Last Thursday our department organized a “Master’s Conference”, a study-day in which our master’s students presented their research plans. After having worked incredibly hard to finish these plans in time, the students will all go off “in the field” in January for their individual 3-months research projects. The end of this conference entailed a little suprise for the editors of this weblog, who were awarded the Golden Gooze 2009…!
Fieldwork is still the name we use for the unique kind of research anthropologists do, and it is traditionally seen as the central rite of passage in the process of becoming an anthropologist. The term might sound old-fashioned, but it is, no less than in the old days of Malinowski (often heralded as the inventor of ethnographic fieldwork), by doing fieldwork that antropologists are in direct contact with their research groups and get a feel for what people’s lives are really about.
The conference was very successful, with fantastic powerpoint presentations and lively discussions. The students will study a great variety of topics, situated in many different countries. To name but a few: Aboriginal youth in Australia, Hyves use and misuse by Dutch high school students, notions of beauty in Ghana, and human security and returned refugees in Sierra Leone. No doubt we’ll soon have live reports on these projects on this weblog!
At the end of the conference, the editors of this weblog were surprised -and honoured- to receive the very prestigious Golden Goose award! This new trophy is given to members of staff who have done something special for the Anthropology Department during the year.
We are grateful to have been awarded this competitive and wonderfully artistic trophy! Still, we’d like to stress that the weblog is a collective product of everybody at the VU Anthropology Department. We’re very happy with all the interesting and exciting posts received over the last months and hope to have many more next year.
We’re very glad, before all, with our steadily growing audience. Keep on coming, and don’t hesitate to react on posts and to give us your suggestions!
Since even (some) anthropologists are off on holidays, this blog will be closed until January 3rd. We wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you all in 2010!