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Making More Connections at Your Annual Meeting

Today’s guest blog post is written by Guven Peter Witteveen.

Conferences normally have consisted of formal sessions, informal shoptalk, and hatching ideas with a mix of well-known and new colleagues. The events last a few days and then the momentum fades a few days later when the catch up work at home faces you. With a view to extending the period of conference enthusiasm and contagious ideas, this year in keeping with the “Producing Anthropology” theme we would like to encourage presenters, attendees, and those unable to be physically present to share part of their work for a few days before the Annual Meeting, during events, and a few weeks after the conference. That way it will be possible to interact with the authors, ideas, and source materials beyond the face to face time of a given session.

Online services make it easy to share your presentation, abstract, bibliography and resource links, draft writings [marked not for citation], images and video or audio clips. The idea underlying this online initiative is for you to be in charge of your own material in full or in abbreviated form at a hosting place of your choosing (personal account, workplace webspace, or one of the free online services -see a summary of several usefully scholarly services at http://bit.ly/2013tools). Then you submit a link to that sharable material at a single, one-stop input form so that anyone can browse the resulting list of authors’ links and choose to interact with the thinkers and materials of their choosing.

Ultimately the authors of the materials who have uploaded their things will control how long the files are viewable, but the one-stop list of this Annual Meeting’s materials makes a simple way to centralize things. This project to gather links to your materials is not an archive. There is no permanence. That would be a job for archive.org. Instead this online page is intended to streamline the sharing of presented subjects and related materials in the run-up to the Annual Meeting and for a few weeks following the event.

So no matter if you are scheduled to present a numbered scientific session, speak at a round-table, create a poster session, or attend a section event on-site or off-site, please feel free to share your materials by uploading to a place of your choosing and then giving the link to the material at http://tinyurl.com/2014aaalinks or view the cumulative results submitted in the days to come at http://goo.gl/4Q6OZE.

Guven Witteveen belongs to Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) and works with colleagues to produce more and better outreach beyond campus. Some of his work is linked from www.linkedin.com/in/anthroview.

Format for December 4th Members’ Open Forum on Engagement with Israel and Palestine

Today’s guest blog post is written by Ed Liebow, Executive Director.

Last July’s Anthropology News mentioned a variety of ways in which AAA leadership is trying to foster dialogue and information exchange among AAA members on anthropologically relevant issues related to Israel/Palestine. We mentioned there that an Open Forum would be held at the Annual Meeting; it has now been scheduled for Thursday 4 December, from 13:00 to 14:15 in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Ballroom Salon 2. Our goal is to facilitate dialogue among AAA Members, bringing to bear on the conversation the culture of inquiry and analytical skills characteristic of our profession.

The frame for the discussion is: what issues related to Israel/Palestine are relevant to us as anthropologists, as members of a scholarly association, and to the AAA as an association of anthropologists?

Here is what you can expect at the Open Forum. The hall will be arranged with a number of tables; the hall is large and we can accommodate many small groups. You will be encouraged to sit with people you do not already know well. There will be introductory remarks from Monica Heller, the AAA President, a brief update on the work of the AAA Task Force on Engagement on Issues related to Israel/Palestine by the Task Force chair, AAA Past-President Don Brenneis, and a short explanation of the forum’s format by our lead facilitator, Tarek Maassarani. The process will include an opening round to build trust and familiarity amongst participants; several discussion rounds with prompts to share what questions, knowledge, perspectives, and experiences participants bring to the table; and a reflective closing round to share insights and their relevance beyond this one event.

Participants will also be given index cards that they can place in feedback boxes as they leave the room. Facilitators will be asked to fill out a reflection form immediately following the dialogue to help us better understand what happened at each table. If there is time, we might be able to hear from some of the facilitators before we need to vacate the room. Since the objective at this stage is to foster dialogue among members, we will check badges at the entrance. Executive Board members, Task Force members, Section Assembly leadership and AAA staff will likely attend as observers. We will ask the press to respect our privacy during the Forum, though we are happy for participants to speak to the press (or blog or tweet) before and after the event. We are also open to considering further such events, whether open only to members or not.

