2016 Profiles

December 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Carolyn McConnell

Carolyn’s honours year at Deakin University was spent exploring alternative food movents; the raw milk movement in particular and how identity and political beliefs are expressed through choices in food consumption. She is currently exploring the idea of continuing on to a PhD and would ideally focus her research on issues surrounding environmental sustainability. She is currently researching the tiny house movement in Australia and wishes to explore how downsizing housing is an expression of post captalisism. In addition to this field of research, she is also interested in international surrogacy arrangements and notions of kinship

ANSA speaks to… carolyn mcconnell

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

Having grown up in a typical Australian household in a multicultural society I felt that my own cultural practices were rather bland in comparison to the multiplicity of cultural practices I was surrounded by. Anthropology felt like a natural choice to quell my curiosity and expand my knowledge in an increasingly diversified world.

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new toanthropology?

For those new to the study Anthropology, I would firstly recommend that you read widely with a critical mind, as the discipline not only opens your mind to the cultural diversity that exists in the world but challenges you   to think more broadly about your own cultural practices. Secondly I would suggest that you employ a reliable referencing system in order to keep track of everything you have read. Believe me, it is a frustrating process to not have that in place when you are writing large documents.

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

I am currently reading  Stan Grant’s, “Talking  To My Country”, written  in the aftermath of   the booing  incidents directed toward  Indigenous  AFL  player Adam Goodes in 2015.  Grant  a Wiradjuri man and journalist  uses  his own experiences  of  racism within Australian  society  as a platform  for  further  discussion surrounding  issues of  race and  identity within the broader Australian  context.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?

The best piece of advice given to me was when I was writing about food activism and the raw milk movement for my honours thesis. I was advised by one supervisor to be careful about not writing as an activist.  As a person passionate about equitable distribution of food resources, my  bias had the potential to get in the way of critical thought. This piece of advice was invaluable to my writing and research

5. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

My favourite quote at this point speaks to my disillusionment with our global leaders in the face of environmental and global instability
“The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.



 November 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Samson Keam


Samson is currently doing his PhD in Anthropology at Deakin University. His research project seeks to understand the interrelationships and intersections of the social, the cosmological and Nature through the prism of water in polonnaruwa, situated in the climatic dry-zone of Sri lanka

(at the time of interviewing Samson, he was in Colombo preparing for his colloquium!)

Samson can be reached via e-mail at: samson.keam@deakin.edu.au


ANSA speaks to… Samson Keam

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I was attracted to exotic (with all the troubled connotations that term entails) nature of anthropology and the possible adventures the school had to offer. I was also curious to know how other people thought about things we take for granted

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

I would say read broadly. Be open to talk to many people even if they themselves don’t seem related to the project you may be undertaking. And take notes along the way, even when your exhausted

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

I’m reading ‘an historical relation of Ceylon’ by Robert Knox and ‘When memory dies’ A. Sivanandan

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?

My best piece of advice so far is always accept something when it is offered to you.

5. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

If I knew someone was coming over with the expressed intention of doing good, I would flee’ – Henry David Thoreau


 October 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Dayne O’meara

Dayne is in the first year of his PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University. His research will be among the Karen people in the highlands of northern Thailand. Dayne’s project will focus on the role of various external institutions located within a single village, particularly the Catholic church and the public school. Key topics of scholarly interest include identity, education, Christianity, modernity, virtual spaces and new media. He has completed Honours in Anthropology at Deakin University in 2012 and a Master of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Australian National University in 2015.

