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Engaging Anthropology Virtual Event: Anthropology and Ebola


The escalating Ebola crisis affects us all, and has shown a need for greater cooperation in developing public health communication and strategies.  On October 2, 2014 (important to note this is a Webinar THURSDAY) 1 PM EST, the American Anthropological Association will be hosting a virtual event panel discussing the role anthropologists play in not only research, but infrastructure and policy, in light of the escalating Ebola outbreak in western Africa.
The panel will include Adia Benton, Robert Hahn, Jacklyn Lacey, and Michael McGovern; with Julie Livingston as the acting moderator. We will also be trying a new format for this webinar: tapping into Google Hangout On the Air. We will be streaming the event live on YouTube, where you will be able to interact with the panelists directly through comment submission. Come be a part of this important conversation and technological experiment.
Robert A. Hahn has served as an epidemiologist at the CDC since 1986 and is a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service. He received his doctorate in anthropology at Harvard University and his masters of public health in epidemiology from the University of Washington. He is the author of Sickness and Healing: An Anthropological Perspective and co-editor of Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society.
Adia Benton is an assistant professor of anthropology at Brown University. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University, an MPH in international health and infectious diseases from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and an AB in human biology from Brown University. Her work focuses primarily on the politics and culture(s) of health institutions, the issues they prioritize and the communities in which they work; among the topics she studies are HIV/AIDS, infectious disease epidemiology, gender violence, and access to surgical care.  She is the author of HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone (University of Minnesota Press 2015).
Jacklyn Lacey is curatorial associate of African and Pacific Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History. The two major themes in her work currently are intersections of infectious disease epidemiology, medical anthropology, sociology and anthropocene studies as well as analyzing museum discourses on African culture and technology. She has a background in virology and medical anthropology, previously working in public health education in Tanzania, HIV/AIDS testing and research at African Services Committee in Harlem, and in Drew Cressman’s NSF-funded immunology lab at Sarah Lawrence College.
Mike McGovern is a political anthropologist who works in West Africa and uses a variety of sources from kinship idioms to the aesthetics of state-sponsored folklore to try to understand postcolonial states within the arc of longer historical trajectories. He has taught anthropology at Yale and was also the West Africa Project Director of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank that analyzes the causes of armed conflict.

Help us name-storm

The AAA received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to build a book review prototype. But “Book Review Prototype,” as a name, lacks the je ne sais quoi  we need to describe a new digital platform that publishes open access book reviews and wraps up new Web 2.0 functionality (like commenting tools, cover .gifs, and links to purchase books).

AAA and the prototype’s new editor, Justin Shaffner, want to hear which name do you like?

AAA Welcomes Justin Shaffner as Book Review Editor for Digital Book Review Process

The American Anthropological Association has named Justin Shaffner as Book Review Editor for its new digital book review platform. This innovative project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Justin ShaffnerJustin is currently completing his PhD thesis in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He previously studied anthropology and philosophy at the University of Virginia.

He brings to the AAA Book Review editorship nearly fifteen years of experience in academic publishing, as well as involvement in various other digital projects, such as the Open Anthropology Cooperative and The Melanesian. Some of the former includes working with Prickly Pear Pamphlets (1999-2004), helping to ­found two open ­access journals, OAC Press (2009-2014) and Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory (2011), and being assistant (2003-2005) and associate editor (2009-2015) for Anthropology and Humanism, the journal of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, a section of the AAA.

He conducted 18 months of fieldwork (2006-2008) with Marind speakers living in Middle Fly and Lake Murray region of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. His research focused on the experiences of kamok-anim, or community leaders, as they attempted to elicit and maintain productive relations across various global alliances, from regional ritual networks to relations with transnational mining and logging corporations, NGOs, and the state.

His doctoral thesis takes the Marind concept of “dema” (cf. Van Baal 1966) as a starting point to analyze and describe the trans-­Fly, which spans both sides of the international border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, as a complex regional system. Taking inspiration from the Melanesian philosopher Bernard Narokobi (1977), he attempts to take the concept seriously, not as a “religion” (cf. Jensen 1963), but rather as a geo­philosophy, or philosophy of nature, in its own right, one which affords an opportunity to re­describe the environment, history, and political economy of the region.

