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2013 AAA Annual Report

The 2013 AAA Annual Report is now available online.

2013 AAA Annual Report

 

 

American Anthropological Association Pioneers Digital Book Review Process

An innovative new platform for producing scholarly book reviews will be developed with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) announced today. “The new platform will reduce editorial turn-around time and expense, increase readership, and introduce dynamic content,” said Oona Schmid, AAA’s publishing director.

Using the current print-centric process, only a small fraction of books mailed out by presses results in a published book review. And even among these published reviews, they often appear at least one year – and sometimes up to four years – after a book’s publication. By using a completely digital workflow, the AAA will provide book authors with a wider audience and an opportunity for social engagement, as well as reducing costs for scholarly presses and the journals featuring reviews.

“Using digital information technology to improve the book review process is a potential game changer for academic publishing,” says Josh Greenberg, Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Scholarly Communication program. “It’s better for authors. It’s better for reviewers. It’s better for publishers. And most of all, it’s better for science, because it encourages and supports the debate, discussion, and evaluation that is the cornerstone of good scholarship. We’re honored to support the American Anthropological Association’s efforts to bring scholarly book reviewing into the digital age.”

The platform will expand the open source Open Journals System from the Public Knowledge Project. Once released, the platform will be available to any discipline or journal using OJS software. Freie Universität Berlin provided PKP with the original iteration of the Objects for Review plugin, and provides active guidance in the prototype development. Publishers will upload book descriptions into the system along with digital versions that will be electronically available to authorized reviewers. Reviewers will then upload their reviews into the database for approval and eventual publication online at the award-winning Anthropology News website.

Five university presses pledged early support of the platform, with more expressing great interest – University of Chicago Press, University of Nebraska Press, University of New Mexico Press, University Press of Colorado, and the University Press of Florida. The presses emphasized the need for improvements in the existing process. Darrin Pratt, Director at the University Press of Colorado, is looking forward to helping pioneer this “radically new workflow for scholarly book reviews.” Pratt notes, “the slow turnaround for book reviews in academic journals…is maddening for university presses.” He can recall titles that were reviewed so long after publication that the books were no longer in print. Pratt’s counterpart, John Byram, Director at University of New Mexico Press, also echoes frustration with the timely process. Byram anticipates “that these efforts will result in a more efficient, cost-effective, and accessible workflow process for a wide variety of international stakeholders.”

“This is an exciting time for publishing,” said Schmid. “The Sloan Foundation is providing the means for participating publishers and the Association to catalyze book reviews into a vibrant part of scholarly discourse.” Work will begin immediately to build the platform’s prototype version. By mid-2015 the prototype and new process with undergo evaluation to determine areas of improvement.

The prototype is expected to launch later this year.

Read more about the initiative in an article by Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle for Higher Education.

AAA Members Receive ACLS Fellowships

Congratulations to the 2014 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipients!

Since 1957, more than 9,500 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants. ACLS fellowships and grants are awarded to individual scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences. The peer-review process used to select ACLS Fellows enables distinguished scholars to reach broad consensus on standards of excellence in humanities research.

In the 2013-14 competition year, ACLS made awards totaling over $15 million to nearly 300 scholars selected from over 3,000 submitted applications.

Bowles, Jennifer S. / Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Hands on the Green Leaf: Everyday Dwelling in Argentina´s Yerba Mate Country

Fowles, Severin / ACLS Fellowship
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Barnard College
Comanche New Mexico: An Archaeology

Graeter, Stefanie / Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of California, Davis
Lead to the Laboratory: The Ethics and Science of Lead Exposure Politics in Central Peru.

Makley, Charlene / ACLS Fellowship
Professor, Anthropology, Reed College
The Politics of Presence: State-Led Development, Personhood and Power among Tibetans in China

Mariner, Kathryn A. / Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of Chicago
Intimate Speculation: The Flows and Futures of Private Agency Adoption in the United States

Osburg, John / ACLS Programs in China Studies
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Rochester
Tibetan Buddhism and Moral Personhood in Contemporary China

Oushakine, Serguei A. / Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship
Associate Professor, Anthropology; Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University
Disowned History: Soviet Pasts in the Afterlives of Empire

Spackman, Christy / Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Doctoral Candidate, Food Studies, New York University
Transforming Taste: Aesthetics in Medicine and Food

Wilcox, Emily E. / ACLS Fellowship
Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
National Movements: Socialist Postcoloniality and the Making of Chinese Dance

Zee, Jerry Chuanghwa / Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
The Windy State: Dust Storms and a Political Meteorology of Contemporary China

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.

2014 AAA Photo Contest

If you could define your work in a single picture, what would it look like?toy-camera125x100

AAA members work all around the world, in the most diverse cultures imaginable, and we want to showcase them.  If you attended the annual meeting last year in Chicago, you may have noticed a calendar waiting in your complimentary bag with some truly gorgeous pictures—drawing not just from cultural anthropology, but also archaeology, linguistic, biological and political fields.

We’d like to do it again this year, drawing from a new batch of photographs provided by you, our membership.  Photographs can be anything you believe relates to your work; the photographs may not portray any nudity or illicit activity.

Contestants may submit their work in one of three categories: people, places, practice.  Along with your photograph, include a caption for your work, and a brief autobiographical statement of no more than 150 words.  Your biography will not affect your likelihood of being featured in the calendar—we just like to learn a little bit more about our active members. Photographs must be your own, and you must be a current member of the AAA.  Winning photos in the calendar will be printed at 11×8, so be sure the resolution is good enough to print at those dimensions.

For complete contest details and submission information, click here.

Social Scientists and the Minerva Project

Anthropologist David Price (St. Martin’s U) speaks to RT TV about the work of social scientist in the Minerva Project:

RT TV - David Price

 

New Archaeology Division Grants for Archiving Digital Data

AD Grant for Archiving Digital Data

To assist members of the AD in the preservation and dissemination of their data, images, and documents, the Archaeology Division of the AAA has established a grant program to support the archiving of digital archaeological data and documents in tDAR, an international digital repository. Reports and data shared through tDAR are made accessible on the web and their long-term preservation is ensured.

Five $200 grants are available annually for AD members to cover the upload fees in tDAR. $200 covers the upload fees for 6 files totaling up to 60 MB.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY SEPTEMBER 1st to the President Elect (see Officers for contact information), via e-mail (as a word document or PDF attachment-please include your last name in the name of the attachment). They should include the following:

• Your contact information
• A 2-page, single-spaced explanation of the files to be uploaded and their importance for the discipline.

Digital files contributed to tDAR through the grant program must be documented as completely as possible using tDAR’s web-based resource entry forms.

Applicants will be notified of the decisions by October 1st. Successful applicants will be able to access a voucher in tDAR for the grant amount.

AD Grant Program for Archiving Legacy Digital Data

In addition to the regular digital archiving program, the AD has established one annual $1000 grant for the archiving of larger quantities of legacy data that are likely to be lost without efforts made to preserve them.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY SEPTEMBER 1st to the President Elect (see Officers for contact information), via e-mail (as a word document or PDF attachment-please include your last name in the name of the attachment). They should include the following:

• Your contact information
• A 4-page, single spaced explanation of the project whose data, documents, etc. are to be preserved, the importance of this body of research, and the documents, datasets, etc. that are to be archived .

$1000 covers the upload fees for 33 files totaling up to 330 MB. Digital files contributed to tDAR through the grant program must be documented as completely as possible using tDAR’s web-based resource entry forms.

Applicants will be notified of the decisions by October 1st. Successful applicants will be able to access a voucher in tDAR for the grant amount.

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