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Open Anthropology – The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views

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Open Anthropology, a digital-only, public publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its third issue. In this edition, The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views, editor Alisse Waterston (John Jay College, CUNY) curates eleven articles and three book reviews of anthropological works that encompass today’s health care debate, access to insurance and quality health care, social inequity, and historical perspectives on medicinal practices and well-being across cultures.

In her prefatory remarks, Waterston reflects on the national health care conversation, noting that “(t)he whole mess – the fights, the threats, the web crashes – was successful in capturing the public’s attention,” and is left to wonder if the cacophony served to distract the public from the key issues around access to health care. Editor Waterston offers a selection of anthropology articles that “help defamiliarize the ‘normal,’ that make strange the familiar, a process that can lead to new insights, understandings, and positions.”

At a time when the issues of health care and insurance are on the national agenda, Open Anthropology provides cross-cultural information and historical perspective to inform national and global health care policy and practice. Anthropologists recognize that when it comes to health care, “We are all in the same frail boat,” as Gerald D. Berreman notes in his article featured here. Others document obstacles to health and well-being as well as success stories in the effort to provide quality health care to all.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and will be freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months, permitting users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics 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

Changes to the AAA Publishing Program

Have you heard about the upcoming changes to the AAA Publishing Program? Below is an excerpt from newest issue of Anthropology News, featuring a piece by AAA Director of Publishing, Oona Schmid.

In November 2013, the AAA Executive Board (EB) adopted a series of recommendations from the Committee for the Future of Print and Electronic Publishing (CFPEP) that embrace new ways of producing and distributing its journals and endeavor to get the association’s publishing program on sustainable footing. These changes also ensure the association will have resources for new innovation (see “Mind the App Gap”). Specifically, the EB moved that member print copies (for all the titles covered in the Wiley-Blackwell service level agreement) will become fully digital starting in 2016. Individual members will be able to buy at cost a print subscription to any journal published by sections that member has joined. The EB authorized creation of a publishing oversight working group within CFPEP, a working group that will have three section representatives. And finally, the EB required that sections who would like to be included in any 2016 Request for Proposals to publishers would need to submit five-year plans (covering 2016–20), which will be reviewed by a Publishing Oversight Working Group of CFPEP. Even though the publishing contract does not expire until the end of 2017, we need to plan to either renew or locate a new partner in 2016.

Much like fieldwork, the publishing world is a work in progress. These changes do not represent a break with the past, rather, they show the ongoing advancement of the publishing program, a necessary progression that will improve the accessibility and visibility of our journals in response to changes in the publishing environment faced by newspapers, university presses, and other scholarly societies.

The evolution of the AAA publishing program can be divided schematically into three stages.pub model

Read the entire article in Anthropology News. Have questions? Check up the recently updated Publishing FAQs.

New Podcast Features Dr. Julienne Rutherford

Listen to the latest podcast, featuring biological anthropologists, Dr. Julienne Rutherford.

Dr. Rutherford in front of portrait entitled Psychedelic Placenta, by Mark Mershon, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing

Dr. Rutherford in front of portrait entitled Psychedelic Placenta, by Mark Mershon, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing

Julienne Rutherford earned her PhD in Biological Anthropology from Indiana University in 2007. She is an assistant professor of Women, Children, and Family Health Sciences and adjunct assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is currently the President of the Midwest Primate Interest Group. She is also the Biological Anthropology Section editor for Anthropology News. She was named a Leadership Fellow by the AAA in 2011, and was the 2013 recipient of the American Society of Primatologists Legacy Award. She was recently named the UIC Researcher of the Year “Rising Star” in the Clinical Sciences.

Rutherford’s research revolves around a central interest in the dynamic maternal environment in which a fetus develops. She is primarily interested in the primate placenta as a signaling interface between mother and fetus. She works with both humans and non-human primates to address questions regarding the effect of maternal ecology (nutrition, life history experience, behavior) on placental morphology, metabolic function, and gene expression and downstream sequelae for offspring health both postnatally and later in life. She has published her multifaceted research in American Anthropologist, Placenta, American Journal of Physical Anthropologists, American Journal of Primatology, American Journal of Human Biology, Obesity, and Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. She recently co-edited the volume Building Babies: Primate Development in Proximate and Ultimate Perspective. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Society of Primatologists.

