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OSEA Job Announcement:  Program Assistants for 2011 Summer Field School
»» Download this announcement in pdf format
Posted August 15, 2010.

Job Opening of Assistant for Ethnography Field School

Position: Program Assistant, Research and Teaching Instructor
Title, responsibilities, and wage dependent upon qualifications and potential

Remuneration includes: Housing, food, stipend, and travel allotment during program, as well as a set fee for pre-program work.

Ideal Candidate:  Graduate student in Cultural Anthropology, Culture and Communications, Performance/Theatre Studies, or interdisciplinary social science with a focus on Latin America, especially México, Yucatán, or Maya peoples, and having an ethnography fieldwork based research orientation

Period of Employment: 
On-site during program:  Full time during the period of the OSEA Program including a week before and after the program start and end dates
Off-site prior to summer program:  Quarter Time or less from time of hire in mid-late fall 2010 through to program start date in May 2011.

Job Description:
Pre-Program: From late fall/early January to Field School start date in mid-May. Manage email inquiries, including follow up email; distribute email announcements/fliers; maintain correspondence with prospective and accepted students; receive and process applications; manage post-acceptance paperwork related to release forms, travel information, and billing; write, revise, and create official OSEA documents in pdf; update information on web and prepare new webpages as necessary; prepare syllabus materials, including scanning, creating DVDs/CDs and hardcopy mailing out of course materials to students.

If the person's area of research is not already focused on the Maya and/or Yucatan, then the assistant must have the motivation and committment to read, on their own, the most relevant ethnographic, linguistic and historical literature on the Maya of Yucatán that has direct relevance for the sociocultural context of the OSEA Field School. This refers specifically to the corpus of historical ethnography focused on Pisté and Chichén Itzá, but includes other sources that can be specified at time of hire.

Program activities: 
The selected person fulfills three roles simultaneously: (A) Teaching-Research Assistant and Instructor. (B) Student Liaison and Supervisor. (C) Financial Assistant. Time commitment: full time 40-55 hours a week on-site during the OSEA Field School Program and five days prior to start date and 5 days post program closing date. There is a four day break in the program that allows the assistant time for travel off-site. Responsibilities include TA/AI seminar work of reading, evaluating, commenting on assignments including student fieldnotes; monitoring student homestay experiences, overseeing student health/medical issues; tracking receipts and accounting of expenses. The appointed person will have the opportunity to develop a research project according or coordinate a special area of team research conducted by the field school according to their interests and professional needs.


Required Academic Background and Training:
Ideal candidates have an interdisciplinary formation based in cultural anthropology or a closely related field of such as culture and communication, cultural studies, cultural sociology, or performance studies. The OSEA approach is grounded in the humanist philosophical tradition and builds on theoretical perspectives such as interpretivism, feminism, poststructuralism, Marxism, critical theory, phenomenology, postcolonial theory, and related constructivist approaches. Regardless of disciplinary background/training, the ideal candidate will be grounded in ethnography and ethnographic fieldwork as their primary mode of research. Understanding, knowledge of, and committment to "pure" and "applied" social science research agendas is highly valued.

Required Experience:
Candidates should have teaching experience, such as provided by a TA/AI position. Prior fieldwork in Latin America or Mexico is not required, but minimally candidates should have had graduate level coursework in ethnographic methods. Experience in office, administrative or related work is highly valued.  Candidates with significant skills, knowledge and/or experience using audio-visual, digital photographic, audio, and internet technologies should highlight these aspects and any relevant achievements.

Required Skills:
Fluency in speaking, reading and writing Spanish. The candidate should have experience in office or administrative work that has provided them with a variety of skills, such as multi-tasking, punctual completion of assignments, writing/proofreading texts, manage email correspondence including archiving, being able to create and maintain a budget, organize files, develop file system, manage receipts, make professional quality scans of documents, competency to troubleshoot computer and printer problems, and a developed knowledge of digital technologies for video and audio documentation. Candidate should be able to demonstrate ability to use or motivation to learn and use at high level:  Excel, Acrobat Professional, Word, Dreamweaver, SIL Fieldworks, ACDSee Photomanager, and Adobe or Pinnacle video editing programs.  In addition, the candidate must be comfortable with both MACs and PCs in order to effectively work across MAC and Windows OS. Candidates must be able to or have the capacity to learn how to teach field school participants how to convert data files between MAC and PC in situations where standard programs are not available in one or another platform.

Required Research Areas and Interests / Knowledge Expertise:
OSEA is committed to a concept of interdisciplinary anthropology that positively values the full range of issues, approaches, and agendas of and for research. Areas of research interest and intellectual work that are highly valued include but are not limited to: tourism, medical anthropology, indigeneity and identity politics, anthropological linguistics, sex/gender analyses, ethnicity and critical race theory, governance/governmentality, political analyses, state/community interface, NGOs, visual ethnography, folklore and popular discourses, youth cultures, traditional culture, religion, ritual, anthropology of art, history oriented and grounded research of all types and shapes. The unique areas of expertise that each individual assistant brings to OSEA can contribute to OSEA training and enrich student learning and experience.

OSEA is committed to theoretical and methodological pluralism. OSEA recognizes that there are a multitude of valid and legitimate styles and traditions of and philosophical-theoretical approaches to ethnography.  It is important for candidates to learn the OSEA approach to ethnography which is grounded in the interpretivist philosophical tradition and builds directly on symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, and phenomenological oriented fieldwork.  The ideal candidate however should be able to converse with and assist any student who may seek to work within a positivist, quantitative and scientific tradition. Understanding, knowledge of, and committment to both "pure" and "applied" social science research agendas is highly valued. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to learn Yucatec Maya at a basic level of communication.

Please send a current vita, contact information for three references, three letters of recommendation sent independently, and a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, including discussion of any relevant experiences and how this position fits into your larger professional and personal agenda.  If available you are welcome to send us any relevant publications, research prospectus/proposals, drafts of thesis/dissertation chapters, or other audio/visual products or documentation that demonstrates your experience, expertise or qualifications. Materials that must be returned will be at the cost of the applicant and should be sent with instructions for such. Please send hard copies to Quetzil Castañeda, 2244 Martha Street, Bloomington IN 47408.  In addition, an electronic version of your cover letter and vita can be sent to quetzil@osea-cite.org

Review of materials begins November 8, 2010. Follow up interviews will be scheduled and conducted via skype video call or in person at the AAA meetings in New Orleans. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.