Dayne can be reached via e-mail at: dayne.omeara@anu.edu.au  or follow him on Twitter: @ProfTeak


ANSA speaks to… Dayne O’meara

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?
To be perfectly honest, exoticism, which is not ideal. Fortunately I learned the problems with that fairly quickly. I started out studying Psychology, and was very sure of myself in my first year as an undergrad and was pleased with how objectively I thought I engaged with the world. I had a great teacher in this random anthropology elective about witchcraft though who shattered that view I had of myself and my outlook on other people’s ideas. The embrace of diversity that is so central to the discipline quickly convinced me that anthropology was super important moving forward with my life.2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?
Make use of institutions besides your home university. I’ve attended seminars at multiple Australian universities and bounced ideas off scholars all over the world. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re bound to the confines of people in your immediate vicinity due to your enrolment status, but that is not at all the case. Academics and HDR students are often really generous with their time even if you’re not technically their responsibility (they are busy though, so always be courteous if they fit you in somehow). My biggest writing tip relevant to the stage I’m currently at, is to actually be writing stuff, even when you don’t think you have anything to write about. Right now I’m just reading lots of stuff, taking notes, and filling out forms. But regularly writing more polished stuff is a really good habit to develop early on.
No fieldwork tips yet, but I have recently started a research vlog on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-Dc9SRqxOlcM3vQDsMT_W4FfG0_9jY6g), where I plan on sharing practical tips about fieldwork once I get to the village in February 2017. The vlog is targeted at people who are new to anthropology or considering doing a PhD, so please check it out to follow my project.3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?
I’ve usually got several on the go at once, but the highlight for me right now is, All American Yemeni Girls: Being Muslim in a Public School, by Loukia K Sarroub. I started it because it deals with some similar themes to my own project and I thought it could help me decide what kinds of methodological and theoretical approaches would work best in the school-based parts of my research. I really like it thus far as it is written in a style I really like, featuring strong central characters from among the author’s informants. I’ve found a lot of school-based ethnographies to be rather narrowly focused and boring to read, but this one looks well beyond the confines of the classroom and treats children as complete human beings.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?

Make sure that whatever you do, you’re passionate about it, because it is a really long haul. That’s a bit cliché, but I mention it because I’ve been feeling that passion waver at times this year dealing with the administrative side of planning my project. I’m confident moving forward though knowing first hand how I feel about the next parts. I love writing something that I can put my heart and soul into, and I made sure I was up for extended fieldwork by living in a village in Thailand for six months between degrees, teaching English and studying Thai. I know that I will love what I’m doing next year and that drives me through some of the more tedious bits.5. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

I’m hopeless at remembering quotes to do with academic stuff, so here’s one of my favourite lines from a webseries I watch. It’s taken from Red vs Blue and was written by filmmaker, Burnie Burns:
  A great love is a lot like a good memory. When it’s there, and you know it’s there, but it’s  just out of your reach, it can be all that you think about. You can focus on it, and try to force it but the more you do, the more you seem to push it away. But if you’re patient, and you hold still, well maybe… just maybe… it will come to you.
Keep this quote in mind when you despair at your lack of time for dating because of your PhD.6. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?
I spend a lot of time playing video games and watching movies/television/YouTube. When that’s at its peak though is when I compete in Pokémon tournaments with my friends. It’s a hobby that’s really helped me to come out of my shell and meet people from all over the place. In 2014 I made it over to the US to play in the World Championships and it was an amazing experience.


 SEPTEMBER 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Kelzang Tashi

Kelzang Tashi is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the Australian National University. He is first year student and hopes to embark on fieldwork in the next couple of months. His work will investigate transformation and religious syncretism of pre-Buddhist religion (Bon) of Bhutan due to modernity and state policy. Besides deconstructing binary oppositions between the two, following theoretical positions of Durkheim, Geertz, and Bourdieu, he intends to disentangle the tapestry of how Bon is embedded in bucolic sociality, kinship and personhood, economy and ecology, illness and healing, village politics and identity, agronomy and animal husbandry etc. It will further argue on the existing theories or theoretical models on religion and generate its own theories penetrating into Bon religion which is unique to itself.

You can contact Kelzang @  kelzang.tashi@anu.edu.au


ANSA speaks to… KELZANG TASHI

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I wasn’t able to choose one discipline in academia and stick with it for a long period of time. After my masters thesis I realised the need to find a new discipline of my interest. Hailing from different discipline it merits to term myself as an ‘academic prisoner’ who found solace in anthropology.

