SfAA PRESIDENT'S LETTER
By John Young
Oregon State University
I wish to begin this commentary by thanking the many members who responded with supportive comments about my last column. One reason it may have struck a resonant chord is that professionals often mix theory with personal belief in a way that defines their most basic motivation. In contrast, students typically regard theory as a confusing abomination; they tend to be initially disinterested and subsequently vulnerable to the latest and trendiest fad sweeping through the ivory tower. Perhaps the most interesting comment I received about the fad of postmodernism was from George N. Appell ("The Corruption of Scholarship: The Trickster as Anthropologist," Unpublished Paper). He frames the problem in terms of the mythical trickster whose beguiling ways lure people into a false sense of reality, and before they realize it, robs them of control and traps them. The delusion now has a firm grip on a number of elitist anthropology departments.
I agree with several of you who lamented about the damage already done in this regard. For example, I have heard of students searching endlessly through libraries to ensure that the terminology they use has the correct pedigree to avoid being "contested," and of others whose over stimulated imaginations subscribe to blatant absurdities, such as the notion that poverty, and by extension, most other societal problems, are mere social constructions. Moreover, their research proposals may be devoid of methods because of preoccupation with their own subjectivity.
I welcome the opportunity to respond to David Frossard's critical letter in this issue. I am aware that there are different nuances among the views of postmodernists, but I must admit to not being interested enough to sort them out. My interest is in addressing the core of their belief system, also explicitly shared by Frossard, which includes: 1) critiquing the essence of the scientific enterprise and 2) claiming that postmodernism offers new and "useful insights." I doubt that any scientist has ever said, "everything can be known with certainty through science." I see no sense in an attack on a bogus target that postmodernists "construct" and then "deconstruct" for their own convenience. Science is simply a systematic and empirically based means of discovery to reach an understanding of the world around us. Scientific knowledge is progressive and probabilistic, not absolute; and it is subject to change based on new findings. I am equally skeptical of the claim that postmodernists have contributed anything new to the "conceptualization of power relations" or any of several other subject areas where they pretend to be first. After considering the lack of justification they provide for these claims, I have concluded that they suffer from a severe case of historical amnesia.
The mission of the SfAA, ever since Margaret Mead and other like-minded social scientists founded the Society in 1941, goes beyond merely being "interested in engaged interaction." Our mission statement says, "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." Although the SfAA membership is diverse and inclusive, this mission is the substance that binds us together. Our journals document the success of our endeavor in applying social science over the past 57 years, and our attainments continue to grow.
SfAA guidelines for the content of applied training programs emphasize the teaching of methods. New members need to be aware that success depends on the proper use of methods and attention to empirical findings which limits and directs the interpretations of the investigator. This approach may be unacceptable to postmodernists because it restricts their "agency" to put their spin on the world any way they choose. Postmodern anthropologists operating in academia need only answer to each other, and they can enforce considerable conformity, even to the point of silliness, in the absence of a reality check. Applied anthropologists must answer to the clients, communities and organizations they serve in the real world. If their findings are weak and their recommendations are unsupported, they will fail and directly face the consequences, such as being fired or not being paid for their work.
Margaret Mead was an applied anthropologist; she frequently entered into debates with her colleagues, consistently upholding the professionalism of anthropology and its dependence on scientific inquiry, while demanding relevance to real-world problems. I have no question about whether she would approve of the present debate, or which side she would support. She believed that anthropology has something unique to offer the world, and she would be appalled to see it timidly imitating other disciplines and becoming increasingly self-absorbed.
Next, I wish to address Beatrice Miller's letter (1/98) about my earlier column touching on ethnocentrism in U.S. foreign policy toward China. I agree that ethnocentrism pollutes the atmosphere within as well as between nation-states, including China and the United States. To set the record straight, my view on the politics of Tibet is that the most realistic hope for the human rights of Tibetans is to encourage and support the already rapid liberalization and opening up of China; in this respect criticism and confrontation over the issue of independence that contributes to a sense of Chinese national insecurity and increased tension is counterproductive. Leaving cultural distinctiveness aside, the historical and political claims that China may have on Tibet, whatever their merits, have deep roots in a long history and bear little similarity to the hegemony exercised by Britain over its former colonies or by Russia over its satellite states in the former Soviet Union.
With the preciousness of a seventh grader, one of my professors in graduate school discovered that nation-state boundaries were inaccurate because they ignored cultural geography. This realization led him to re-draw the entire map of Latin America along ethnic lines for a class project. Political and economic interests, not to mention military and police forces, of course, prevent the world community from re-drawing nation-state boundaries except in rare cases; and even when division occurs, inevitably there are still smaller cultural groups left within the altered boundaries. The reality is that there are thousands of such groups, both large and small. Our discussions on human rights issues typically focus on the status and treatment of these groups by nation-states and the multinational institutions they sanction. If we intend to be effective, we have little choice but to work largely within this framework to support humane policies and greater degrees of local autonomy or partial sovereignty, rather than to agitate for thousands of independence movements.
Finally, I am pleased to report that the revised By-laws passed by an overwhelming margin. All members of the Society now have the right to vote, and we have added a new student position to the Board of Directors. During the Wednesday meeting of the Board in San Juan I appointed Carla Guerron-Montero, currently Chair of the Student Committee, to fill the vacant position until the next election. The new By-laws make us a more democratic, inclusive and professional organization. Also, I wish to thank Program Chair, Becky Joseph, for a very successful and energizing Annual Meeting in San Juan. In my next column I will comment on developments and initiatives now underway or pushed forward as a result of that meeting.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS
By Amy Wolfe, SfAA Secretary
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN
The Society's Board of Directors met for one-and-one-half days during the Annual Meeting in San Juan. This article highlights the results of discussions about a wide variety of topics. In addition, the Society held its general business meeting, at which the newly elected officers were installed. These officers are Linda Bennett, President-Elect; Anthony Oliver-Smith and Linda Whiteford, "Executive Committee;" and Alan Burns and Laurie Price, "Nominations and Elections Committee." The Board expressed its gratitude to those individuals who agreed to run for office and serve the Society, noting that it is an honor to be nominated. In addition, the President John Young and the Board acknowledged the fine contributions of outgoing officers Jean (Jay) Schensul, Past-President; Vince Gil and Juliene Lipson, "Executive Committee;" and John Donahue (Chair) and Nancy Greenman, "Nominations and Elections Committee."
Voting on the By-laws ballot was overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed amendments. One immediate consequence of the report on the By-laws ballot was that there now was a vacancy on the Board -- the new student representative position. The Board filled that vacancy by appointing Carla Guerron-Montero, Chair of the Society's Student Committee. Happily, Carla accepted that position. The next student representative will be selected through the Society's regular election process in the fall of 1998. Another ramification of the vote is that the text on the inside cover of Human Organization will be changed to reflect the revised By-laws.
The Society's financial status is excellent, largely due to the revenues acquired through the stock market, investments, and some donations. One area of concern is the diminishing income from Human Organization, due mainly to dropping institutional subscriptions.
The Board continued to discuss its visioning and long-range planning process. Goal-setting is important as a guide for setting priorities for the Society's Board and Committee activities. However, the Board views goal-setting and planning as a continuing process, where some goals are adjusted and new ones set over time. The current vision statement is a draft; we seek members' input and suggestions for revisions whether via the Society's web site or via other communication channels.
The Board heard reports from the Society's Awards Committees. Devah Pager is the recipient of this year's Peter K. New Award. The Society continues to have many qualified applicants and winners of that award, but the Board would like to see more entries from student SfAA members. SfAA and AAA have agreed that future winners of the Mead Award, which is jointly presented by both associations, will be announced at the AAA Annual Meeting. But, the plaque will be awarded at the SfAA Annual Meeting, where recipients will be invited to address the Society. Tom Weaver discussed his progress in putting together a volume containing Malinowski Award winners' papers, with introductory material on Malinowski's pioneering work in promoting the practice of anthropology. Based on input from the Malinowski Award Committee, the Board approved Thayer Scudder as the next prize winner. In addition, the Board was updated on progress toward establishing the Sol Tax Service Award, first approved at the Society's 1996 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. There now is a plan for defining Tax Award policies and procedures, and for raising sufficient funds to allow the first award to be presented in 1999.
The Society is moving in a direction of playing a more active role in policy formation than it previously did. In this vein, the Board approved the Policy Committee's recommendation that it serve as a catalyst to encourage members to use their expertise in policy-oriented ways. In addition, the Board approved the Committee's guidelines and procedures for obtaining Board approval for policy statements for at least one year, to determine their efficacy. The International Standards Committee is working hard to promote the Society's position that social elements should be reinstated into the World Bank's International Finance Committee policy. This Committee also has established a Development Policy Kiosk that, based on early feedback, is having a considerable impact.