More recently, his ethnographic research has served as impetus for co-organizing (with Rachel Douglas-Jones, Casper Bruun Jensen, and Brit Ross Winthereik) a workshop in Copenhagen in 2015 on capacity building, “Hope and Insufficiency: Capacity Building in Ethnographic Comparison.” The international workshop, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, seeks to bring into dialogue scholars whose work offers a comparative basis for analyzing capacity building from which to advance the first edited volume dedicated to theorizing capacity building in ethnographic comparison.

New Book on Race Now Available

2nd Ed. How Real is Race?A Second Edition of How Real is Race? A Sourcebook on Race, Culture and Biology [Mukhopadhyay, Henze, Moses] is now available.

Authors Carol C. Mukhopadhyay, Rosemary Henze and Yolanda T. Moses employ an activity-oriented, biocultural, approach to address the question How real is race? What is biological fact, what is fiction, and where does culture, enter? What do we mean when we say race is a “social construction?

The new edition adds cutting edge material on human biological variation, expands coverage on the social, structural, power, and inequality dimensions of race, goes beyond Black/White dimensions, and has a new chapter, “When is it racism? Who is a racist”. Visit the new book website for an online supplement with “hot” weblinks, a comments page, and other resources, including for pre-college educators.

Camp AAA Childcare Hours Extended for 113th AAA Annual Meeting

113th AAA Annual Meeting

New for the 113th AAA Annual Meeting, Camp AAA childcare will have extended hours.

CAMP AAA welcomes children ages 6 months – 12 years. Children participate in age-appropriate activities including arts and crafts projects, active games and much more in a safe, nurturing environment.

Wednesday, December 3 – 11am to 10pm
Thursday, December 4 – Saturday, December 6 – 8:30am to 8:30pm
Sunday, December 7 – 7:30am to 2pm

Registration is now open. Space is limited. Click here for details and to register.

 

AES Graduate-Student Workshops at the 113th AAA Annual Meeting

American Ethnological Society

The American Ethnological Society is pleased to announce its ongoing series of graduate-student workshops. The workshops will take place during the American Anthropological Association’s 113th Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

Each workshop is limited to ten students. The workshops are free. To apply for a workshop, please send a 250-300-word description of your research project and its relationship to the workshop theme. Descriptions will be shared with other workshop participants in advance of the meeting. In addition, your faculty leader(s) may circulate one short piece for discussion.

Preference will be given to AES Student Members, though non-members are also encouraged to apply. Students can join the AES for $18.

To apply for a workshop, or if you have any questions, please contact: Andrew Hernann (ahernann@gc.cuny.edu). The deadline to apply is November 1, 2014.

We are pleased to offer the following five workshops:

Teaching Intro: Strategies for Reaching our Largest Public Audience
Faculty facilitator: Kenneth Guest (Baruch College CUNY/AES Treasurer)
Date: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Time: 9:00 am-10: 45 am

More than 200,000 students take “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” in the United States every year. This is by far anthropology’s largest public audience. It is where anthropology departments have their largest enrollments—and we may have these students for as many as 15 weeks. Facilitated by Prof. Kenneth Guest, author of the new textbook, Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age (2014), this discussion considers strategies for engaging introductory students in deep learning about the way the world works using the tools of anthropology.

Ethnography for the 21st Century
Faculty facilitators: Joseph Masco (University of Chicago), Ken Wissoker (Editorial Director, Duke University Press)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

Ethnography, by definition, seeks to describe and theorize culture. Words on the page, however, are a rather thin device relative to culture’s “thickness.” Nonetheless, despite the dramatic technological innovations of the past couple of decades, the written ethnography has remained largely unchanged. In this workshop, we explore the possibilities beyond the traditional written ethnography. We ask such questions as: How can ethnographers make use of both hardware and software, including e-readers, websites, etc.? How can we utilize technology to create an ethnography that better connects, informs and teaches increasingly techno-savvy undergraduates? Facilitated by Prof. Joseph Masco and Editorial Director Ken Wissoker, this workshop brings together experts in ethnography and technology and future ethnographers, critically engaging the potentials of this technoscape for the ethnographic genre.

