BIPOC Features: Annissa Malvoisin

One of the things that I wanted to do with Notes From the Apotheke was to amplify the voices and contributions of BIPOC scholars in ancient studies, at all levels and from all backgrounds. BIPOC in the field are invited to reflect on what brought them to studying the ancient world, as well as offer their opinions on the future of the discipline and share any work they are especially proud of or excited about.

Check out this month’s post by Annissa Malvoisin and learn more about her journey to studying the ancient world and her thoughts about the future of Egyptology! You can find previous posts in the series here.

Photo included with permission from author
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Abstract Writing (Hidden Curriculum #6)

For those of you who are new here, the hidden curriculum includes a set of things we’re expected to know how to do, from attending a conference for the first time to applying for funding to going on the job market, without actually being taught them. This month I’m talking about how to write an abstract.

One thing that I actually was taught to do that would benefit me academically is writing abstracts. Moreover, I was taught, as part of a graduate seminar on Ancient Medicine in Winter 2018, how to write an abstract before writing the paper.

Up until that point, I had only ever been confident in my ability to write abstracts based on papers I’d already written, and I’m sure most people can relate. Submitting an abstract based on a paper you haven’t written yet is scary

On the one hand, this nebulous idea that’s floating around in your head has to be coherent enough to be accepted. 

On the other hand, if it does get accepted, you’ve actually got to do the work, write the paper, and present it. Woof.

As it turns out, that lesson was extremely useful as I did go on to submit the abstract to CAMWS in 2019 and it was accepted. In the end, however, I decided to withdraw from the conference when the pandemic hit and everything went online.

Since then, I have become more and more comfortable with writing abstracts based on ideas rather than full-blown research papers and happen to be in the midst of writing one now. So, I thought it would be a good time to share what I’ve learned from the process as part of the hidden curriculum series. 

Writing an abstract doesn't have to be scary
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The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’

A few months ago, I described what scholars of the ancient world needed to sacrifice to make the field more inclusive and equitable. One of those things was feeling the need to be an expert in everything.

It’s not easy for any of us to admit when we don’t know the answer to something. Part of this hesitation, I think, stems from the high-pressure, high-stakes structure of our graduate education. 

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Notes from the Apotheke is now on Patreon!

As the one year anniversary of this blog’s inception rapidly approaches, I’ve been thinking more and more about how I can take things to the next level. So I decided to create a Patreon account.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators (artists, writers, instructors, musicians, etc) to get paid. 

Everyone who signs up pays a few dollars a month to receive content. A creator can set up their Patreon page to either allow individuals to pay as much as they want or to choose a membership level that gives them access to exclusive content or services.

Why did I create a Patreon account?

Naturally, my motivations for creating this page were primarily financial. 

On the one hand, I am a graduate student doing this out of the goodness of her heart. I have not, in the eleven months that this blog has been up and running, been paid anything to do it. 

I love doing this and I love amplifying the work that other BIPOC in the field are doing and I’d do it all for free. 

But being a graduate student isn’t cheap, and these last few months have been particularly challenging for me financially. So, I sought out ways that I could remedy that, and Patreon seemed like a good way to do so without having to totally reinvent the wheel.

On the other hand, the guests who write the BIPOC features each month are also doing so out of the goodness of their heart, but as someone who frequently reminds everyone to compensate their guest speakers, I have been unable to do so myself (see above). 

Thus, by becoming a Patron, you can support not only me, but also the wonderful BIPOC scholars who have contributed and will in the future contribute to the blog. Ideally I’d like to dedicate at least half of the proceeds to paying my guest writers.

Plus, you’ll get some cool perks for signing up 🙂

How do I become a Patron and what are the benefits of signing up?

There are four tiers of membership that you can choose from: $3, $5, $10, and $20.

$3 membership gives you access to all of the normal content (blog posts, Twitter threads, Instagram posts) + weekly photos of my cat

$5 membership gets you all of the things the $3 membership does, plus early access to new blog posts, voting power on future posts, and bonus monthly content (e.g. tutorials and templates, pedagogy book reviews, etc)

$10 membership gets you all of the above, plus I’ll send you a monthly motivational postcard in the mail and each month you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive an additional surprise token of my gratitude!

$20 membership gets you all of the above, plus the opportunity to schedule one-on-one consulting and/or feedback sessions with yours truly. I’m happy to sit in (virtually for out-of-state folks, in-person for Michigan folks) on one or more of your class sessions or give feedback on something (abstracts, statements, presentations, lesson plans) you’re working on

If you’re interested in supporting me and my guest writers, and getting some cool perks in the process (like a handwritten postcard from me every month!!), then you can sign up for my Patreon here!