• 2016 AA Editor Search
  • Open Anthropology
  • Latest AAA Podcast

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 16,799 other followers

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #8: Nicholas Copeland and Alayne Unterberger.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • To assist in organizing human rights forum, sessions, workshops or other events at AAA Annual Meeting;
  • To consider and respond to cases of alleged human rights abuse;
  • To educate anthropologists on human rights;
  • To educate policy makers and others outside of anthropology on anthropology’s perspective and contributions to human rights;
  • To work in coalition with other professional and human rights organizations to promote human rights.

Click here to learn more about the Committee for Human Rights.

 

Nicholas Copeland

Copeland_NickAs an anthropologist and activist, I am attuned to the politics and anti-politics of human rights in the neoliberal present. I have studied how the violence and exploitation built into liberal socio-economic orders and corporate business models are lived by rural Mayas and Wal-Mart employees, and how communities and activists creatively appropriate human rights discourse to press political demands, articulate distinctive conceptions of justice, valorize radical difference, and imagine alternate futures. I also investigate how states and other sovereigns selectively deploy human rights discourses to justify imperial interventions, pursue profit, manage critique, and to discredit and disperse dissent, and how these strategies create trade offs between individual and political rights on the one hand, and collective and material rights on the other. In my scholarship, activism, and instruction, I affirm a vision of human rights fundamentally incompatible with routinized inequality and material deprivation and emphasize connections between structural and political violence. I believe anthropologists can and should take a prominent role in public debates about human rights. Anthropological methods and analysis are uniquely suited to show connections between diverse struggles for rights and to contextualize conflicting rights claims by illuminating their histories, ethical foundations, and often very contradictory political effects.

Alayne Unterberger

Unterberger_AlayneMy platform rests on the importance that anthropology, especially applied and practicing anthropological projects, can and should play in protecting human rights. Human rights are fundamental to civil society, yet all too often anthropologists stand witness to flagrant human rights violations that include abuses such as sexual and human trafficking, wage theft/economic abuse, physical and emotional abuse. These violations happen in the US and not just in far-away lands as is often depicted in the media. As such, anthropologists have the unique responsibility, and power, to not only highlight such abuses but also their causes, consequences and prevention. As a member of the Committee for Human Rights (Undesignated Seat #8), I propose a two-fold approach to enhancing our contributions to human rights. First, I would highlight the important contributions of fellow anthropologists and how their work – often in collaboration with non-anthropologists – results in strengthening human rights, locally and globally. Secondly, since I have learned that most of my undergraduate students do not know about the UN Declaration on Human Rights, or what is protected therein, I feel that this committee is poised to take a lead in expanding students’ knowledge and appreciation for human rights as a matter of basic local and global humanitarianism and scholarship.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #6: Jennifer L. Burrell and David Fazzino.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • To assist in organizing human rights forum, sessions, workshops or other events at AAA Annual Meeting;
  • To consider and respond to cases of alleged human rights abuse;
  • To educate anthropologists on human rights;
  • To educate policy makers and others outside of anthropology on anthropology’s perspective and contributions to human rights;
  • To work in coalition with other professional and human rights organizations to promote human rights.

Click here to learn more about the Committee for Human Rights.

 

Jennifer L. Burrell

Although anthropology’s relationship to human rights has historically been characterized by numerous tensions, our discipline is, at the same time, uniquely situated to understand those differences, to surmount them, and to advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights to larger publics. I bring a mixture of applied and conceptual experiences to the AAA’s Committee for Human Rights, including years of consultancy with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology team, advocacy for women’s and indigenous rights, decades of solidarity with Central America and interventions to human rights scholarship. I look forward to contributing the insights gleaned through these experiences to the AAA, to building coalitions with locally-based and international NGOs and human rights organizations, and to working with fellow CfHR committee members to effectively educate the AAA at large with regard to global rights situations and our ability to respond to them effectively.

