SfAA PRESIDENTS LETTER
By John Young <JYoung@orst.edu>
Oregon State University
With the authorization of the SfAA Board of Directors, I led a delegation to visit The World Bank Group for the purpose of holding policy discussions on June 29 and 30 of this year. This initiative represents an important step in bringing the Society into a more active and targeted role in influencing how large, multilateral institutions deal with populations affected by their programs and activities.
The Societys interest in the issue of international standards governing social policy originated at our 1997 Annual Meeting in Seattle, where the Board of Directors approved the formation of the International Standards Committee (ISC) under the leadership of former President, Theodore Downing. In January 1998, Downing created the Development Policy Kiosk(c) (www.policykiosk.com) a non-partisan, policy neutral, public bulletin board where organizations and individuals are welcome to post their responses to policy makers requests for public commentary.
In the Spring of 1998, the SfAA Board decided to take advantage of the kiosk in its public review of the draft social and environmental policies of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the arm of the World Bank Group responsible for promoting private sector development. The IFC had requested public comments on its new environmental and social policies. The IFC hopes a new policy framework will improve the environmental and social performance of projects that affect hundreds of thousands of local people The period for public commentary ended April 17th and the policies currently are under revision.
During the period for commentary Downing and the ISC produced a thorough critique of the IFC proposed policies that I sent to The World Bank. This critique identified significant policy changes which seemed to weaken the protections for powerless peoples presented in previous policies. The SfAA delegation in June sought to discuss policy revisions, not only with Bank social scientists, but also with the Banks Executive Directors, who govern the World Bank Group, before they give final approval to the new policies. The US Executive Director, Jan Piercy, holds about one-fourth of the votes on this Board.
Why should we focus on The World Bank? First, the many projects funded by The World Bank make it a major player in Third World development. It sets social development standards for other lending institutions, governments and private corporations engaged in development activities. Second, the Bank has gradually expanded its professional social science staff. Five years ago the Bank had only two or three social scientists in permanent positions; now there are about 50 regular employees involved in social analysis, and another 40 or more who periodically serve as social science consultants. Many are SfAA fellows and members. Third, The World Bank has published a 130-page manual on working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which it defines as, "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development." The Bank manual lists the benefits of working with NGOs as contributing to sustainability, promoting community participation, and facilitating awareness of diverse stakeholder views. Although these are interests shared by SfAA, and perhaps other professional societies, there is no Bank literature on how to benefit from collaboration with an applied social science organization, and apparently no history on which to base any relationships. This circumstance may not reflect well on our past; but in looking toward the future, it presents a wide-open opportunity to chart a new course.
The members of our delegation included Theodore Downing and Billie DeWalt, who have worked as consultants with the Bank, and Past President, Erve Chambers, who joined me as an outsider unfamiliar with the inner workings of the Bank. Gloria Davis, Director of the Social Development Division, and Dan Aranson, Senior Social Scientist at the IFC, arranged our schedule. We had meetings with the Thematic Group on Indigenous People, chaired by Sandy Davis; the Acting Vice President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, Ian Johnson; the Resettlement Specialists Thematic Group, chaired by Mahinder Gill, and the Social Development "Family," chaired by Gloria Davis. Melanie Marlett, Assistant to the U.S. Executive Director, arranged our final meeting with assistants to the Executive Directors of a dozen donor countries represented on the Bank Board.
Several of our meetings involved exchanging information while exploring mutual interests and avenues of cooperation. Our delegation raised specific concerns about the draft policies, especially those related to involuntary resettlement, in meetings with the Resettlement Thematic Group and with the Executive Directors. More than 10 million people a year are involuntarily displaced by development projects; some of these directly financed by the Bank Group. We summarized the concerns that we originally handed to the World Bank Group on April 17. These focused on:
The SfAA and other international organizations have been concerned that advances gained in previous World Bank policies were being watered down and lost in the policy revision process. We had hoped to see a revised draft of the social policies in order to determine whether our written comments had been incorporated into the drafts to be presented to the World Bank Board. We found that the Bank had decided to keep their revisions confidential until after approval by the Board.
Mahinder Gill, head of the Resettlement Thematic Group, verbally summarized several changes he said were already made in the draft policies, such as:
Noting that its ability to enforce policy directives diminishes after capitalization flow stops, the Bank intends to explicitly link resettlement to civil construction schedules, and mandate early planning and review of involuntary resettlement issues so that resettlement can be accomplished well before project completion. A post-project review would then assess whether or not planning objectives had been achieved.
The SfAA delegation, though pleased to hear about these changes, was unable to review the details in writing, and found the scope of the changes to fall short of our recommendations.
The current emphasis on policy notwithstanding, members of the Involuntary Resettlement Group regard implementation as a more important challenge than policy-making. With this thought in mind, they are preparing a resettlement sourcebook that will draw lessons from past failures and provide benchmarks as to how to measure compliance by project management. The Bank "Social Family" promised to share the final draft of the sourcebook with the SfAA after it has been approved by the Board. Ian Johnson indicated that the Bank will establish a separate unit to monitor compliance, including a component of social audits. The monitoring process will take into account the policy on involuntary resettlement and nine other "safeguard policies."
Bank social scientists have already begun formulating policy revisions on natural habitats, forestry, indigenous peoples, and cultural property. The SfAA membership has expertise in all of these areas. While meeting with Sandy Davis and his group, our delegation looked at an early draft of their approach to revising existing Indigenous Peoples Policy, but the draft was not ready for distribution to interested colleagues. In the near future the Bank will post a draft of this document and those detailing other policies for public comment. The SfAA, the Development Policy Kiosk and the Bank agreed to continue discussions on how to facilitate access to the draft Indigenous policies once they are released. Meanwhile, the social and environmental policies for the World Bank, including the IFC are due to be finalized and approved by the Bank Executive Directors this summer.
