Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) Internship Opportunity at Yale University


Have you already graduated or are planning to graduate Spring 2018? Looking for an internship for Summer 2018? Are you interested in cross-cultural research?

The Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) at Yale University is pleased to announce a competitive one-year cross-cultural research internship in Melvin Ember‘s name. The selected intern will learn about cross-cultural research through hands-on experience at the historical HRAF building on the Yale University campus.

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Funding Details

The internship will reimburse expenses (living, meals, and miscellaneous expenses) in the amount of $400 per week for approximately 50 weeks beginning late June or early July of 2018, based on a 37.5 hour week.

Travel costs up to $800 will also be reimbursed for a move to and from New Haven.


Candidates must already have the right to work in the United States at the time of application and have (or will have) graduated from college by the beginning of the internship. 
Preference will be given to candidates with the following qualities:
  1. plan on graduate study in anthropology or a closely related field;
  2. can perform statistical analyses (with at least one formal statistics course), and 
  3. have accomplished academic records particularly in their major field and/or anthropology courses.

Instructions to Applicants

Deadline: April 1 2018

To apply, send electronic applications (subject line Melvin Ember internship) to Carol R. Ember (, President, Human Relations Area Files, to be received by the end of the day on April 1, 2018.

To apply, please include:
A cover letter that summarizes your interests and skills (particularly any methodological skills) and discusses why you are interested in the internship.
A resumé
An unofficial transcript (an official transcript will be requested for those who make the short list), and
The names of three people willing to write on your behalf.
Candidates who make the short list will be interviewed by telephone or teleconference in April.


Poles Apart: Identity, Diversity, Tolerance


This course is offered as part of the Security and Society Summer School, hosted by Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Poland.

Program Dates: May 28 – July 7, 2018 (internship options extend to August 4)

Application Deadline: March 15, 2018

Cost: $3895 (one course/3 weeks); $6,495 (two courses/6 or 10 weeks)

Includes: Tuition, hotel accommodation with breakfast, excursion program, one three-day trip per course, insurance, airport transfers, transcript of studies.

More information:

Located at a crossroads between East and West, Poland’s geographical position and unusual political setup have historically forged a multitude of ethnic, religious and regional communities, some of which still exist today. This crucible of conflict, where former empires have frequently waged wars, has left a rich landscape infused with the symbolic and physical imprints of struggles over identity, diversity and tolerance.

From the centuries-old wooden mosques of the Lipka Tatars in the north-east to the Ashkenazy synagogues of Cracow that constitute a UNESCO world heritage site in the south, there are plenty of reminders of the cultural diversity that Poland once encompassed. Even today little known ethnic groups such as the Kashubians, Lemkos and Crimean Karaites strive to maintain their existence despite assimilation and other homogenizing social forces. Even though Catholicism has become, arguably, a defining feature of contemporary Polish identity, it is far from monolithic and different currents within the Church exhibit varying perspectives on tolerance of diversity.

In addition, the peaceful transition to democracy after decades of authoritarian communist rule makes Poland a very interesting laboratory to study evolving public attitudes to alterity. All these factors provide fertile ground with abundant local empirical evidence for the study of key concepts—prejudice, insider-outsider, diversity, assimilation, collective memory, stereotype, symbolic capital, empathy, tolerance and compromise—that contribute to our understanding of what makes people ‘Poles apart’.

Main topics to be covered:

  • Islam, Islamophobia and Attitudes to Refugees in Contemporary Poland
    Marginalized Ethnic Groups and Outsider Strategies: The Case of the Romani Minority in Poland
  • “Diversity” and the Case of Poland
  • “Assimilation” and the Karaite Community
  • “Collective Memory” and the Jedwabne Controversy
  • “Stereotypes” and Gender Inequality
  • “Symbolic Capital” and Polish-German Relations
  • “Empathy” and LGBT Politics
  • “Religiosity/Tolerance” and the Church in Poland
  • “Compromise” and the 1989 Roundtable Negotiations

Central Asian Studies: Identity, Ethnicity, Linguistic Anthropology

Based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, this program looks at on how issues of identity and ethnicity currently affect Kyrgyzstan and its diverse demographics. Students choose from two tracks: – either broadly studying culture, clan structure, history, language, art, folk crafts, and cuisine – or focusing deeply on the linguistic anthropology of Central Asia. Urban/rural divides are also discussed in both options with a week-long horseback trek into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to directly introduce students to modern nomads and their way of life.

Program Dates: June 18 – July 22, 2018

Application Deadline: April 15, 2018

Cost: $4,495
Includes: Tuition, dormitory accommodation, insurance, airport transfers, cultural program, week-long horse trek (with all meals), transcript issued by University of Montana

More information:



Georgian Foodways: Global Pathway/Local Contexts

Program Dates: June 17 – 30, 2018

Application Deadline: March 15, 2018

Cost: $3,995

Includes: Tuition, accommodation in hostels and guest houses, insurance, most meals, airport transfers, transcript for 1 Unit (4 semester credits) in 300-level area studies/food studies issued by Stetson University.