David Fazzino

I am interested in food and energy systems sustainability with a background in anthropology, law and agroecology. My work in food systems includes the right to traditional foods in State and international policy with case studies in Arizona and Alaska. My work in energy systems incudes examination of biofuel development, the heat or eat crisis in Alaska and the role of nuclear power in Ukraine’s energy future. While in law school I examined agriculture law, environmental law, and intellectual property rights to see the extent to which these aligned with international human and indigenous rights law and policy. Development has been broadly associated with a number of projects designed to advance the human condition, through careful consideration of development interventions, primarily in the context of food and energy development, I work to illustrate the unintended impacts of development, including those which run counter to contemporary understandings of human rights. I intend on working with other members of the AAA’s Committee for Human Rights to advance understandings of human rights issues for differently situated individuals, and provide direction in appropriate responses to violations amongst members of the AAA.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #1: Merrill Singer and Betsy Taylor.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • To assist in organizing human rights forum, sessions, workshops or other events at AAA Annual Meeting;
  • To consider and respond to cases of alleged human rights abuse;
  • To educate anthropologists on human rights;
  • To educate policy makers and others outside of anthropology on anthropology’s perspective and contributions to human rights;
  • To work in coalition with other professional and human rights organizations to promote human rights.

Click here to learn more about the Committee for Human Rights.

 

Merrill Singer

Singer_MerillSeeking election to the Committee on Human Rights reflects my long-term involvement in research, teaching, writing and engagement in issues of social inequality and health. As a staff member of the Hispanic Health Council, a community-based research and direct service institution focused on health inequalities, the right to health (i.e., access to the resources needed to sustain wellbeing) was a core principle of our work. Consequently, we examined the structural causes of illness and sought to provide evidence that could inform rights-based struggles for improved health. This theme is reflected also in my publications, such as Drugs and Development: Global Impact on Sustainable Growth and Human Rights (Waveland 2009), Unhealthy Health Policy: A Critical Anthropological Examination (edited with Arachu Castro, Altamira Press, 2004), and The War Machine and Global Health (edited with Derrick Hodge, Roman-Littlefield, 2010). Currently, I serve on the Research on Global Health and Human Rights committee, of the Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut. As a member of the Committee on Human Rights, I will support efforts to promote anthropological engagement with global human rights discourse, threats to human rights and justice, and debates about human rights versus alternative approaches to expanded social equity.

Betsy Taylor

Taylor_BetsyMy human rights work is grounded in decades of ethnographic and collaborative research with environmental and social justice movements in regions affected by extractive industry – particularly Central Appalachia and tribal communities in Northeast India. Universalizing rights discourses, I believe, need continual regrounding within substantive justice struggles, grounded in political ecological particularities and cultural contexts. I am collaborating with grassroots networks to conduct participatory action research that draws on international law and human rights discourses, for ‘bottom-up’ policy-making for transition from extraction-dependent regional economies (primarily coal and timber). A year ago, the Secretary of the US Dept of Interior appointed me to the steering committee of the US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. My recent research particularly focuses on emerging cross-regional dialogues in bottom-up policy in land rights, and community-based management of commons, including efforts to develop ‘community protocols’ to integrate customary law into national and international law. I have worked for three years, with the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee of the Society for Applied Anthropology. I believe that anthropology can play a unique and crucial role in national and international human rights circles – especially around questions of climate justice.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology Undesignated Seat #3: Purnima Mankekar and Kristin Yarris.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • Monitor gender discrimination within the discipline
  • Pursue greater parity for women in the discipline by means of:
    a. monitoring, including gathering information that illuminates issues that effect the diverse women in anthropology as well as efforts to obtain existing comparable survey data,
    b. advocating, including bringing findings before the Association’s members, in the form of resolutions, when appropriate and
    c. educating, including distributing brochures, meeting with department chairs, setting up an interactive presence on the internet/web and writing periodic updates for the AN.
  • Identify forms of sexual harassment in all settings where anthropologists work and learn including the varieties of biases that complicate issues regarding race/ethnicity, gender stereotyping and preferences, class, and disabilities.
  • Interact on an ongoing basis with the Association’s long range planning process on issues of gender parity.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Gender Equality in Anthropology.