Another important direction for the Society is to increase its international profile by attracting and retaining non-North American members and by engaging in international congresses. The International Committee organized sessions and engaged international attendees at the San Juan meeting and plans future activities. Both Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology are making progress toward incorporating more international advisory board members and publishing an increasing number of papers by non-North American authors.
Editors from the Society's publications reported to the Board. Van Kemper said that the formerly large backlog of Human Organization submissions has dwindled considerably, such that there is reasonable hope that new submissions -- if accepted -- could be published within six months. Don Stull will be the new editor of HO; Jeff Longhofer will take primary responsibility for the electronic side of the journal. Don and Jeff plan one thematic issue annually, may reinstate the former practice of including regular sections and columns on various themes, and more reader-friendly formatting. Alexander (Sandy) Ervin reported that he has enough commitments to publish Practicing Anthropology through 1999 and, perhaps, into 2000. However, he wants to maintain sufficient flexibility to publish, for example, time-sensitive pieces and articles by non-North American authors. To mark the 20th anniversary of PA, Pat Higgins and Tony Paredes are working on a classics issue. The Board approved the use of $10,000 of its reserve funds toward the production of this monograph. Michael Whiteford noted that the Newsletter has regular contributors including the President's remarks, reports on the other Society publications, treasurer and long-range planning reports, and chairs of the Policy, Student, and LPO Committees. Michael also emphasized the fast turnaround on submissions.
The Board expressed its gratitude to Becky Joseph and the 1998 Program Committee for organizing an exciting Annual Meeting in San Juan, a meeting marked by a strong local presence and by several innovations such as the training institutes that preceded the program. There has been considerable progress in planning the 1999 Annual Meeting. Willie Baber, the Program Chair, has established a Program Committee with representation both from the vicinity of the next meeting and from North Carolina, where he is located. The 1999 Annual Meeting will be held in Tuscon, Arizona, rather than New Orleans, the location the Board approved in its November 1997 meeting. After investigating, it became clear that the costs of holding a meeting in New Orleans were prohibitive. Laurie Price (Northern Arizona) was selected as the Program Chair for 2000. She is developing a historical theme for the conference. The Board did not select a site for the 2000 meeting, instead approving investigation of three potential sites -- Austin, Miami, and New Orleans.
In response to recent trends for the Society to co-sponsor its Annual Meeting with other organizations, the Board approved a policy statement governing such participation. The policy statement addresses the Society's responsibilities and it expectations for the co-sponsoring groups.
Funding for the SfAA-Environmental Protection Agency Cooperative Agreement has grown considerably in the past year, with an increasing number of projects throughout the country. Barbara Johnston emphasized that she wants the Environmental Anthropology program to shift from being reactive to others' needs to being proactive and praxis-oriented.
Representatives from several other committees reported to the Board. The Membership Committee has two main goals: to increase general Society membership and to improve services to students and LPO members. Carla Littlefield will continue to chair the Local Practitioner Organization Liaison Committee. The Student Committee continues its active agenda and next year plans, among other activities, to work on a draft constitution for students and to publish abstracts of students' work on the Society's web page. The Board also established some new committees. The Internet Committee was formed to recommend guidelines for how the Society best might expend resources for internet activities (e.g., publishing) and for how internet activities should be organized and operated. A Committee also has formed to prepare a minority methods training grant application to the National Science Foundation.
John Young ended the Board meetings by thanking the individuals rotating off of the Board and by saying that he looks forward to working with the new Board.
ON RETURN FROM SAN JUAN
By Rebecca Joseph
National Park Service
Many times over the last year and a half, people-who-should-know have counseled me that Program Chair is the Society's most important volunteer position. As Program Chair I was expected to lead, coach, cajole, coordinate, and fix a myriad of things so that the Annual Meeting would be well attended and broadly productive for each participant and for the field as a whole. My efforts to meet the demands of this role were aided by a tremendously active and effective committee, committed co-sponsors, and numerous individuals who pitched in to do whatever was needed with graciousness and humor.
In addition to promoting a central theme, my goals as Program Chair were the following:
If you missed the 1998 Annual Meeting, programs including abstracts are available for $12.00 (including shipping) from the SfAA Business Office. Thanks again to all who worked on what one Board member has called, "The Best International Meeting thus far and into the Millennium." Best wishes to my successor, Willie Baber, and the 1999 Program Committee.
By Ruthbeth Finerman
University of Memphis
The Society's Publications Committee oversees all publications of the Society. It recently completed a search for a new Editor-in-Chief of Human Organization, who will replace current Editor Robert Van Kemper (Southern Methodist) when his tenure expires at the end of 1998. The Committee is pleased to announce that Donald Stull (Kansas) has been appointed incoming Editor-in-Chief of HO. He and Associate Editor Jeffrey Longhoffer (North Texas) have already begun work on the editorship transition.
The Publications Committee has begun work on several other projects. A major new undertaking is the development of a Monograph Series. Among the first of these publications will be a tribute to Practicing Anthropology, currently being compiled and edited by J. Anthony Paredes (Florida S) and Pat Higgins (SUNY - Plattsburg). This special collection of published articles is tentatively titled The Best of Practicing Anthropology. Additional publications are being planned by Monograph Series Editor Alaka Wali (Field Museum - Chicago), who welcomes your ideas and submissions.
Other Publications Committee activities include contributing to the development of a new Internet Committee, and assisting with plans to republish the "Guide to Training Programs in Applied Anthropology," which may be published electronically. The Committee welcomes your input and suggestions relating to all Society publications. For further information contact Ruthbeth Finerman, SfAA Publications Committee Chairperson, Department of Anthropology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152; email@example.com.
By J. Anthony Paredes
Florida State University
The Past Presidents Advisory Council held its annual luncheon meeting on Friday, April 24,1998, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in conjunction with the SfAA 1998 Annual Meeting. In attendance were past presidents Carole Hill, John Singleton, Alvin Wolfe, Tom Greaves, Jean Schensul, Ted Downing, Nancie Gonzalez, and Tony Paredes; SfAA Business Manager Tom May also attended the meeting. Once Paredes has completed his report of the meeting to all the past presidents, Schensul will become chair of the Council.
As in 1997, the PPAC provided judges for the student poster competition at the Annual Meeting; for l998, the judges were past presidents Nancie Gonzalez, John Singleton, and Carole Hill, joined by SfAA members Jeanne Simonelli and Bunny Kaplan. There had been such an increase in the number of competitors in the student competition that the original slate of judges had to be augmented at the last minute. To smooth the flow of judging the posters in the future, past president Nancie Gonzalez volunteered to develop a set of guidelines, procedures, and scorecards, working in collaboration with student poster competition coordinator Buzzy Guilette.
The Council again sponsored the SfAA Oral History session at the Annual Meeting. This year's reminiscences and observations on the history of the Society and applied anthropology in general were presented by past presidents Nancie Gonzalez, Murray Wax, and Ted Downing. A small but enthusiastic audience entered the discussion afterwards. At the Council meeting itself, the past presidents were in agreement that efforts in recording the oral history of the Society should extend beyond just the past presidents.
The Past Presidents discussed and a number registered their disapproval of the recently changed statement of purpose of the Society as part of the bylaws revisions. Some wish to work to undo this change of the historic charter of the Society. In a similar vein, many of the past presidents expressed a concern for lack of appreciation for previous scholarship evidenced by some researchers today and the consequent failure to build upon what has already been discovered.
This discussion was stimulated in part by a suggestion from past-president John Bennett to organize a session for the 1999 Annual Meeting on "what have we learned in applied anthropology in the last 50 years." (Bennett could not attend the meeting but conveyed his suggestion via Paredes). Carole Hill volunteered to work with Bennett and others in developing a session along the lines Bennett suggested.
On a further historical note, a couple of the past presidents observed that the Program for the 1998 meeting did not include the list of past presidents and Annual Meeting locations that has become customary in recent years. A number of the past presidents attended a Saturday session organized by Joan Cassel and past president Murray Wax on the question "Can SfAA develop an institutional memory?" There was a strong consensus that something needs to be done to consolidate and conserve documents and living knowledge of the relatively recent past of the Society for the benefit of incoming officers and the membership generally. In many ways the Cassel/Wax session was an extension of the historical discussion at the Council meeting proper.
Finally, several of the past presidents -- including Tom Weaver, who was not able to attend the Council meeting -- graciously accepted the invitation to attend the April 23rd "Students Meet Past Presidents of the SfAA" luncheon organized by Carla Guerron-Montero, chair of the SfAA Student Committee. The Past Presidents Advisory Council continues to develop its own institutional memory and find channels for providing useful service to the Society in strengthening the organization and the profession.