Webinar Wednesday: Samuel Gerald Collins and Social Network Analysis for Qualitative Research

Samuel Gerald Collins_blog  Join the American Anthropological Association tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern Time for a complimentary webinar examining Social Network Analysis.  This webinar will provide practical take-away knowledge dealing with NodeXL, a free and open source template for Microsoft® Excel® 2007, 2010 and 2013 that makes it easy to explore network graphs.  NodeXL helps bridge the gap between qualitative and quantitative analysis.  This is a must see webinar for anyone looking for a new method of data gathering, or if you feel like you could brush up on your skills.

Samuel Gerald Collins is an anthropologist at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland.  His research examines the urban as the confluence of people and social media.  He is the author of various books, book chapters and articles, among them All Tomorrow’s Cultures: Anthropological Engagements With the Future (Berghahn, 2008), Library of Walls (2009) and, along with co-author Matthew Durington, Networked Anthropology (Routledge, 2014).  He is currently in Seoul on a Fulbright Grant.

Sign up for the webinar here: https://aaanetevents.webex.com/mw0401l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=aaanetevents when the event begins, you will be prompted to use the password “anthro” Be sure to run a Mic/Speaker audio test (found in the communications tab) and that your speakers are set to the right internal or external source.

Webinar Summary:

1. Terms for Social Network Analysis.

2. Using NodeXL

3. Case Study 1: Who are my interlocutors?

4. Case Study 2: Where is my field site?

5. Case Study 3: What happened to my research?

6. Additional Resources

You will not need to download NodeXL for this event, but if you are interested in checking it out beforehand, it is available here: http://nodexl.codeplex.com/

Early workshops registration ends soon, so register now for workshops!

Today’s guest blog post is by Dr. Sabrina Nichelle Scott. Dr. Scott is a consumer anthropologist, and she is the Chair of the NAPA Workshops Committee.

113th AAA Annual MeetingWorkshops registration is now available. Unlike last year, workshops begin on the first day of the AAA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 and end on Saturday, December 7, 2014. It is exciting to have the opportunity to choose from over 40 workshops from various sections within AAA with 12 of those workshops offered by the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA). Complete workshop descriptions and convenient online registration are available at http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/Workshops.cfm. Early workshops registration ends soon, so register now to guarantee your seat. I look forward to seeing you in DC!

Civil Discourse and Civic Engagement with Planet Education – Course Activities for all Disciplines

Free Webinar and Networking Event by Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability 

Plan to participate October 16th in a networking and learning opportunity focused on empowering faculty, students, staff, and communities through applied learning. The online gathering will feature learning activities that can be used in any course to help students engage more in their learning via civil discourse and taking actions for a better world. Speakers will describe national initiatives to engage students and the community in clean energy options, climate destabilization solutions, and making connections across the political spectrum. Sponsored by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC).

Time: 3pm to 4:30 pm EST on October 16, 2014. Register today at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/847362234

AES Graduate-Student Workshops at the 113th AAA Annual Meeting

American Ethnological Society

The American Ethnological Society is pleased to announce its ongoing series of graduate-student workshops. The workshops will take place during the American Anthropological Association’s 113th Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

Each workshop is limited to ten students. The workshops are free. To apply for a workshop, please send a 250-300-word description of your research project and its relationship to the workshop theme. Descriptions will be shared with other workshop participants in advance of the meeting. In addition, your faculty leader(s) may circulate one short piece for discussion.

Preference will be given to AES Student Members, though non-members are also encouraged to apply. Students can join the AES for $18.

To apply for a workshop, or if you have any questions, please contact: Andrew Hernann (ahernann@gc.cuny.edu). The deadline to apply is November 1, 2014.

We are pleased to offer the following five workshops:

Teaching Intro: Strategies for Reaching our Largest Public Audience
Faculty facilitator: Kenneth Guest (Baruch College CUNY/AES Treasurer)
Date: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Time: 9:00 am-10: 45 am

More than 200,000 students take “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” in the United States every year. This is by far anthropology’s largest public audience. It is where anthropology departments have their largest enrollments—and we may have these students for as many as 15 weeks. Facilitated by Prof. Kenneth Guest, author of the new textbook, Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age (2014), this discussion considers strategies for engaging introductory students in deep learning about the way the world works using the tools of anthropology.