New American Ethnologist Virtual Issue on “In/Visibility: Projects, Media, Politics, 2012-2013″

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NEW! American Ethnologist virtual issue on “In/Visibility: Projects, Media, Politics, 2012-2013″ – FREE articles for 2 months. Guest edited by Samuel Martínez, organizer of our 2014 AES spring conference on the same theme.

Articles by Wenzel Geissler, Peter Redfield, Francisco Ferrandiz, Aisha Bello-De Jesus, Suncem Kocer, Micaela di Leonardo, Zeynep Devrem Gursel, Heath Cabot, Madeleine Reeves, Robert Samet, Shalini Shankar, Michal Kravel-Tovi, Julie Soleil Archambault, Lilith Mahmud, Keith M. Murphy, Angie Heo, Shaylih Muehlmann.

Articles available here in Wiley Online Library (free for 2 months).

*The articles in this AE virtual issue set the stage for the 2014 American Ethnological Society spring meeting in Boston, organized in collaboration with the Society for Visual Anthropology. Our theme–

“In/visibility: Projects, Media, Politics, 2012-2013”–joins creative contemporary sociocultural engagements in anthropology to earlier questions of method, meaning, and representation.

Articles in this virtual issue explore shadow, alien, and regulated forms within citizenship and the environment; techniques of legibility and surveillance and their evasion; current public controversies about “dark sites” in politics, national security, and law; visual media’s growing influence; and the hopes and fears pinned on emerging technologies.

New Podcast Features Dr. Kristen Ghodsee

ghodsee head shotListen to the latest podcast, featuring Anthropology News contributing editor, Dr. Kristen Ghodsee (Bowdoin College).

Kristen Ghodsee earned her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and is the Director and John S. Osterweis Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College.  She is currently the President-elect of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology.  She is the author of The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Duke University Press, 2005), Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton University Press, 2009), Lost In Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Socialism (Duke University Press, 2011), and numerous articles on gender, nostalgia, and Eastern Europe.  She is also the co-author of Professor Mommy: Finding Work/Family Balance in Academia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).  Her fifth book, The Left Side of History: Communism, Idealism and Remembering World War II, is forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2015.

Ghodsee is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, NCEEER, IREX and ACLS, and has been awarded internationally competitive residential research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC; the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey; the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study (FRIAS) in Germany.  

In 2012, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Anthropology and Cultural Studies.  

Webinar on Publishing Alternatives

Join us and learn about three very different means of distributing information, creating community, and publishing. This webinar will be moderated by Hugh Jarvis, long-standing member of the publishing future committee and features the following speakers:

  • Matthew Gold, Associate Professor of English & Digital Humanities, and Chris Stein, Director of User Experience for the CUNY Academic Commons, will speak about CBOX, free community engagement software that plugs into WordPress, to support shared spaces for communities like MLA Commons and CUNY Academic Commons.
  • Amy Harper, Associate Professor of Anthropology and co-editor of Voices, whose journal runs at extremely low-costs and is self-published by its section, Association for Feminist Anthropology.
  • Brian Hole of Ubiquity Press, whose author-pays open access platform has converted several journals to this model, including Papers from the Institute of Archaeology.

Register to join us on Tuesday, January 21st at 12:00 pm, Noon, Eastern time zone.

Department Enrollments Grow, But Also Lose Ground

Undergraduate enrollments in anthropology in the US grew between 2000 and 2010, but not as much as enrollments overall. Between 2000 and 2010, departments self-reported growth of anthropology undergraduate enrollments. Specifically, for the 222 departments that provided AnthroGuide data in both years, undergraduate enrollments grew by a total of 32% over the decade. In the same years, the National Center for Education Statistics reported overall undergraduate enrollments increased by 37%. So even as anthropology enrollments grew, anthropology departments–on average–may have lost ground in terms of their share of the student population.

Why do you think other departments may be outpacing our discipline?

AAA collects its data through the AnthroGuide, an annual reference published in print and online (members can access the statistics and detailed listings of anthropological experts after logging in; everyone can access the eAG program finder.) In addition, the Association offers the Department Services Program, to provide support for department chairs, including collecting some statistics. AAA also created some resources to help students and their parents understand the value of the discipline:

What is your top priority for what else AAA could do to help?

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