By Dennis Wiedman, SfAA Treasurer
Florida International University
1997 was a banner year for the Society with revenues exceeding expenditures by $83,989; the fourth consecutive year that we can add to our fund balance. Revenues for 1997 were projected at $261,835; we actually realized revenues of $486,039. This additional revenue is due to the initiation of the EPA Cooperative Agreement and a gain from the sale of investments. Excluding these two items, the revenues were a reasonable $30,291 over 1997 budget projections and $19,033 over expenditure projections.
This year we initiated the very successful Cooperative Agreement with the EPA. The income of $135,384 was balanced by similar level of expenditures. During the year interest and dividends earned $30,158 and a sale of investments earned $58,529. The wise investment strategies of the Business Office, and the favorable stock market, were quite beneficial to us. Revenues were enhanced by our successful 1997 Annual Meeting in Seattle. With combined revenues received in 1997 and 1998 totaling $79,552, the meeting made a profit of about $14,346. Membership dues of $95,409 showed a strong increase of $6,117 over 1996.
Publications continue to be an important source of revenue, especially Human Organization which grossed $78,805 in institutional subscriptions in 1997. However, this amount was $10,000 less than earned 1996. Production costs of the Practicing Anthropology continue to exceed budgeted amounts by $5,579.
The Society has two trust funds: the Peter K. New Trust Fund and the Applied Anthropology Awards Trust Fund. Both are separately maintained and accounted for. They are not part of the Society's operating revenues. Trusts provide the vehicle to receive and manage tax-exempt donations. The Peter K. New Trust Fund began the year with a balance of $53,632, an increase of $17,373. In the beginning of 1997, the Applied Anthropology Annual Awards Trust Fund had a market value of $43,439, the $7,494 increase was a result of the growth in stock market value. The initiation of Sol Tax award campaign is the first award to come from this trust. For each dollar contributed, the trust will match a dollar.
We continue to function in the black for the fourth year in a row (see accompanying graph). This graph shows our revenues and expenditures for the past ten years. For comparability purposes the 1997 figures exclude the EPA contract. With total revenues of $350,655 and expenditures of $277,726, we ended the year with $72,929 over costs. From a more critical perspective though, if we exclude the EPA contract, the sales of stock, and interest investments, we spent $16,464 more than derived from revenues. This means that monies derived from investments paid for operational expenses. Without revenue gained from these assets an additional $7.00 in dues would have been needed from members.
At the beginning of 1997, our total fund balance in the reserve fund was $377,193. At the end of 1997, the balance was $461,180, an increase of $83,987 or 22.3 percent. In San Juan, the Board of Directors voted to take $10,000 from the reserve fund to produce the publication of the Best of Practicing Anthropology monograph.
At the end of 1997, our fund balance is about one and two thirds the amount required for one year's operating expenses. The Society is in a strong financial position for the present and can continue to enhance member services and benefits while not increasing membership dues for the foreseeable future.
The 1998 budget adopted by the Board of Directors in November maintains the same general expenditure levels as 1997, with additional line items to support the new publications committee, the past-president's committee and the international committee. 1998 projected expenditures total $444,159 which is $5,406 less than projected revenues.
Please take part in the SfAA strategic planning process as it is through this means that future initiatives are planned and budgeted for. In developing the 1999 budget, each committee will again be asked to link their activities to the SfAA strategic goals.
I want to thank the members and officers for their enthusiastic team work. Due to you the duties of Treasurer are greatly facilitated. Thank you very much. Dennis Wiedman, SfAA Treasurer, Office of the Provost, Florida International University, Miami, FL. 33199. (305) 348-2262. WiedmanD@FIU.edu; Web Page: http://www.fiu.edu/~wiedmand.
By Jude Thomas May, Manager
SfAA Business Office
The Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, last month was a great success. The Program Chair, Becky Joseph, did an exceptional job in arranging a stimulating group of sessions and an entertaining set of diversions.
Our Annual Meetings have not always worked so efficiently or attracted as many people. The registration for the San Juan meetings, for example, was 850 and that is twice the size of the average registration at our meetings fifteen years ago. In those days, we customarily registered 350 people, most of whom knew each other very well. Typically, the program was laid out in elite typescript and in a 5-7 inch format.
The increase in the size and quality of the Annual Meeting followed a conscious plan developed by the leadership in 1987-88. The plan called for (a) additional publicity and marketing, (b) an energetic outreach effort to link with other professional associations, and (c) the explicit direction that the meeting site should be in an "attractive" location. The plan reasoned that the meeting should "showcase" the Society to new members or individuals who were in attendance for the first time. If this succeeded, it was reasoned, we should be able to recruit new members and cement the loyalty of the old regulars.
The plan has succeeded beyond our expectations. We now recruit approximately 150-200 new members in association with the Annual Meeting registration. The registration figures now approximate 1,500 for domestic meetings and 850 for overseas meetings. Finally, the quality of the content has increased as well. The Program that Becky Joseph crafted is an excellent example. We have retained sufficient flexibility to permit each Program Chair and each site to develop and affix a unique stamp or direction. This was clearly the case in Puerto Rico. And, we expect that it will also be the case in Tucson, in April of 1999. Our meeting there will coincide with the International Mariachi Festival. Moreover, Chair Willie Baber is already developing plans for attracting high-visibility key note speakers.
From the beginning, we were sensitive to the concern that the growing size of the Annual Meeting could lead to the kind of impersonal, business-like "convention" that seems to typify many of the national associations. To counter this, we have tried to schedule open social events to encourage informal exchange. As before, we welcome any suggestions that you may have regarding ways to improve the Annual Meeting.
By Carla Guerron-Montero, Student Committee Chair
University of Oregon
During the 1998 Annual Meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Student Committee organized the workshop "Applied Anthropology Outside the Academy," aimed at students and professionals interested in learning more about a career as a practitioner. Carla Littlefield (Littlefield Associates), Ralph Bishop (International Survey Research), Margaret Weeks (Institute for Community Research), Edward Liebow (Environmental Health and Social Policy Center), Sarah Ann Robinson (American Indian Issues Committee), and Michael Kronthal (Environmental Protection Agency) participated in the workshop. In an informal and friendly environment, students and professionals learned first-hand information on the world of applied anthropology.
The fundamental goals of the workshop were to provide personal information regarding anthropological work outside the academy; to give guidance on how to start a career as a practitioner, and to offer advice on what a potential practitioner should or should not do in the world of Applied Anthropology. Among the invaluable suggestions given by these experienced professionals, several points can be highlighted. If you are interested in developing a career as a practitioner:
Students who wish to become applied anthropologists should consider the following advice:
Here are some of the "do's" and "don'ts" that were suggested by the participants:
Find out who needs those skills.
Develop interpersonal skills.
Develop friendly relationships.
Be afraid to change course of action.
Stop learning and developing new skills.
The participants also recommended to be aware that more often than not, jobs for anthropologists are not advertised as such; therefore, it is important to learn the "key words" that apply to anthropologists: analyst, communications expert, community expert, researcher, planner, program manager, and specialist are the most common. Currently, anthropology is mostly needed in non-governmental organizations, consulting firms, and interdisciplinary projects. In addition, anthropologists are being hired by companies for cultural brokerage, corporate philanthropy and social managing in national and international settings.
The Student Committee wishes to thank the participants and the audience for making this informative event a success. For further questions or suggestions, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, visit the Student Committee website at http://www.orst.edu/groups/sfaastu/.
By J. Anthony Paredes
Florida State University
On Saturday, April 25, l998, the American Indian Issue Committee held its semi-Annual Meeting at the SfAA Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation from Nancy Oestreich Lurie on "Sol Tax and Tribal Sovereignty." Lurie is Curator Emerita of the Milwaukee Public Museum and a past president of the American Anthropological Association. She worked closely with the late Professor Tax in facilitating the Chicago American Indian Conference of 1961. The conference was a watershed in the development of modern American Indian efforts toward self-determination, as articulated in the "Declaration of Indian Purpose" resulting from the conference and formally presented to then-President John F. Kennedy.
Lurie provided many interesting behind-the-scenes insights into the conference and offered thought-provoking observations about the relevance of the conference for anthropologists today. Included in the audience for Lurie's talk were a number of senior applied anthropologists who had attended the conference and/or knew Tax; they provided their own candid reminiscences and recollections about those times and events. Also, attending the committee meeting in Puerto Rico was 1996 SfAA Malinowski award winner Beatrice Medicine. Although she did not participate in the 1961 Chicago conference, she reminded those at the recent San Juan meeting of the challenges that still remain in acheiving the goals set by Indian people in the 1960s, especially during the current challenges to tribal sovereignty being brought by some members of Congress and others. Medicine urged the SfAA committee to continue working with the National Congress of American Indians, which provided the genesis for the Chicago conference in 1961.
