We aim to explore the social conditions and processes of graduate education in anthropology. Our hope is to promote greater reflexive attention to our own social world; to explore the contradictions between our ideals and our practices; and to look into how graduate education could be improved. The project originally began in Spring 2006, and has led to an AAA panel (2007), some short articles in Anthro News (2008), and a long essay collection in Michigan Discussions in Anthropology (2010).
Our contributors come from universities all across North America. Our work takes up everything from political exclusion to emotional crisis to meditation; it ranges everywhere from personal essays to global critiques. It proposes to revise our writing, to revise our ethics, our pedagogy, our internal politics, our emotional lives, our very forms of community. At the same time, it offers analyses of the current structural problems of our discipline and even at times indicates how we become invested in our own contradictions. And this project reminds us too that we are not born with a magical, spontaneous understanding of our institutional situation. Sara Stephens and Amelia Fay, writing together, note that at times we "cannot admit that we lack the theory and language in academia to understand or express the 'lived realities' we will face in the everyday world." This project is a place where one such language is trying to develop itself in public.