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

I am yet to go for fieldwork but learning a referencing software will definitely save time later. I am undergoing training on document management and referencing software, and hopeful that it will save my time later.

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure by Victor Turner

4. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences”. Ruth Benedict

5. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

Outside academia my favourite thing is photography. However as I don’t have time I am currently not having good terms with my camera.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?

Anthropologist get immersed in the field with open mind and generate their own new-theories.



 August 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: LUCAS MARIE

Lucas is a PhD candidate and sessional tutor in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. His research is within the field of cultural Anthropology and his doctoral thesis is focused within, and around, the world of hip hop; exploring matters relating to hip hops peoples lives, their representation in both academic and non-academic discourses, and the social conditions of the field of hip hop itself. Although his writing is anthropological in nature, it covers a broad range of interdisciplinary concerns – including but not limited to – discussions of embodiment, identity, ethnography, locality, ethnicity, gender and performativity. Not only is he doing research on hip hop, but he is an active hip hop dancer: a breaker or bboy as it’s more commonly known.

ANSA speaks to… LUCAS MARIE

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I think it was their discussions of and about people that took their experience absolutely seriously which first attracted me. Anthropology seems to have this capacity to find complexity and nuance in the everyday, and being able to tease out the significance of ‘the social’ was something I found fascinating and wanted to be a part of.

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

Although I am quite new to the field, I would recommend reading anything by the New Zealand Poet and anthropologist Michael D. Jackson. His work has had a great influence on mine and he has some great tips for those of us who do fieldwork.

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

I am currently reading a lot of scholarly hip hop texts, though one I always seem to keep close is Tricia Rose’s (1994) ‘Black Noise’. A powerful text for anyone interested in the power and politics of the hip hop voice.

4. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

One that comes to mind is a quote from William James who said, “Reality, life, experience, concreteness, immediacy, use what word you will, exceeds our logic; overflows and surrounds it. By reality, I mean where things happen.” I am not exactly sure where he said this, I think it was from a lecture he gave but I wrote it down and it is something I re-read to myself often.

5. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

Besides ‘breakdancing’ which I have been doing since I was thirteen, I enjoy going rock climbing and playing the piano (mainly classical and a bit of jazz).


 JULY 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Emmanuel Lohkoko Awoh

Emmanuel is a PhD Candidate in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne whose research focuses on the role of traditional authorities in conflict management and peace building in the North West of Cameroon. He compares two sites within this region, which have had rather different experiences with regard to ethnically coloured conflicts and attempts to diffuse it. His thesis attempts    to provide more content to democratisation discourses in the era of multi-party politics which has seen the old holders of pre-colonial forms of authority such as traditional leaders pick up new roles within the context of the modern state. He is interested on issues related to traditional forms of authority, power, legitimacy and local governance and also surviving indigenous forms of conflict resolution.

ANSA speaks to… EMMANUEL LOHKOKO AWOH

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I may not fully be considered as an anthropologist as I seat between anthropology and development studies. However, one can hardly be fully committed with ethnography without seeing himself as an anthropologist.  I was particularly driven by the desire of wanting to make the mundane practices of some communities in Cameroon peculiar. In doing this, I needed to find ways of preventing me from taking what I could see or hear in the field for granted. This wasn’t about doubting every information I could hear in the field. Rather, I needed a way of constantly orienting myself that things could be otherwise. It was the fear of single narratives that made me interested in anthropology.  This is because single narratives create stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are not true but that they are incomplete. They make one story to become the only story.

2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?

