Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Rejection

Actually, this isn't my first rejection. But it is the first rejection since I started applying for things like crazy starting in January.

I applied for a travel award for the Society for Applied Anthropology for their annual meeting in Seattle at the end of March. They extended their deadline, so I thought I had a reasonable chance at being chosen for the award. I had looked at plane tickets, hotel accommodations, picking which sessions I'd go to... But I didn't get chosen for the award. Apparently "almost 40 people applied." And for whatever reason, I didn't make the cut. I can't afford to go to the conference on my own, so sadly, I'm going to miss the conference. I am, however, planning to apply for the travel award next year and maybe even plan to go on my own if I can. I have found that rather than being the red-headed stepchild of Anthropology, Applied Anthro is where some of the most interesting critiques of creating and using knowledge occur. They don't seem to be afraid of working outside of the boundaries of established boundaries, and that really appeals to me.

Speaking of which, I am in the middle of finals at UCSD. It's so odd working within their 10 week quarters and the end just seems to have come far too soon. I've read 6 out of 7 articles within the book Anthrohistory: Unsettling Knowledge, Questioning Discipline that I chose to read as part of an alternate final project for my Historical Anthropology class. I'm really looking forward to discussing these articles with my professor next week, more so than writing the actual paper.

I also have to write a highly ambiguous final using two "questions" (more adequately described as very broad topics) that we are supposed to use to engage with the five ethnographies we read for the class. That's due Monday morning right before I have another dentist appointment. Then there's my Japanese final on Tuesday.

Back to the applying for things topic... I have applied to three research programs/internships so far for this summer and I'm trying to decide if I want to apply for any more. I'm planning on applying to at least one more that's due early next month. There's also another one I just learned about that has a priority deadline in about a week, but it's more archaeology-oriented, and I'm not sure if it would be as helpful as some other programs. I'm concerned that I'm not going to receive any internships and I'm just going to be stuck doing a bunch of "unofficial" things this summer.

As soon as finals are done in a week, I'm going to concentrate again on my own project that I began about a month and a half ago - autoethnography. I became really excited about this methodology after I realized that I was using myself as a subject in my ethnography of my work environment at a mid-range hotel. Some of my inspirations include Carolyn Ellis in The Ethnographic I and Brannick and Coghlan's article (see below). I also have a growing stack of library books that have been calling out my name.

In addition, I'm hoping to help out in a research assistant capacity with one of my current professors. I'll be talking about this with him more next week when we talk about my final paper. I'm hoping that the less than spectacular midterm paper I submitted doesn't make him reconsider.

Those are my current academic goals. I think I'm realizing that in order to progress, I need to create my own opportunities rather than getting chosen for awards and internships and other "official" recognitions of my abilities as a developing scholar. But those recognitions would still be nice.


Brannick, Teresa, and David Coghlan
2007 In Defense of Being “Native”: The Case for Insider Academic Research. Organizational Research Methods (10)1: 59-74.

Ellis, Carolyn
2004 The Ethnographic I: a Methodological Novel About Autoethnography. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.