• 2016 AA Editor Search
  • Get Ready for the Annual Meeting

    From t-shirts to journals, 2014 Annual Meeting Gear Shop Now
  • Open Anthropology
  • Latest AAA Podcast

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

    Join 17,948 other followers

Science and Technology Studies and Agricultural Anthropology: Todd A. Crane in the New Issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment

This month, Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment publishes its latest journal issue, Tending the Field: Special Issue on Agricultural Anthropology and Robert E. Rhoades. The issue brings together a collection of articles that expand upon Rhoades’s work in agricultural anthropology. Of particular note for readers interested in participatory and collaborative research is Todd A. Crane’s contribution, “Bringing Science and Technology Studies into Agricultural Anthropology: Technology Development as Cultural Encounter between Farmers and Researchers.”

Crane argues for a unique and innovative twist to the “farmer-back-to-farmer” (FB2F) approach in the development of agricultural technologies. In the FB2F approach, outlined by Robert Rhoades and Robert Booth in 1982, the development of technologies begins and ends with farmers, considering their perspectives and considerations in developing technologies, as well as their evaluation, adaptation, and integration of proposed technologies. Crane updates this model by proposing that empirical social research on scientists’ institutional cultures and technical practices additionally be considered in applied agricultural research- a proposal that creatively integrates perspectives from science and technology studies (STS) into the FB2F approach. “Unpacking the “back-to” part of “farmer-back-to-farmer” means acknowledging researchers as stakeholders in the process, just as much as farmers are,” Crane writes. This proposal is of both applied and theoretical interest. As Crane argues:

Conducting empirical social research on scientists’ technical practices, social organization, and institutional norms- alongside the same research done with farmers- will enable a better theorization of how and why certain forms of applied agricultural research work (or do not work), which should in turn enable applied research strategies to become more effective. Furthermore, by including both farmers and research scientists in the analytical lens, we can also better understand the “hows” and “whys” of cultural encounters that occur when farmers and scientists work together (47).

To read this article through open-access, click here. Read the full issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment on AnthroSource.

Food-and-Language Methodologies: New Article in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

“Food and language have frequently been served up together on the same plate at the anthropological research table.” From this starting point, authors Jillian R. Cavanaugh and Kathleen Riley authored an article with collaborators Alexandra Jaffe, Christine Jourdan, Martha Karrebaek, Amy Paugh to provide a fascinating look at emerging food-and-language studies in, “What Words Bring to the Table: The Linguistic Anthropological Toolkit as Applied to the Study of Food.” This article is the second in a series on methods in linguistic anthropology that appears in the new issue of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology available now on AnthroSource.

The article emerged from a roundtable at the 2013 AAA Annual Meeting entitled, “Food Talk as Semiotic Substance: Steps toward an Integrated Anthropology of Foodways and Discourse.” The authors identify “intriguing parallels” that link food and language and describe methods they have used in studying food and language simultaneously. Anthropologists interested in methods will particularly appreciate the discussion of “(e)merging food-and-language methodologies.” Punctuated by author reflections and contextualizing narrative, the authors provide unique insights into their use of anthropological methods in studying food and language, including participant-observation, ethnolinguistic analysis, food-oriented interviews, language socialization, collaborative transcription, and semiotic analysis of documents and media. In concluding the authors note their hopes for introducing this line of discussion:

First, broadly speaking, we hope to promote the value of looking across cultural modalities, not only language and food, but also language and a range of other expressive media. Secondly, and more specifically, we are seeking to encourage the application of linguistic anthropological and linguistic ethnographic methods and analytical tools to the study of food in order to open up new and productive terrains and topics (94).

To read the article, login to AnthroSource or click here.

Interested in more research, reviews and commentaries in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology? Check out the new issue on AnthroSource!

New Open Anthropology Issue

Open Anthropology 150x150Open Anthropology, a digital-only publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its latest issue. In this issue, entitled Sport: Pleasure and Violence, Competition and Sociality, guest editor Niko Besnier (U Amsterdam) offers twelve articles and two book reviews of anthropological works that illustrate how anthropology sheds light on the ways in which sport is deeply intertwined with power, competition, play, money, and violence.

