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Anthropology and Middle Class Working Families: A Research Agenda

Did you know that AAA’s Online Store offers a variety of works and books on anthropology?

Anthropology and Middle Class Working Families: A Research Agenda is a guide for anthropologists researching the topic. Edited by Mary Margaret Overbey and Kathryn Marie Dudley, this work is described in the preface:

The Research Agenda marks the final step of a project spearheaded by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to stimulate interest and inquiry among anthropologists in middle class working families and to strengthen this area of research within anthropology. The ending of project we see as a new beginning and resurgence of anthropological studies on the conditions and concerns of middle class working families.

To review the table of contents and place your order, click here.

The Anthropology and Middle Class Working Families: A Research Agenda is available for purchase at a special rate of $5.00 for AAA members. Order your copy, today!

For The Love of Anthropology

Valentine’s Day is one of those tricky holidays that people either love or love to hate. Which ever camp you side with, one thing is certain – your love for anthropology. What is it about anthropology that drew you to the field?

Were you one of those students who started college as an Anthropology major? Or did you have a professor that shared their contagious passion for anthropology with you? Perhaps you now are teaching the next generation of anthropologists or a practitioner leaving your anthropological mark in the most unusual place.

Whatever your love story may be, we want to hear it. Jot down your lines of love for anthropology in the comment section. On Friday, we’ll re-post the compiled love stories here on the AAA blog.

Call for Papers: Association for Feminist Anthropology Sessions

The Association for Feminist Anthropology welcomes sessions to be considered for inclusion in AFA’s programming for the 111th AAA Annual Meeting, to be held November 14-18, 2012 in San Francisco. The AAA meeting theme this year is “Borders,” so AFA particularly welcomes panels that take up “borders” from a feminist anthropological perspective. Various approaches to the theme include papers and sessions that might explore:

  • Borders/collaborations/intersections between feminist anthropology and other scholarly spaces from within and beyond anthropology: critical race studies, queer studies, and/or women’s studies; linguistics and genetics; political science, geography, environmental, and/or policy studies; migration and immigration studies and/or economics and archaeology and/or ethnography; biology/history/cultural studies; masculinity and/or gender studies; educational psychologies and social work; etc., etc., etc.
  • Existing or potential conversations/alliances/engagements between scholarly anthropology and everyday activism
  • Geographical, political, and ecological borders and the people who move across and re-define them: histories/archaeologies/economies of trade, trafficking, and/or transnationalism; refugees, resettlements, and asylum seekers; multiple and multiplying citizenships; migration, immigration, and diasporas; etc.
  • “Borders” and “borderlands” in terms of identities: liminal; queer; mestizaje; mixed-race; transgender
  • The “in between” scholar working across/between/among disciplines; conducting research and participating within communities; “insider anthropology”; Lorde’s concept and Harrison’s theorizing of the “outsider within”

We are especially interested in sessions that take advantage of the meeting site of San Francisco by involving local activists, practitioners, and policy makers, whether they are anthropologists or not. If you have questions about the details of registration for non-anthropologists, please let us know.

Also, if submitting for AFA invited or sponsored status, please consider whether your panel could be co-sponsored by AFA and either one or multiple other sections of the AAA. This allows AFA to maximize its presence in the program, gain a potentially greater audience for your panel, and cross the “borders” among AAA sections.

Deadlines:

February 1: Online abstract submission system opens on AAA website
March 15:
Deadline for submitting proposed sessions for section invited status consideration and public policy forums via www.aaanet.org
April 4:
Results of section invited session proposals announced by section program committee chairs
April 15:

  1. Proposal deadline for volunteered sessions, individual paper and poster presentations, media submissions and special events via www.aaanet.org
  2. Participants must be registered for the meeting by this date for inclusion in 2012 AAA Annual Meeting program

April 16-May 31: Section program co-chairs review and rank paper and session proposals
July 1-15:
Program decisions emailed to applicants

For more information, and to submit a proposed session, please contact 2012 Program Chairs: Susan Harper (sharperbisso@twu.edu) and Jennifer Patico (jpatico@gsu.edu).