Publishing in Anthropology: Tips on Academic Writing and Peer Review
Faculty facilitators: Angelique Haugerud (Editor, American Ethnologist/Rutgers University), Catherine Besteman (AE editorial board member/Colby College), Eric Gable (AE book review editor/University of Mary Washington), and other AE editorial board members.
Date: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

In this workshop, Prof. Angelique Haugerud, Prof. Catherine Besteman, and Prof. Eric Gable offer advice on publishing in scholarly journals as well as for wider audiences. Topics include elements of successful academic writing, navigating the peer review process, what goes on behind the scenes in editorial boards and editorial offices, selecting journals and approaching editors, writing for edited volumes, preparing book reviews and book prospectuses, and how to get an article accepted in the American Ethnologist. This session will include time for participants to ask questions about a range of publishing processes and practices.

Writing Violence
Faculty facilitators: Carolyn Nordstrom (Notre Dame University), Sally Engle Merry (New York University)
Date: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

All ethnographic writing poses challenges. A political act, ethnography raises questions of representation and (inter-)subjectivity. However, ethnography of violence and conflict encounters some particular issues. For instance: How to avoid fetishizing violence? How to alleviate the perpetrator-victim dichotomy? How to prevent accounts of violence from becoming white noise? How to prevent violence from becoming a trope in/for certain regions? Following up on last year’s successful graduate student roundtable, “Methodological and Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Research on Conflict and Violence,” co-facilitators Prof. Carolyn Nordstrom and Prof. Sally Engle Merry come together again in order to take a critical look at the difficulties of writing about violence.

Bridging the Gap: On Anthropology and Islamic Studies
Faculty facilitators: Engseng Ho (Duke University), Andrew Shryock (University of Michigan)
Date: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
Time: 9:00 am-10:45 am

Trans-disciplinarity has been in vogue for the past decade, yet, the conversation in many ways remains confused and/or unapproachable. This is especially problematic for anthropologists of Islam. Anthropology tends to privilege “popular” or “syncretic” expressions of religion, often underplaying the influence of “orthodoxy” and central religious texts. As a result, anthropology frequently fails to create a space to learn or critically engage the literature and theoretical entry points that are central to Islamic Studies. The result: (1) an anthropology ill-equipped to consider more “formal” approaches to Islam, as well as their relationship to “popular” Islam; and (2) an anthropology unable to effectively communicate with Islamic Studies (and vice versa). In this workshop, Prof. Engseng Ho and Prof. Andrew Shryock discuss how we can make the two disciplines better resonate with one another. Specifically, we ask: How can anthropologists make better use of Islamic Studies; and can anthropological work effectively contribute to Islamic Studies? A fresh contribution to the discussion of trans-disciplinarity, this workshop explores how to resist disciplinary enclavement and engage broader analyses in theoretically meaningful ways.

It’s Webinar Wednesday!

Join Dr. Ken C. Erickson this afternoon at 2pm ET for Webinar Wednesday! Registration is required, webinar is free: http://bit.ly/1lU3FNY

KenDoing “Consumer” Anthropology, Warnings and Advice*

Whether its burgers or Boeing, anthropological technique and theory have found significant purchase in the business world. Sometimes. The questions Anthropologists ask often lead to discomfiting revisions in thinking about who buys products and services and what using or experiencing them means. Bringing anthropological stories to the enterprise table can even raise fundamental questions about the nature of business. Fundamental questions (about value, valuation, sustainability, and suffering caused by organizations, for example) need not be laid aside while asking and answering enterprise tactical questions. Using video examples and tales from the field, this webinar offers tips and tricks for finding an anthropological focus that can be heard and, sometimes, become levers to think about and change organizational practices.

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