Current Research: Jodie is (amongst other things!) a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University, using organisational ethnography to explore the anthropology of universities and transnational mobility of academics. Jodie’s PhD research is an ethnography of an international university campus in Vietnam, where 80% of the academics are “foreigners” from 28 other countries. The research explores the notion of ‘invisible work’ – that is, work that may not be part of an academic’s job description or performance plan KPIs (now that we have those in academia!), but that is nonetheless essential for their success in their jobs – and questions whether the invisible work of academia changes when academics cross national borders for work. This research has implications for university management in an era of increasing globalisation, as well as raising questions about how transnational mobilities affect global flows of knowledge within a localised context. She hopes it also has implications for getting her a job once she graduates!
Why Anthropology? Anthropology has so much scope for exploring the human condition from multiple perspectives, but always with an eye for lived experience. With a background in business communications, Jodie has spent a lot of time reading very dry, statistical analyses of ‘what humans do’. While she agrees that these have their place, Jodie wanted to get to know the humans behind the numbers, and be able to ask the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’, not only the ‘whats’ or ‘wheres’ or ‘whos’.
TFS: Jodie is the Project Manager for The Familiar Strange, and manages communication and outreach for the project, as well as being a regular contributor on the blog and podcast.
Photo by Teena Saulo, ANU