Collaborative Research as Resistance: Successful Collaboration across Disciplines


Discussions abound at Oregon State University (OSU) and elsewhere regarding a greater emphasis on teaching and on the several hours per week of service to the field that all faculty are expected to dedicate in the promotion and tenure (P&T) process. Nonetheless, the clichéd (but no less accurate) “publish or perish” mantra remains in full force at many Research I (R1) institutions. In order to be successful (in as much as getting promoted constitutes “success”), faculty must publish extensively and compete successfully for grants. Across most fields, there is also a more recent and growing emphasis on cross-disciplinary research and collaborative co-authorship—though, as Melissa (Missy) often points out, this is not necessarily so in U.S. anthropology programs. Funding agencies encourage, and sometimes even require, an interdisciplinary team, and university strategic plans make promises about discouraging siloed academics. In this essay, we describe strategies that our research team has used to foster academic success among all team members, including graduate students and non-tenure track, tenure-track, and tenured faculty.

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Cheyney M, Bovbjerg ML, Horan H. Collaborative research as resistance: successful collaboration across disparate disciplines. Cultural Anthropology, in press.