I was told by a retired professor in the  field  that the quality of my research wasn’t going to be determined by  the things my informants told me, but rather on my ability to capture the inherent  versions of what they would conceal from me.  He told me I needed to understand whether or not different version of those narratives were given due attention. His emphasis was that my informants in the field had power to colour their versions. Power here is the ability not just to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person. This was an eye opener for me in the field. I needed to watch them eat, drink, in their farms, their local markets and social corners in the evenings at village square and meeting houses. To him, that is where I could find the answer to my research puzzle.

3. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

That will depend on the interest of the individual and what the person sets out to achieve. Most importantly I would like to discourage the feeling that doing anthropology must always be tight to long term ethnographic immersion. My advice  will be that  the method we used should be determine by our research goals as it may be that some projects could better be conceived as secondary or library based and should not be seen as second best when compared with field work based research.

4. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

I am currently battling with two books at the moment, One by Nkwi Gam walter titled African modernities and mobilities An Historical ethnography of   Kom Cameroon. It is a book carefully written and in a way that is easy to read. At one point it reads like a novel but it explores and captures how traditions accommodates modernity and also allows itself to be accommodated by new exigencies. The other is a novel by Asong Linus a Cameroonian writer of blessed memory titled ‘The Crown of thorns ‘

5. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

I like this quote  form Walter  Mignolo on the coloniality of knowledge and western epistemology   “As is well known, a room looks altered if you enter it from a different door … of the many doors through which one could have entered the room of philosophy only one was open… the rest were closed”. “Entry into the open door   heavily regulated”.

6. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

OH oh , I’m a farmer  I grew with my parents who were farmers, we use  to grow coffee and cocoa.   Now that I am no longer there to assist   if I am not studying I go drinking vodka. I club, though not very often



 June 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Margaret Becker

Margaret is in the final stages of her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Adelaide. Her doctoral research focuses on women and development in Kathmandu, Nepal. In particular her thesis is concerned with what women’s organisations are doing in the name of ‘empowerment’, a buzzword ubiquitous in development discourse and practice. Margaret’s research interests also include women’s rights, health, and citizenship. Recently, Margaret was awarded the 2015 Wang Gungwu Prize for the best article published in Asian Studies Review in 2015: ‘Constructing SSLM: Insights from Struggles over Women’s Rights in Nepal’.

ANSA speaks to… Margaret Becker

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I’ve always been interested in cultures other than my own. In my early 20s I travelled extensively. The highlight was spending four months travelling in Africa, where I realised that I wanted to do more than travel – I wanted a deeper understanding of the places I was visiting. A friend was studying anthropology and it sounded really interesting. So when I began my Arts degree I enrolled in first year anthropology, which was then a full year subject. I was hooked after the first lecture. During that year I read Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Death without Weeping. It had a huge impact on me and her work continues to feature in my writing.2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about doing anthropology and/or ethnography?I don’t know if it’s the best piece of advice but its something that’s remained with me. As I was about to embark on fieldwork an experienced anthropologist in my department told me to throw my research proposal in the bin as I walked through the airport. I believe that there is some truth to that. If you go with a set of questions, the chances are you’ll find answers to those questions. Rather, go with some broad themes and an open mind and let the field present what is most important.3. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?Beginning to write your thesis can be difficult, especially when you’re just back from the field with so many different ideas that you don’t know where to start. Remember that it is through writing that the analysis happens so just get something down, even if you feel like setting a match to it. It may feel like the worst piece of rubbish you’ve ever written but send it to your supervisors and get feedback and direction. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time.4. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?I’ve got two on the go right now. One is academic: Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society by Lila Abu-Lughod. It is beautifully written and a good example of an excellent ethnography. The other is non-academic: All that I am by Anna Funder. I’ve read it before but it is one of my favourites. I read this at night to switch off from the thesis.5. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?Both relate to doing a PhD. ‘This too, shall pass’ and ‘you are more than your thesis!’. Both have been helpful during this roller-coaster ride.

6. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

I’m in the final stages of writing up my thesis so it’s the small things that I’m appreciating right now. Walking our dog Louie with my son – anywhere away from the computer! – but particularly at Brown Hill Creek, the beach or in Victoria Park. I also love going to the cinema, particularly to see foreign films.


