Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Biological Anthropologists Anonymous

Hi, my name is Julienne and I am a biological anthropologist. For reals. It always felt weird saying that when I was in grad school but since I graduated in 2007 it feels more and more like an actual piece of my identity, and I have to say, it's pretty cool. However, once I finished, I found myself looking around wondering, "Damn. Now what?" Our focus for so many years is the dissertation - what is it? how do we do it? who pays for it, other than our livers? - so when we're finished (and the celebratory hangover wears off) many of us are left realizing that we don't have a clue how to manage this early phase of our professional careers. That's why I held a happy hour for the new biological anthropology investigators at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting this year, largely out of selfish motives, i.e. I don't know what I'm doing a lot of the time. I can has help?

I want those of us in that loosely defined "early phase" of our professional careers as biological anthropologists to have a community to draw on, a safe place where we can share our experiences: on the job market and the tenure track, in the lab and the field, through microscopes and binoculars, from post-defense to pre-tenure, as adjuncts, assistants, visitors, and academic hobos of all stripes. So, I'm introducing the Biological ANthropology Developing Investigators Troop, or BANDIT, in the hopes of bringing together a troop of like-minded primates lucky enough to have a career in studying other primates in their endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.

I hope we use this blog as a clearinghouse of information, websites, and links to documents (e.g. syllabi!) of use and interest to the group. I would also like to see us use it to post anonymous questions of a sticky nature (e.g. "What did I do to piss off my department chair and what can I do to fix it?") so we can counsel each other. Since most of us only see each other a couple of times a year at most, let's pull up a virtual chair and lend a virtual ear. Many of us are in departments where we are the only biological anthropologist (and in some cases, the only anthropologist, period) so we have much to offer each other, even if it's only tea and sympathy (or preferably, martinis and vindication).

Welcome, and please spread the word!


  1. Hi Julienne,

    Thank you for developing this blog!

    Pablo Nepomnaschy

  2. This is a great idea, looking forward to seeing more of your posts and those of others. You've been bookmarked!

  3. Thanks so much for starting this! Looks great!