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AAA Statement on Police Practices

AAA President Monica Heller releases public statement on police practices in the United States and calls upon anthropologists to help create equitable policing:

In the United States, too many black Americans are killed by officers of the law. As anthropologists, we must speak out whenever our common humanity gives way to discrimination, prejudice and violence. We must speak out whenever anyone acts in ways that accords the full rights of personhood to some but not all. In this case, these injustices are perpetrated by those who are trained to protect us all, requiring a radical re-examination of the processes and structures that produce these tragedies on a regular basis.

Anthropologists can, and do, contribute to this re-examination by showing how structural inequality makes racism and race-based violence commonplace, whether it is motivated by individuals’ conscious intent or not, and in particular how officers of the law come to perpetrate such violence. It is time now to join with others to undo that process. Because it stops today.

Department of Hispanic Studies Trinitiy College Dublin University: Pulling together or Pulling Apart (Call for Papers)

DEPARTMENT OF HISPANIC STUDIES
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN UNIVERSITY

PULLING TOGETHER OR PULLING APART

IDENTITY AND NATIONHOOD • SPAIN, EUROPE,
THE WEST

25 – 27 June 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS

Increasing globalisation highlights the need to revisit the upsurge of Nationalism, and this three-day interdisciplinary conference will provide a forum for debate on sovereignty, nationhood, identity, and interrelated issues in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, France, Quebec, and elsewhere. Questions will include: why nationalism is so resilient; how notions of ‘self’ and ‘nation’ interpenetrate; economic, human rights, and social justice conflicts; whether and to what extent new definitions and approaches to nationhood and state may be needed in the context of a valid ‘European’ identity in the 21st century.
We invite papers on topics related to the main themes of the conference, to include perspectives on sovereign rights of nations • challenges of micro- and macro-nationalism to the supranational objective of creating a European identity • comparative approaches (historical, media, linguistic, philosophical, gender, anthropological, ethnographic, religious, socio-political…) • cultural rights and public space • radical and moderate nationalisms • territorial, political, and racial constructions of collective national identity • conflict resolution • myth and the nation • the arts in the construction of national identity • narratives of the front lines• forgiveness and reconciliation • other relevant topics.

Proposals (circa 250 words) in English or Spanish, together with a brief biographical note, should reach the conference organizers, Dr Susana Bayó Belenguer and Dr Nicola Rooney (confhisp@tcd.ie), by 12 February 2015. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Proposals from young researchers and postgraduate students are welcome. Acceptances will be notified by 27 March 2015.

For possible publication, revised versions should be sent for peer-review to confhisp@tcd.ie to arrive not later than 15 September 2015.

Further information (registration, accommodation, round-tables, events, etc.) will be available by mid-January on the conference website: http://www.tcd.ie/Hispanic_Studies/PTPA-conference/

A note from the American Anthropological Association: the AAA is not directly connected to the organization, vetting, or implementation of this conference.

December 17, 2014: Mastering the Campus Visit with Karen Kelsky

December 17, 2014: Mastering the Campus Visit with Karen Kelsky

karen

Dr. Karen Kelsky is the founder and principal of The Professor Is In, a blog and business dedicated to helping Ph.D.s turn their advanced degrees into jobs.  A former R1 tenured professor in Anthropology, and department head in the Humanities, Dr. Karen demystifies the unspoken rules that govern university hiring. In addition to blogging on every aspect of the job market, from building a competitive record and planning a publishing trajectory, to writing job applications, interviewing, and negotiating an offer, Dr. Karen works directly with clients on their individual job searches.  She also has a book in press with Random House, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job.   It comes out August 4, 2015.

In this webinar, I walk you through the basic expectations and potential pitfalls of the dreaded Campus Visit (sometimes called a Fly-Out) in Anthropology.There will be time for Q and A at the end, so bring questions!

