Dr Ann Wand discusses with Dr Kayla Rush, Ellen Wiles and Dr Alfonso Del Percio the importance of ethnography as an academic form of writing and the benefits ‘creative writing’ can add to the academic discipline.
Working in academia can be a rather isolating experience, especially for those individuals, like myself, who thrive on personal communication. I deliberately chose to pursue a career in Anthropology due to my passion for human interaction, but found that during the course of my doctorate I was anything but ‘interactive’. Many countless hours were spent in front of the computer, a device I learned to love as well as hate, only to emerge from my cocoon as a tired, albeit accomplished doctoral graduate. After receiving my degree, I embarked on the arduous job search only to realize how very few day-to-day people were familiar with my discipline, let alone the topics that I encountered. ‘Do you work with dinosaurs?’ one person asked. ‘Oh, I know! You’re like a pediatrician!’ ‘Well, not exactly,’ I would reply, trying to suppress my frustration.
It was only after many months (now years) of disappointing emails which read, ‘We regret to inform you but…’ that I decided to take unemployment by the horns and redirect my energy towards something more productive. I initially created the educational forum ‘Exploration through Education’ back in 2016 as a way to connect with the public, but also to allow academics and non-academics alike to access research conducted in different fields. Why should people with a general interest in education have to register with JSTOR when they could learn about up-and-coming research through my website and others? But by 2017 I decided to up my game and began a podcast series instead called ‘Coffee and Cocktails’. The theme of the first show? Addressing unemployment issues and job insecurity for early career researchers, the results of which eventually turned into an academic peer-reviewed blog article. While my family was apprehensive that this podcast would eventually become a show for people to jump on their soap boxes, I wanted to re-establish the purpose of dialogue to allow individuals to discuss solutions. As academics continue to advance their careers on a gradually precarious, slippery slope, we need to remember that by interacting with people outside of academia we are only helping to promote our discipline(s) by introducing the research that we have done.
Ann Wand is a Research Affiliate of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford University. When she’s not familiarizing herself with social media, or working on her monograph, she is teaching her daughter how to speak ‘American’, and playing with her Dalmatian, Buddy.
This month’s episode promises to be an interesting discussion on the importance of ethnography both within and outside academia and the difficulties faced when trying to apply ethnographic writing to other (non) academic disciplines.
Our guest-speakers include…
Dr Kayla Rush, Adjunct Faculty in Sociology, Clark State Community College, Springfield, Ohio
Dr Alfonso Del Percio, Lecturer at University College London, Institute of Education
Ellen Wiles, University of Stirling, author of The Invisible Crowd (HarperCollins, 2017)
Dr Ann Wand sits down with community storyteller, Dr Joanna Gilar to discuss her newest project, ‘The Giant’s Garden’, designed to encourage literacy and sustainable interaction for children and their parents.
In Episode 8 Dr Ann Wand, Dr Ana Ranitović and Dr Susan Larson discuss career paths outside academia, including the influences, positives and negatives of their own experiences.
This Sunday marks our 8th episode focusing on ‘Alternative career options for academics’ with Dr Ana Ranitović of the University of Groningen and Dr Susan Larson of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr Ana Ranitovic
Research Analytics Policy Officer, University of Groningen
Dr Susan Larson
Educational Services Specialist for the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Minneapolis Battalion ESS
Dr Ann Wand and guest-speakers, Dr Pia Jolliffe and Mr Rasmus Rodineliussen, discuss the positives, negatives and tips of the trade that come with having children in academia.
Coffee & Cocktails is back this month with a new episode on work-life balance for (new) parents in academia. After a much needed maternity break, we decided to explore the positives, negatives and tips of the trade that come with being a parent in a research-based environment. Below is a sneak peak of our upcoming guest-speakers!
Dr Pia Maria Jolliffe, University of Oxford; Research Fellow, Blackfriars Hall; Teaching and Research Associate, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies
Dr Kamran Khan from the University of Lleida, in Catalonia, Spain and visitor at King’s College, London tells us about his most recent work on citizenship, ESOL policy and (Islamophobic) suspicion in the UK.
Constance Mbassi Manga, doctoral researcher at Lancaster University, talks about migratory issues faced by Cameroonian ex-pats in the UK, France and US and how identity is made sense of through the use of Camfranglais.
Host: Dr Ann Wand (Oxford University)
Episode 5: The use of Camfranglais amongst the diaspora