Teaching is not limited to the classroom. Students understand anthropology, and come to appreciate its contributions to significant ongoing debates, through observing the ways in which anthropologists are engaged with the field. Such engagement takes many forms and will vary based on individual predilections and stages in career development. Nonetheless, significant involvement with the discipline is crucial to maintaining one's intellectual vitality and conveying a sense of anthropology as a vibrant arena of inquiry to our students.
Assessing the depth of an individual's scholarly engagement with anthropology is difficult, at best. As such, we favor the flexible application of criteria whose ranking is sensitive to the different stages through which most careers are likely to pass.
- Active and effective participation in the field through publication: Anthropology is a journal-driven enterprise, information and ideas being more commonly conveyed in articles than books. Within the overall class of periodicals currently published in the discipline, those in which contributions are subject to peer review are, generally, of the highest quality. We, therefore, rank publication in refereed journals higher than in those lacking this feature. All anthropology faculty at Kenyon should demonstrate concerted efforts to share their ideas and data through articles at least some of which should be submitted to peer-reviewed periodicals. (Here, and below, we define "concerted effort" and "earnest effort" as the production of work which we at Kenyon judge to be promising evidence of intellectual vitality, though it may not be accepted for publication or funding at first submission, or even later ones.) Books can certainly be valued contributions and, given that they are almost invariably subject to peer-review prior to acceptance by a press, their publication can be substituted for journal contributions. Given the nature of the field, however, we anticipate that monographs are likely to be far less numerous than articles in any individual's portfolio.
- Active participation in scholarly discourse: Giving papers and displaying posters at professional meetings are important means for sharing information, often not yet ready for publication, with colleagues and students. Especially significant are those cases where one is invited to contribute a presentation, such a summons bespeaking the respect others have for your ideas. Organizing symposia is another important sign of professional vitality as it demonstrates a willingness to face and overcome logistical and intellectual obstacles in order to bring diverse perspectives to bear on an important topic. All anthropologists should be regular, if not annual, contributors to their professional gatherings.
- Regular and disciplined pursuit of knowledge: Though now included under Criterion #2, we feel that maintaining this distinction still has utility. Specifically, we want to stress that the generation of new knowledge in anthropology frequently requires external (outside Kenyon) funding to support this research. Receipt of grant/fellowship monies depends on successfully convincing peer-review panels and grant administrators that planned investigations are both significant and feasible. Though evaluated according to many of the same criteria used in selecting manuscripts for publication, grant and fellowship competitions are particularly intense. It is unreasonable, therefore, to expect that even the most gifted researchers will be successful in more than half their applications. Still, being an anthropologist means being committed to seeking new knowledge and that, in turn, requires submitting one's ideas and research strategies to the close scrutiny of those experts who hold the purse strings.
- Exchange of information, ideas, and techniques with peers: To a great degree, many of these exchanges occur within the context of professional meetings and are considered under Criterion #2. Other sorts of professional interactions, however, occur on a more informal basis through letters, email, and telephone conversations. These contacts are part and parcel of daily life within the discipline and are very difficult to evaluate. Eventually, web publication may emerge as a major way of conveying information outside traditional channels. This exciting arena is just starting to have an impact on anthropology, and as yet, no consensus has been forged concerning how it should be structured and evaluated. For the moment, we argue that experiments with web publication should be encouraged and assessed on a case-by-case basis for their ingenuity and success in accomplishing that most important of goals: making one's thoughts and data resonate with as wide an audience as possible.
- Acquisition of new skills or the pursuit of secondary fields of scholarly interest: Anthropology encompasses such a wide array of interests and specialties that it is not surprising to find its practitioners changing investigative foci throughout their careers. Acquisition of new skills is often required to make these shifts and such activities must be encouraged in the interests of intellectual vigor. Anthropologists, therefore, may engage in such activities as workshops and enroll in classes as they move to redress significant gaps in their knowledge, and we would urge colleagues to do so. This work is also expected to contribute to individuals' abilities to offer a wider range of courses than would be possible if they stayed narrowly focused on a particular specialty within the field. At Kenyon, especially, such expansion is to be valued.
Criterion #3, active work with students, is not treated as a separate measure. Instead, it is a theme that should pervade our professional lives. The activities encompassed by Criteria 1-4 are greatly enhanced when students are involved in them. Field research, for example, that significantly incorporates undergraduates is to be esteemed above investigations conducted by the professional alone. Publishing or presenting papers with undergraduates, or helping them to contribute their ideas on their own, is as important as engaging in these tasks by oneself. The premise underlying these distinctions is that students learn best when they are actively engaged with the subject matter; full involvement with a professional in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge is the most powerful way to achieve such engagement.
As noted earlier, these criteria will need to be applied flexibly to take account of career stages and individual interests. For example, during the first five years of one's professional life we expect that most of an individual's efforts will be concentrated on writing articles, presenting papers, and seeking funding. Not all of these attempts will bear immediate fruit; one who is just beginning to walk can not be expected to run. Evaluations should take this into account, accepting earnest effort in lieu of long lists of accomplishments. During the next ten years or so, articles, papers, and grant proposals should start finding greater, though never universal, acceptance. This is the span during which people establish their careers and get a clearer sense of who they are professionally. The next 20-25 years will probably witness a gradual transition away from active field research and towards writing those books that have been long-delayed by other responsibilities (besides, by this point one should be weighed down by so much data that the responsibility to see it into print is particularly pressing). This is also the interval in which one's growing maturity of vision and purpose can be expected to reveal novel lines of inquiry that require new skills. The pace of professional activity is not expected to slacken throughout a career, but the ways in which intellectual activity is manifest almost certainly will change. These factors must be borne in mind at all stages of evaluation.