We will examine:

 -The basic organization of a campus visit  -The job talk and Q and A
 -The single biggest pitfall for candidates  -The teaching demo
 -The initial arrangements and scheduling  -Handling meals gracefully
 -Preparing for the visit  -What to wear, especially in cold weather
- Meetings throughout the day

This amazing webinar is complimentary so register here, the password is “anthro”. And be sure to put it on your calendar so you don’t miss it.

“Why I signed” (the petition for academic boycott of Israeli institutions)

Guest blog post by AAA member,  Steven Caton (Harvard U).

I have not been a fan of boycotts in the past, so why did I change my mind?

The Gaza war in June and the continuing settlement finally made me reconsider. All the hand wringing over the Palestinians and pronouncements critical of Israel and its policies were doing absolutely no good. I spoke to a number of colleagues and friends, two of them Israeli, and two of them not (no Palestinians I regret to say) about the pros and cons of the proposed boycott, and after contemplating what they said for several weeks, I finally decided to sign. In other words, I did not take this action lightly. I have thought longer and harder than ever about questions of academic freedom that boycotts raise, and whether it’s impossible to distinguish between boycotting institutions and individual scholars, as it is claimed by boycott opponents.

Let me try to tackle the issue of academic freedom first. Opponents of the boycott argue that the freedoms of individual academics will be jeopardized, Israeli, Palestinian, and even scholars like myself who might “self-censure” by not publishing in journals supported by Israeli academic institutions, and that the boycott will not only be counter-productive but wrong in principle. It’s hard for me to buy this argument, when the range of academic journals, publishers and internet sites are so numerous and various as to make it possible to communicate one’s research outside the boycotted venues. A more reasonable concern is whether by not attending Israeli conferences or not teaching in Israeli classrooms, one is weakening these institutions to the point where they will see a cut-back in support for, say, anthropology, and thus do damage to the discipline inside the country as well as to individual anthropologists working in these institutions who are critical of Israel’s policy towards Palestinians and other marginalized groups within the country. Or conversely, that I am denying the possibility of my own speaking out within Israel against Israel’s policies and the university system that supports them. Let’s face it, even if we were given the chance to make that point or debate it, it would be dismissed as a personal view. I’d rather forego the opportunity to debate the issues within Israel, where these things tend to get coopted or marginalized in any case, and align with my colleagues in condemning what I think is unjust, which I think is a much more powerful tactic.

Speaking more abstractly, there is the “infra-structural” or “material” argument that says academic freedom is dependent on certain conditions being operative, and of course I have to acknowledge the merits of this argument in that Palestinian scholars are being deprived of the material infra-structure they need to exercise their academic freedoms within Israel. Am I therefore being illogical by arguing that two wrongs make a right? That if Palestinians are being denied their academic freedom, then so should Israelis and others working in Israeli institutions?
The answer to that question gets to the other, whether it is possible to distinguish between institutions and individuals. The boycott does not say that an Israeli (or non-Israeli) working or teaching or otherwise doing research at an Israeli institution of higher learning ipso facto will be boycotted, it only says that the institution will be. Impossible to make this distinction in practice between institutions and individuals? Again, I have a hard time believing that it is impossible; difficult, at times, perhaps, but certainly not impossible. I have supervised several Israeli students and otherwise closely advised or mentored others, all of whom fall within the spectrum from right to left on the question of Israel’s policies, and I don’t see my practice changing. The question is the intellectual merits of the individuals and the proposed research, and also the degree to which the project is critical of existing injustices that fall within the scope of the topic. I suppose I can only make this judgment on the basis of the facts of the application but that is only all we ever have before us when making collaborative decisions such as these. Might the research I collaborate with be used later to support the oppressive policies of the Israeli state? Perhaps. But all of us take this risk with the research we publish once it is in the public domain. So, would I accept to work with a student (Israeli, Palestinian or other) from an Israeli university whose project explores a research topic within, say, Israel, but also looks at the question in a balanced way deploying critical anthropology at its best? Yes, absolutely I would work with him or her. Where I would have a problem is with someone who seems not to be aware of or averse to pushing a critical perspective, or is simply an apologist for one side or the other in the conflict. Where I would also have a problem is accepting an invitation from that student’s home institution to give a lecture or teach in the classroom.

