Going to the AAAs: Anticipating Anthropology Highlights in Montreal

I leave for the annual American Anthropological Association meeting on Wednesday morning, located this year in Montreal. I love that city, but I’m not sure my Florida-adapted body is ready for the cold! 40 degrees Fahrenheit as a high on Thursday? Ouch.

I guess that will give me plenty of reason to hide away in the Palais des Congres de Montreal, the main conference site.

For those of you interested in neuroanthropology, Jeffrey Snodgras and Christoper Lynn have put together a great double session, The Neuroanthropology of Dissociation, Absorption, and Embodiment: Research in Ritual, Play and Entertainment. It runs Thursday, November 17 from 13:45-17:30, and I’ll be a discussant at the end.

For those of you with more digital interests, Michael Fortun and Kim Fortun have put together another great double session, Digital Anthropology: Projects and Projections. You have to stay to Sunday Nov. 20 from 8:00 – 11:45, but you’ll get an outstanding group of leaders in digital anthropology speaking. My presentation comes at 9:00AM, and unfortunately I’m right after “Professor of the Year” Michael Wesch – the only saving grace of Sunday morning is that the expected mass exodus after Wesch speaks will hopefully not be so massive.

There are two other presentations I want to highlight, particularly since they are not part of the official printed program that people peruse with such, um, passion. That’s the USF grad students talking about their great Prezi presentation, This Is Anthropology. First, there will be an Open Discussion of the Rick Scott controversy and the This Is Anthropology reaction during the last hour of the Student Caucus on Friday, so 4-5PM. The discussion is being held in Convention Center Room 515A.

On Saturday, there will be an actual showing of the This Is Anthropology prezi, followed by discussion by the two students who drove its creation, Charlotte Noble and Janelle Christensen. It will be part of the Graduate Student Fair. Here’s the info:

The Graduate Student Fair will be in the Main Exhibit Hall on the aisle furthest to the left (there should be a large sign). From 11am to 2:30 pm, Janelle and I available to answer questions for at least part of this time. The presentation will also be showing.


So those are the main things that I want to highlight. Now for the science wars, year two.

There will be a re-hashing of last year’s controversy over the AAA Executive Board voting to drop the word “science” from its long-range plan. It’s called Science in Anthropology: An Open Discussion, and has been convened by Peter Peregrine, president of the Society for Anthropological Sciences. The discussion features Daniel A Segal (Pitzer College), H Russell Bernard (University of Florida), Jonathan M Marks (University of North Carolina Charlotte) and Alice D Dreger (Northwestern University), and will have AAA President Virginia Dominguez as chair. That is on Thursday 10:15-12:00. This is the #sciencewin session, ready to bash #aaafail all over again.

What I am actually excited about is how much anthropological science there is at this meeting. The sessions show how deeply anthropology is a science, and how it engages with scientific methodology, knowledge, and institutions in important ways. So, just a smattering of other sessions for science fluff heads.

Beyond the Body Proper: Biopolitics and Biocontingencies (Thur 8:00-11:45)

Calculating Legacies: Informed Biological Anthropology in the 21st Century (Thur 10:15-12:00)

Re-envisioning Culture: Challenging Legacies and Shifting Tidemarks in the Study of Human Diversity (Thur 1:45-5:30)

The Scars of Human Evolution (Fri 8:00-11:45)

Globalizing Biopsychiatry, Pharmarceuticalizaiton, and the Interplay of Historical Contingencies (Fri 8:00-11:45)

Jonathan Marks’ Distinguished Lecture, Why Be Against Darwin? (Fri 7:30)

Transforming Biocultural and Ecological Perspectives in Anthropology: The Legacy of R. Brooke Thomas (Sat 8:00-11:45)


Finally, for those of you with more interest in mental health, here are a few sessions that caught my eye:

Memory and Ethnographies of Addiction (Wed 2:00-3:45)

Deployment Stressed: Legacies of the War on Terror in Home Front Communities (Thur 8:00-9:45)

Conversations with the “Dope Double Agent”: Forty Years on the Front Lines of the War on Drugs with Mike Agar and Friends (Thur 1:45-5:30)

Traces of Resilience: Food Security and Wellbeing over the Lifecourse (Fri 10:15-12:00)

Local Responses to PTSD and Trauma: Therapeutic Mechanisms (Sat 8:00-11:45)

On Lived Experience and Human Conditions: The Works of Arthur Kleinman (Sat 8:00-11:45)

From Which Self Do I Speak? Fluid Selves In Health Care Research (Sat 4:00-6:00)

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One Response to Going to the AAAs: Anticipating Anthropology Highlights in Montreal

  1. Pingback: AAA Montreal 2011: #AAA2011 and Political Economy

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