At this point, we have no way of accurately judging the extent of our impact. However, we look forward to seeing further revisions in these policies based on the discussions I have reported to you. Bank social scientists claimed to have a formidable task in persuading Bank lawyers to accept progressive policies. If this presents a barrier, we hope this it is not insurmountable and that changes both in policies and implementation will avoid future debacles like the one that recently impoverished the Pehuenche Indians in Chile (May 1998 American Anthropological Association Newsletter).
A number of possibilities exist for SfAA cooperation with the "Social Family" at The World Bank. The Bank wishes to enhance regional expertise in planning and compliance monitoring, training to help in-country personnel cope with social development issues and reduce the need for outside inspection panels, development of social science networks overseas for conducting social analysis, cross-cultural communication with project-affected peoples, synthesis of cases with lessons learned, comprehensive baseline social assessments and institutionalization of this procedure once the Bank is no longer involved, and external research to improve the knowledge input to planning and implementation. The key to cooperation is the real possibility for on-the-ground impact on the welfare and rights of people in the developing world.
SfAAs unique contribution so far has been to initiate interaction with the World Bank Group and other international institutions on setting professionally acceptable standards for social development. I am pleased the Society has been the first social science association to recognize and respond to this challenge, thanks to an insightful Board and dedicated members serving on the International Standards Committee.
Beyond commenting on draft policies, the mechanisms whereby SfAA members individually or collectively might cooperate with the Bank are still under discussion. Ideas put forth include providing the Bank with a Directory of SfAA expertise; cooperative agreements similar to the current agreement between the SfAA and the Environmental Protection Agency; and panels, presentations, luncheons and other types of interaction at the SfAA Annual Meeting. Bank social scientists often attend our meetings, and we wish to encourage their participation. Our initial meeting with Bank social scientists will be most meaningful if we can sustain our interaction and institutionalize our cooperation. We welcome any suggestions from members in regard to identifying the mechanisms for future cooperation.
I must add one caveat for those participating in these meetings. I have relied mostly on my own notes, using those provided by Erve Chambers as a backup, and I have incorporated several comments from Theodore Downing. I take full responsibility for my version of what transpired and subsequent interpretations.
Finally, like The World Bank, the National Park Service is beginning a tenth-year policy review. NPS will make a draft of newly formulated policies available on the web at <http://www.nps.gov/planning/mngmtplc/npsmptoc.html> by December 30. I have asked Rob Winthrop and his Policy Committee to help coordinate the SfAA response. We encourage suggestions.
The length of my discussion of The World Bank prevents a comprehensive response to the letter by Gautam Ghosh printed in this issue. I am in the process of collaborating with a younger colleague, Sunil Khanna, to address several requests to produce a fully documented article. I hesitate to name names and point fingers in a short commentary, but any casual observer would have to be hopelessly naive not to know that postmodernism severely jolted and split the field of Anthropology. I dont disavow any of the numerous quotes offered by Ghosh as evidence of my viewpoint. Sadly, he is "vexed" and "perplexed" when postmodernism must swallow a dose of its own deconstructive medicine. However, there is a constructive side to all of this; I am trying to support the notion that one of our basic human rights is the freedom to distinguish between sense and nonsense. I thought I was being clear that applied anthropology [sense] and "certain modes of theoretical reflection [nonsense]" are incompatible. Next from Ghosh we may hear the sequel of "I led two lives."
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
By Jude Thomas May <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SfAA Business Office
Oklahoma City, OK
The Board of Directors approved a recommendation in San Juan to establish the Sol Tax Award. This Award will recognize annually an individual who has provided exceptional service to the Society. The Award honors the name and memory of the distinguished action anthropologist who played an active role during one of the formative stages in the history of the Society. We have received the approval from the Tax Family to establish and sponsor this Award.
The action of the Board followed a report by the Distinguished Service Committee that reflected long months of careful deliberation. The Committee included prominent leaders in SfAA (Tom Weaver, Art Gallaher, Margaret Clark, Will Sibley, Maria Luisa Urdaneta, and Deward Walker).
The Board also approved a plan to establish an endowment to fund the Award perpetually. The leadership of the Society will contact specific members within the next month and invite donations toward this Sol Tax Endowment. The general membership will also have an opportunity to participate in the Endowment during the annual dues billing which will be mailed out in September.
The use of voluntary contributions to establish this Endowment and Award is consistent with the policy that was established earlier by the Board. We continue to maintain membership dues at a very low and competitive level in order to attract student members and those just beginning their professional careers. The cost of new projects (such as the Tax Award) can be met through voluntary donations or other financial initiatives, rather than automatically raising membership dues.
The leadership and Board of Directors will encourage the generous participation of the membership in this Endowment effort in the hopes that the project will be ongoing in 1999.
TIG FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
By Tressa Berman <IGTLB@ASUVM.INRE.ASU.EDU>
Arizona State University, West
From June 10-141998, the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP) held its annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the site of the scenic UBC campus. This years theme, "Crossing Boundaries" was enacted by the wide range of global participants who work across various disciplines on issues related to "common property." With an increasing concern over perceptions of an academic enclosure and resource-based movements to protect indigenous knowledge from commercial exploitation, a special panel was convened on intellectual property rights. Environmental economists, anthropologists, lawyers and ethnomuscicologists discussed topics ranging from "authorship" of biodiversity properties (Markku Oksanen, University of Turku), to copyright protections for indigenous musicians (Anthony McCann, University of Limerick). In this context, my paper discussed the relationship between IPR and the public domain.
Following from these themes, and especially regarding the protection of creative works, a local forum was held in late July on Indigenous Copyright sponsored by the students and faculty of the BoVA.CAIA (Bachelor of Visual Arts in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Arts) program at Griffith Universitys Queensland College of Art (Brisbane, Australia). The Aboriginal art program launched the week-long forum with an exhibition and student panel called "Telling Tales" which centered on infringement of copyright in Aboriginal paintings and designs. The conference closed with speakers that included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal curators, artists, industry professionals, attorneys, and anthropologists. Professor Vivien Johnson (Macquarie University) launched a CD-Rom project, The House of Aboriginality, which aims to show the multitude of uses to which Aboriginal art, both traditional and contemporary, has been used by focusing on original art and a history of "rip-offs."
