Resources to Help AAA Members Thoughtfully Assist the People of Japan at this Time of Crisis

AAA’s section, the Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) is actively in tune to the events and needs in Japan following the devastating earthquake, tsunami and the evolving nuclear danger. With the assistance of SEAA’s current president, Jennifer Robertson, AAA President Virginia R. Dominguez would like to make available to the entire membership the following resources: … Continue reading Resources to Help AAA Members Thoughtfully Assist the People of Japan at this Time of Crisis

Write to your Congressional Representative Now

This just in over the newswire: Appropriations Committee Introduces Three Week Continuing Resolution Bill will Prevent Government Shutdown, Cut $6 Billion in Spending WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at current rates for three weeks –until April 8 – while cutting $6 … Continue reading Write to your Congressional Representative Now

Humanities at the Forefront of Congressional Vote on National Budget

The Annual Meeting for the National Humanities Alliance took place on March 7, 2011 at George Washington University, followed by Humanities Advocacy Day on March 8 at Capitol Hill. The Annual Meeting was an opportunity to provide concrete ways to exemplify and frame arguments to support the humanities, skills meeting participants would need for the … Continue reading Humanities at the Forefront of Congressional Vote on National Budget

A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven

AAA was one of 23 academic organizations that released a joint statement of response to the recent attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven, renown professor of the University of New York Graduate Center. The statement condemns Glenn Beck, radio and television personality, for his attacks on Piven and calls for public officials and political commentators to help … Continue reading A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven

Sacrifice and the Ripple Effect of Tunisian Self-immolation

We welcome a guest column by AAA member Sami Hermez (PhD, Princeton University). Sami is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Lebanese Studies at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

I was in Lebanon when the Tunisian revolt began.  I attended an event with activists that made me feel hopeful because it was the first time that a large group of people came to rally behind a cause that was not Palestinian or Lebanese.  Soon after, I was in Oxford when Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was deposed, and when the Egyptian revolts broke out days later on January 25, 2011.  Tens of thousands of people took to the streets that day, in what was seen as an unprecedented act in Egypt.  Since then, people in Egypt have inspired me, and I have been left in awe and disbelief that President Hosni Mubarak has been toppled and his regime left in decay.  The revolts in Egypt and Tunisia left over 500 dead and thousands injured.  It is these people’s sacrifices that I want to reflect on, and on their ability to sacrifice themselves for change, a powerful phenomenon that no regime could ever take away from its people.

Few deny the inspiration of the Tunisian revolts on the Egyptian scene.  By most accounts, the Tunisian revolution was triggered on December 17, 2010 when Muhammad Bouazizi, a fruit seller from the town of Sidi Salah, set fire to himself after being banned by police from selling his vegetables and then being humiliated.  Reports of his humiliation claim that a female police officer cursed and slapped him, and that after his complaints to the local Governor were dismissed, and within an hour of his humiliation, he lit himself on fire.  These details may prove to be a lie, but they have already taken on the value of myth, and become the subject of songs, as this self-immolation is said to have sparked protests in the Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid that grew, day-by-day, and culminated in the eventual overthrow of the Tunisian president on January 14, 2011

Continue reading “Sacrifice and the Ripple Effect of Tunisian Self-immolation”

Budget Announced – Write to Your Congress Representative Today!

Yesterday, the Obama Administration released its budget for fiscal year 2012, a plan that includes bold proposals to reduce government spending and address a budget deficit that is expected to reach over $1.6 trillion dollars by the end of this fiscal year. Among the agencies subject to proposed budget cuts include the National Endowment for … Continue reading Budget Announced – Write to Your Congress Representative Today!