March 2010 Archives

April is the time for rain, taxes, and decline letters from grad schools. How can you improve your odds of getting into the program you want to next year?

malinowski2.pngWhen grad schools evaluate candidates for their masters and doctoral programs, they generally focus on things such as:

  1. Fit. Are there several faculty members or topical/regional concentrations that make you appealing to the department, and vice versa?
  2. Preparedness. Do you have field experience and know the local language, and have you taken some anthropology classes before? Why are you interested in this site and topic, and will your project have legs?
  3. Intellectual ability. This is generally gauged through the transcripts, letters, and statement of purpose.

How can you improve your strengths in each of these areas?

  1. Fit. Go through the department websites, see how the department describes itself and its topical / regional strengths. Make sure there are several faculty at differing ranks that might be interested in your work, and contact them.
  2. Preparedness. Summer field schools, MA programs, language study.
  3. Intellectual ability. Work on the statement as much as possible. Make sure your letters of recommendation are written by faculty who know you well, think positively of you, and have plenty of time to craft a good letter.

Comments and thoughts more than welcome!

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NYLUG '10: Colloquium in Photography


Photoethnography, Visual Anthropology, and the Leica

The invention of the first Leica camera in 1913 ushered in new
possibilities for naturalistic photography. Heavy tripod-mounted
wooden cameras could be replaced by Oskar Barnack’s pocketable little
brass wonder. Dozens of bulky film plates could be exchanged for a
single interchangeable film cartridge. New vistas for street and
field photography were opened up. Anthropologists were early adopters
of this technology to bring back images from across the world. It is
remarkable that almost a hundred years later we are still using the
same film in much the same film cartridge that Oskar Barnack
originally developed.

Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist of Japan.
An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University, she has
written an award-winning ethnography titled Deaf in Japan. She is
known as the creator of the website and has also
filmed and edited two ethnographic films.

In this presentation, Karen will be talking about how the history of
visual anthropology, how she uses her Leica cameras in her fieldwork,
and share some of the photographs that she has taken in Japan,
Malaysia, China, and the United States.


School of the International Center of Photography
1114 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue and 43rd Street)
New York City

Date and Time:
Saturday, May 22 at 5:30PM

For more information:

My favorite panel at the JAWS-Austin conference was the film / festschrift of Professor Keith Brown, hosted by Prof. William Kelly and featuring the documentary film "Can't Go Native" by David Plath.

The film Can't Go Native celebrates the fifty year relationship that anthropologist Keith Brown has had with the community of Mizusawa, Japan. This is one of the most touching films that I've seen about an anthropologist and the community he works with.

Well, down with the Austin Flu, I installed MT 5.01 on the blog today. Of course the upgrade didn't go as smoothly as promised and all the stylesheets broke, but that is now par for the course for me. Fixed everything up and it should be running OK now.

The only significant user change that should be visible is that you can now login with your Facebook login as an authentication method, along with several other ID providers. I guess OpenID is never going to take on as planned, but it's nice to see that SixApart is trying to accept as many authentication tokens as they can.

Oh, and rebuilding the site does genuinely seem a tiny little bit faster with MT5. I spoke too fast! For some reason, rebuilding my entire site has ground to a halt. It now takes over 25 minutes for an entire rebuild, whereas previously it didn't seem that slow. Not sure what is going on here.

This was done with a real person using paint. Unbelievable.


Via Gizmodo.

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