The House of Aboriginality sprang from a class project as a visual metaphor for the mass circulation of Aboriginal imagery in Australian popular culture. The CD-rom features a "virtual residence" entirely furnished with everyday items decorated with Aboriginal or "pseudo Aboriginal" designs. It is available to educational institutions for $A35 from Vivien Johnson, Department of Sociology, School of Behavioral Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 Australia.
Finally, a link between these two venues will be forged this coming October, 1998 when a "Native Title Workshop" will be held at Australian National University in Canberra. Professor Bruce Rigsby (U. Queensland) has proposed the workshop, which will involve Giksan and Witsuwiten representatives from Canada to present their Delgamuukw Canadian land rights case in light of recent High Court rulings on Aboriginal land title in Australia. For further information contact: email@example.com
By Carla Littlefield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The "Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists" (WAPA), now in its 23rd year, will begin its monthly speakers program in September. The program is generally held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 PM in the Historic Charles Summer School across from the National Geographic complex on 17th and M Streets, NW. WAPAs program committee invites speakers (usually from the District of Columbia area) to talk about ongoing or recently completed projects of anthropological interest. The program is open to the public, and the schedule for speakers will be posted on WAPAs webpage, http://www.erols.com/wapa.
In addition to WAPAs monthly speaker, a picnic is scheduled in October followed by a holiday party in December. Be sure to check this column in the future for information on changes in the application process for the PRAXIS Award, a WAPA sponsored award that honors the successful application of anthropological knowledge to improving the human condition. The award consists of a letter of recognition, publication of a summary of the project in the WAPA Newsletter and webpage, and money. This years WAPA president is Antoinette Brown, a longstanding member of WAPA.
The "Sun Coast Organization of Practicing Anthropologists" (SCOPA) held its annual meeting in San Juan in conjunction with SFAAs Annual Meeting which was co-sponsored with SCOPA. With 33 paid members, SCOPA still has no officers and continues to govern itself through committees. These include Membership, Program, Finance, Newsletter, plus a By-Laws Committee added this year along with an Organizational Archivist. Catherine Sugg remains their "Point Person." Their monthly meetings will start again in September, alternating between the Tampa and St. Petersburg sides of the Bay.
The "High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology" (HPSfAA) held its annual meeting at the beginning of April in Estes Park, Colorado. The theme was Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century. Over 50 members came for a weekend of presentations, networking, planning, and comradery. Gottfried "Friedl" Lang, a founder and emeritus member of HPSfAA, was the recipient of the Omer Steward Award, bestowed annually by HPSfAA for distinguished contribution to applied anthropology. HPSfAA members will convene for their annual retreat at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, on October 2-3, 1998. Pam Puntenney is chairing the event which features a relaxed program, 21,000 acres of breathtaking scenery, and the rich cultural heritage of neighboring Native American and Hispanic communities.
REPORT FROM THE H.O. EDITOR
Robert V. Kemper <email@example.com>
Southern Methodist University
As some of our readers will have noticed, the contents of Human Organization 57(2) were not exactly as promised in my last Editors Report. Because of the greater than usual number of graphics (including some line art, for the first time in years - if ever), we had to remove all of the Commentaries and move them to the next issue. So, for those who were eagerly awaiting those commentaries, they will be coming to you in early September.
Volume 57, Number 3, is an unusual issue. The first two articles deal with anthropologists and their relationships with indigenous peoples. Readers initially will encounter the provocative 1996 Bronislaw Malinowski Award lecture by Bea Medicine, "American Indians and Anthropologists: Issues of History, Empowerment, and Application," and then can move on to Trevor W. Purcells lengthy examination of "Indigenous Knowledge and Applied Anthropology: Questions of Definition and Direction," in which he not only considers the historical development of indigenous knowledge but also reviews the interesting case of Rotating Credit Associations.
The following two articles deal with issues of public health: the first, by Judith C. Barker, Robynn S. Battle, Gayle L. Cummings, and Katharine N. Bancroft, deals with "Condoms and Consequences: HIV/AIDS Education and African American Women," while the second, by Nedal Hamdi Arar, treats "Cultural Responses to Water Shortage among Palestinians in Jordan: The Water Crisis and Its Impact on Child Health." Then, in Mary Jo Schneiders first-hand report on "The Wal-Mart Annual Meeting: From Small-Town America to a Global Corporate Culture," populist ideologies and business practices come face-to-face in Arkansas.
The last two articles among the regular contributions to this issue deal with the media in Latin America. First, Raul Reis examines "The Impact of Television Viewing in the Brazilian Amazon" and then Cynthia J. Miller looks at "The Social Impacts of Televised Media among the Yucatec Maya."
Then, we have the Commentaries originally scheduled for the previous issue: We begin with Marietta L. Babas discussion of how the IUAES is going about "Creating a Global Community of Practicing Anthropologists" through its Commission on Practice and Policy. Next, Jean François Baré examines the inner workings of the World Bank in his piece, entitled "Of Loans and Results: Elements for a Chronicle of Evaluation at the World Bank."
The final three Commentaries deal with issues of ethics and long-term field research. First, Oriol Pi-Sunyer offers his views on "Ethical Issues for North American Anthropologists Conducting Research in Mexico: The National Dimension" and then Joel M. Halpern offers another "Response to Ethical Issues for Social Anthropologists: A North American Perspective on Long-Term Research in Mexico."
Finally, the authors of the original contribution &endash; which appeared in H.O. 56(4) - Anya P. Royce and Robert V. Kemper respond to Pi-Sunyer and Halpern by "Finding a Footing on the Moral High Ground: Connections, Interventions, and Ethical Implications."
