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Webinar Wednesday: Sibel Kusimba, Mobile Economies

October 15, 2014: Mobile Economies

Kusimba

In September 2014 Apple unveiled its new iPhone 6, which also features Apple Pay, a mobile payment system. Although mobile payments have been slow to take off in the United States and other countries, they are extremely popular in Kenya, where billions of dollars are transacted by almost 20 million account holders.  Development economists hope that mobile money will be a part of a new “cash-light” future, bringing the benefits of financial inclusion to millions in developing settings.

The webinar takes an anthropological view of mobile money in Western Kenya as a form of communication, shaped by local cultures of friendship and kinship, and by the direct and often private connections that mobile phones allow. I use social network analysis to examine features such as reciprocity, centrality, and brokerage in the social networks of mobile money. This webinar will engage us in a conversation about the use of mobile phones cross culturally, and about how we can use new methods to understand the cultural and social impact of mobile phones.

Sibel Kusimba is an anthropologist in residence at American University.  She has been conducting anthropological fieldwork in Kenya since 1993.  Her initial research interests were in Paleolithic, protohistoric and recent hunter-gatherers; her 2003 book, African Foragers, was named an outstanding academic book by the American Library Association.  Since living through the mobile phone revolution in Africa, her interests have turned to the social and cultural impact of mobile phone communication, in particular the use of mobile money.  For two field seasons she has traced the social networks of mobile money in families and communities, sponsored by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California at Irvine.

The event is complimentary, and you can register here. When it’s time to join in, the attendee password will be “anthro” and be sure to add the event to your calendar to stay up to date:

Voting on the 2014-2015 Webinar Series

As many of you know, the AAA has begun a monthly webinar series exploring the many facets of anthropology– both in professional development and topical studies.  We’re taking a little break for the summer, but look to start up again sometime in the Fall.  The professional development webinars have been pretty much ironed out, we’ll be dishing out advice on publishing your first journal article, presenting at the annual meeting, utilizing SPSS (and other quantitative software) in grant proposals, and developing a field blog (as well as many other useful topics).

However, we’ll be implementing something new in this phase: two webinars a month. The second webinar will focus on topical subjects, and we need your help to determine areas of interest.  I’ve set up an open ended survey on All Our Ideas.  What does this mean? It means, the AAA staff had a few ideas we thought would work out pretty well, but obviously the possibilities are endless, so if you want to see something happen, write it in, and other people will be able to vote on it just the same.

Since we’re basically setting up an open Mic, I would ask that people remain cordial and serious in this endeavor, no profanity in potential webinar titles.  We’d rather not take any ideas down, but if absolutely necessary we will. These choices should also be more thematic realms, rather than specific ideas– as once the voting is completed, we’ll then have to go search for someone interested in doing a webinar on the subject. It is not the AAA’s responsibility to track down your favorite anthropologist for a Q&A, but we’d be happy to run a webinar about the field of anthropology he or she works in.

You’ll find the survey here: http://www.allourideas.org/2014aaawebinars.

Today! Webinar on Ethnography and Film with Dr. Harjant Gill

Harjant-GillToday (May 8, 2014) at 2 PM Harjant Gill will lead the fourth installment of AAA’s Webinar Wednesday (mixing it up on THURSDAY).  Harjant Gill is an assistant professor of anthropology at Towson University, Maryland. He received his PhD from American University in 2012. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity and migration in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several films that have screened at film festivals and academic conferences worldwide. His latest documentary, Roots of Love explores the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikhs and is currently being screened on BBC World News, BBC America, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and on PBS channels nationwide. Dr. Gill is currently co-directing the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) Film & Media Festival. His website is www.TilotamaProductions.com

Save the Date: Webinar on Ethnography and Film with Dr. Harjant Gill

Harjant-GillOn May 8, 2014 at 2 PM Harjant Gill will lead the fourth installment of AAA’s Webinar Wednesday (mixing it up on THURSDAY).  Harjant Gill is an assistant professor of anthropology at Towson University, Maryland. He received his PhD from American University in 2012. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity and migration in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several films that have screened at film festivals and academic conferences worldwide. His latest documentary, Roots of Love explores the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikhs and is currently being screened on BBC World News, BBC America, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and on PBS channels nationwide. Dr. Gill is currently co-directing the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) Film & Media Festival. His website is www.TilotamaProductions.com

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