To those who say there are better ways to address the very injustices that they too want to change, I ask that you please put them forward so that we can debate the proposal and decide whether we should support it. Give us the alternative. To those who say the boycott is ineffective, then propose something that is. To those who say that it will do more harm than good, it is hard to imagine how the present state of affairs can possibly be worse. But I hope the debate will allow us to explore what are obviously difficult and thorny issues.

The 2014 Annual Meeting Mobile App has arrived!

Print I’m sure you’ve all be waiting with baited breath for the official release of this year’s annual meeting mobile application.  There are quite a few search-ability enhancements you’ll all appreciate. Be sure to take advantage of the communication and scheduling options as well.

I wanted to take some time specifically to address an issue we had last year, which was availability to recently registered attendees.  While we would like to provide you with instantaneous access to this amazing app, it isn’t always feasible.  I won’t bore you with details, but there will be a lag between the time you’ve registered and the time you have access to the mobile app. With any luck this will be mitigated to an hour or so. If you go a day without having access to the mobile app, then you might want to contact one of the staff (who will probably direct you to me).  You patience during this process is greatly appreciate, as we are a constantly evolving (and hopefully improving) association.

For example, I just ran the attendee list. So if you registered after 11/24/2014, then you will likely not be on the mobile app list until the next update is done, which will be tomorrow.

Without further delay, you can pick your app up on the iTunes Store or the Android Store. We don’t have a Windows App or one for Blackberry, but if there’s enough of a demand, I’ll try and get something together for next year.

New booklet and installation showcase popular anthropology

Today’s guest blog post is by Erin Taylor and Gawain Lynch.

Where are anthropologists publishing these days? Most of us probably know that Gillian Tett writes for The Financial Times and Sarah Kenzidor for Al Jazeera. Paul Stoller has a column in The Huffington Post, and there is also the AAA’s Huffington Post blog. We occasionally stumble across various other articles penned by anthropologists.

A couple of years ago we began searching for anthropology that is written for a public audience. We now have a rather long and impressive list, and we’ve only just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Around the world, we’ve found anthropologists publishing in places like The Guardian, The Conversation, Nigerians Talk, the Jamaica Gleaner, The Big Issue, O Magazine, Psychology Today, Scientific American, and many more.

But most of use aren’t aware of the extent of popular writing that anthropologists do – not even those of us who do it ourselves. This limits anthropology’s’ potential public voice.

We can change this by learning more about who is doing popular anthropology and by building connections between us.

First, if we share each other’s public work, we help to lift anthropology’s public profile. This helps anthropology have an influential voice in society. It also helps us as individuals: greater visibility for anthropology means that it will be easier to make our own voices heard.

Second, if we know who is writing for the public, we can learn from them. There are many anthropologists who believe that public communication is important and we write regularly on our own blogs. But these have a limited audience, and it’s hard to figure out how to take the next step. We need more avenues for mentorship and learning.

Third, if we network and collaborate as popular writers, we have a stronger bargaining position when it comes to our promotional committees and workplaces, who might not see the value in writing for the public. Most of us who produce popular anthropology do so as individuals. This makes it difficult to convince our workplaces need to understand that contributing to anthropology’s public profile has many benefits. But a show of force can change how popular anthropology is valued.

How do we do this? As a first step, we are running an installation at the AAA meetings in Washington D.C. on Friday 5 December. It will feature short talks by Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, and Greg Downey. We’ll show a video of interviews with popular anthropologists, produced by Natalia Reagan from the BOAS network. And you’ll get to participate, too, as the bulk of the installation will be taken up by a Town Hall meeting.

In preparation for our installation, we’re pleased to launch “Showcasing_Popular_Anthropology”(PDF), a compilation of short articles published in newspapers and blogs. It includes contributions from Sarah Kenzidor, Joris Luyendijk, Keith Hart, Dori Tunstall, Susan Blum, Helen Fisher, Vito Laterza, Olimide Abimbola, Agustín Fuentes, Rosemary Joyce, Greg Downey. At the back is a list of further reading to help you learn more about who is doing what and where.