This issue of the journal concludes with a Special Thematic Section concerned with Health Risks in Agricultural Work. After the section organizers, Thomas A. Arcury And Sara A. Quandt, offer an overview of the major issues in their piece on "Occupational and Environmental Health Risks in Farm Labor," the participants in the special section examine specific cases of health risks in agricultural work. First, Kendall M. Thu considers "The Health Consequences of Industrialized Agriculture for Farmers in the United States."
His study (bolstered by fieldwork in Iowa and Nebraska) is followed by three case studies concerned with agrochemicals. Melissa J. Perry and Frederick R. Bloom discuss "Perceptions of Pesticide Associated Cancer Risks among Farmers: A Qualitative Assessment," Susan L. Andreatta reports on "Agrochemical Exposure and Farmworker Health in the Caribbean: A Local/Global Perspective," and Sara A. Quandt, Thomas A. Arcury, Colin K. Austin, and Rosa M. Saavedra consider "Farmworker and Farmer Perceptions of Farmworker Agricultural Chemical Exposure in North Carolina." The final contribution to this special thematic section, by Barbara Herr Harthorn, treats "California Farmworkers: Dilemmas in Developing Interventions for Health and Medical Care Concerns."
What is remarkable about the collection of papers in the special thematic section is that three of them were presented in a symposium at the SfAA Annual Meeting in San Juan Puerto Rico in late April of this year. By sheer coincidence, the two other contributions arrived in the mail at my office on the same day in the first week of May. With the excellent cooperation of peer reviewers, authors, and the section organizers, it proved possible to review, revise, and prepare for publication the five articles plus the introduction by Profs. Arcury and Quandt in less than three months.
Given the importance and timeliness of the problems associated with health risks in agricultural work, this short period from submission through review and revision to publication is essential if we hope to make a significant contribution to public policies on such issues. My thanks to all of those who helped us to accomplish what very few journals would even attempt &endash; to get important research published promptly.
As of August 1st, we have some 23 accepted manuscripts on-hand and another 30+ manuscripts in the peer review process. Since about 12-14 articles ought to appear in volume 57, Number 4 (Winter 1998), we still have a short queue. So, I urge our readers to submit their best work and look forward to having it published early next year, as Don Stull takes over as the journals editor. As for me, I am looking forward to beginning work on the last issue of my four-year editorship.
Now, that my days with HO are numbered, it would be nice to hear from you about what you have enjoyed and what we might have improved during the past four years. Write a letter (Dept. of Anthropology SMU, Dallas TX 75275 USA) or launch a Fax (214-768-2906), I will be happy to include those remarks in my next (and final) Editors Report.
REPORT FROM THE PA EDITOR
By Alexander (Sandy) M. Ervin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
University of Saskatchewan
The Next Issue. Carla Guerrón-Montero, the Boards newly appointed student member, has put together an impressive variety of articles demonstrating graduate student activity in applied anthropology. This collection will be published as Vol. 20(4), Fall, 1998, and students from Harvard, Arizona State, University of South Florida, Long Beach State, and the University of Oregon will be represented. Considered in the context of debates on development, Guerrón-Montero writes of her experiences evaluating a housing complex for Afro-Ecuadorians. Jonathan Green shows the anthropological difference for the education of mentally retarded adults.
Anthropological advocacy is demonstrated by Tina Kabarec Quiroz. Drawing from her anthropological research and activism, she spearheaded a citizens movement that halted the publication of a "gang manual" that would have inappropriately added to the negative stereotyping of all Latino youth. Matt Oppenheim describes the remarkable story of the emergence of a grass-roots community development in an impoverished neighborhood of Los Angeles.
An internship experience and its many benefits is recounted by Ann Tweedie, who worked with the National Park Service in the Northeast. Northern Mexico is the scene of Evarado Garduños evaluation of programs for relocated Indian migrant workers from Oaxaca. Elizabeth Akiny Onjoro and Lisa Mathai Stahl, working in Tampa, Florida, used their anthropological expertise to evaluate and replan an immunization program for children.
Very much related to the graduate student theme is a feature article by Riall Nolan, who advocates for more establishment of specialized applied programs for development anthropology. Rob Winthrop again provides his stimulating column, "The Real World," this time about the use of anthropology on public radio. Al Wolfe reviews a new book, edited by Meta Baba and Carole Hill, on different national experiences in applying anthropology, and John van Willigen returns with "Sources". While still assembling the Fall issue, we may have two commentary pieces-one on anthropological responsibilities and the other on the teaching of applied anthropology to undergraduates through community-based practica.
Book Reviews. Book reviews are important to PA, but arranging for them has become more difficult. I am running out of reviewers in my local area. So, to simplify reviews, I will be announcing books available for review in this and future newsletters. Those who wish to review them should contact me, and I will send them to you. Currently available for review are:
1994 How Societies Change. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. 144 pages.
Grifio, Francesca and Joshua Rosenthal (ed.)
1997 Biodiversity and Human Health. Island Press: Washington D.C. 379 pages.
1996 Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. 310 pages.
Stevens, Stan (ed.)
1997 Conservation Through Cultural Survival: Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas. Island Press: Washington, D.C. 361 pages.
1998 Patriarchy and Purdah: Structural and Systemic Violence Against Women in Bengladesh. Uppsala: Life and Peace Institute. 44 pages.
Note: any books sent to me must have clear-cut applied or policy value. Our pages are too limited to review general academic books: these can easily find review venues in the plethora of academic journals available that tend to ignore the applied literature.
Addresses. The addresses and phone numbers for the editorial office of Practicing Anthropology are: Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5A5, Canada; the office telephone number is (306) 966-4176; my home number is (306) 343-9140; the departmental fax number is (306) 966-5640.