Purnima Mankekar

Mankekar_PurnimaMy research is in the anthropology of gender and my career displays the convergence of my scholarship and activism. I have invested a great deal of energy at both my institutions, Stanford (1993-2006) and UCLA (2007-present), in monitoring and advocating for greater gender equity at all levels. I am committed to mentoring women students, students of color, and my junior women colleagues, and have a proven track record in this regard. I am a member of the UCLA senate as well as of the UC-wide senate where I monitor and advocate for gender equity, particularly with reference to women of color and queer/transgender students and faculty. I am now ready to apply my knowledge and experience to contexts wider than my home institution. As a long-standing member of the AAAs, I am excited about an opportunity to get more involved in the functioning of the organization, especially with regards to equity within our discipline. Being appointed to the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology will provide me with a terrific opportunity to do so. I look forward to being part of a team that is committed to working on gender equity issues in our discipline over the long term.

Kristin Yarris

Yarris_KristinI am committed to gender equity within our discipline and would use my research skills, professional experience and institutional position to help advance the CoGEA’s objectives. I believe the CoGEA should advocate for gender equity at various institutional levels within our discipline by working with students, tenure-track and non tenure-track faculty, administrative staff, practicing anthropologists and AAA governing bodies. I am committed to inclusivity in our discipline more broadly and support CoGEA’s efforts to achieve parity and equity for sexual, racial, ethnic, social class, and cultural minorities as well as for people living with disabilities. I would help advance CoGEA’s efforts to advocate for gender equity by researching the policies advanced by faculty and staff unions and other advocacy efforts and would seek to disseminate this information widely to AAA membership and beyond through the CoGEA. Other ideas I have for achieving gender parity within our discipline include advocating for family-friendly and healthy workplaces through leave and benefits policies, expanding institutional support for caregivers of dependent relatives, and monitoring gender disparities in specific outcomes such as time-to-tenure or ratio of tenured to non-tenured faculty in order to remedy these disparities.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

Important Update on FIRST Act – Your Action Needed

Today’s guest blog post is by COSSA Executive Director, Wendy A. Naus.

On Wednesday, May 21, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will mark up the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act, or FIRST Act. As previously reported, this legislation proposes massive cuts to NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate, among other problematic provisions impacting the scientific community. COSSA has issued an Action Alert encouraging members to write to their House Representative urging them to vote “NO” on the bill.

Please take a moment to weigh in with your Member of Congress. Thank you!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology Undesignated Seat #1: Maxine Oland and Sarah Surface Evans.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • Monitor gender discrimination within the discipline
  • Pursue greater parity for women in the discipline by means of:
    a. monitoring, including gathering information that illuminates issues that effect the diverse women in anthropology as well as efforts to obtain existing comparable survey data,
    b. advocating, including bringing findings before the Association’s members, in the form of resolutions, when appropriate and
    c. educating, including distributing brochures, meeting with department chairs, setting up an interactive presence on the internet/web and writing periodic updates for the AN.
  • Identify forms of sexual harassment in all settings where anthropologists work and learn including the varieties of biases that complicate issues regarding race/ethnicity, gender stereotyping and preferences, class, and disabilities.
  • Interact on an ongoing basis with the Association’s long range planning process on issues of gender parity.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Gender Equality in Anthropology.

Maxine Oland

Oland_MaxineWhile our discipline claims some expertise in understanding the role of gender in cultures and institutions around the world, many anthropologists continue to face inequities in our own professional settings. My interest in serving on CoGEA is inspired by my personal experience–as an academic, an adjunct professor, and a mother–and by my conversations with young colleagues, who tell me stories of sexual harassment, and gender and sexuality-based discrimination across all subfields. My work with the Committee On The Status of Women in Archaeology (Society for American Archaeology) has brought attention to issues of motherhood and mentorship within the sub-discipline of archaeology. I seek a position on CoGEA to increase gender parity across anthropology more broadly. I am particularly interested in the ways that gender inequality intersects with class, race, ethnic identification, age, and sexuality, with life choices/ realities such as parenthood and marriage status, and with structural factors in our academic and professional institutions. Inequalities can be experienced at any level of career, but are of particular concern for young scholars and recent graduates, whose lack of professional power and mentorship puts them at the greatest risk of exploitation.

