Philip D. Young

In this article, I use my own career as a lens through which to view the challenges of combining an academic career with that of a (part-time) practitioner of applied anthropology. My main focus is on the particular variety of practice known as international development. Based mostly on my own experiences both in and outside of academia, but with occasional references to what I know of the experiences of academic colleagues who have also done applied work, I offer advice to students who want an academic job and would also like to do applied anthropology of one sort or another. Lessons and advice are derived from three long-term projects in which I participated as a practitioner: Plan Guaymí (Panama), the Southern Manpower Development Project (SMDP—Sudan), and Development Strategies for Fragile Lands in Latin America and the Caribbean (DESFIL). I examine the challenges and rewards of combining an academic career in anthropology with work in the nonacademic world of the practitioner. I highlight contrasts between what is valued in academe and in the world of practice. Finally, I suggest a series of strategies for promotion and tenure.

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