Guest Editor Besnier curates a set of articles that explore the social, cultural and economic aspects of sports across the globe and over time. As he notes, “Anthropologists are particularly well placed to analyze the complexities of what human beings do in social groups to understand the power of sport to variously provoke pleasure, incite violence, arouse competition and promote sociality.”

At a time when the people of the world remember the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (Russia) and anticipate the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Open Anthropology provides a cross-cultural and historical perspective on the world of sports and its entanglement with state power, among other forces.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and is made freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months for users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics that are of interest to the general public and that may have direct or indirect public policy implications.


Open Anthropology is available at http://www.aaaopenanthro.org

Are You the Next Editor-in-Chief?

The American Anthropological Association seeks applications for a new Editor-in-Chief of the discipline’s flagship journal, the American Anthropologist, for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2016. Now in its second century of continuous publication, the American Anthropologist publishes articles, reviews, and commentaries from the diverse anthropological community. It is the most widely circulated anthropology journal published by the American Anthropological Association and showcases the breadth of the discipline.

Editorship of the journal provides a unique opportunity for an anthropologist to be a central player in anthropological scholarship shaping the discipline’s identity, impacting the future of anthropology, and initiating and participating in transnational dialogues. The editor is not expected to have expertise in all subfields of anthropology, but to be interested in creatively developing vital conversations within and across fields and national boundaries that will invigorate and contribute positively to the landscape for the transmission of knowledge and collaborative engagement. Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative and creative approaches that will allow them as Editor-in-Chief to put their own stamp on the journal. Editors are encouraged to solicit articles and contributions for special sections, and to develop issues of the journal that highlight critical topics in anthropology and in public debate. As the publishing field continues to develop the editor should also embrace new digital forms for scholarly content and build best practices for collaborative editorial team engagement. Above all, the AAA Executive Board seeks an Editor-in-Chief who will maintain the journal as a leader in intellectual and scholarly advances.

For complete position details and application information, click here.

New Virtual Issue of PoLAR: Law and Inequalities- Global and Local

lsa_flyer-lsa-virtual-issue_page_1Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary Law and Society Association (LSA) conference, PoLAR launches its fourth virtual issue, “Law and Inequalities- Global and Local” today! This exciting issue features 10 articles previously published in PoLAR that will be accessible for free through September. Additionally, the virtual issue features open-access postscripts by authors that provide reflections and updates on the authors’ research or related events that have taken place since the publication of the original article. An interview with legal anthropologists, Sally Engle Merry and Susan Bibler Coutin will also be available after the LSA conference. In this interview, conducted by two of PoLAR’s Digital Editorial Fellows, Sean Mallin and Stacy Topouzova, Merry and Coutin will discuss the themes and events of the LSA conference in relation to their joint American Ethnological Association/Association of Political and Legal Anthropology Presidential Address, “Technologies of Truth in the Anthropology of Conflict.”

Table of Contents

Griffiths, Anne (2000) “Gender, Power, and Difference: Reconfiguring Law from Bakwena Women’s Perspectives.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 23(2): 89-106.

Castro, Robert (2007) “Plying the Liberty Trade: Law, Empire-Building, and the Enforcement of Antislavery Scriptures in the Reconstruction of New Mexico.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 30(1): 109-130.

Jeffery, Laura (2006) “Historical Narrative and Legal Evidence: Judging Chagossians’ High Court Testimonies.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 29(2): 228-253.

Terrio, Susan (2003) “You’ll Get Your Day in Court: Judging Delinquent Youth at the Paris Palace of Justice.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 26(2): 136-164.

Newendorp, Nicole (2011) “Contesting “Law and Order”: Immigrants’ Encounters with “Rule of Law” in Postcolonial Hong Kong.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 34(1): 95-111.

Idrus, Rusaslina (2010) “From Wards to Citizens: Indigenous Rights and Citizenship in Malaysia.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 33(1): 89-108.

Speed, Shannon and Alvaro, Reyes (2002) “In Our Own Defense: Rights and Resistance in Chiapas.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 25(1): 69-89.

Rubin, Jonah (2008) “Adjudicating the Salvadoran Civil War: Expectations of the Law in Romagoza.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 31(2): 264-285.