During the past year, under the leadership of Co-chairs Sarah Robinson and Jonathan Reyman, the SfAA Indian Issues Committee has worked in support of a number of efforts by Indian people consistent with the principles adopted at the Chicago conference nearly fourty years ago. Committee members Darby Stapp, Kathy Rigby, and Phil Minthorn were particularly helpful in providing the impetus for an SfAA statement of tribal sovereignty that was presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. These committee members continue to provide the leadership in monitoring developments on the issue of tribal sovereignty.
In other action, the Committee and individual committee members provided support for the position taken by the National Congress of American Indians to secure appropriate tribal involvement in the proposed amendments to the national Historic Preservation Act.
The Committee now has a webpage linked to the SfAA web site. For the coming year, the Committee will work toward increasing its visibility on the Web, in Indian Country, and in the anthropological profession. Efforts in support of groups like the NCAI will continue.
The Rio Summit of 1992 launched the world into an era dedicated to ecological negotiation and socioeconomic reforms directed toward sustainable systems of development. Sustainable systems satisfy the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Agenda 21 promotes global partnership and biodiversity while addressing human and environmental problems. The goals of Agenda 21 reflect the principles of many individuals, agencies, institutions, and grassroots organizations around the world, including the holistic and applied principles of SfAA. Our commitment to participation in local-level systems around the world represents a resource, the allocation of which could enhance the goals of Agenda 21.
Applied social scientists help to define human and environmental problems at local levels. We formulate policy and evaluate programs. As humankind approaches the next millennium, what can we contribute to, and what do we know about the central and broadest canvass of human concern today, and how can SfAA respond institutionally to the major dialogue of today: survival of our species?
How can we protect the human habitat into the future? In considering our habitat, we are interested in the web of life and the physical elements of the earth upon which humankind is dependent. At the same time, we are concerned with how we organize ourselves as communities and distinct peoples to carry out the activities considered essential to our existence, and to do so in peace. Our focus is the shaping of an agenda for the new millennium. Faced with a changing resource base, growth in population, emerging new technologies, and evolving political alliances, the challenges to leadership are daunting. We are searching for understandings of present circumstances that will lead to the next steps.
Invited to share their thoughts are people from many backgrounds who have assumed responsibilities and provided insights into the nature of human circumstances and capacities. Our goal is an understanding of our plight. This renewed understanding will facilitate communication and cooperation into the indefinite future.
The Society for Applied Anthropology occupies a position of leadership from which to host this dialog. Our membership is involved with people from around the world in finding solutions to pressing human problems in a variety of areas such as agriculture, education, health, and conservation. SfAA is committed to addressing fundamental human needs. As social scientists we come from many cultures and have lived extended periods of time with others different from ourselves. We share in the daily lives of nomads, hunters and gathers, villagers, and city dwellers around the world. At the same time, we work in governments, international agencies, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and universities. Our common goal is to understand the human condition, and to find ways to move toward a healthier and more secure global community.
SfAA invites participation by scientists of various disciplines, individuals representing non-governmental and governmental agencies, grassroots organizations, or any individual interested in this topic.
How can we protect the human habitat into the future? Constructing Common Ground: Human and Environmental Imperatives. Conference themes may include: biological systems under extreme pressure; world food production and consumption; preserving and maintaining resources; climate variability and vulnerability, sustainable systems of development; energy conservation; changing values and shifting priorities; emerging new technologies and sustainable systems; environmental racism and vested interests.
The SfAA invites interested individuals to forward additional themes of interest to: Program Chair, Willie L. Baber, Department of Anthropology, U of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27412; Baberw@Durkheim.uncg.edu, (336) 334-5132, or Jerry A. Moles, Global Renaissance, Jmoles@igc.org.
By Willie L. Baber
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
It's Tucson, Arizonia in 1999! You probably noticed that the meeting location has been changed from New Orleans to Tucson; this will mean lower hotel rates. In addition, the 17th Annual International Mariachi Conference overlaps our meeting dates, April 20 - 25, 1999. Program Committee planning, at the local level, will include Mariachi Conference activities, including folklore workshops, art exhibits, and concerts.
The Program Committee is in place, although there may be a few additions or changes. Each member of the Program Committee is expected to organize one or more sessions around the 1999 theme: "Constructing Common Ground: Human and Environmental Imperatives." The task before us is this: How can we present through our membership interpretations of world conditions that invites a broader community to come and sit with us, in Tucson, as we search for solutions? I am asking the Program Committee to assist me in putting together the script. How do we fit the pieces together? The Program Committee is responsible for creating the context and ultimately describing the context to larger audiences, starting with our colleagues, and ultimately to the people who arrive in Tucson.
The abstracts are due October 15, 1998, and forms will be included in the August issue of the Newsletter. The Program Committee welcomes contributions on international, regional, and local perspectives, and from professionals within and outside of the SfAA, and from indigenous communities, worldwide. Please contact members of the Program Committee at the earliest possible date to develop your ideas and plans.
Can we perform the vision we create within the Program theme in Tucson? If so, we have demonstrated our skills as applied anthropologists and scientists. Are you a performer who can bring visions into reality? Demonstrate your skills by becoming involved.
I'll see you in Tucson!
By Robert V. Kemper
Southern Methodist University
A Summary of 1997 Editorial Activities. In 1997, we published 504 pages of content, including 51 articles and 5 commentaries, involving 88 total authors, of whom 35 are women, 50 men, 2 of unspecified gender, and 1 corporate author. In 1997, we received 95 manuscripts -- a figure higher than any of the prior four years. Over 300 persons were involved as peer reviewers of these manuscripts.
As of 20 April 1998, all 95 of these manuscripts had been processed, with 54 having been rejected and 41 accepted for publication. Through the Spring 1998 issue, i.e., vol. 57(2), 25 of these 41 papers had been published. The remaining 16 papers were still being revised by their authors and will appear either in the fall or winter issues of 1998. In addition, four more papers have been accepted among those submitted in 1998. The average age of the 20 accepted papers is 5 months, with a range from 2-10 months since date of receipt. In addition, we have another 21 manuscripts currently in the review process: 6 from February, 7 from March, and 8 from April.
Aside from the processing of new manuscripts and preparing accepted manuscripts for publication, we established the International Advisory Board and appointed the first eight members. The 1997-1999 Board members are: Erik Cohen (sociologist, Israel), John Connell (geographer, Australia), Ulf Hannerz (anthropologist, Sweden), and Sue Wright (anthropologist, United Kingdom). The 1998-2000 Board members are: Kaendi J. Munguti (anthropologist, Kenya), María Jesús Buxo Rey (anthropologist, Spain), Kalinda Tudor Silva (sociologist, Sri Lanka), and David Yen Ho Wu (anthropologist, Hong Kong).
In addition, we began the transition to the new editor, Don Stull (Kansas University), and his associate editor, Jeffrey Longhofer (University of North Texas), early in 1998. We have developed procedures for shifting the editorial operations to their universities as we move toward the end of 1998, when my four-year term comes to an end. More details about the transition will be provided to the Board of Directors at its meeting in Philadelphia in December and to the general membership of SfAA through the "Report from the HO Editor" as 1998 continues.
The year has brought success in reducing the "backlog" of manuscripts pending publication. As a result, we were able to schedule our first "thematic section" -- which will appear in the summer 1998 issue. Organized by Lenore Manderson and Ruth Wilson, the collection of five papers deals with "Negotiating with Communities: The Politics and Ethics of Research." We look forward to the possibility of including similar "thematic sections" in the fall and winter issues of 1998.
Finally, we encourage members to submit manuscripts for publication in Human Organization. We are in an excellent position to carry out rapid peer reviews and then rapidly move accepted papers toward publication. I believe that we have had a good year in 1997 and I am looking forward to 1998 being even better, as we continue to work to make the journal a more valuable benefit of membership in the SfAA.
The next issue of Human Organization may be characterized as being "down under and over all." We have several contributions from Australia and we also have several articles and commentaries concerned with applied anthropology over all the globe. Pending available space in this issue, we are scheduling nine articles in the regular section, another five articles in a special thematic section, and five contributions to the Commentary section.
The issue begins with an assessment of "The Resurgence of Applied Anthropology in a Post-Exotic World: An Australia Perspective," by J. L. Gordon of the University of Western Australia. Still down under, we learn about "Barriers and Strategies to the Development of Co-Management Regimes in New Zealand: The Case of Te Waihora," by Mark V. Prystupa, currently based at Yellowknife, Northern Territories, Canada. Moving above the equator, but remaining in the southwestern region of the Pacific, we discover the relationship of "Measuring Seining Strategies and Fishing Success in the Philippines," by Susan Russell (Northern Illinois University) and Rani T. Alexander (New Mexico State University). Still in the Philippines, the focus shifts to "Defining Indicators Which Make Sense to Local People: Intra-Cultural Variation in Perceptions of Natural Resources," by Virginia Nazarea, Robert Rhoades, Erla Bontoyan, and Gabriela Flora (all of the University of Georgia). Staying with the theme of natural resources, we move to the Middle East to learn about "Planning for Conservation: The Management of Vernacular Landscape in the Asir Region, Southwestern Saudi Arabia," by Mohammed Abdullah Eben Saleh. Still in the Middle East, we encounter the "Factory as Home and Family: Female Workers in the Moroccan Garment Industry," by M. Laetitia Cairoli. Then, still focusing on gender issues, we move to Los Angeles, California, where Dana Baldwin reports on "The Subsistence Adaptation of Homeless Mentally Ill Women." Continuing with the theme of gender issues, we shift our attention to Antigua, Barbados, to consider "Why Violence? A Test of Hypotheses Representing Three Discourses on the Roots of Domestic Violence," by W. Penn Handwerker.
