After 4 years of absence, I’ve decided to return to a platform I vaguely remember writing about myself, for myself. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little unnerving trying to configure my thoughts onto a few pages, not because it’s terribly difficult but because I’m afraid of what I might encounter. Who knows what I’ll have to come to terms with throughout this process. And this my friends, is the scary part; not having the deep crevices of my mind to hide within, but rather coming face to face with the true nature of my wonderings.
Despite my fears, I will write; hoping to get clarity, comfort and little self-understanding. As an anthropologist, or maybe I should say aspiring? since I have yet to complete my Ph.D and many within the this community believe the end of a dissertation signifies a right of passage, marking you as a “true and real” anthropologist having paid your dues to the Ethnography and Fieldwork gods. But whatever I am, I’ve decided to apply the techniques and methodologies of my trade onto myself. As anthropologist, we ( hope that’s alright with everyone) expect our informers, collaborators or subjects ( take your pick, but each has their merit) to eventually disclose their most inner thoughts and perspectives in an attempt to illuminate a given context to this curious inquirer we call the anthropologist. Why not inhabit the role of a subject and the anthropologist, thus inquiring after and discovering myself.
Who said the mind cannot possibly understand itself?
Oh, right! centuries worth of philosophers. But never mind this. Being the skeptic that I am, I’ll be putting this to the test- as well as contributing some traditional ethnographic work centered on the value of Anthropology as a field and discipline. Too often, I find myself defending my choice of study against preconceived notions that characterize anthropology as a fruitless waste of time, with no real (obvious or immediate) benefit to society. Interviewing fellow anthropologist and social studies/humanities majors alike, I hope to help others re-discover anthropology and see it for the gem it truly is, all while shedding light on the infamous job hunt.
This is as much of an experiment for me, as it is for you ( assuming someone is reading this…a dangerous assumption I’m sure) But I’m eager to refine my ethnographic skills, and develop myself as an innovative anthropologist, so I can one day ( soon?) address global human rights and social justice issues through solid ethnographic research.
But, one step at a time…
Anthropology was the science that gave her the platform from which she surveyed, scolded and beamed at the world
– Jane Howard