So far, I haven’t gotten a business card. And the main reason is that I have no idea, yet, of what I should call myself. Besides my name of course.
Though in the light of some experiences I had over the years, the name is not “secure” either; as I am used to introduce myself with my first name, followed by my last name in a country where it’s still a custom to do the opposite, I have seen myself in “official” contexts (at the doctor, at school, tax institutions) in need to explain that I am not a boy, and that what they thought was my first name is actually my family name…Each and every time that happened I realised how strong habits and labels are, stronger than the reality they could see with their own eyes (as it is pretty easy to spot that I am not a boy..)
On a business card, usually one is expected to write down his/her position or qualification. Regarding the former, I don’t take it as relevant or as revealing for what I am: I have worked as a contract archaeologist, a museum employee, research assistant in Physical anthropology, consultant for cultural projects, PR, and research assistant in Cultural Anthropology. In the future I might be something in the same line, or maybe totally different.On the other hand, I am qualified as a historian, archaeologist, osteoarchaeologist, and teacher. But all of these are just labels (ascribed through diplomas): none of them talks about the projects I have done in sociology, philosophy, public’s education etc. I guess I am what you might call an “interdisciplinary” researcher, and unfortunately there seems to be no diploma in that, hence no appropriate label.
I once had to play a game (a “break the ice” type of game, part of an exhibition guided tour): to choose a word that defines myself and write it on my name tag. In parentheses I have to say that the results of this game came out as a surprise, and I highly recommend you try it with the people you know- they might really surprise you with the words they choose (some of the words I heard on that occasion being: sponge, love, collage, witness etc.).
Basically, I am more or less in search of this word that will tell the world what I am, what I can do and what I would like to do. Well, of course I can pick easily something like “genius” or “culture” (which won’t be too far off 🙂 ), but I am afraid the “readers” will not be able to decode the message.
So, I am left puzzling over how should inter/trans-disciplinary activity be synthesised. In search of a label that can say who I am. And with no business card.