Remaining in Latin America, we complete the set of regular articles by considering "Community Involvement in a Dengue Prevention Project in Marilia, São Paulo State, Brazil," by Peter J. Winch and his five Brazilian colleagues -- Sueli Yasumaro, María Elena Silva, María Teresa M. Andrighetti, María de Lourdes G. Macoris, and Cassia A. B. Mazine. Then, we present a long-awaited "thematic section" devoted to the topic "Negotiating with Communities: The Politics and Ethics of Research," which also is the title of the introduction by Lenore Manderson (Australia) and Ruth Wilson (a member of the Human Organization Editorial Board from Southern Methodist University).
Although the articles in this special thematic section are presented alphabetically, they begin with a continuation of the topical and geographical foci seen in the prior piece by Winch, et al. Carl Kendall (Tulane University) discusses "The Role of Formal Qualitative Research in Negotiating Community Acceptance: The Case of Dengue Control in El Progreso, Honduras." The following article, co-authored by Lenore Manderson, Margaret Kelaher, Gail Williams, and Cindy Shannon (all of Australia) deals with "The Politics of Community: Negotiation and Consultation in Research on Women's Health." Then, John D. O'Neil, Jeffrey R. Reading, and Audrey Leader consider "Changing the Relations of Surveillance: The Development of a Discourse of Resistance in Aboriginal Epidemiology." The next article, by John B. Waldram (of the University of Saskatchewan), deals with "Anthropology in Prison: Negotiating Consent and Accountability with a 'Captured' Population" with specific reference to Native Americans in Canadian prisons. The final article, written by Ruth Wilson, focuses on the role of "The Short-Term Consultant" in international health research in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to these riches, we offer five Commentary pieces. The first two are "global" and treat the "overall" situation of applied anthropology. The first deals with the World Bank. The second commentary, by Marietta Baba, describes the development and current status of the Commission on Applied Anthropology of the IUAES. This piece is especially timely, appearing as it does just before the Williamsburg International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
Finally, we have two interesting responses -- from Oriol Pi-Sunyer and Joel Halpern (both affiliated with the University of Massachusetts) -- to a commentary published in the winter 1997 issue. The authors, Anya P. Royce (Indiana University at Bloomington) and Robert V. Kemper (Southern Methodist University) offer a rejoinder entitled "Finding a Footing on the Moral High Ground: Connections, Interventions, and More Ethical Implications." This is, perhaps, the most wide-ranging and intriguing issue published under our editorship. We hope that you find more than one article to be of special value for your research, teaching, or practice.
By Alexander (Sandy) M. Ervin
University of Saskatchewan
Cultural Resource Management (CRM) and collaborations with Native Americans are the main topics for the Summer 1998 issue of Practicing Anthropology. Guest-edited by Darby Stapp and titled "Changing Paradigms in Cultural Resource Management," it contains articles by anthropologists, archaeologists, and some Indian people engaged in CRM. Stapp's introduction places the rapidly changing perceptions of CRM in the light of legislation, such as the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, and relations among government agencies, developers, and tribes. Now, traditional cultural resources and properties are seen not so much as objects of scientific information but more as functioning parts of contemporary Native American cultures.
Frequently serving as an intermediary among conflicting views of what is a traditional cultural property, Gail Thompson describes her work involving hydro projects in the Pacific Northwest. Kathy Kiefer shows how decisions about cultural resources continue to affect Indian people in ways not easily anticipated by non-Natives. Working directly for a tribal authority, Michael Burney, Jeff van Pelt, and Tom Bailor, show how they conduct their CRM work. Then they outline the operations of a summer educational program combining archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and Native expertise. Darby Stapp and Julie Longnecker provide an overview of current Native American needs to participate in CRM, as well as some obstacles to this process. Cognitive mapping is the theme of Diane Austin's article, which shows how useful that technique is for transmitting knowledge to future Native generations. Rob Winthrop, familiar to PA readers through his column "The Real World," contributes an engaging thought piece. He defends Native American "reinterpretations" of their own culture through an ingenious comparison to the frequent reinterpretations of culture and liturgy within that most venerable of institutions -- the Roman Catholic Church. Finally, Tom Greaves provides commentary about the issues raised through the articles, followed by Phillip Minthorn, a Native American long-involved in CRM.
We are pleased to announce the future development of a column on international topics important to our members. The column will be edited by the SfAA's current chair of International Affairs, Alaine Anciaux of the Free University of Brussels. Also, following PA's mandate to internationalize, we will be constructing an international advisory body. Using this summer's IUAES meeting in Williamsburg as a springboard, we are going to solicit a few theme issues about anthropological practice in other countries.
Unfortunately for a while, we are going to have to restrict the flow of papers and special issues of PA. This is because, we already have commitments that will take us early into the year 2000. Upcoming issues include one involving graduate students [20(4)], an editor's choice issue [21(1)], and then later in 1999, issues on applied anthropology in Cuba, anthropology and conflict resolution, applied linguistics, and possibly two issues on business anthropology. This backlog is unfortunate, since PA is meant to be timely and provide quick opportunities for practitioners to report on their activities. So, the SfAA's Publications Committee is working on ways of clearing the backlog and we will announce, through this newsletter, when submissions can be again more rapidly accommodated. Incidently, this does not mean a total moratorium on individual submissions, commentaries, and books for review, but it does mean that negotiations for new theme issues will have to be postponed, and, in most cases, that it will take longer than a year to see your articles in press.
The addresses and phone numbers for the editorial office of Practicing Anthropology remain: Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, 55 Campus Drive, 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; my E-mail address is email@example.com.
By David Frossard
Colorado School of Mines
I joined SfAA recently in hopes of bypassing the narrow theoretical stridency I too often see in the AAA at large, in favor of real action by anthropologists living in an unequal world. So what do I find in my first SfAA Newsletter? A rant by SfAA President John Young on the evils of "postmodernism" (SfAA President's Letter, January 1998). Let me do a little ranting of my own here:
"Postmodernism" isn't a single "ism" at all, but a diverse collection of theoretical and subject interests. Some of the "postmodernisms" are virtually impenetrable to outsiders, sure. A few strains deny the possibility of knowing anything at all (think of these as extreme, but ultimately healthy, challenge to the opposite view, that everything can be known with certainty through science).
More to the point, some postmodernisms offer extremely useful insights on conceptualilzing power relations and, particularly, on the need to rethink and be skeptical of the truth-claims of science. And what's wrong with that? Informed skepticism -- making distinctions between science and scientism (now there's an "ism" we should be worried about) -- is a very old project in the social sciences, and several variants of postmodernism brings some flavorful new wine to that old bottle.
In any case, as a practitioner of anthropology, I'm more interested in engaged interaction with human problems than this interminable yadda-yadda-yadda about "postmodernism." Haven't we yet had enough of this tired debate in anthropology? Instead of theoretical navel-gazing and turf-defending, isn't it time we focused our energies on dealing with the problems people face in their daily lives?
I'm really not defending "postmodernism" here. I just want the broadest possible range of theoretical tools at our disposal (even if some of those tools refuse to coexist harmoniously). Can't we agree to let at least a few flowers bloom in the anthropology field? If we're so hot on diversity, why do we try so hard to stamp it out in our internecine debates?
Of course it's important to try to "know what we know" (and the "postmodernisms" are often crucially concerned with this point, though not in ways guaranteed to be pleasing to Young). But in the end, mere epistemology fails if we don't know what we know about something worth knowing. Would Margaret Mead be proud of our debate? Isn't it time to get back to our real work? Sheesh.
By Edward C. Green
Independent Consultant, Washington, D.C.
Director of Indigenous Knowledge Study Group
The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria
I (Green) met Mike Warren at a cocktail party in Accra, Ghana, in 1977. Here was an anthropologist who held a tenured faculty position (at Iowa State), yet he was also applying anthropology in intriguing ways. Most recently at that time, he had started a program in which Ghanaian health authorities were working collaboratively with indigenous healers in order to prevent deaths from diarrhea and dehydration. I was immediately intrigued by this alternative: instead of teaching yet more sections of intro anthro, I could be actually saving lives by applying anthropology. When I expressed interest in Mike's project, he strongly encouraged me to become involved, either in Ghana or in any poor country.
