The Graduate Student Network offers students an opportunity to actively shape anthropology’s direction by working with the Center for a Public Anthropology to emphasize, encourage, and enhance anthropology’s ability to actively address public concerns. It draws together a network of committed graduate students to [1] help transform anthropology into a more socially accountable discipline that actively and effectively addresses critical social problems beyond the academy, [2] provide a community for discussing and publishing seminal works in public anthropology, and [3] insure the Center for a Public Anthropology sponsored projects are effectively carried out.

Each doctoral granting department will have at least one graduate student liaison who will work with student liaisons at other schools. Students will be selected based on [a] a willingness to volunteer for the position, [b] a statement in the submission form -- see the link below -- regarding why you are interested in the position along with [c] a follow-up conversation in which you can further explore what the position entails and whether your particpation makes sense for you as well as the Center.

Since the Network is new, it will obviously evolve with time and experience. But the basic advantages and responsibilities of the position are highlighted below.


1. The liaison position offers graduate students an opportunity to actively shape anthropology's direction -- drawing anthropology and anthropologists to address the concerns of those beyond outside the academy, to serve the common good.

2. Publish on the public anthropology website (, a favorite piece dealing with public anthropology – either by you or someone else.

3. Place on the public anthropology website, your CV, goals and interests. This information will be searchable by fellow participants in the network so you can link up with other graduate students at other schools who share your interests.

4. The right to nominate and vote on the best article and book in public anthropology for that year. (The selection process will be limited to those participating in the Graduate Student Network.) The winning publications will be prominently displayed on the website.

5. Meeting at the AAA with prominent individuals involved with public anthropology – such as the Editors of the California Series in Public Anthropology Book Series (Paul Farmer, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Philippe Bourgois, Carolyn Nordstrom, Alex Hinton, Naomi Schneider, and Rob Borofsky if and when they attend an AAA meeting)

6. A chance to gain career advice from the one or more of the faculty facilitators helping oversee the Graduate Student Network.

7. The normal 20% discount on UC Press books that occurs during November-December without having to attend the AAA meeting.


The position should take no more than an hour per week of a student's time and usually should take significantly less time.

1. Act as liaison between Center for a Public Anthropology and the student’s department. Briefly, the major projects sponsored by the Center for Fall 2009 will be: [a] the 2nd Annual California Series in Public Anthropology Book Competition ( [b] the 2nd Public Outreach Assessment (in which Graduate Departments are assessed in relation to one another regarding the public outreach of their programs and faculty), [c] the Public Anthropology Media Competition (in which a $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best media strategy for spending $30,000 /year for up to five years for the repatriation of Yanomami blood -- something all the parties concerned claim to want to do but that never seems to occur despite their expressed intentions), and [d] the Community Action Website (which draws students in introductory anthropology classes from across North America into actively addressing public problems through writing effective "Op-Ed" pieces for newspapers).

2. Provide interested faculty with information regarding these projects and forward question the graduate student liaison cannot answer on to the webmaster of (Rob Borofsky).

3. Confirm with the relevant individuals within a student's department as to the accuracy of the data on the website for the Public Outreach Assessment Project.

4. Insure that graduate students and faculty in their and related departments are aware of the California Series in Public Anthropology Competition (

5. Let relevant faculty know about the Community Action Website (

6. If a graduate student liaison wishes, she or he can also carry out a personal project, ideally involving other students, related to Public Anthropology. The graduate student liaison can also publish a description of the project and its results on the Graduate Student Network so other graduate students can learn about it.