Ethnography for the 21st Century
Faculty facilitators: Joseph Masco (University of Chicago), Ken Wissoker (Editorial Director, Duke University Press)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

Ethnography, by definition, seeks to describe and theorize culture. Words on the page, however, are a rather thin device relative to culture’s “thickness.” Nonetheless, despite the dramatic technological innovations of the past couple of decades, the written ethnography has remained largely unchanged. In this workshop, we explore the possibilities beyond the traditional written ethnography. We ask such questions as: How can ethnographers make use of both hardware and software, including e-readers, websites, etc.? How can we utilize technology to create an ethnography that better connects, informs and teaches increasingly techno-savvy undergraduates? Facilitated by Prof. Joseph Masco and Editorial Director Ken Wissoker, this workshop brings together experts in ethnography and technology and future ethnographers, critically engaging the potentials of this technoscape for the ethnographic genre.

Publishing in Anthropology: Tips on Academic Writing and Peer Review
Faculty facilitators: Angelique Haugerud (Editor, American Ethnologist/Rutgers University), Catherine Besteman (AE editorial board member/Colby College), Eric Gable (AE book review editor/University of Mary Washington), and other AE editorial board members.
Date: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

In this workshop, Prof. Angelique Haugerud, Prof. Catherine Besteman, and Prof. Eric Gable offer advice on publishing in scholarly journals as well as for wider audiences. Topics include elements of successful academic writing, navigating the peer review process, what goes on behind the scenes in editorial boards and editorial offices, selecting journals and approaching editors, writing for edited volumes, preparing book reviews and book prospectuses, and how to get an article accepted in the American Ethnologist. This session will include time for participants to ask questions about a range of publishing processes and practices.

Writing Violence
Faculty facilitators: Carolyn Nordstrom (Notre Dame University), Sally Engle Merry (New York University)
Date: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

All ethnographic writing poses challenges. A political act, ethnography raises questions of representation and (inter-)subjectivity. However, ethnography of violence and conflict encounters some particular issues. For instance: How to avoid fetishizing violence? How to alleviate the perpetrator-victim dichotomy? How to prevent accounts of violence from becoming white noise? How to prevent violence from becoming a trope in/for certain regions? Following up on last year’s successful graduate student roundtable, “Methodological and Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Research on Conflict and Violence,” co-facilitators Prof. Carolyn Nordstrom and Prof. Sally Engle Merry come together again in order to take a critical look at the difficulties of writing about violence.

Bridging the Gap: On Anthropology and Islamic Studies
Faculty facilitators: Engseng Ho (Duke University), Andrew Shryock (University of Michigan)
Date: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Time: 9:00 am-10:45 am

Trans-disciplinarity has been in vogue for the past decade, yet, the conversation in many ways remains confused and/or unapproachable. This is especially problematic for anthropologists of Islam. Anthropology tends to privilege “popular” or “syncretic” expressions of religion, often underplaying the influence of “orthodoxy” and central religious texts. As a result, anthropology frequently fails to create a space to learn or critically engage the literature and theoretical entry points that are central to Islamic Studies. The result: (1) an anthropology ill-equipped to consider more “formal” approaches to Islam, as well as their relationship to “popular” Islam; and (2) an anthropology unable to effectively communicate with Islamic Studies (and vice versa). In this workshop, Prof. Engseng Ho and Prof. Andrew Shryock discuss how we can make the two disciplines better resonate with one another. Specifically, we ask: How can anthropologists make better use of Islamic Studies; and can anthropological work effectively contribute to Islamic Studies? A fresh contribution to the discussion of trans-disciplinarity, this workshop explores how to resist disciplinary enclavement and engage broader analyses in theoretically meaningful ways.

It’s Webinar Wednesday!

Join Dr. Ken C. Erickson this afternoon at 2pm ET for Webinar Wednesday! Registration is required, webinar is free: http://bit.ly/1lU3FNY

KenDoing “Consumer” Anthropology, Warnings and Advice*

Whether its burgers or Boeing, anthropological technique and theory have found significant purchase in the business world. Sometimes. The questions Anthropologists ask often lead to discomfiting revisions in thinking about who buys products and services and what using or experiencing them means. Bringing anthropological stories to the enterprise table can even raise fundamental questions about the nature of business. Fundamental questions (about value, valuation, sustainability, and suffering caused by organizations, for example) need not be laid aside while asking and answering enterprise tactical questions. Using video examples and tales from the field, this webinar offers tips and tricks for finding an anthropological focus that can be heard and, sometimes, become levers to think about and change organizational practices.

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