I was not used to this kind of invitation. I thought established scholars in whatever academic field jealously guarded their turf and regarded neophytes as gate crashers, as threats. Life was a zero-sum game where my gain meant your direct-proportional loss.
So I put aside the mysteries of matrilineal descent and complementary filiation (my dissertation topic) and became an applied medical anthropologist, and in fact used Mike's traditional healer project as a model for similar programs begun in several African countries. Mike encouraged me enthusiastically every step of the way.
Mike Warren died suddenly of an embolism on December 28, 1997, at the age of 56, just a day after he had returned to Ara, Nigeria, the site of much of his recent research and that of his students at Iowa State. Warren's contribution to anthropology was the way he "packaged" what he called indigenous knowledge systems (IK) in a way that USAID, the World bank, UN organizations, and other international groups could immediately understand and, more importantly, incorporate into the way they approached economic development&emdash;and people&emdash;in developing countries. The Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development (CIKARD) at Iowa State became the prototype for IK Centers that have sprung up in some 35 countries globally. The IK approach to development pulls together elements that anthropologists and allies have long promoted but often found development organizations resistant to adopt, e.g., recognition of the depth, empirical accuracy, and functionality of indigenous knowledge, and the futility of trying to impose on people alien ways of thinking and doing, even those in need of financial and technical assistance.
Mike was buried at Ara, in accordance with his wishes. The kings of Iragberi, Awo, Ojo, and Ikunsin towns and their traditional chiefs came to Ara to attend the burial. The Olubadan of Ibadaland also sent delegates. The presiding king directed that all markets and shops be closed on the day of the funeral, an honor normally reserved for kings' funerals. Mike was in fact a Chief, having been formally installed in both Ara and the town of Ojo in recent years (an honor also bestowed on him in Ghana). His chiefly titles were Father of Economic Prosperity, and Community Developer.
The burial attracted the largest crowd ever witnessed in the history of Ara, according to residents. Kings, chiefs, professors, and untitled people whose lives were touched by Mike had much to express at graveside, but their comments cannot be recorded here.
If space permitted, voices from Africa and beyond could tell their own stories of good works of the ubiquitous Mike. One might think that with all this helping people and having major impact on powerful international organizations, surely there must have a trade-off? After all, professors do not normally get promoted for simply doing good. Somehow Mike found time to produce 29 books, monographs, or manuals; 44 book chapters, 51 journal articles, 61 book reviews, 26 technical reports, and 60 conference papers. But as impressive as this scholarly output might be for the rest of us, it was relatively small part of Mike Warren's legacy. Mike didn't worry about compromising his academic purity by trying to help people. And surely the people whose lives were enriched by this help didn't worry either.
By Carla Littlefield
The term "local practitioner organization" belies the fact, that many LPOs are regional in focus. For example, the "High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology" (HPSfAA) is geographically centered in Colorado, but attracts its 145 members mostly from states in a broad western area ranging from Nebraska and Kansas to Arizona and Montana. Members keep in touch via an E-mail listserve, newsletter, journal, Annual Meeting in Estes Park, and annual retreat at Ghost Ranch. Contact Lenora Bohren for information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another LPO with a regional focus is the "Mid-South Association of Professional Anthropologists" (MSAPA). MSAPA currently has over 100 members drawn predominantly from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Meetings held in the Memphis area last year had a regular attendance of around 20. MSAPA's accomplishments include the inauguration of a speakers series, newsletter, and member profiles. Future plans include a membership directory, an E-mail listserve, web page, field trips, workshops, small conferences, discussion groups, political lobbying, and fun parties. If you would like to join this organization and participate in its current activities or future plans, contact Cindy Martin: cmartin@memphisedu.
The "Southern California Applied Anthropology Network" (SCAAN) is in its 14th year and holds monthly meetings in southern California. SCAAN's newsletter, Connect, carries meeting announcements, summaries of meeting presentations, announcements of other professional meetings and job listings. It also features area anthropologists who have been in the news. SCAAN's aim is to help anthropologists living and working in southern California to form links with one another.They welcome students, faculty, and practicing anthropologists. For more information, contact Amy Catlin: email@example.com.
The LPO luncheon, held at SfAA's Annual Meeting in San Juan, was co-sponsored this year by SfAA and the "Sun Coast Organization of Practicing Anthropologists" (SCOPA) The annual luncheon tradition, established by Muriel Crespi, continues to be well received and is an important source of encouragement and new ideas for LPO leaders.
The National Association of Practicing Anthropologists (NAPA) may follow SfAA's lead and offer a similar luncheon at the AAA meetings in the fall. To submit information for the LPO News column or communicate about LPO issues, please contact SfAA-LPO Liaison, Carla Littlefield: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Robert T. Trotter, II
Northern Arizona University
The Committee on AIDS coordinated one event at the SfAA Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico and currently has two policy statements on AIDS under review by the committee and the SfAA Board of Directors.The AIDS Committee sponsored a panel discussion to promote the reiteration and potential additional development of ethical guidelines for anthropologists conducting research on AIDS and drug abuse during a Wednesday afternoon session at the Annual Meetings.The panel was created as one part of an AIDS Committee ad hoc working group on research guidelines for ethnographers working in the area of AIDS, drug abuse, violence research, social network studies, and sexual transmission of HIV. The ad hoc group is chaired by Robert Trotter (Northern Arizona U.), and Co-chaired by Merrill Singer (Hartford Hispanic Health Council). The ad hoc working group was created following a request from Dr. Richard Needle (National Institute on Drug Abuse) to provide a review, discussion, and clarification of the ethical guidelines that pertain to ethnographers who are conducting research relevant to HIV prevention and intervention in drug using populations. The ad hoc committee met in Hartford, CT, at the Hispanic Health Council in January of this year. A report on the discussion of the ethical guidelines proposed by the committee will be presented to the SfAA board for comment and distribution, and will be discussed in the Newsletter in forthcoming issues.
The panel was held Wednesday afternoon at the Annual Meeting and consisted of university based and independent AIDS researchers, as well as representatives of federal agencies.The panel was conducted as a working session, with excellent participation from the audience in addition to panel members. Panel members provided a historical overview and a current review of the existing laws and guidelines for ethical research involving human subjects in the United States. This included brief review of the primary ethical principles presented in the Belmont Report and a description of current guidelines, such as the joint guidelines on establishment of Institutional Review Boards (IRB's) for both funded and unfunded research. Panel members then presented some of the basic approaches and pragmatic conditions that apply to conducting ethnographic research that involves working with individual who are at risk for AIDS infection, or who have become infected through drug use as well as sexual risks.
Panel members and audience members made recommendations on the special conditions that apply to ethnographic research on HIV, drug abuse, violence, and other high risk situations, described pragmatic process for accommodating IRB and other ethical reviews that involve ethnographic research, and presented some of the ethical dilemmas created by competing ethical principles needing to be applied to the multiple constituencies that are common in ethnographic field research. Case examples of both safety issues and ethical dilemmas were presented and discussed. A very lively, positive, and informative discussion ensued. The working discussions and principles identified by the panel and audience are being summarized to be incorporated into the ad hoc working group's report.
The AIDS Committee is hoping to expand its activities and membership during the next year, and to increase the visibility and contribution of the committee at the Annual Meeting, Newsletter, policy advocacy process, etc. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the committee, proposing new activities, helping host committee meetings, or participating in the ad hoc working group on ethical research guidelines should contact Robert T. Trotter, II, Department of Anthropology, Campus Box 15200, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011. E-mail: Robert.Trotter@NAU.edu, Telephone: (520) 523-4521. Please be prepared to be put to work on these issues.
By Laurie J. Price
Northern Arizona University
Having taught applied anthropology a number of times at Northern Arizona University and having seen how valuable it is to students, I became interested in working on new course materials. Publishers asked me how many departments were teaching specific courses in applied anthropology. After informal canvassing, I discovered that no one seemed to know this. So, in the fall of 1997, I carried out a survey, using a systematic sample of 47 of the 239 departments in the AAA Guide
Here is the most important finding. Only 34% of anthropology departments offer applied anthropology. This means that two-thirds of anthropology students have no access to such a course. The rate is very similar for departments that do and do not have graduate level training programs (there is actually somewhat lower access in departments that offer graduate degrees). For some time now, it has been known that over half of new Ph.D.s (and surely a much higher proportion of new M.A.s) find employment outside of university settings. In view of this, the dearth of applied anthropology courses points to a very sad disarticulation between academic anthropology curricula and the real world that students face upon graduation. Where it is taught, applied anthropology courses are usually available to both graduates and undergraduates, either separate or combined courses.
