• Open Anthropology
  • Latest AAA Podcast

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 15,691 other followers

  • Archives

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.

 

Happy Birthday AAA!

Today, March 26, in 1902 the American Anthropological Association was established.balloons

It’s Webinar Wednesday!

It’s Webinar Wednesday!

Mark-Aldenderfer_2This afternoon, March 19, 2014, at 2pm ET, AAA will host a webinar event with Dr. Mark Aldenderfer on the topic of The Bar is Very High:Academic Dossier Evaluation and What to Expect. The webinar will be of particular interest to anthropology graduate students, recent PhDs, as well as AAA Section Leadership and volunteers. The program will cover topics such as:

  • Crafting tenure dossiers and the importance of publishing records (including online publishing)
  • The realities of what PhDs can expect during the tenure evaluation process and being prepared
  • Department culture and the expectations of deans, chairs, admins and colleagues

Mark S. Aldenderfer is an American anthropologist and archaeologist. He is the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts at the University of California, Merced. He has served as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Aldenderfer received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 1977. He is known in particular for his comparative research into high-altitude adaptation and for contributions to quantitative methods in archaeology. He has also served as editor of several journals in anthropology and archaeology.

This webinar is free but registration is required.

Know Before You Vote – Resolution on Contingent and Part-Time Academic Labor

A special message from AAA Secretary, Dr. Margaret Buckner:

At the November 2013 business meeting in Chicago, the Committee on Labor Relations submitted a resolution on contingent and part-time academic labor.  Though it was unanimously approved, there wasn’t a quorum at the meeting, so, in accordance with AAA bylaws, the resolution went to the Executive Board.  The EB in turn agreed to place the resolution on this year’s ballot for a vote of the full membership.  This blog is an opportunity for AAA members to speak for or against the resolution before the elections, which open on April 15.

View and leave your comments of the Resolution today. The Resolution will be available for comment until March 31st.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,691 other followers