REPORT FROM SfAA/EPA PROGRAM DIRECTOR
By Barbara R. Johnston <email@example.com>
SfAA/EPA Fellowship Program Coordinator
The SfAA Environmental Anthropology Project is nearing the end of the second year of a five-year project. During the first two years, with funding through the SfAA/EPA Cooperative Agreement, we have established an internship and fellowship program that placed anthropology students and recent graduates on projects in Washington, Oklahoma, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland. We have provided technical assistance to communities and environmental problem-solving processes in Ohio and Florida. And, we have presented case-study reports at the SfAA and other professional meetings, posted reports on our www page, conducted a cultural values workshop at EPA headquarters in Washington DC, and published an Environmental Anthropology project brochure.
In June 1998 we received year two continuation funding of the Sustainable South Florida project. One of the key elements in continuation funding is the further development of the social science network in Florida, and consulting anthropologist Laura Ogden will be working with contacts in federal, state and local government agencies to describe and market identified social science needs and help locate social science practitioners to work on Everglades restoration-related projects.
Also in June, summer 1998 internship and fellowship projects began. SfAA environmental anthropology fellow R. Shawn Maloney began working with the (Pocomoke River Watershed) Association in Maryland, in an effort to develop broader public participation in Pfiesteria-related watershed management efforts. Much of his early fellowship efforts have involved developing stakeholder networks and improving communication flows.
Fellowship plans for Aaron Scrol were also finalized, and Scrol will work with the Washington-based Elwah Klallam tribe beginning in October 1998. However, since the funds to support this fellowship came from an EPA general assistance program grant paid directly to the tribe, Scrol will contract directly with the tribe to do the proposed work (rather than working as an SfAA/EPA fellow funded through the Cooperative Agreement). He has agreed to provide to the SfAA Environmental Anthropology project copies of his project materials and reports.
Summer internship plans were finalized and work commenced for interns Johnelle Lamarque (Rutgers) to provide lead hazards outreach and evaluation of EPA programs in Philadelphia, PA; Frank Lucido (CSU Chico) to investigate views and acceptance of agricultural best practices in the Columbia Plateau, Eastern Washington; Brendan Lavy (U of N. Texas) to provide general assistance to the Cherokee Nation Environmental Services Office and study the cultural disconnects between the Cherokee and the environmental regulatory community; and Mark Wamsley (U of Maryland) to assist the Anthropology of Pfiesteria public outreach program at the University of Maryland. A Fall 1998 internship plan was also developed for Sandra Crismon (U of Georgia) to further develop public participation in the Broad River Watershed Management project.
SfAA internships require the involvement of anthropology mentors. This requirement creates opportunities for anthropologists to develop or strengthen their connection with the environmental planning and problem solving community. Mentors play a significant role in strengthening their students projects, but equally important, their presence helps further stimulate an EPA interest in anthropology and a community-based demand for future involvement.
In August 1998, EPA Project Officer Theresa Trainor organized and facilitated a session on the Society for Applied Anthropology Cooperative Agreement at the EPA Community Involvement Conference (August 2-8, 1998, Boston, MA). The SfAA session was attended by people from EPA and other federal agencies, academics and non-governmental organizations. The EPA staff included project managers and program directors from a broad range of offices, including environmental justice, superfund, tribal affairs, and research and policy. The hopeful outcome of this presentation will be a broader agency interest in anthropology and the environmental social sciences, and greater use of the Cooperative Agreement to provide technical assistance to communities.
For additional information, check out the SfAA web page, environmental anthropology project link at <http//www.telepath.com/sfaa/eap/abouteap.html> or contact Barbara R. Johnston at (408) 271-9552.
By Tony Hebert, Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
University of Florida
The student guest essayist for this issue is Jennifer Craythorne. Jennifer is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. She is currently writing her Masters thesis which concentrates on socialization and education. Her current interest is in applied urban anthropology and education, focusing on issues dealing with Haitian immigrants in public schools. She is especially interested in doing research that can be translated into policy recommendations and solutions.
Book Review-- Lempert, David H. (in association with Xavier de Souza Briggs and others). Escape From the Ivory Tower: Student Adventures in Democratic Experiential Education. San Francisco: Jossey Bass Publishers.1996. 372 pp.
By Jennifer L. Craythorne
University of Florida
I have been planning on writing this review for the past six months. Understandably I was a bit concerned when I noted that in Vol. 20, No. 1, 1998 of Practicing Anthropology, Peggy Martin McGuire had beaten me to the punch. However, the day was saved when I realized that she dismissed Lemperts message as old news. Just what is the message and why is this good news for me? The message is one of academic and student empowerment. I do not argue that this message has not been circulating for the past thirty years. However, the reason she has to read about student empowerment again is obvious: This message has not been heeded by anthropologists. Put simply, because the vast majority of individuals in the university structure have not acted upon calls for more student involvement in class planning, experiential education and democratically run classes; we not only have a dearth of innovative classes, but we have to revisit this issue again.
I recognized that Lempert was correct in his assumptions, intentions and statements. McGuire missed the important point that this type of call to arms is still needed. My understanding of the situation is quite different from hers. I am a student and I will have spent 11 years pursuing higher education by the time I receive my Ph.D. In the six years I have spent thus far in universities I have come to some of the same conclusions as David Lempert: students are rewarded for regurgitating facts which are presented as apolitical and all important. Yet, the reality is that these "facts" are highly political and generally contingent on context or background.
Students also lack a voice in class organization, readings, discussions and grading. Students live sheltered lives in the university setting, unaware that if they opened their eyes they would realize their connection to a real world, one in which they have the power to affect change and the ability to play an active role in their studies. It is this sheltered existence and false sense of powerlessness that often engenders the dichotomy which McGuire spoke of between the university and the real world.
I can relate to Lempert and his message, and have personal experience in attempting to put into action a similar type of program. Responding to a lack of elective courses one semester, I attempted to start a student taught and coordinated seminar course. While the course never came to fruition as I envisioned it, I recognized that there was interest, not only in my department, but in others as well. I was honored that some of my fellow students did show interest and enthusiasm for my idea.
