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Multimedia in Anthropology News Articles on Cultural Heritage

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Anthropology News (AN) is excited to present two essays in our series on Cultural Heritage that feature multimedia content and demonstrate how anthropologists can incorporate new technologies into their work and writing. By using multimedia technologies, readers are able to engage with and experience articles on AN in new and exciting ways. Contributors to Anthropology News can also use this technology to bring further texture to their research, analysis and writing. We encourage readers and contributors to try it out!

Multimedia in the Cultural Heritage Series

Antoinette T. Jackson’s article, “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Living Communities” allows readers to hear community members, Ms. Bertha and Ms. Florence as they share memories and reflections of their community, Nicodemus, KS. Listening to their voices, the reader is able to uniquely experience the history of this community and connect it with the work of the researcher. Jackson emphasizes the role “that the living community plays in cultural heritage preservation” and with the embedded sound clip, readers gain a deeper understanding of this role. Read the full article here.

Hülya Sakarya in, “Complexity of Heritage in Post-Conflict Settings,” shares with readers her fieldwork experience in Tiblisi, Georgia. Through an accompanying video, Sakarya brings readers into her fieldwork experience as she explores the complexity and ambiguity of the reopening of the  Abkhazian House at the Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tiblisi, two decades since an ethnic conflict with Abkhazian separatists in Georgia. Click here for the full article.

For more in this great series on cultural heritage, check out the In Focus section of Anthropology News. Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels writes on “What is Cultural Heritage?,” Henrike Florusbosch explores the politics and economics of local heritage initiative in Mali and Ghana, Rabia Harmanşah describes doing fieldwork in contested places, such as Cyprus, Michael A Di Giovine and Sarah E Cowie consider, “The Definitional Problem of Patrimony and the Futures of Cultural Heritage,” Maria F Curtis provides analysis of the celebration of Nowruz in Houston, Richard Meyers, Charlotte E Davidson, April Eastman write on “Embracing Cultural Heritage in Higher Education Institutions,” Blaire O Gagnon discusses the use of the phrase “lean back” by an artisan-vendor in Mexico in comparison to Sheryl Sandberg’s promotion of “leaning in,” and Alejandro J Figueroa reflects on “Successful Local Cultural Heritage Management” in Honduras.

 

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

AAA Mourns Loss of Richard Thomas, Member Services Manager

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Richard Thomas, 1950-2014

We are sad to report that Richard Thomas, AAA Membership Manager, passed away Tuesday April 1, 2014. Richard served as our membership manager for 14 years, since joining AAA staff on March 31, 2000. He was 63.

Richard was the face of our Annual Meeting Career Center (previously named the Placement Center) for employers and job candidates. He developed the AAA online Career Center that is a valuable resource of anthropology job ads for both employers and job seekers. His work on the career center was something he was proud of and enjoyed doing.

Richard also was instrumental in streamlining the Membership Services Department over the years as we moved along with the rest of the world from the heavily paper driven processes to the cloud.

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Richard and the “Leave your Mark. Major in anthropology” poster at the 2011 Annual Meeting.

Richard was the voice of calm during our annual mayhem of the Annual Meeting abstract submission deadline, with around 5,000 individuals submitting papers and sessions, many during the last 48 hours before the deadline. He spent hours on the phone helping members, and always with a smile. One staff remarked about his having “the patience of Job” one year just before deadline when he fielded call after call needing assistance to register or help putting an abstract into the system. Richard whispered, “They’re all my best friends.”

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Richard working at the Annual Meeting Career Center in 2012 in San Francisco.

Richard was particularly proud of his “Save the Dates” reminder postcards for our annual meeting and the “Leave your mark. Major in Anthropology” footprint poster distributed to anthropology departments far and wide.

Richard also worked with numerous committees and groups. At various times over the years he staffed the Association Operations Committee, the Committee for Human Rights, the Student Assembly and most recently the Education Task Force. He was also involved with the formalization of AAA interest groups.

Richard graduated  from Brigham Young University summa cum laude with a BA in history. Prior to working for AAA he worked at the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Nature Conservancy. Richard had a love for the west coast and talked often of returning to California for his golden years.

Richard is survived by a partner of 36 years and two sisters. He will be remembered fondly by staff for his love of history and dry wit.

