Advancing Science in Anthropology: a roundtable

Thanks to those who made it out last Friday to our roundtable at the AAA meetings, ‘Advancing Science in Anthropology: 10 years of SAS’, commemorating 10 years of the Society for Anthropological Sciences, reflecting on our past and future. Of course, I know that many/most of you are either not AAA members or were not able to attend the meetings or had a conflict. Fortunately, Stephen Lyon (@stelynews) and I (@schrisomalis) were live-tweeting the event, so we are now glad to be able to share with you the Storify of the whole roundtable, including a summary of all the panelists and discussion from the audience.  Thanks to all who participated!

Another summer gone

All lies.  The promises I made to myself that I’d post here even while I was doing my fieldwork: all the products of a self-deluded mind.  Is this what happens when you get tenure?  Who knew?

In any event, yes, I’m still alive, and yes, as alluded above, I now have tenure and can spend the next 30 years ranting about ‘kids these days’ or whatever I choose, but no, I haven’t been around much online – although I have been spending some time on Twitter @schrisomalis.  But enough wallowing.  No time for wallowing.

Once again I’ll be teaching my undergraduate Language and Culture class, which starts tomorrow – except where I had 36 students last year, this year I have 61 (!). Who knows how it happened, although I’m not really complaining.    I am running the Lexiculture project again, no matter how ill-advised that may be with a class of that size.  With luck, I’ll end up with a dozen or more papers submitted to the online repository, volume 2.  I’ve been collecting new words for the project all year, and now have about 70 or so, which of course, I thought would be plenty, but turns out to be barely enough.  But enough, nonetheless.  I’ll post the full list I’m making available to the students. 

I’m also trying something really new this year.  Last winter, my Culture, Language, and Cognition course was successful but big for a senior/grad course – I had over 20 enrolled, not all of whom had an enormous interest in the topic.  But I have several grad students working on projects with such a bent, or prepping for qualifying exams, or otherwise interested, and they didn’t really get as much of a chance to engage with the ideas as they would have in a seminar.  So this term I’m running a sort of weird hybrid directed study / seminar for a half-dozen of the folks from that class, a book-a-week thing focused on contemporary books in the field (broadly construed).  The students will be posting reviews of these books in this very location – stay tuned for more on that!

In the spirit of general exhaustion, I’ll be doing three or four conferences this year, publishing some results off my long-term ethnographic project at the Math Corps (hard to believe it’s been six years, really), finishing off a couple of articles that have been roaming the mighty savanna of my desk for far too long, and getting to work on the next book(!).  After all, there’s always the next promotion!   Apparently I am too stupid to realize that I don’t have to exhaust myself with work.