In striving to create this class, my goal expanded to a wider aim: the creation of an institutionalized mechanism through which students could create and coordinate seminars on any variety of topics. They would only need to fill out a form with their department and then create their classes, syllabi, reading lists and other materials. It should be a system that would not die out following the completion of a single class. This is one of the important goals that Lemperts Unseen America courses strive for, systemic longevity. It matters not that the students change, as long as there is a possibility for new students to pick up where the last ones left off. This is needed in an academic setting where the student body changes from year to year.
Because of Lemperts outspoken view,s he has paid a professional price within anthropology. Yet, who else would sound the call for reform within higher education? Lempert occupies a liminal position in academia. He has access to a wider culture and society and is able to move back and forth between disciplines. He therefore has a basis for comparison that makes him an astute critic and informant. It is a shame that Lemperts wisdom has to have a price attached to it, but this is the cost for challenging academias entrenched pedagogy.
This book should be a call to arms for anthropologists who occupy a liminal position in academia, for they are not only critical observers but also proponents for progress and change. As educators, students and researchers they can encourage democratic experiential education for all their students. The academic community will only benefit from these activities.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Response to Student Column
By Jacqueline Comito <Jacqueline_Comito@uiowa.edu>
University of Iowa
For the past three years, I have assisted Mike Whiteford with the editing of this newsletter. During that time, I have read a number of student columns that have called for student empowerment in issues concerning training, academic courses and mentoring, very similar to the column in this issue by Jennifer Craythorne. While I applaud Craythorne for her attempts to try to change things in her anthropology program, I find her call for academic reform and student empowerment to be somewhat misplaced.
Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Iowa. I transferred to Iowa after completing my masters at Iowa State University in 1995. In my nine semesters as a graduate student, I have learned three important things: 1) that my knowledge and training as an anthropologist is my responsibility, 2) that a unified and supportive cohort of graduate students is key to my success and intellectual development and 3) an important part of my education as an academic is from work outside the department within the larger university community.
I am not certain if "student involvement in class planning and democratically run classes" is necessarily the way to improve a graduate education. Graduate students in my department have initiated and implemented courses as group independent studies. Even though these classroom experiences were enriching, many of us would agree it was the informal learning gained through discussions with other graduate students and one-on-one talks with faculty that were more useful. By the time you have completed a couple of semesters in graduate school, course work becomes less important.
I would encourage graduate students to look for opportunities outside of your classwork. I have never been one to wait for faculty members to hand me opportunities. Before I began at Iowa, I started to do applied work for a couple of state agencies. The work was not within my research areas, but I was trained well in methodology while at Iowa State and knew I could learn on the job. Over the last three years, I have grown as a researcher and have completed five applied anthropology projects. Not only has the work enabled me to develop and improve my skills, it has enabled me to pay for my education. As the upcoming issue of Practicing Anthropology illustrates, my example of taking intiative is one of many (see PA editor's report in this newsletter).
I do know that student empowerment comes from other students, not faculty or administrators. I might have dropped out of graduate school within a semester of entering Iowa if not for the support of the other students. Shortly before I started at Iowa, the graduate students voted campus-wide to form a graduate employee workers union. Several graduate students in my department were key organizers during the unionization process.
In our department, student solidarity is not limited to employment issues. We meet twice a month to discuss important issues such as graduate credits, sharing grant information, proposal writing and comprehensive exams. We also have a listserve where we post information and have informal debates. As a group, we have been able to lobby the faculty to re-evaluate issues concerning funding and the student handbook. Admittedly, it has not always been easy and as individuals we have not always agreed, but we seem to continue to be supportive and communicative.
Most graduate students in our department are also involved in activities outside of our course work. We have six individuals who have volunteered their time to serve in student government for the betterment of our department. Three others serve in a formal capacity for the Union. Still others are sitting on various committees within our department and the university. As a result of graduate student initiative, our department receive a substantial computer fees grant last spring, and we now have four new computers with internet access in our lab. I was told by a faculty member that he had tried a few times before to get one of these grants but failed.
Through our involvement in the University of Iowa Student Government, anthropology graduate students have been able to have a voice in student meetings with our university president. We have had an input in issues that range from student life to curriculum and teacher evaluations. I think many of us agree that we have become wiser future academics through this experience in the wider university community.
We value this service to our department so much that last spring the graduate students voted to establish a student nominated award. We decided to name this award after June Helm, one of our highly esteemed faculty members. We thought this would be a good way to honor Professor Helm and recognize the contributions of a graduate student.
The June Helm Award for Service and Excellence in Anthropology will be awarded annually to the student 1) who has been on campus for the year and who has ABD status or is in the process of writing his/her comprehensive exams; 2) who has participated in non-course and non-assistantship activities that were of benefit to other anthropology graduate students, the anthropology department, and the larger university community; 3) who has been supportive of a holistic, four-field approach to anthropology and who has not limited his/her area of interest and inquiry to his/her specific research focus; and 4) who, in the true spirit of June Helm, has been willing to speak his/her mind in the classroom and in departmental issues in the face of unfairness, discrimination, and all out absurdity.
Student empowerment comes from other students. If we want to change the system, we need to re-evaluate the ways in which we are students. We need to recognize that our development as anthropologists rests beyond the classroom. Getting A's in all your courses will not make you a good anthropologist. Being deserving of an award such as the June Helm just might. If more graduate students became involved in their university communities, then we might see true progress and change.