This survey also asked about "applied content in other courses not called applied." Of the 37 departments surveyed, 78% report applied content in other anthropology courses. A partial listing follows: Urban Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Culture Change, Biological Anthropology, North American Indians, Introductory Anthropology, Women and Development, Culture and Conflict, Development, Culture and Education, Food and Nutrition, Public Archaeology. As part of such courses, this material obviously contributes to students' understanding of skills and concepts useful in applied work. The question comes to mind, however: does such content really provide students with what is needed to understand the various structures of practice and to move into a professional role as an anthropologist?
My graduate student assistant, Martha Crowley, deserves recognition for her effort in obtaining most of the data, by E-mail or phone, on which this report is based; the survey response rate was 82%, thanks to her persistence.
By Robert T. Trotter, II
Northern Arizona University
The SfAA Board of Directors is encouraging the formation of Topical Interest Groups (TIG's) to provide SfAA members with forums, discussions, networking, social activities, and Annual Meeting events that bring together individuals who share a common interest and want to pursue it within the overall mission of the SfAA.
TIG's can be organized around virtually any topic that is of interest to SfAA members, and they can promote interaction that ranges from fun and almost frivolous to serious, weighty and formal. The Golf TIG described in this Newsletter is a good example of the fun type (see accompanying article), while TIGs on special research interests (intellectual property rights, disability issues) or focusing on world areas (regional interest groups) would represent the other approach. Please note that no TIG should consider itself excluded from having fun or promoting serious goals, regardless of the topic of interest.
The process of TIG formation is to:
Both the creation and renewal requests can be submitted on a form available on the SfAA Web Site, or from the TIG Coordinator. To avoid overburdening this process, the requests for creation and annual renewal of TIGs will be restricted to a single sheet of paper (front and back).
The obligations for TIGS include: 1) creating the possibility for interaction of SfAA members on a topic of interest at the Annual Meeting, and during the year, 2) providing information to the SfAA Newsletter about TIG activities at least on an annual basis, 3) providing information for the formation of a TIG section of the SfAA Web Page, and 4) making life more interesting for TIG members.
Anyone interested in creating a TIG, or in renewing a TIG that is currently in existence should contact: Robert T. Trotter, II, Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011 (E-mail: Robert.Trotter@NAU.edu).
By Robert T. Trotter, II
Northern Arizona University
The SfAA Golf Topical Interest Group held its first annual outing at the Bahia Beach Plantation golf course, on Thursday, during the annual SfAA meeting in San Juan Puerto Rico. The TIG was organized and co-chaired by Bob Trotter (Northern Arizona U.) and Bryan Page (U. Miami). This year the G-TIG outing was conducted as an ad hoc special event, advertised through ANTHAP, and word of mouth. The outing was considered a smashing, pitching and putting success by all participants. The Golf TIG combines participant observation with the intellectual and evaluative aspects of golf (social discourse and critique being a key part of the TIG's success). The G-TIG organizational chart currently consists of the two organizers, an official mascot-ethnographer (Merrill Singer, Hispanic Health Council), and several charter members.
The Bahia Beach Plantation was a particularly spectacular setting for the first outing. The front nine plays through tight fairways lined by coconut palms and waterways, while the back nine includes palms, swamp, and sea. The course provided a challenge for all players with narrow landing areas, hidden pot bunkers and fast greens complicated by a constant tropical breeze that kept the players cool, but the shots hot. The back nine are capped by a final three holes (a lengthy par 5 and two par 4's) that play along a picture perfect Puerto Rican beach and blue lagoon. The tee time chosen for the outing allowed the players to experience the final holes close enough to sunset to create a superb view of the sea in full color and the sky tending toward pink.
Over the next year Golf TIG activities will include events at the Annual Meeting, in addition to ad hoc meetings and outings around the country sponsored by TIG members. The Annual Outing will continue in Tucson, with times and course to be announced. This event will be more widely advertised to provide greater access to new potential TIG members. There will also be organizational activities (a get acquainted gathering, and a discussion group) and the development of a TIG web page. We are encouraging local TIG activities which will be happily publicized through the SfAA Newsletter. Organizational G-TIG memberships are available (free) for any institutions (businesses, governmental agencies, local practitioner organizations, or academic departments) boasting two or more TIG members. Photos of TIG events are welcome, as well as offers for networking among TIG members who are willing to host other members at a local course. Anthropologists traveling around the country are encouraged to contact the TIG co-chairs for information about networking opportunities. For further information, contact Bob Trotter (E-mail: Robert.Trotter@NAU.EDU).
By Rob Winthrop
On behalf of the IPR group, Tom Greaves (Bucknell) organized an excellent session at the San Juan meetings entitled "Coming to Terms with Intellectual Property Rights." The papers in the session discussed, among other topics, mechanisms for benefit sharing in pharmaceutical development of traditional plant knowledge; efforts to protect the name of the Lakota leader Crazy Horse from commercial exploitation; and the implications of intellectual property rights for anthropological research among American Indian communities.
At our business meeting, Tressa Berman (Arizona State - Phoenix) was chosen by acclamation as the next chair of the IPR topical interest group. Much of her research has concerned the intersection of IPR, indigenous arts, and museum policy. Tressa can be reached at (602) 543- 6026, or by E-mail at email@example.com.
Ann McElroy (SUNY - Buffalo) and attorney Robert Gough agreed to organize a session for the 1999 meetings on legal dimensions of IPR in relation to anthropological practice. Ann's Em-ail is firstname.lastname@example.org; Bob can be reached at email@example.com.
Mariette van Tilburg has agreed to run the IPR E-mail discussion listserve, which operates as channel 3 of ANTHAP. To subscribe (or to quit), send an E-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments for the list should be sent to email@example.com. If there are questions or problems regarding the list's operation, contact Mariette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the business meeting it was also agreed to compile a directory of members of the IPR group, with information on research interests, bibliographic suggestions, and other crucial information. We hope to implement this on a web page. Stay tuned to anthap3 for further insights.
It's been an interesting experience chairing this fledgling interest group for the past two years. I'm convinced that IPR will be a critical issue for the future of anthropology.
ENVIRONMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGY PROJECT
SfAA/EPA Fellowship Program Director
The SfAA Environmental Anthropology Project is pleased to announce the initiation of a new technical assistance project, "The Brownfields/Eastward Ho! Project" funded through the SfAA/EPA Cooperative Agreement. This technical assistance project represents an effort to elicit public participation in brownfield redevelopment in the Eastward Ho! corridor of South Florida. It was developed in response to concerns identified by the Brownfields Stakeholder Workgroup and by David Driscoll (SfAA Environmental Anthropology Fellow) during the course of his June-December 1997 fellowship assistance to The Brownfields/Eastward Ho! Partnership.
Employing a range of ethnographic methods and collecting sociocultural data, David Driscoll will develop a case study on methodologies for profiling and assessing the range of communities affected by brownfields issues. Issues of concern include developing and employing strategies that allow an evaluation of potential routes of exposure for community members of differing ethnicities, ages, genders, and classes.
Products resulting from this technical assistance project will include a report on the Model City community in Miami-Dade County selected as the first demonstration area. Driscoll will work with members of Brownfields Stakeholder group to develop and employ an outreach campaign intended to elicit community support and participation in the above mentioned study; will meet with community participants in key-informant or group interviews to verify the findings from community profiling work; and, will meet with agency and regional governmental representatives to communicate some of the most common concerns and perceptions possessed by local residents.
Driscoll will also assist the newly created Eastward Ho! Brownfields Partnership GIS Committee to create a GIS map of the Southeastern corridor's economic, social, and historic attributes, and an overlay of the potentially contaminated sites, transit corridors, and EEC zones in the corridor. The data-base will include regional health data that may prove useful for future epidemiological investigations of the region.
This technical assistance project began January 1, 1998, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 1998. Periodic updates will be posted on the Environmental Anthropology Project page on the SfAA www site. If you are interested in learning more about this project please contact David Driscoll at: Driscoll@luna.cas.usf.edu or Barbara Johnston at : email@example.com.
On February 26-27, 1998, the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida hosted a Social Science Symposium in Key Largo, Florida. The Society for Applied Anthropology, through the SfAA/EPA Cooperative Agreement, provided funding for consulting anthropologist Laura Ogden to assist Bonnie Kranzer (Executive Director of the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida) and Karen Ferro (Resource Management Specialist, Everglades National Park) in their efforts to organize this symposium. Other agencies supporting this symposium include NOAA, NPS and EPA.
