Anthropology Graduate Student Collaboration Group

Hello fellow grad students!

I just wanted to let everyone know that we’ve started a collaborative study/writing group open to all anthropology grad students regardless of where you are in the program – all MA as well PhD students are welcomed. We meet every other Tuesday in AnSo 1305 from 9am to about 11am. Our first meeting yesterday was a success – thanks to all who participated! Our next meeting will be on February 10, 2015. Feel free to just drop by to see if this is something you could benefit from.

For more information contact Martina at


26 January 2015 AGSA Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Steffan, Joe, Heather, Megan, Danielle, Martina, Maddie, Eva, Clayton, Ezra

  1. Updates from Reps
    • Lindsey – Union rep
      • TA and Markers union bargaining for new collective agreement
      • No significant updates and could take some time (last bargaining was over 2 years) If job action would get lots of warning à see website
    • Cordelia – Dept. rep
      • Presentation about computer security
      • Recommend encrypting computers (especially if on fieldwork)
      • Faculty strongly recommend apply to Trudeau and Vanier since not a lot of students do (if have SSHRC cannot apply)
      • Anyone can apply at the first step and department only puts one of those forward (talk to graduate secretary and supervisor)
    • Ezra – Centennial Initiative Fund
      • Application made for 3 day event celebrating diversity of work at UBC
      • Event would collaborate with Musqueam
      • Also try to involve other disciplines to discuss topics
      • Application looks very strong, award is up to $10k
    • Michelle – GSS update
      • GSS survey results are in and looking to get mandatory minimum stipends for grad students
      • GSS hired a general manager to run things
    • Joe – AGSC
      • We have yet to be invited to a meeting
  1. Review of AGSA letter to the Department from last year
    • Talked with Daria about the background of the letter (traditionally just asking for funding and other issues around financials)
    • Changes were made through recommendations in this letter (dissertation financial aid award, change to 4YF – if get SSHRC can still get tuition bursary)
    • Thinking of changing theme of letter to stress departmental involvement and communication and less on funds (since funds are already low)
    • Looking at changing 500 to one term
    • 506 to more of a research methods course (where grads would also organize colloquiums and blend those with AGSA talks), maybe also at times separate MA and PhD students to address specific topics relevant to those at different levels, poster templates
    • May also be good to try and collect possible class topics for 506 to present to the department
    • Other proposed changes was streamlining the comprehensive exam process, taking less coursework (or perhaps if keep coursework amount the same offer more courses)
      • Less coursework à also would be beneficial for those students who completed an MA at UBC Anthropology that they would not have to take the same required amount as a PhD student
    • Maybe create a directed readings catalogue of past directed reading courses and the syllabus
    • Can we ask about changing the comprehensive exam system? Move towards a similar system done at SFU and UVIC (you write over time 3 publishable papers and still create the same annotated bibliography and defense)
    • Streamlining of dissertation writing process
      • Better communication between students and supervisor and also know responsibilities for both parties
      • A manual may be helpful, creation of timetable for turnarounds of drafts etc…
  1. Poster Session/Anthropology Research House
    • May still be on the plate for 506
    • SFU has an arch symposium March 7th
    • Steffan will go to 506 to discuss this
  2. Departmental and student faculty engagement
    • Could have AGSA talks/colloquiums as a continued event at same times throughout the month as a cohesive unit
    • Martina has organized a collaborative work shopping group Tuesday 9am, very informal, just getting feedback, trying to connect across different cohorts
    • Pub nights Wednesdays at the Fringe (6 onwards)
    • Department activities – maybe a potluck in the department, food parties (cupcake decorating etc…), selling pancakes and bacon
    • Department Yard sale (may also be a fundraiser)
    • Martina will organize a hiking/snowshoeing day – check for future emails
  3. AGSA fundraising ideas
    • Ice cream social
  4. Funding post year 4 while writing
  5. New profile page
    • PDF file that will be sent around that you can fill in and then send back to be posted online
    • No limits on words yet but that may change
    • Current set up is that MAs and PhDs are separated into different pages on the UBC website and would like that to change so that they are collapsed together
    • If no info in one category then you will not have any blank sections on your profile page (ie. Awards, if you have no awards there will not be an awards link on your profile to an empty page)
    • Any comments, questions, suggestions contact Heather and Joe
    • Cannot be updated all the time unfortunately, can ask to update information beginning of any term
    • Any info sent to Anth News can be CC’d to Joe or Heather to be added to your profile