Anthropology Department Statement on Scholarship

What forms of scholarship define the work of those in your department (program) at their best?

  • Professional publications.
    • Articles
    • Books
    • Monographs
    • Book reviews
  • Applied research, workshops, and public programs that have a positive impact on the community.
  • Supervising student research projects (Senior Honors Projects, NCUR projects) and inviting students to collaborate on faculty research projects.
  • Ongoing research projects that do some or all of the following:
    • Provide intellectual stimulation for the faculty member
    • Provide opportunities for collaborative work with colleagues and/or students
    • Promote conversation between the faculty member and colleagues here at Luther and at other institutions
    • Eventually lead to presentation at professional meetings and publication in the professional literature
    • Lead to on-campus presentation and promote conversation among members of the campus and local communities
    • Inform and enliven one’s teaching
    • Can be shared in meaningful ways with the public

What forms of peer review—including those beyond the Luther campus—are appropriate for that work?

  • Review of written work by anonymous reviewers selected by publishers or journal editors.
  • For presentations at professional meetings, review comes prior to the meeting when the program committee reviews abstracts and selects papers for inclusion in the program. Review may come after as well when papers are considered for publication in proceedings or other special publications.
  • Ideally, student research and student-faculty collaborative projects will be submitted for presentation and/or publication and therefore undergo the same forms of review as faculty research.
  • In a less formal way, peer review has taken place when a faculty member is:
    • Invited to participate in a symposium or co-organize/co-chair a session
    • Asked to accept a nomination for a leadership role in a professional organization
    • Asked to consider assuming the editorship of a journal
    • Invited to be a plenary speaker at a society meeting or other event
    • Asked to serve as a grant proposal reviewer or as an evaluator for projects funded by grant monies
    • Asked to serve as a consultant—or at least to submit a proposal for consulting work
    • Invited to be a reviewer for a textbook or professional journal

How can you encourage and enable your colleagues to see that such work bears fruit in their teaching?

The anthropology faculty see it as self-evident that our scholarly activity will have a positive impact on our teaching. Perhaps this is not true for all faculty, and in that case we might encourage our colleagues to ask themselves three questions:

1.    How does my scholarship currently impact my teaching?

2.    What can I do to increase the positive effect of my scholarly activity on my teaching?

3.    What support do I need to achieve this goal? This could include time, funds, conversation with peers inside/outside the department, increased interaction with colleagues at other institutions, mentoring, workshops addressing the connection between scholarship and teaching, fundamental changes in some of the courses I teach, etc.

Also, when it’s feasible we should encourage our colleagues to engage in collaborative research, presentation and publication with students, thereby creating a direct link between scholarship and teaching.

What depth and range of achievement in scholarship at the third year, tenure review, and application for promotion for full professor should distinguish the work of Luther faculty?

Third-year review: Has completed at least one publication with others in preparation; at least 2 or 3 presentations at professional meetings; has research project(s) in progress; and has membership in professional societies (having made deliberate efforts to relate research to teaching).

Tenure review: Since the time of hire has completed a minimum of three publications, at least one of which has undergone formal peer review; at least four presentations at professional meetings; well established area(s) of research; regular participation in professional organizations; and successfully relates research to teaching.

Promotion to full professor: well established record of publication and presentation; vigorous program of research, typically with some outside support; leadership in professional organizations (officer, board member, committee member, etc.); and relates research to teaching in ways that both enliven teaching and model good scholarship.

What distinctive forms of scholarship can thrive at a liberal arts college of the church?

The Christian liberal arts college provides a context that both assures and challenges scholars in ways that the secular experience might not. On the one hand, scholars working in such a religiously justified environment are sensitized to the more inclusive secular values and behaviors that are perhaps inimical to the core values of the church college. Concomitantly that college—an institution justified by tenets claiming hierarchical legitimacy, rights and obligations—might itself become a subject for scholarly scrutiny and questioning. Such dueling perspectives can act as the leaven giving rise to truly distinctive forms of scholarship unique to this college environment.

(Updated March 2015)