Sarah Surface Evans

Surface-Evans_SarahAs a female archaeologist, who has worked in the private sector, government, and academia, I have encountered many situations that underscore the immense work that remains to be done to ensure gender equity in our discipline. In 2011, I organized a round table (LEGACIES, SHIFTING REALITIES, AND (RE)INVENTING ROLES FOR WOMEN IN ARCHAEOLOGY) with Misty Jackson for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association to initiate a frank and open discussion of gender bias and discrimination in archaeology. One of the outcomes of the round table was the creation of the Feminist Voices in Archaeology Blog, which is an online forum for sharing stories, creating a community, and building mentorship. While the blog has been somewhat successful, participation has been much less than we hoped for. It is all too clear to me that even anonymous digital spaces are not safe enough for this discussion. Consequently, I wish to serve on CoGEA in order to be able to foster a safe environment within the discipline and promote positive change in the anthropological community. To start, I would like to see the development of an AAA-sanctioned online forum and to use social media to increase mentorship and communication.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology Student Seat: Holly Okonkwo and Tony Pomales.

Responsibilities of the committee members include:

  • Monitor gender discrimination within the discipline
  • Pursue greater parity for women in the discipline by means of:
    a. monitoring, including gathering information that illuminates issues that effect the diverse women in anthropology as well as efforts to obtain existing comparable survey data,
    b. advocating, including bringing findings before the Association’s members, in the form of resolutions, when appropriate and
    c. educating, including distributing brochures, meeting with department chairs, setting up an interactive presence on the internet/web and writing periodic updates for the AN.
  • Identify forms of sexual harassment in all settings where anthropologists work and learn including the varieties of biases that complicate issues regarding race/ethnicity, gender stereotyping and preferences, class, and disabilities.
  • Interact on an ongoing basis with the Association’s long range planning process on issues of gender parity.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Gender Equality in Anthropology.

Holly Okonkwo

Okonkwo_HollyIt is my pleasure to be selected as a candidate to run on the 2014 spring ballot for the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology Student Seat. I am running on the grounds of my intellectual and pedagogical commitment to foster diversity and more inclusive environments within the discipline and academy. Anthropology helped make the connections between the personal and the political by giving me the tools to not only understand my own positionality but also to question power relations, knowledge production and to confront discrimination. The field has allowed me to develop a voice when I often felt silenced and invisible. I am firmly committed to a career dedicated to exploring the experiences of women from diverse backgrounds and understanding how those experiences may better inform the discourse on institutions and diversity. As a member of the committee, I will utilize that same passion and commitment in supporting the mission of the American Anthropological Association in its pursuit of greater gender equity in the discipline and beyond.

Tony Pomales

Pomales_TonyThe AAA Committee on Gender Equity represents anthropology’s continued efforts toward collectively building an equitable research and work environment for all anthropologists, and also its commitment to creating and fostering equitable gender relations beyond the academy. This commitment requires a vision of gender as intersectional, so that accounts of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and other sites of difference-making factor into how gender is understood to be socially constructed and lived; thus making the committee more sensitive and alert to various forms of gender violence. My education in transnational feminism and critical race theory has prepared me to meet the responsibilities of this student seat. My graduate certification in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies also has prepared and challenged me to formulate pedagogies for addressing issues of gender inequity in the classroom and in other settings. My dissertation research and work with aging sex worker-identified women in Costa Rica has also challenged me to develop a more critical understanding and awareness of gender discrimination and sexual abuse and the workings of power and violence, more broadly. Closer to home, my personal commitment to gender equity and social justice has also informed my work with students at a local high school who participate in a Gay Straight Alliance.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

AAA Collaborates in Support of Egypt/U.S. Memorandum of Understanding

In collaboration with the American Schools for Oriental Research, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Society of American Archaeology, AAA President Monica Heller expresses support for the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt that will be considered by CPAC at its upcoming public meeting on June 2 of this year.

Below is an excerpt, read the entire letter here:

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our collective support for the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt that will be considered by CPAC at its upcoming public meeting on June 2, 2014. Our organizations represent the primary professional bodies for the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and Egyptology as well as many interested members of the public. Our collective membership of over 230,000 has a strong interest in the long-term research, preservation, presentation, and safeguarding of the heritage of Egypt.

