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Understanding Militarism: Critical Anthropological Perspectives – Podcast

Session organizer, David Vine recorded the session Understanding Militarism: Critical Anthropological Perspectives. If you missed the session, click on the play arrow button to listen:
Sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of North America and Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology, the session was held on Friday, November 16, 2012.
The militarized response of the United States to the attacks of September 11, 2001—involving at least two wars, the expansion of global military deployments, and skyrocketing military spending—has reminded many that militarism is a major underexplored phenomenon affecting the lives of humans worldwide. Militarism is found in places obvious and not-so-obvious from standing armies to camouflage fashion, the military industrial complex to the Pentagon’s relationship with Hollywood, the growth of drone warfare to the militarization of language and our discipline. Panelists will discuss militarism as a phenomenon and the development of a critical reader on the subject aimed at compiling essential readings on militarism and educating students in anthropology, history, political science, international relations, sociology, and beyond. Each panelist will discuss a different facet of militarism including militarism and human nature; histories and roots of militarism; theorizing militarism; militarized economies; military culture and soldiering; militarized families; fear as a way of life; militarized language, militarized minds; the militarization of place; military bases; post-September 11, 2001 wars; the militarization of law; militarized humanitarianism; militarized popular culture; the militarized university; the militarization of anthropology, social movements against militarism, alternatives to militarism, and demilitarization. The panel will conclude by inviting audience members into a critical discussion of militarism and how anthropologists can better investigate, theorize, and understand the phenomenon. The panel will focus special attention on the United States as today’s “wellspring” of global militarism (C. Lutz), but will explore various forms of militarism across places and times. In the spirit of the panelists’ critical reader and as part of efforts to broaden the impact of anthropological scholarship, the panel will be made freely available to the public as an internet podcast.

This session would be of particular interest to:
Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those involved in mentoring activities

Organizers:  David Vine (American University) and Andrew Bickford (George Mason University)
Chairs:  Hugh Gusterson (George Mason University)
Discussants:  Catherine Besteman (Colby College)
10:15 AM The Militarization of Anthropological Knowledge: Elizabeth Bacon’s Revelations of CIA Efforts to Recruit Anthropologists David H Price (St. Martin’s University)

10:30 AM Base Nation: Military Bases Overseas and the Foundations of Militarism David Vine (American University)

10:45 AM Reconciliation and Permanent War In Honduras Adrienne Pine (American University)

11:00 AM Outsourcing War: Militarism and Corporate Contractors Roberto J Gonzalez (San Jose State University)

11:15 AM Discussant Catherine Besteman (Colby College)

11:30 AM Discussion

A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven

AAA was one of 23 academic organizations that released a joint statement of response to the recent attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven, renown professor of the University of New York Graduate Center. The statement condemns Glenn Beck, radio and television personality, for his attacks on Piven and calls for public officials and political commentators to help in discouraging the rhetoric of hate and violence.

The joint statement was featured in a NewsWise article. The article describes the how Beck’s coverage of Piven’s research has escalated in the past few months:
Although Beck has not directly called for violence against Piven, his attacks have created an opening for threats of violence to emerge. During the past few months, Piven has received a flood of hate mail and been the subject of menacing Internet postings, which include a series of death threats. Much of the violent vitriol has appeared on Beck’s own website.

The joint statement looks to the First Amendment rights for protection of academic research on controversial issues and urges open debate:
We vigorously support serious, honest, and passionate public debate…We support serious engagement on the research of Professor Piven and of others who study controversial issues such as unemployment, the economic crisis, the rights of welfare recipients, and the place of government intervention. We also support the right of political commentators to participate in such debates. At the same time, we insist that all parties recognize the rights of academic researchers not only to gather and analyze evidence related to controversial questions, but also to arrive at their own conclusions and to expect those conclusions to be reported accurately in public debates.

AAA sections, The American Ethnological Society (AES) and The Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA) are honored that Francis Fox Piven will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming joint conference. The conference will be held April 14-17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For conference registration and additional details, click here.

To view the joint statement and to read the complete NewsWise article, click here. The Chronicle blog also weighs in on the topic, check it out.

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