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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.

Science and Technology Studies and Agricultural Anthropology: Todd A. Crane in the New Issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment

This month, Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment publishes its latest journal issue, Tending the Field: Special Issue on Agricultural Anthropology and Robert E. Rhoades. The issue brings together a collection of articles that expand upon Rhoades’s work in agricultural anthropology. Of particular note for readers interested in participatory and collaborative research is Todd A. Crane’s contribution, “Bringing Science and Technology Studies into Agricultural Anthropology: Technology Development as Cultural Encounter between Farmers and Researchers.”

Crane argues for a unique and innovative twist to the “farmer-back-to-farmer” (FB2F) approach in the development of agricultural technologies. In the FB2F approach, outlined by Robert Rhoades and Robert Booth in 1982, the development of technologies begins and ends with farmers, considering their perspectives and considerations in developing technologies, as well as their evaluation, adaptation, and integration of proposed technologies. Crane updates this model by proposing that empirical social research on scientists’ institutional cultures and technical practices additionally be considered in applied agricultural research- a proposal that creatively integrates perspectives from science and technology studies (STS) into the FB2F approach. “Unpacking the “back-to” part of “farmer-back-to-farmer” means acknowledging researchers as stakeholders in the process, just as much as farmers are,” Crane writes. This proposal is of both applied and theoretical interest. As Crane argues:

Conducting empirical social research on scientists’ technical practices, social organization, and institutional norms- alongside the same research done with farmers- will enable a better theorization of how and why certain forms of applied agricultural research work (or do not work), which should in turn enable applied research strategies to become more effective. Furthermore, by including both farmers and research scientists in the analytical lens, we can also better understand the “hows” and “whys” of cultural encounters that occur when farmers and scientists work together (47).

To read this article through open-access, click here. Read the full issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment on AnthroSource.

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.

Prominent Anthropologist Welcomes Football Team Name Trademark Cancellation

In a move that was hailed by the anthropological community, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced on Wednesday morning that it had canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name “Washington Redskins” citing testimony and evidence that the Washington, DC- based football team’s name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus in violation of federal trademark laws banning offensive terms and language.

While the decision today means that the team can continue to use the term, the phrase is no longer owned by the organization, meaning it will be difficult to stop others from using the term, and thus limiting its financial benefit to the club.

Dr. Bernard C. Perley, a Native American and anthropologist, released the following statement in the wake of the government’s decision:

Today, I am celebrating the US Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the six trademark registrations of the NFL Washington professional football team. The Patent and Trademark Office made their decision based on evidence and concluded that the trademark (the “r word”) is “disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered”.

This decision represents the best values of the American people as established in the founding documents of the United States. It also echoes the work of generations of anthropologists who have worked and continue to work with Native American communities to promote social justice for the first peoples of the Americas.

Unfortunately, there are many Americans who will make any excuse to support the NFL and the Washington team in their defense of the disrespectful name. The ruling does not prevent the team from continuing to use the derogatory term and it is likely the team will appeal the decision.

The US Patent and Trademark decision is good news but there is still much work to be done. The public debate over the “r word” has contributed to the growing awareness of the American public regarding the derogatory aspect of the term to many Native Americans. Anthropology can support and enhance that awareness by making public the ongoing work of anthropologists and Native American community leaders in promoting respect and understanding. We can accomplish this by disseminating the inspiring stories of Native American resilience and their contributions to the American experience.”

Dr. Perley is also a member of the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association


RACE Posters

RACE poster RACE: Are We So Different? posters now available on the AAA Online Store. Order your poster today at the special AAA member price of $4.99.

Food-and-Language Methodologies: New Article in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

“Food and language have frequently been served up together on the same plate at the anthropological research table.” From this starting point, authors Jillian R. Cavanaugh and Kathleen Riley authored an article with collaborators Alexandra Jaffe, Christine Jourdan, Martha Karrebaek, Amy Paugh to provide a fascinating look at emerging food-and-language studies in, “What Words Bring to the Table: The Linguistic Anthropological Toolkit as Applied to the Study of Food.” This article is the second in a series on methods in linguistic anthropology that appears in the new issue of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology available now on AnthroSource.

The article emerged from a roundtable at the 2013 AAA Annual Meeting entitled, “Food Talk as Semiotic Substance: Steps toward an Integrated Anthropology of Foodways and Discourse.” The authors identify “intriguing parallels” that link food and language and describe methods they have used in studying food and language simultaneously. Anthropologists interested in methods will particularly appreciate the discussion of “(e)merging food-and-language methodologies.” Punctuated by author reflections and contextualizing narrative, the authors provide unique insights into their use of anthropological methods in studying food and language, including participant-observation, ethnolinguistic analysis, food-oriented interviews, language socialization, collaborative transcription, and semiotic analysis of documents and media. In concluding the authors note their hopes for introducing this line of discussion:

First, broadly speaking, we hope to promote the value of looking across cultural modalities, not only language and food, but also language and a range of other expressive media. Secondly, and more specifically, we are seeking to encourage the application of linguistic anthropological and linguistic ethnographic methods and analytical tools to the study of food in order to open up new and productive terrains and topics (94).

To read the article, login to AnthroSource or click here.

Interested in more research, reviews and commentaries in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology? Check out the new issue on AnthroSource!


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