Modern-day Egypt is host to some of the oldest and most significant archaeological remains in the world. The geographic diversity and temporal representation of the archaeological and historical material of Egypt covers fabled monuments, such as those related to the rich Pharaonic past and the Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as places and complexes of the Islamic, Ottoman, and Christian inhabitants, many still in use today. Whether woven into the urban fabric of the cities of Cairo or Alexandria, or situated in the rural areas of the Fayum, Sinai, and Upper Egypt, the cultural landscapes of Egypt represent a palimpsest of time. The proposed MoU imposes import restrictions on archaeological material from the Early Dynastic Period through the New Kingdom period as well as on the more recent Islamic material, ending with the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.

Our call for action under this MoU recognizes the significant place of history from Egypt in our collective lives, from the plazas of Rome to the halls of U.S. institutions; from the covers of National Geographic, Archaeology magazine, and the New York Times to the stories told by National Public Radio and Fox News. The indelible position of Egypt in our understanding of the ancient history of writing and medicine, as well as the histories of museum practice, the preservation movement, and tourism development, notably in Cairo and at Abu Simbel, all offer sound evidence for the importance of protecting the Egyptian past. An MoU offers further opportunity to expand cultural relationships between the United States and Egypt. The MoU enables and encourages collaborative initiatives that aim to support research, to preserve archaeological and historical places, to promote educational exchange programs, and to quell activities that contribute to the illicit trafficking of Egyptian heritage.

Read the entire letter here.

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Ethics Committee Biological Seat: Julie Lesnik and Bethany Turner

The objective of the Committee on Ethics is a standing committee of the Association, which is responsible for the design and implementation of the Association’s ethics education and advisory program. The objectives of the ethics education program are (1) to increase the number of candidates for all degrees in anthropology receiving training in ethics before graduating; (2) to provide ongoing education in ethical issues for all AAA members; (3) to provide advice to AAA members facing/raising ethical dilemmas, and (4) to provide guidance to the Executive Board about AAA codes and guidelines.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Ethics.

 

Julie Lesnik

Lesnik_JulieI have a broad professional history in anthropology, which has furnished me with the experience necessary for a position on the Ethics Committee. I have taught at many different schools in Chicago including small, private establishments, large research-driven public universities, and a minority-serving institute. The student body as well as the faculty at every type of school faces their own challenges. Having worked in many different academic environments, I have an understanding of the challenges that need to be overcome in order to implement ethics training in various anthropology curricula. I have also worked on four field schools on three different continents. I have experience navigating many ethics problems that can present themselves in these settings, such as research team power dynamics, relations with local populations, and ethical treatment of human remains. I am able to advise AAA members who may be currently encountering these issues. Finally, I have been active in the AAA since 2008 and I look forward to contributing more in the years to come. Serving on the Ethics Committee would be a great way to engage with the membership and help promote awareness of the ethical dilemmas we all face in our chosen field.

Bethany Turner

Turner_BethanyI am a social bioarchaeologist working primarily in the Peruvian Andes to study patterns of diet, mobility, health, and identity among indigenous groups who lived in ancient imperial states such as the Wari and Inca, and under Spanish colonialism. I have also collaboratively studied human remains from archaeological contexts in Middle Woodland-Period Florida, Medieval Mongolia, Early-Christian Sudanese Nubia, and Emancipation-Period Georgia. All of these research contexts involved explicit and sustained efforts to engage in context-specific best practices, from excavation to compliance with NAGPRA and museum policies, to engagement with descent communities, to ongoing dialog regarding intrusive analysis and repatriation.

My training involved a strong and consistent focus on skeletal ethics and public engagement, which I now infuse into training and mentoring students in the field and lab. I believe that studying human remains is a privilege, one that imparts a heavy responsibility on the researcher to commit to the nuanced and dynamic nature of ethical practices. Because of this, I have published peer-reviewed book chapters centered on the ongoing negotiation of ethical issues in the study of ancient human remains in the US and abroad. I would translate these experiences and perspectives into productive contributions as a member of the AAA Committee on Ethics.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,799 other followers