This is just the beginning of the conversation, and taking it further will require a collaborative effort. So, if you will be in Washington D.C., come along and tell us what you think we can do to help popular anthropologists to join forces. If you can’t make it to the AAA meetings, you can still get in contact with the many anthropologists who are doing public work. Communicating among ourselves is an important step on our path to communicating with broader publics.

Practicing, Applied & Public Anthropology: Sessions of Interest

Today’s guest blog post is by the Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA). NOTE: All rooms are at the Marriott Wardman Park, unless indicated otherwise. Check program for NAPA-sponsored workshops and to confirm times and places of listed sessions.

Wednesday, December 3

Paradox and Resolution in Consumer Research
8 pm—9:45 pm Delaware Suite B

Thursday, December 4

Producing Anthropology and Tourism: Practicing Anthropologists in the Tourism Sector
11 am—12:45 pm Roosevelt Room 5

Spinning Anthropology in the Anthropocene: Integrating Theoretical & Applied Approaches to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change
Part 1 9am—10:45 am Marriott Balcony B Part 2 2:30 pm—4:15 pm Harding Room

Pathways and Approaches to Practicing Anthropology in Veteran and Military Health Services Research
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite C

Five Fields Update
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Delaware Suite B

Friday, December 5

9th Annual NAPA/AAA Careers Expo: Exploring Professional Careers
11am—4:00 pm Exhibit Hall C

Producing the Anthropology of Policy Across the Discipline
11am—12:45 pm Delaware Suite A (sponsored by CoPAPIA and ASAP)

Public Policy Forum on Indigenous Educational Policy in the U.S.
11am—12:45 pm Roosevelt Room 2

Producing Health Policy with Anthropology: Case Studies of Planning, Implementing & Evaluating Policy
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite A

Producing Anthropology in Evaluation: Connecting Culture, Equity, Value, and Program Effectiveness
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Marriott Balcony B

“Producing Anthropology” Through Community Engagement
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Maryland Suite C

Honoring J. Anthony Paredes (1939-2013): Ethnologist, Applied Anthropologist, and Friend
2:30pm—4:15 pm Wilson A

The Practice of Anthropology: Consider the Past, Focus on the Future
6:30 pm—8:15 pm Jackson Room

Saturday, December 6

Critical Issues in Anthropology: Constructing Local Practitioner Networks
9 am—10:45 am Washington Room 1 (sponsored by CoPAPIA)

Engaging Anthropology: Experiences from Scandinavia
9 am—10:45 am Thurgood Marshall East

Medical Anthropologists in Dept of Veteran Affairs: Our Network, Collaboration, and Methods
9 am—10:45 am Johnson Room

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Life in the Federal Government
9 am—10:45 am Thurgood Marshall South

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Private Sector Applications
11 am—12:45 pm Forum Room (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

NAPA Networking Event: Producing Connections through Conversations
1 pm—2:15 pm Marriott Ballroom Salon 2

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: International Development Opportunities
2:30 pm – 4:15 pm Roosevelt Room 5

The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Student Experiences
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Roosevelt Room 1

Negotiating Public Policy: Actors, Knowledge, and Contested Political Fields
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Forum Room (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

But Is It Science? Producing Justice-Oriented Ethnography of Education for Varied Publics
2:30 pm—4:15 pm Palladian Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel)

Sunday, December 7

The Relevance of Anthropology: Using Anthropological Theory & Methods to Address Complex Questions
8 am—9:45 am Taylor Room

Research Methods, Media Campaigns, and Collaboration: Innovative Approaches in Applied Anthropology
10 am—11:45 am Marriott Balcony B

Understanding Community in the [Applied] Anthropological Context
12 pm—1:45 pm Marriott Balcony B

Negotiating Boundaries and Contesting Terrain: Anthropological Knowledge in Legal Settings
12 pm—1:45 pm Virginia Suite B

 

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