 May 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: THOMAS WRIGHT


Thomas is a current PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland, focussing on perceptions of environment with a focus on water, tourism and marine environments in Bali.


ANSA speaks to… Thomas Wright

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?
I grew up with an interest in different cultures and my parents bestowed on me the curiosity to learn how people live across this planet. Anthropology just made sense to me, and I’ve enjoyed learning about it ever since2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?For writing: the first step is the hardest. Once you start writing, the words often [hopefully] just start to flow. Editing is a different story, it can be tedious.I’m currently still doing fieldwork so don’t think I can give great tips, but try to follow one of my supervisor’s advice to ‘nurture the authenticity of curiosity’, meaning to follow my intuition.3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?
Bateson: Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Florus et al: Kebudayaan Dayak – Aktualisi dan Transformasi4 What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?
This steadily changes, currently it is: ‘every day is a voyage’.5. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?Surfing, riding a motorbike, spending good time with friends and family, eating, enjoying coffee. Preferably some of these combined.

 April 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Heather Threadgold

Heather graduated with an Honours degree in Anthropology from Deakin in 2015. Heather’s research is split between two distinct genres of cultural anthropology: Indigenous living space and stone arrangements and street art culture.

For the past 13 years, Heather has been researching Wathaurong living space in Victoria including an ancient stone arrangement that lies within the volcanic region. Heather’s research and theory is based upon the meanings of stone arrangements as learning maps defining landscape, seasonal movement, burial sites and meeting places.

For the past two years, Heather has recorded, interviewed and worked alongside street art project organisers, artists and volunteers. The most recent project was the Wall to Wall Festival in Benalla in March 2016. Fieldwork took place over the three days and an ethnographic report is currently being collated for the curators, organisers, councils and local MP in order to determine the perspective of the festival from organiser, public, artists and council, yet most importantly the impact on and creation of community alliances.

Heather can be contacted via: anthroaustconsultant@hotmail.com


ANSA speaks to… HEATHER THREADGOLD

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I definitely believe growing up on Wilson’s Promontory National Park for the first 11 years of my life led to my passion in anthropology. Being in such a remote and diverse natural space meant I had time to explore and imagine the many lifetimes and movements of people past in this region. There were remnants of ancient middens and the more recent colonial homestead sites and graves. It was the fact that we lived amongst such an array of animals and landscapes that defined the accessibility and dependability of the environment around us. From there I really wanted to be a spy, or a detective. I guess in a way as anthropologist, I am.

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

I have only recently set myself up as a consultant so I am learning new things every day. The most important factors I have discovered in approaching fieldwork are to be organised, keep things simple (I have the most basic equipment on the job; my notebook, camera and Dictaphone) and always take time to question yourself and your approach in your role as anthropologist.

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

I am reading Art, Anthropology and the Gift by Roger Sansi, 2015. This is a very inspiring book in relation to my current street art projects.

I work in a library and this can be a real struggle. I want to read everything! I constantly have a pile of books on my bedside table and desk. The majority of these books are currently on the subject of colonial art. I guess I am in the realms of visual anthropologist in regards to my work on Indigenous living space as I am constantly pouring over old paintings, drawings, sketches and descriptions of pre-settlement environment.

4 What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

I have never really taken on quotes or phrases. I probably have more of my own practical belief in that you should never over plan, always remain optimistic as there is always a way to do things or make things happen. I do tell my son regularly that the most important thing you can master is patience.

5. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

Getting out into the bush, or down the coast. Being in the outdoors and breathing in the fresh air.



March 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Debbi Long

ANSA speaks to… DEBBI LONG

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?

