The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Ethics of Field Site Management and Oversight


Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Saturday 8:30-8:45, Ballroom A Add to calendar

There is never an instance in which our research agenda should be privileged over supporting junior scientists, providing them the resources to flourish, and protecting them from mental, physical and emotional harm. This mentorship from faculty and their institutions, and the student labor derived from it, provides the foundation upon which our research rests. This foundation is cracked: undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty report sexual harassment and assault not only by their peers, but by their bosses and mentors in the field. I suggest that the first step to counteract this damaging culture is to raise awareness by creating safe spaces for victims to speak out. Once we raise this awareness we can understand the scope of the problem, and begin to devise plans to end sexual harassment and violence in the field. I will describe existing ally work and suggested directions for future action that include preventive measures such as sensitivity training and contracts for appropriate field behavior, as well as how to foster a meritocratic atmosphere that is intolerant of oppression.

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