When curating this thematic week, I wanted to end with some advice from Allegra Lab’s own editorial team. However, this turned out to be trickier than I had imagined. While I did get advice from some on the team, others were uncomfortable with the idea of giving advice. They were worried about sounding paternalistic or pompous. Initially, I was surprised by this response as I hadn’t anticipated a problem with seeking for advice. However, I understood where they were coming from. By framing it this way, it implied there was a hierarchy between those who were giving advice and those who were receiving it. As a result of their responses, I decided to shift the focus of this thematic thread.
Instead of focusing simply on the transfer of advice from one generation of anthropologists to the next, I tried to frame it as a dialogue between people in different segments of the anthropological community—whether it be students, academics, or those working outside academia.
Particularly for students who are interested in the discipline, I think this dialogue can be quite helpful. Therefore, I would like to encourage anthropologists to continue to discuss and share their experiences. On Twitter, the hashtag #Anthroadvice can be used to both share experiences and ask questions.
For those considering a post-graduate degree in anthropology, Miia Halme-Tuomisaari offered these words of advice: “try to get work experience from as many different fields as you can, definitely outside the academia too. With the way things are changing inside the academia today, such work experience will offer skills that may come in handy in numerous unknown ways. It will also offer a very valuable ‘outside perspective’ of not thinking that the academia is the only professional path that exists. An academic career is by definition one of vicarity these days, and thus anyone who chooses it as a life path will take a great risk. Thus having the buffer of other options via a broader range of experiences will be very useful. And also, so I claim, it will enrich one’s research.”
Throughout the week, we saw great advice being tweeted on Twitter using #Anthroadvice. Feel free to add your input and use #Anthroadvice on Twitter!