Back to the Future
By J. Anthony Paredes <Tony_Paredes@nps.gov>
Florida State University
During an informal discussion at the 1998 annual meeting in San Juan, a number of past-presidents and other senior members of the Society expressed their dissatisfaction with the change in wording of the Society's "object" (Article I of the bylaws) effected by the bylaws revisions recently approved by the membership. Individual past-presidents expressed strong support for the previous language that had stood since the original incorporation of the Society under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1941. The statement of purpose crafted by the founders of the Society has an elegance and eloquence not matched by the new version. From a purely historical standpoint the original statement, has in addition the venerable patina of its association with such intellectual giants of the field as Arensberg, Mead, Chapple, Richardson, Coon, Dow, Lockard, and Oliver. Some past-presidents find the new language rather insipid by comparison. Here are the two versions:
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: The Society has for its object the promotion of interdisciplinary scientific investigation of the principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another, and the encouragement of the wide application of these principles to practical problems, and shall be known as The Society for Applied Anthropology.
NEW LANGUAGE (adopted April 1998): The Society actively promotes interdisciplinary scientific investigation of those principles guiding human relations, and encourages application of such principles with the goal of solving human problems, and is called the Society for Applied Anthropology.
We can always go back. Remember the fate of "New Coke!" If you are interested in joining with me and others to mount a petition campaign for a referendum of the membership to restore the original language of Article I of the bylaws of the Society for Applied Anthropology, please contact me: J. Anthony Paredes, 2429 Beautyberry Court, Tallahassee, FL 32308. My e-mail can be found above. In your communication please state: "I support placing on the ballot of the next SfAA election a provision to restore the original language of the Preamble of the Bylaws of the Society for Applied Anthropology."
Perplexed by Young's Postmodern Debate
By Gautam Ghosh <email@example.com >
Grinnell College/University of Chicago
As a member of SfAA and CORI who has found the reading of contemporary social theory of some value, I am a bit vexed by the statements made by President Young which lead the January and May newsletters. His polemics against "postmodernism" (and, briefly, "multiculturalism") lack, in my view, the documentation necessary for dialogue and deliberation, and are thus more divisive than constructive.
In the May newsletter Professor Young ascribes to postmodernists "blatant absurdities, such as the notion that poverty, and by extension, most other societal problems, are mere social constructions." If he means that postmodernist analysts think that such problems are simply imaginary - versus imagined, which is not the same thing - then it would have been useful to know which postmodernist(s) Young had in mind. He says the "fad" and "delusion" of postmodernism "has a firm grip on a number of elitist anthropology departments." Naming some of these departments (I cant think of any) might have lead to a constructive discussion, perhaps involving their participation.
Postmodernists, he complains, offer nothing new: "they pretend to be first" but "suffer from a severe case of historical amnesia." If postmodernism is merely recapitulating old ideas then, again, it would have been helpful to know which earlier writers/schools Professor Young had in mind. And if postmodernist analyses are so meretricious, then are the analyses they are purportedly echoing similarly so? Young declares that "postmodern anthropologists" are out of touch with reality "to the point of silliness" but still "enforce considerable conformity." Is it illuminating to assert, without elaboration, that a particular group of scholars have become delusional and domineering (while others remain, putatively, rooted in reality and decency)?
I am not an unequivocal acolyte of "postmodernism." In addition to some intellectual objections, I have at times found the prose itself rather frustrating. Yet I had comparable concerns and frustrations when wading through the words of Immanuel Wallerstein. A refusal to engage, in these cases, would not have served me well. I imagine, accordingly, that an engaged evaluation of the relation between applied anthropology and currents in contemporary theory would be welcomed by many. Such a critical investigation could, perhaps, take as a point of departure Bruno Latours informed critique of the constructivist approach to science, or the recent debates about the cultural left in The Nation. "Not being interested enough to sort...out" the views of different postmodernists is probably not a good place to start - but it may explain why Youngs understanding of postmodernism and multicuturalism are so perplexing.
I am aware that Professor Youngs statements are not intended as full-fledged manifestos or the like. The January statement is somewhat more edifying, and perhaps he has elaborated on his position elsewhere as well. Still, any statement from the President which seeks to be constructive might have, ideally, offered for consideration some evidence along with its acrimony. Otherwise it leaves the impression that one must choose between applied anthropology (or, at least, the SfAA) and certain modes of theoretical reflection. I sincerely hope that is not the case.
PETER K. NEW AWARD
By Michael J. Evans <Michael_J_Evans@nps.gov>
National Park Service
The 1998 Competition for the Peter K. New Student Research Award was won by Ms. Devah Pager of the University of Wisconsin. The New Competition and Award is sponsored annually by the Society, honoring the late Professor Peter Kong-ming New, a former president of the Society.
Ms. Pagers winning paper was entitled, "The Interaction of Structure and Culture in South Africas Post-apartheid Schools". She completed the study while enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Cape Town. Ms. Pager is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Previously, she graduated in 1993 with highest honors from U.C.L.A. with a B.A. degree, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She spent a year at the University of Cape Town in South Africa under the aegis of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship program. In 1997, she earned the M.A. degree in sociology from Stanford University. She has been awarded a Jacob Javits Doctoral Fellowship at Wisconsin, where her faculty advisor is Professor David Grusky.
The New Award is presented each year to the student who submits the best research paper in the field of the applied social sciences. The winner receives a cash prize ($1,000) and an engraved Steuben crystal trophy ("Ascending Star"). The winner presents their paper at a featured session of the meeting.
The New Competition and Award was started in 1990 and is made possible by a generous bequest from New's widow, Mary Louie New. Each year, the Competition receives submissions from graduate students from the United States and abroad. The submissions are juried by a panel of distinguished social scientists and the Award winner is chosen in time for the winner to present their paper at the annual meeting. Several of the past winners have been reviewed and published in the Societys flagship journal, Human Organization.
HACKENBERGS RECEIVE MALINOWSKI AWARD
By Delmos J. Jones < firstname.lastname@example.org>
City University of New York
Donald D. Stull
University of Kansas
On April 24, 1998, the Society for Applied Anthropology bestowed the Bronislaw Malinowski Award upon Beverly Hackart Hackenberg and Robert Allen Hackenberg at its annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their contributions to theory, method, and the training of several generations of anthropologists have been abundant and inventive. Most importantly, they have brought their considerable skills to bear in the service of peoples and their problems around the world: from the indigenous inhabitants of the southern Arizona desert (Pima and Papago) to squatters in the Philippines, from urban Panamanians to meatpackers on the High Plains of Kansas.