Please also consider student-focused workshop ideas for AFA sponsorship. To learn more, or submit a proposal, contact Sophie Bjork-James, at (sbjorkjames@gmail.com).

What Anthropologists Do, and What They Do Wrong in Business

Today’s guest blog post is by AAA member, Ashkuff. Read more posts on Ashkuff’s blog: http://www.ashkuff.com

Put simply? Sociocultural anthropologists specialize in describing one group of people, to other groups of people. Obviously, with such a broad yet elegant specialization, sociocultural anthropologists should find themselves awash in more political, business, and consultancy opportunities. So why don’t we?

We sometimes get lost in communicating with our research subjects, and forget how to communicate with our audiences. Unsurprisingly, research creates little opportunity, if nobody understands it. Take, for example, the communication habits of American sociocultural anthropologists (abbr. “anthropologists”) versus mainstream American businesspeople (abbr. “businesspeople”).

Anthropologists communicate via thick description and comprehensive ethnographies, based on extended field research. By contrast, businesspeople communicate concisely, in terms of deliverability and value generation (i.e. “the bottom line.”) Although businesspeople certainly need “other” groups explained to them — foreign labor forces, new market segments, multiculturalism within their own workspaces, et cetera — businesspeople usually cannot process what anthropologists have to say about those other groups. Therefore, it’s on us job-seeking anthropologists to understand businesspeople just as deeply as we understand our own research subjects, and communicate our research accordingly.

Remember, of course, communication breakdowns between anthropologists and businesspeople are only one example. Anthropologists also communicate with politicians, lawyers, jurors, grantors, activists, home viewers and readers. I urge anthropologists to prioritize communication with any audience, just as they prioritize communicating with their research subjects.

— Ashkuff | www.ashkuff.com | How to venture out of “armchair” scholarship and into action? One anthropologist tackles business, occultism and violence! He gets spooked and roughed up a lot.

NEW! Anthropology News website

The Anthropology News website launched today!

Bookmark www.anthropology-news.org into your favorites.

Check in with the Anthropology News website often for exclusive online news, resources and commentary that compliments the print Anthropology News you already enjoy.

This month, in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the website features memorials and memorialization. Essays will be available at the Anthropology News website through October.

AAA Member Elected President of American Institute of Pakistan Studies

Congratulations to AAA member, Kamran Asdar Ali in the recent presidential election for the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. He will begin presidency of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies this fall.

Ali is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.

AAA Member, Johnnetta Betsch Cole Receives the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award at Smithsonian Event

Photo by: Frank Khoury

The Smithsonian Associates and the Creativity Foundation have named Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, author and educator, the recipient of the 10th annual Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award. Cole will discuss the role of creativity in her life and work with philanthropist, educator and documentary producer Camille Cosby Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in Ring Auditorium in the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.

The Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award honors and celebrates the world’s most creative thinkers and innovators in the arts, sciences and humanities, in both traditional and emerging disciplines. Previous recipients were Yo-Yo Ma, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Eric Kandel, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jules Feiffer, Ted Turner, Meryl Streep, Lisa Randall and Greg Mortenson. Tickets for the award ceremony and interview are $25 for general admission and $15 for Associate members. For tickets and information call (202) 633-3030 or visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

Cole is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation and study of the arts of Africa. Cole is also the board chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute, founded at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. The mission of the nonprofit institute is to create, communicate and continuously support the case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace through education, training, research and publications.

Cole gained national prominence in 1987 as the first African American woman president of Spelman College, which became the number-one ranked liberal arts college in the South under her leadership. Cole’s work in academia and anthropology, and her published work span more than four decades and reflect a deep and abiding commitment to racial and gender equality that is rooted in her upbringing. Cole will receive the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award for her richness of ideas and originality of thinking.

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