More information:

Although Georgia is only about the size of West Virginia, the tiny country is home to several distinct cultures. Each of these cultures has contributed to Georgia’s legendary culinary traditions and many have developed their own variations of dishes now often collectively known as “Georgian.”

On this unique travel seminar, you will spend two weeks in an interdisciplinary exploration of Georgian national identity and history through its national cuisine. Using a variety of critical academic approaches, explore issues like climate change and state agricultural policies within the context of such issues as food security, the place of food in social justice and ethnic identity, and the role of Georgian foodways in the current global tourism economy.

  • Spend a week in Tbilisi gaining a deeper understanding of the history and cultures of Georgia, focusing specifically on the relationship between food and all aspects of the human experience, including: culture and biology, individuals and society, global pathways and local contexts.
  • Experience the country’s diverse cuisines, agricultural products, and foodstuffs markets from multiple perspectives through visits to farmer’s markets, industrial food producers, restaurant kitchens, museums, locals’ home kitchens, large-scale industrial agriculture, kitchen gardens, research centers, and NGOs
  • Think about the complex national-cultural role of wine and food, which have both separated Georgia from surrounding nations and ethnicities, but also brought it into global economic pathways.
  • Come to understand culinary tradition as a highly condensed social fact that people, governments, nations, and commercial enterprises use as a remarkably elastic way of representing themselves. Cuisine is a sign, a way of communicating information. A large part of “being Georgian” is eating Georgian food and drinking Georgian wine.
  • Spend the second week traveling the back roads and byways of Georgia where you’ll explore: Cliff monasteries, snow-covered mountains, vibrant farmers’ markets, Persian sulfur baths, ancient temples, the oldest vineyards in the world, and much more!
  • Discover first-hand the generosity of the Georgian table



Summer Study Abroad in Central Asia – Anthropology and Identity


This program investigates the intersection of language and social identity. By examining anthropological approaches to the study of language, with consideration of culture, thought, ethnicity, religion, status, and gender, it will explore the ancient histories and modern cultures of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek societies. These societies, influenced by myriad civilizations, are today marked by uniquely diverse bilingual and multilingual speech communities of speakers with command of Slavic, Turkic, and Indo-Iranian languages.

Students will be actively immersed in the language and culture of Kyrgzystan and will practice anthropological research and field methods through extensive use of media resources, natural language examples, and recent scholarly and scientific research in linguistic anthropology in different Central Asian societies. A week-long horseback trek into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan will directly introduce students to modern nomads and their way of life and a culminating research project on the region will deepen and enrich students’ first-hand experience of the region.

This program includes a one-week trek by horseback through the Kyrgyz mountains. Take in breathtaking scenery and experience for yourself the rural and nomadic lifestyle.

Click for Full Program Information

Program dates and costs:

Full Summer (10 weeks): Cost: $7,990
May 28 – Aug 5, 2018 (Apply by: March 1, 2018)

Mid Summer (5 weeks): Cost: $4,495
June 18 – July 22, 2018 (Apply by: April 15, 2018)

The University of Montana issues the transcript for this course and all other SRAS programs in Kyrgyzstan.

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The School of Russian and Asian Studies
117 Marva Oaks Drive, Woodside, CA 94062 |


Myths & Reality in the Indian Himalayas

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As we celebrate the winter holiday season, it’s a good time to reflect on the role of myths in our everyday reality. Early Processual archaeologists thought that myths, religion and all things ideological were only byproducts of prime movers (environment, political and economic systems). Post Processual archaeologists helped adjust this notion. Today, most archaeologists acknowledge the central role ideologies play in initiating and changing human culture and its evolutionary trajectory.

Myths, and the way they manifest themselves in daily lives, are the subject of our India-Himalayas program. Directed by Dr. Sonali Gupta (UCLA) and Dr. Parth Chauhan (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research at Mohali), this field school examines contemporary myths and explores their relationships to the archaeological record. The program takes place at the Kullu Valley, located in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh; it is rich in archaeological heritage and historical records (see video below).

The research goal for this project is to better understand the role of myths in the Kullu Valley and how such myths influence architecture, rituals and use of space. The project will further explore the interaction of contemporary people with sacred sites in the Himalayas where myths are depicted and form part of daily life.

Little archaeological work has been conducted in the area to date. Being held for the first time this summer, the 2018 field program offers great potential for exploration and research. Students will employ non-invasive archaeological and applied anthropological techniques including ethnographies, film making and photo documentation of sacred sites and the way contemporary people interact with them.
We hope you will further explore the webpage for this field school and help us spread the word. The video below introduces the project principal director and the spectacular sacred architecture of the Kullu Valley.

Paper Airplanes is Looking for Volunteers


Paper Airplanes is Looking for Volunteers

Paper Airplanes is looking for Turkish tutors, English tutors, and English tutor coordinators

​.​ Paper Airplanes provides free, one-on-one virtual language and skills instruction to people affected by conflict. Our goal is to help our students learn critical languages and marketable skills for their pursuit of higher education and employment. No prior tutoring experience or Arabic language skills required, although both are appreciated. Please contact Paper Airplanes Director of Programming, Dr. Anna Farrell, at with any questions.