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COSWA Corner

Rita Wright and Mary Ann Levine

This article seeks to introduce our readership to the current composition of COSWA and to report on the completion of two recent projects undertaken by committee members. We include information on our newly constructed website as well as a report by Pamela R. Willoughby on her three-year study of recent hiring and tenuring practices in academic archaeology as recorded by the journal Lingua Franca. We offer this information as part of our commitment to the collection and dissemination of information on the current status of women in our profession.

Spotlight on COSWA Members COSWA consists of 10 members, including the chair. At the 1999 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Sarah Nelson and Alison Wylie began their three-year appointments while Margie Green, Johnna Thackston, and Pamela R. Willoughby completed their terms. The appointment of COSWA's 10th member is pending approval of SAA's Board of Directors. Listed below are the current members, with information on their term durations and interests. As the composition of the committee changes annually, we encourage you to contact Rita Wright (rita.wright@nyu.edu), COSWA chair, if you have an interest in joining.

COSWA Members:

Construction of COSWA Website Complete We are pleased to announce that information pertaining to COSWA is now available online and easy to locate! After accessing the SAA Home Page (www.saa.org), click on Society, click on Committees and Task Forces, and then click on COSWA. From there you can access a list of members, information on the history and goals of COSWA, a description of the Women in Archaeology Interest Group, as well as a link to the AAA COSWA. Rita Wright, largely responsible for initiating and executing this project, welcomes your suggestions for improvement. ·

Rita Wright, chair of COSWA, is associate professor of anthropology at New York University. Mary Ann Levine, member of COSWA, is assistant professor of anthropology at Franklin and Marshall College.

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A Lingua Franca Report

Hiring Practices in Archaeology

A Lingua Franca Report

Pamela R. Willoughby

Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life is published nine times per year by University Business in New York City and includes articles on education, university culture, the effects of changing curricula, and the rise and fall of "star departments" in a variety of disciplines. Its focus is literary, with a postmodern slant. What makes it of wider appeal is that it is filled with gossip about the state of universities and education in general; a good internal feud is never ignored. The publication might be of limited interest to most archaeologists, except for one thing. Once a year, in their February issue, Lingua Franca publishes a list of "who gets hired where." This section, called "Jobtracks," provides much useful information that can be used to study gender-based equity issues across a number of professions, including archaeology.

Lingua Franca collects information on hiring in liberal arts and sciences at 600 universities and 4-year colleges in the United States and Canada. Before 1998, some information on hiring was provided in every issue (junior hirings in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore were published in February, granting of tenure in these fields in November). Now all information is published in the February issue. The tables are listed by subject entry, so anthropology, archaeology, and folklore are grouped together. Individuals are then listed by the university where they received their Ph.D. Three hiring categories are reviewed separately: (1) "junior hirings," representing professors hired into an initial tenure-track appointment; (2) tenurings, meaning tenure granted by one's own institution; and (3) hirings to tenure, listing people who are leaving one institution for a tenured position at another.
Table 1. Junior Hirings (initial tenure-track appointments)

Lingua Franca Issue #

# Archaeology Positions
Archaeology, Anthropology,
and Folklore

# Females (percent) # Males (percent)

February 1999

13 / 110 (11.8%) 5 / 13 (38.4%) 8 / 13 (61.5%)

February 1998

9 / 60 (15.0%) 2 / 9 (22.2%) 7 / 9 (77.7%)

February 1997

16 / 96 (16.7%) 7 / 16 (43.7%) 9 / 16 (56.3%)

November 1996

not applicable    

Totals

38 / 266 (14.3%) 14 / 38 (36.8%) 24 / 38 (63.2%)


Table 2. Tenurings

Lingua Franca Issue #

# Archaeology Positions
Archaeology, Anthropology,
and Folklore

# Females (percent) # Males (percent)

February 1999

10 / 53 (18.9%) 3 / 10 (30%) 7 / 10 (70%)

February 1998

10 / 50 (20%) 4 / 10 (40%) 6 / 10 (60%)

February 1997

not applicable    

November 1996

12 / 46 (26.1%) 2 / 12 (16.7%) 10 / 12 (83.3%)

Totals

12 / 46 (26.1%) 9 / 32 (28.1%) 23 / 32 (71.8%)

Table 3. Hirings to Tenure (people hired with tenure)

Lingua Franca Issue #

# Archaeology Positions
Archaeology, Anthropology,
and Folklore

# Females (percent) # Males (percent)

February 1999

0 / 15 (0%) 0 / 0 (0%) 0 / 0 (0%)

February 1998

1 / 15 (6.7%) 0 / 1 (0%) 1 / 1 (100%)

February 1997

not applicable    

November 1996

2 / 11 (18.1%) 1 / 2 (50%) 1 / 2 (50%)

Totals

3 / 41 (7.3%) 1 / 3 (33.3%) 2 / 3 (66.7%)

In 1996, COSWA began to collect data on hiring practices in archaeology as reported by Lingua Franca. The journal provides information on who was hired, where they were hired, and where the individual earned their PhD. More information about individuals was then acquired from the annual AAA Guide to Departments of Anthropology. This allowed us to determine the number of archaeologists in these listings and these individuals' area of specialization.

The information presented in Lingua Franca is not exhaustive. For example, Lingua Franca only includes hirings in North American universities and colleges. In addition, not all individuals or colleges are listed in the AAA Guide, so sometimes it is impossible to verify who is an archaeologist. Often, new hires appear in the AAA Guide a year or two late. Despite these problems, we now have three years of data, organized by hiring category, name, area of specialization, where the individual studied, and year that the Ph.D. was granted. The basic information is summarized in the following three tables. Table 1 shows that 38 archaeologists have been hired into tenure-track positions in the last three years. Of these, 14 are women, and 24 are men. Over the same three-year period, a total of 266 individuals have been hired in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore; the archaeologists compose 14.3 percent of this total. Table 2 shows that 32 (of 149, or 21.5 percent) archaeologists have been tenured in the same period, 9 women and 23 men. Table 3 shows that only 3 archaeologists have been hired with tenure out of a total of 41 individuals.

In 1997, Melinda Zeder (The American Archaeologist: A Profile, AltaMira Press) published the results of the 1994 survey of SAA members. Respondents were grouped into categories on a number of factors including age, gender, area of employment (academic, private, museum, government, etc.). When examined in detail, it is clear that fewer archaeologists are employed in academic positions than in preceding decades. But in the younger cohorts (under age 40), more women than men are being hired into academic positions (Zeder 1997: 50). While this seems to be good news, Zeder also reports that more than three-quarters of women completing their education in the 1990s obtain the Ph.D., but less than one-third of them secured positions where having a Ph.D. is a requirement. Others remain marginalized in visiting or temporary positions, or are unemployed (Zeder 1997: 57, ix).

Our results show that 36.8 percent of the 38 individuals recently hired into tenure-track positions in archaeology are women while 63.2 percent are men. While many people are being trained as archaeologists, only a few academic positions have opened up. Perhaps more individuals are working as archaeologists outside of universities and colleges, in areas such as government or cultural resource management.

COSWA will continue to collect data on hiring. If you have any additional information to provide, contact COSWA or Pamela R. Willoughby, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H4, or email: Pam.Willoughby@ualberta.ca. ·

Pamela R. Willoughby is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta

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