I was an activist – a feminist pissed off by sexism and racism (which I have since learnt to call misogyny, viricentrism and ethnocentrism). At a certain point in my twenties I realised that to change things effectively and constructively you have to understand them deeply and well. Anthropology seemed to offer the best tools for understanding power un-balances and societal structures of inequity. That was nearly 30 years ago now, and I’m still working on the “understanding” bit of the equation. Anthropologists embrace messy complexity, rather than trying to reduce social phenomena to easy-to-measure “variables”. We are happy to get our hands dirty, literally, theoretically and intellectually, and I find that engagement with complexity endlessly and deeply satisfying.

2. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

Read, read, read. Read ethnographies. Watch ethnographic films. Read biographies of anthropologists. Read ethnographic anthologies in your field(s) of interest.
One of the impacts of increasingly improving web technology and access has been that although students are engaging innovatively with multi media, they are reading less, and reading differently. Journal articles are more accessible, which means a lot of students are not visiting libraries physically, or aren’t taking the time to read “whole” books. Journal articles generally offer the outcome of ethnographic study, but rarely offer the kind of insight into undertaking fieldwork that you get from ethnographies themselves. The thing that anthropology students lose out of this is ethnographic heritage. You can’t teach ethnographic method through a textbook: the best preparation for fieldwork is to have all the “ancestral” stories available to you. We learn the art and craft of ethnography by doing it, and by studying those who have done it. Having said that, it’s also important to engage with the incredible array of visual resources that we now have access to through youtube and other platforms, and the ease of access of online articles is wonderful.
In terms of fieldwork: invest in and maintain your relationships with your honours and/or PhD cohorts. It’s such an idiosynchratic journey we make into our ethnographic fieldsites, and we need the support of people who “get” it. Allow passion to be one of the factors that influences the choices you make in terms of fieldsite. It’s a long term relationship you’re entering into, and it works better if you care you about your field passionately. Invest time in language learning. Know yourself: know what you need to bring you calm and centredness in the middle of chaos. Know what it is you need to keep you disciplined. Fieldwork is fun and chaotic and a roller coaster ride, but it is also based on systematic data collection and analysis. Know what systems work for you. Pick the brains of experienced ethnographers in terms of their data collection, recording and analysis techniques. We all develop our own idiosynchratic methods, but there is no point in reinventing the wheel, and it’s great to get ideas from experienced fieldworkers.

3. What book are you currently reading (academic or otherwise)?

Michael Marmot’s “The Health Gap”; Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie’s “Americanah”. My lighter self is about to start the newest Janet Evanovitch, and then I’ll get into re-reading Peter O’Donnell’s “Modesty Blaise” series again. I nearly always have an Agatha Christie on the go. Even though I’ve read all of them multiple times, I am addicted to revisiting them: they are my reading comfort-food.

4 What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

My catchphrase (that students tease me about) is: “It’s all data”

Margaret Mead’s: “Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

5. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of uni/academia?

I love the beach (I grew up on the coast, and the beach feels like part of my soul); photography; spoken word and poetry slam. I am involved with a couple of NGOs, including Lentil As Anything, and I love the intensity of working with people who have deep visions for the planet. Curling up with my iPad and Apple TV or iView are happy-making activities. I love a good binge-watch: Orphan Black is my current series-crush, and I love The Glitch, Empire and Please Like Me.


 February 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Sarah Cameron

Sarah is a Masters of Research student in the Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University. Her research interest is the “Medicalisation of Pregnancy” of Australian women.
She has a BA with a major in Gender Studies, minor in Education from Macquarie University. She is part of the ALLY network and a member of the Editorial Review Board for the University publication ‘Grapeshot’.
You can contact Sarah via email @ sarah.cameron1@students.mq.edu.au

ANSA speaks to… SARAH CAMERON

What do you wish the general public knew more about Anthropology?

Mainly I wish the public knew what Anthropology was! Most people I speak with assume anthropology and archaeology are the same and start talking mummies and Egypt! I think there is a great potential in what Anthropologists and an Anthropological approach can offer to many sectors of our society. It would be great if people knew more about who we are and what we do so that we can better support and fulfil important roles.

