A.J. Faas, Ph.D.

AJ Portrait_2017-06-29_DSF0117_©bellofiore2017.jpgA.J. Faas (PhD, Anthropology, University of South Florida) is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at San José State University. His research interests center on disasters and environmental crises, with attention to social organization and economy at multiple levels of scale in pre- and post-disaster analysis; postcolonial statecraft and practice; interventions of nongovernmental organizations; and the (re)production of subjectivities and memories. As a PhD student, Faas conducted research on adaptation to chronic hazards in Nahuatl villages in Mexico, and as a post-doctoral scholar (North Carolina State University) he studied inter-agency cooperation in response to large wildfires in the United States. Currently, Faas’s research program includes an ongoing, longitudinal study of disaster recovery and resettlement in the Ecuadorian highlands and research on the production of, response to, and recovery from the 2017 floods of downtown San Jose, California. Additionally, as a member of the Culture and Disasters Action Network (CADAN), Faas is currently working with a team of ethnographers to study the ways in which culture is imagined and operationalized by governmental and nongovernmental organizations party to the United Nations programs for disaster risk reduction. Faas is co-editor, with Eric C. Jones, of the edited volume, Social Network Analysis of Disaster Response, Recovery, and Adaptation (Elsevier), co-editor, with Roberto E. Barrios, of the 2015 special issue of Human Organization on “The Applied Anthropology of Disasters.” He is the editor of the 2016 special issue of The Annals of Anthropological Practice on “Continuity and Change in the Applied Anthropology of Risk, Hazards, and Disaster” and the upcoming special issue of the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology on “Changing Practices of Andean Cooperation and Reciprocity in the Twenty-First Century.” His work has appeared in Human Organization, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Disasters, Human Nature, Connections, Economic Anthropology, Ethnology, Civil Wars, Development In Practice, and Mountain Research and Development, and several edited volumes.

Candidate Statement

I have been an active member of SfAA since 2005, when I was a graduate student, and since then the association has played a critical role in my life as an applied scholar. In addition to regularly contributing papers, organizing panels, and serving as a discussant in the annual meetings for more than a decade, the SfAA was the context in which I discovered a network of applied scholars and practitioners interested in the hard problems of disasters, and with whom I am happy to have built a lasting community. As a result, I was fortunate to be one of the founding members of the Risk and Disasters Topical Interest Group (TIG) and its co-chair for 2014 and 2015. Since then, I have served on the committee of TIGs and topical clusters at SfAA continually and on the Program Committee for the annual meetings in 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. In 2014, I proposed a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Strategic Sciences Group (SSG), a program to deploy multidisciplinary, rapid-response teams of applied scholars to advise policy makers and practitioners during ongoing environmental crises. Today, I serve as a liaison between the SfAA and the SSG along with SfAA Treasurer Jennifer Weiss. I am also a regular contributor to the SfAA News. In addition to my work with the SfAA, I have additional experience as a board member with the Southwestern Anthropological Association, where I served as Vice President for 2015-2016 and President from 2016-2017. This has provided me a great deal of experience serving as a board member for a professional association. If elected to the SfAA Board, I would continue to work to support the various thematic clusters and TIGs within the association, while simultaneously supporting the development of new partnerships with policy makers, practitioners, and applied scholars in other disciplines. It would be my honor to work on behalf of SfAA members to further the important goals of this organization.