into practice are ones that I can talk about.

More soon.

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