If you could change anything about anthropology what would it be?

That there was more interdisciplinary connections and events. I come from an interdisciplinary background somewhere between gender studies and educational psychology, I also have interests in sociology, cultural studies, and film/media studies. It would be amazing to see more of these areas come together to share understandings and insights about research.

What do you think about anthropology conferences? is there anything you wish was different?

The AAS Moral Horizons conference was my first Anthropology conference and I really enjoyed it. Though I wish more seniors academics would take the time to mingle with the postgrads and ECR’s.

What is the best thing to have happened to you since beginning your studies in Anthropology?

Discovering a whole discipline of people who are quirky, and passionate about their research.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while studying/working anthropology?

Everyone I have met so far has been really interesting. I particularly enjoyed seeing Michael Jackson at Macquarie University earlier in the year. He is so humble and down to earth, a great example of how to approach research and writing.

What do you think might change about Anthropology (generally or in your sub-discipline) over the next 10 years?

I think in the next decade Anthropology will be catapulted into the digital age. The availability of visual digital media needs to be incorporated into the way we conduct fieldwork, as well as the way we interact with the public. Medical anthropology in particular I think will become increasingly a digital field, as the potential to access digital footage of operations and patient experiences, as well as more and more people social networking and vlogging their way through illness and injury episodes in their lives.


 January 2016’S PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Henrike Hoogenraad 

Henrike is from the Netherlands, doing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Adelaide, since March 2014. Her research topic is ‘Intimate Borders’: the experience of marriage migration and Australian borders among African-Australian couples. Before moving to Adelaide, she did a Research Masters in African Studies at Leiden University, after a BA in Anthropology at Utrecht University, both in the Netherlands. For both studies she was  lucky enough to conduct fieldwork in Zanzibar (the tropical island just off the coast of Tanzania), studying romantic intercultural relationships between Zanzibari men and European women. So from island to island she goes, as yes, Australia and Adelaide are both islands, too!

You can contact Henrike on email at henrike.hoogenraad@adelaide.edu.au


ANSA speaks to… HENRIKE HOOGENRAAD

What do you wish the general public knew more about Anthropology?

This is a difficult question, as my answer would be everything, and nothing, at the same time. Everything, because I would like to think that if anthro would be compulsory in high school, people would be more understanding of one another, which would greatly improve the general vibe.But I’d say nothing because there’s always the risk that nothing gets done, as everything is such a grey zoneIf you could change anything about anthropology what would it be?

From what I have seen both here in Australia as well as in the Netherlands, anthropology is quite middle class, white and female (just like me) and I would really like to see that change. However, I don’t know if this is the case in other parts of the world, maybe my observations aren’t right. Otherwise, anthropology should become a larger priority for universities so that there will be more funds available.What do you think about anthropology conferences? is there anything you wish was different?

The last AAS conference was my first anthropology conference, and I don’t know what can be done better, as I enjoyed everything about it! Although it crossed my mind that, indeed, most of the attendees are white, middle class women!What is the best thing to have happened to you since beginning your studies in Anthropology?

Fieldwork. I love doing fieldwork as it brings me to places I would otherwise never go to, and lets me meet people I would have never met if it wasn’t for my fieldwork. I have made some valuable friendships, lived right on the beach on a tropical island, and as for Adelaide… wine & sunshine!Who is the most interesting person you have met while studying/working anthropology?

Hmmm so many! But if I have to choose, I suppose that would be Nick Mai, as he, during a conference on ‘intimate migrations’ in Denmark, compared the world, people, to a big fat broccoli: wholeness yet variety, and could not exist without the others/similarities. He had a fancy name for is theory but that I forgot…What do you think might change about Anthropology (generally or in your sub-discipline) over the next 10 years?

I think anthropology will be commercialized more, which may be a good thing, as the public receiving the discipline will be wider and more varied. Out of the ivory tower! And hopefully this means more resources for better research.