National Geographic Channel International Cancels “Nazi War Diggers”

To AAA members:
This letter was sent on March 31st, 2014, to the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Channels and National Geographic Channel International to protest a program aired in Europe (with a trailer briefly available on YouTube), by the presidents of six anthropological and archeological associations based in the United States and Europe, including the AAA. The effort was spearheaded by Jeff Altschul, President of the Society for American Archeology. The content of the letter provides, I think, sufficient information for you to understand why this program is of concern to all anthropologists. Shortly before the letter was sent, Dr. Altschul received the following statement from John Francis, Vice-President of National Geographic:

“National Geographic Channels International, in consultation with colleagues at the National Geographic Society, announced today that it will pull the series Nazi War Diggers from its schedule indefinitely while questions raised in recent days about allegations about the program can be properly reviewed. While we support the goal of the series, which is to tell the stories of long lost and forgotten soldiers, those left behind and still unaccounted for, and illuminate history working in concert with local governments and authorities, we also take seriously the questions that have been asked. National Geographic Channels is committed to engaging viewers in the exploration of the world and all of us associated with National Geographic are committed to doing our work with the highest standards. We know the same holds true for our producing partners, including our partners on this series.”

We look forward to their response to our letter, and will indicate to them our willingness to work with them to ensure their programming meets the highest professional standards.

Best,

Monica Heller
President, American Anthropological Association

 

AAA President Defends Social Science Research at NSF

Dear AAA Members:

For those of you concerned about NSF funding for anthropological research, I want to bring to your attention a legislative proposal currently making its way through the US Congress that would, if enacted, have serious consequences for anthropological research in the United States.

The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology, or FIRST Act, was introduced two weeks ago by Representative Larry Buschon (R-IN) the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Research of the larger House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. We believe the legislation is a misguided attempt to re-authorize the National Science Foundation (NSF), as it significantly cuts funding to the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), which is primarily responsible for funding anthropological research.

If this legislation were enacted, for the first time, Congress would set funding targets for each individual directorate instead of funding NSF as a whole and allowing the agency to allocate funds internally. All directorates would receive an increase EXCEPT SBE, Geosciences, and International and Integrative Activities (IIA). SBE’s budget would be reduced from $267 million it received in fiscal year 2014 to about $200 million in fiscal year 2015.

NSF’s overall budget authority is about $7 billion, one of the larger public sources of funding for researchers in the US. While the SBE budget represents a relatively small share of that total, almost two-thirds of all publicly funded social science research comes from the NSF. We certainly agree that federal operations must be mindful of current fiscal conditions, but we believe it is ill-advised to leave it up to a partisan Congress to determine which categories of science funding should be increased and which should be cut.

The AAA Executive Director and the Public Affairs staff have been closely following this issue, meeting with Congressional representatives, working with coalitions (such as the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the Coalition for National Science Funding and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences) to increase overall funding for the NSF, and funding for the SBE. AAA staff have prepared a useful summary of the issues in the legislation on the AAA blog, which includes ways you can support the AAA. Staff have written columns for the Huffington Post and for the Chronicle for Higher Education.

In the coming weeks, the entire House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will vote on the FIRST Act. If it passes in this Committee, and then the full House of Representatives, it will be up for Senate consideration. Please know that your Association is hard at work protecting the interests of researchers and their research. We thank you for your support. For those of you based in the US, we encourage you to let your Congressional representatives know how you feel about the importance of public investments in social science research.

Monica Heller

AAA President

April 15 Deadline Approaching

The 2014 AAA Annual Meeting Call for Papers embraces this year’s meeting theme Producing Anthropology. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the broad range of program changes designed to enhance the Annual Meeting experience and better meet the needs of our members and attendees. Click here for step by step instructions on the submission process. Take note of the important dates . Session proposals are due on April 15.

New Podcast Featuring Robin Nagle

RobinNagle.comListen to Robin Nagle speak about her work in the latest AAA podcast. Dr. Nagle is the author of Picking Up, an ethnography of New York City’s Department of Sanitation.

Dr. Nagle is a clinical associate professor of anthropology and director of the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought at New York University. She is also an anthropologist-in-residence with the New York City Department of Sanitation.

 

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