Bunt, Laura (2008) “A Quest for Justice in Cusco, Peru: Race and Evidence in the Case of Mercedes Corimanya Lavilla.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 31(2): 286-302.

To access the issue, click here.


For more information on the 50th Anniversary Law and Society Association conference (May 29th-June 1st, 2014), click here. Of note, APLA members Robin Conley and Justin Richland have created a new Collaborative Research Network, “Ethnography, Law & Society.” The kickoff business meeting will be held at the LSA conference on Thursday, May 29th, 3:30-4:30 pm in Boardroom 3.

New Volume of the Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association


Read the new volume of Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association on “inalienable wealth” in AnthroSource!

“Inalienable possessions,” as conceptualized by Annette Weiner (1985, 1992), are objects imbued with meaning and value based on the social identity of the original and subsequent owners. They maintain attachment to their owner- even when passed to other individuals- although this attachment may not always be physical. These objects also contain embedded histories and knowledge and legitimate identity and authority. According to Weiner (1985):

The primary value of inalienability, however, is expressed through the power these objects have to define who one is in an historical sense. The object acts as a vehicle for bringing past time into the present, so that the histories of ancestors, titles, or mythological events become an intimate part of a person’s present identity. To lose this claim to the past is to lose part of who one is in the present. In its inalienability, the object must be seen as more than an economic resource and more than an affirmation of social relations (210).

This innovative and exciting volume of the Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association (AP3A) emerged from an organized session sponsored by the Archaeology Division of the AAA for the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Session participants and authors were asked to apply Weiner’s concept of “inalienable wealth” to prehistoric cultures in Mesoamerica. The result is a deep reflection on “inalienable wealth” as a theoretical construct that can assist archaeologists- and anthropologists across the four fields- in understanding how artifacts and materials gain value and have been used in specific historical moments “to create, maintain, or destroy identity, hierarchy, and social relations” (Kovacevich and Callaghan 2014:8). In using the concept of “inalienable wealth,” the authors in this volume of AP3A have brought new perspectives and understandings to issues of identity formation, social hierarchy, labor and production, land and social difference in prehistoric Mesoamerica.

Read the Introduction by Brigitte Kovacevich and Michael G. Callaghan here.*

*Content is open and accessible for 30 days through Wiley Online Library.


Kovacevich, Brigitte and Michael G. Callaghan
2013     Introduction: Inalienability, Value, and the Construction of Social Difference. AP3A 23(1).

Weiner, Annette
1985     Inalienable Wealth. American Ethnologist 12: 210-227.
1992     Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-while-Giving. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Everyday Enforcement: New City and Society Issue

With mid-term elections fueling mobilization efforts across the political spectrum, immigration policy is at the fore of debates and conversations at the federal, state and local levels. In FY 2013, 368,644 individuals were deported, continuing the trend of annual deportations of over 350,000 individuals since 2009 (U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement). At the same time, an increase of legislation at the state and local levels has targeted undocumented immigrants, with 184 laws and 253 resolutions related to immigration enacted in 2013 (National Conference of State Legislatures). For undocumented migrants, these policies result in an uneven and often precarious experience. A “patch quilt of relatively safe and dangerous spaces” has been produced, as James Quesada points out, in the exciting new issue of City & Society on immigration enforcement.

The essays in the April issue of City & Society delve into the everyday challenges experienced by undocumented immigrants across the United States. They also describe the strategies employed by immigrant communities to negotiate practices of enforcement and highlight immigrant-organizing practices that construct conceptions of human rights and justice. Issue editors, Ruth Gomberg-Munoz and Laura Nussbaum-Barberena note in their Introduction,* “Perhaps most importantly, these articles reveal some of the human faces behind a “post-9/11” enforcement-oriented landscape and contribute analyses and models for action that can be engaged at the community level across the United States.”

To access this timely issue, login to AnthroSource.

Migration is on our minds! For more research and commentary check out Anthropology News and American Anthropologist. In Anthropology News, Robert Muckle writes on the archaeology of undocumented migration, and Grabriella Sanchez offers insights on human smuggling in Arizona through a two-part series. American Anthropologist offers several commentaries in the Vital Topics Forum, “On Latin@s and the Immigration Debate.”*

*Content is open and accessible for 30 days through Wiley Online Library.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,948 other followers