Anthropologists attending this working symposium include Dennis Wiedman, Miki Crespi, Shirley Fiske, Barbara Johnston, Cindy Katz, Setha Low, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Anthony Parades, Carla Slocum, Susan Stans, and Theresa Trainor. They joined a group of 100 environmental social scientists over a two-day period to: a) critically assess a number of project feasibility studies drafted by the Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and other agencies involved in ecosystem-restoration; b) to identify the gaps in project planning and public participation; c) to define and prioritize social science needs for specific projects, and for the region in general. A central theme emerging from this symposium was the recognition that resolving urban problems in any sort of sustainable fashion requires an awareness of the biophysical parameters of South Florida. And, resolving the biodegenerative crisis in the Everglades requires confronting and incorporating human needs.
With 4.5 million people living adjacent to one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world, the task is formidable. The demographic mosaic -- with culturally diverse communities characterized by extreme socioeconomic inequity -- further complicates the problem. Common findings from the break-out group review of studies, plans and proposed projects include recognition that methods, strategies and actions involving the human perspective and reflecting the diversity of human needs have largely been ignored, yet are essential to the Everglades problem definition, restoration planning, and project implementation process.
While a broad range of social science activities and research were recommended by the workshop participants, the most common and highest prioritized need was the inclusion of sociocultural information, concerns and the utilization of participatory involvement strategies at the earliest phases of the planning process. Recommended actions included stronger use of baseline sociocultural surveys, rapid ethnographic studies, and community profiles.
An unanticipated outcome of this workshop was the creation or reinforcement of linkages within the interdisciplinary environmental social science community; and, linkages between this community and the environmental planners, policy analysts, and project officers working for various county, state and federal agencies. Findings from the symposium will be used to generate an action plan for social science involvement in the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. As a problem-solving and institutional capacity-building forum, the Social Science Symposium represents an exciting model that could easily be reproduced in other settings. The resulting Action Plan represents both a planning and problem-solving tool, and can be used to justify increased funding for the human dimensions of environmental planning and problem-solving process.
By James Beebe
Miguel Vasquez Northern
The SfAA Guide expands the information/access currently found on the SfAA Web page entitled "Related Organizations and Training Programs." The Web-based SfAA Guide is intended:
The SfAA Guide will include (1) other degree programs that use applied anthropology and related applied social science approaches in a variety of fields and (2) units, agencies, firms, organizations, etc., that do not offer training or degrees in addition to departments that offer training in applied anthropology. There can be multiple units from an institution.
Units, departments, organizations and agencies wishing to be included should submit a brief narrative describing their program, the name of the contact person, information on how to contact the contact person, and when available a Web address for the unit and the email address of the contact person. Submissions for academic departments might include the following: program goals and focus, degree requirements, financial support for students, current graduate and undergraduate enrollments, number of graduates in 1997-98, internship and practicum experience availability, courses with applied anthropology content, statement of community involvement or activities, willingness to work with communities, and potential employment opportunities. Information can be submitted as hard-copy to Brenda Broussard, 818 Bellemead Blvd, Gretna, LA 70056. (Electronic copy should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Narratives should not exceed what can appear on one computer screen. The SfAA reserves the right to edit what is submitted. It is the responsibility of programs involved to submit information on program changes as they become available.
The Guide is Web-based to minimize the costs of reproduction and distribution of the information, eliminate costs to the programs for inclusion, minimize management costs of keeping the system up to date, and increase exposure to the broader community. The Web site will include a moderated "forum" where departments, agencies, and organizations can communicate among themselves by posting messages and can post information including position announcements, grants, agency reports, announcements of publications, etc. Individuals needing a hard copy can contact the SfAA Business Office.
The Guide will also include updates of Erve Chambers' "A Partnership in Training," John van Willigen's "Issues for Preparing for Careers in Applied Anthropology," and pieces on the future of Applied Anthropology, student perspectives, and LPOs.
By Tomoko Hamada
College of William and Mary
After the very successful SfAA Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico, you may be thinking "global," and would like to expand your international network. I would like to remind you that there will be a very large international meeting of anthropologists this summer. While "traditional" anthropologists are well aware of this global meeting, I would like to encourage more applied anthropologists to participate in the 14th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.
The Anthropology Congress is held every five years in a different part of the world and the Williamsburg Congress will be the last one in this century. The 13th Congress was held in Mexico City in 1993, and the 1988 Congress was at University of Zagreb, Yugoslavia. The last American Congress in the 1970s was organized by Margaret Mead and Sol Tax, and held in Chicago.
The theme of the 14th International Congress, which will be held at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, is "The 21st Century: The Century of Anthropology." The organizers are keeping special sessions and panels for applied anthropology. This will be your chance to make a difference in anthropological discussions.
The Williamsburg Conference has three specific objectives: First, to reflect on the accomplishments and lessons of the past 100 years of anthropology; second, to examine the challenges of anthropology in the new millennium; and third, to explore the application of insights of anthropology to public policy, education, business, and human services. Organizers are aware that there are many anthropological "realities," produced and reproduced in local and global systems of thought and knowledge. This awareness encourages us to clarify the issues we confront in light of the insights we have gained as anthropologists since the Torres Strait expedition of 1898. Participants will discuss the role of anthropology in understanding human societies and the problems they face in the 21st century.
The Congress will begin with the Mario Zamora Memorial Lecture presented by Professor Conrad P. Kottak of University of Michigan, entitled "Challenge to the State." Dr. Zamora, an applied anthropologist specialized in diplomacy, law, and anthropology, taught in the Department of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary for more than fifteen years, was actively involved in the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, serving as a member of the Executive Council, vice-president, and president. It was due to Dr. Zamora's indefatigable efforts that the 14th International Congress was awarded to Williamsburg. The second plenary session will explore possible directions and roles of anthropology and anthropologists in solving human problems in the next millennium. The Congress will end with the presidential address on Saturday, August 1, which will be future- and action-oriented.
The Union's international commissions are organizing symposia, among others, on AIDS, Documentation, Tourism, Human Rights, Global Change, Nomadic Peoples, Urgent Anthropological Research, Gender, Epidemiology, and the Policy and Practice of Anthropology. In addition to symposia organized by these commissions, 120 scientific sessions, workshops, and panel discussions are being organized. There will be international business sessions by the Commission on Anthropological Dimensions of Global Change, the Commission on the Global Practice of Anthropology, the Commission on Urban Anthropology, the Commission on Urgent Issues in Anthropology, the Commission on Human Ecology, to name a few.
If you are interested in participating in any of the scientific sessions, panels, workshops, and business sessions please contact Ms. Oriana Casadei, Congress Coordinator, as soon as possible. Her E-mail is: email@example.com, Telephone (757) 221-1870, Fax (757) 221-1734.
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the American Anthropological Association has received a major addition to the fund supporting the "Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology." This has significantly enhanced the award, which has been given every other year since 1978 at the Annual Meetings, by allowing the monetary grant to be increased from $500 to $1,000.
The Kimball Award recognizes recent outstanding achievements that have contributed to the development of anthropology as an applied discipline and have had important impacts on public policy. The award was initiated by royalties from Applied Anthropology in America (Elizabeth M. Eddy and William L. Partridge, eds., Columbia University Press, 1978), a volume that was dedicated to Kimball, "who taught that the study of human behavior should be of service to people."
The award can be given to individuals or to a team (including collaborators outside of anthropology) and is not restricted by anthropological specialization, nationality, or type of employment. The anthropological contribution may be theoretical or methodological. The impact on public policy may include such areas as development programs, world food policy, population, the effects of technology and large scale organizations on human behavior and the environment, education, health, the use of social sciences outside of the academy, public legislation, the delivery of human services, and other comparable policy areas.
Please send your nominations and suggestions to the Chair of the Kimball Award Selection Committee, Marianne Schmink, P.O. Box 115531, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-5531. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone (352) 392-6548; Fax (352) 392-0085. Nomination materials should include a two-page letter of nomination, and names and contact information for individuals knowledgeable about the contributions of the nominee who would be willing to provide letters of reference on request. Copies of relevant reports or references to books or articles are appreciated. Additional materials which may strengthen the nomination can be included. Nominations of innovative individuals who have enhanced our disciplinary traditions but might otherwise be overlooked are especially encouraged. Nominations are due by June 15, 1998. Other members of the Committee are Shirley Fiske, U.S. Dept. of Commerce - NOAA; E-mail: email@example.com and Tom Greaves, Bucknell University, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm sorry if you were unable to attend last month's Annual Meetings in San Juan. Kudos to Becky Joseph and the Program Committee for organizing a truly spectacular event and hats off to Tom May and our colleagues in the Business Office for their typical four-star work behind the scenes to ensure that things ran smoothly. Planning for the 1999 meetings in Tucson has already begun. Program Chair Willie Baber has included some items of interest in this issue of the Newsletter.
Like last May's issue of the Newsletter, this one is bulging at the seams with plenty of interesting material. I'm indebted to our members for supplying us with important and timely information. Please keep those cards and letters coming!
I will be out of the country until early August and consequently we have extended the deadline for the next issue until August 10. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Michael Whiteford, email@example.com
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