Beverly Hackenberg holds a masters degree in sociology and demography from the University of Arizona and a certificate in epidemiology from the Centers for Disease Control. Her anthropological career began in the Philippines in the aftermath of World War II where she served as co-director of the U.S. Information Service.
As an applied anthropologist, she has been primarily concerned with health promotion and disease prevention among women in the Third and Fourth Worlds. Her work has taken her from the Philippines to the Tohono Oodham, or Papago, Indians of Southern Arizona to Panama and back to the Tohono Oodham. Along the way, she has been field director at the Bureau of Ethnic Research at the University of Arizona, a research associate in the Population Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-director of the Davao Research and Planning Foundation in Davao City, Philippines.
Beverlys most recent position has been as field director for several health-promotion projects based at the University of Arizona Health Science Center, where she has been assisting medical investigators to determine genetic risk factors in several National Institutes of Health projects: one on the transmission of epilepsy and a second on the susceptibility of astigmatism and amblyopia.
In 1961 Robert Hackenberg received his doctorate in applied anthropology in Cornell Universitys program in technological and ideological change. Bob is presently director of the medical anthropology doctoral program at CU-Boulder as well as a research associate of the National Center for Native American Mental Health Research and adjunct research scientist at the University of Arizonas Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology.
He has served as a research scientist or consultant to development agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, FAO, and to tribal and local governments in the United States, the Philippines, and Panama. He has held research positions with the East-West Center and the Urban Institute. He is past chair of the National Institutes of Health Study Section on Social Science and Population Research and former member of the National Research Council Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In recognition of his exemplary career, the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology bestowed upon him the Omer Stewart Award in 1997.
Together with Beverly, his work has combined cultural ecology, health, and demography in the service of the first people of southern Arizona. The Hackenbergs worked with tribal government to restructure their health department to provide for local empowerment, goal-setting, and participatory development of a comprehensive diabetes prevention program. Education, exercise, food selection and preparation, risk-factor measurement and management, and self-image improvement were all parts of this community-based program.
Robert Hackenberg has been an influential teacher and mentor, serving as primary academic advisor to more than 60 working anthropologists. Individually and as a professional and personal team, Robert and Beverly Hackenberg have had a monumental impact on the lives of their students and many of their peers as well. The Hackenbergs taught their students more than the theories and methods of anthropology&endash;they taught them how to be anthropologists. And they taught them personal and professional commitment.
Robert and Beverly Hackenberg are forging a continuing legacy of important works and lasting deeds. Their immense influence is also evident in the works and lives of many of todays applied and practicing anthropologists.
FROM THE EDITOR
As we scramble to get this issue of the Newsletter off to the printer, I am painfully reminded of several of Anthony Paredes "SfAA Presidents Letter[s]" in which he questioned the wisdom of our fixation with computers and other types of highfalutin technological devices that seemed to divert our attention from the important tasks at hand. Since returning to my office, after being out of the country for two months, I have thought of Tony often. My first morning back from Guatemala I attempted to boot up my computer only to be informed by my machine that it couldnt "find" my hard disk. I, of course, knew where it was and this was not exactly the type of message that I wanted to see. I stared at my blinking screen at one end of my office and at the huge pile of other things awaiting my attention in the other corner of my office and was fairly despondent. My "emergency" boot disk was of no use either. After half an hour of trying all kinds of things, including lighting a candle and pouring a libation to the patron saint of computers, I called the good folks in South Dakota, where the very pleasant technical support person at Gateway spent another 45 minutes trying other magical incantations - all to no avail. Eventually, she concluded something that all of us computer-dependent people literally quiver at hearing: my hard disk had expired.
Before signing off she made one final suggestion. Do you have a pencil with a good eraser, she asked. Sure, I sighed, thinking she wanted me either to jam it forcefully in one of my eyes or to start writing down everything that was on my hard drive. Take the case off your computer, she went on. As I stood fixated at the cables and blinking lights, she urged me to whack (gently) the hard disk with the eraser-end of the pencil. About the fourth time, not being so gentle now, the disk whirled to life. Dont shut it off until you can back up "critical files," she suggested, and well put a new drive in the mail tomorrow.
While I have been faithful about backing up data on a weekly basis, I was blissfully unaware how many things really are irretrievable. Before I could collect all of the vital pieces of information, the system locked up again and no amount of thumping the drive with an eraser, or anything else, could get a response. I have spent far too much time over the past couple of days re-installing software and lamenting the additional amount of time that it will take to tweak" many of these programs. Other things, like my e-mail directory, upon which I have become so reliant, have disappeared into the far beyond.
Tony Paredes dicta about our misplaced enchantment and dependence on these creatures is firmly (and probably visibly) embedded in my mind. A final observation on this topic: for those of you who did not know this. J. Anthony Paredes has a computer and is now online <Tony_Paredes@nps.gov>. Furthermore, some of his colleagues believe that he can program his own VCR and that he actually owns a cell phone. You heard it hear first.
On another note, Shirley Fiske, appreciative of the thought, writes to point out that in spite of what it says in the "Call for Papers" in the May issue of the Newsletter, she is not an employee at the Institute for Development Anthropology. She continues to work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A gentle reminder: you will probably receive this issue shortly before the abstracts for annual meetings are due in the SfAA office. Dont delay in submitting something for our annual gathering.
With baited breath we await the collection of Classics of Practicing Anthropology: 1978-1998 that is being compiled by Patricia Higgins and Anthony Paredes. See the ad on how to order a copy in this issue of the Newsletter.
And finally, a "call" for materials for this publication. Please send me items of group interest by November 1st. Thanks.
Michael Whiteford, email@example.com
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