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2006 AAA Meeting - San Jose

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  • rls@linkline.com
    The AAA annual meeting this year is being held in San Jose, California, November 15-19. The theme is Critical Intersections/Dangerous Issues (below is a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2006
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      The AAA annual meeting this year is being held in San Jose, California,
      November 15-19. The theme is "Critical Intersections/Dangerous Issues"
      (below is a brief discussion of this theme from the Executive Program
      Chair, Maria Vesperi). The deadline for submissions is March 31st.
      Submissions must be made electronically at the AAA website:
      <http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/mtgs.htm>
      http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/mtgs.htm.

      I would encourage anyone thinking of presenting to consider submitting
      the paper/session for approval by SACC. We get very few submissions and
      this would likely increase your chances for acceptance. If you want to
      submit a session to be considered for a SACC invited session, you need
      to submit the information to me by March 1st so we can consider the
      proposals at the SACC meeting in Merida.

      If you have any questions, let me know.

      Rebecca Stein

      SACC Program Chair



      2006 AAA Conference Theme

      By Maria D. Vesperi, 2006 Executive Program Chair



      Anthropology has reached a critical intersection in its history and
      heritage as a discipline. This year's theme, "Critical

      Intersections/Dangerous Issues," provides opportunities to explore and
      evaluate both new and established links among increasingly specialized

      areas within the field. Two standard definitions of the term "critical"
      are particularly apt: "characterized by careful analysis"and
      "designating a

      point at which change occurs." We invite papers that showcase
      collaborative efforts to analyze pressing issues of archaeological,

      biological, cultural, biocultural, medical and linguistic concern by
      producing new intersections of knowledge. We also invite explicit
      critiques

      of such collaborations by those who are familiar with the potential
      dangers of crossing conceptual, institutional, pedagogical and political
      boundaries.



      Some intersections have already proven to be flashpoints, as
      intellectual stakeholders collide over issues of representation,
      anthropology's identity

      as a science, ethics, relevance and responsibility to a broader public.
      Such collisions are not unprecedented; they have been endemic to the

      discipline since its inception. Yet the friction that occurred at the
      intersection of a San Francisco picket line and the 2004 annual meeting
      was

      unique in the immediacy of its impact on everyone within the AAAs
      electronic network. Even those with no plans to attend the meeting found


      opportunity to examine where they were positioned as anthropologists
      within a large, intellectually diverse professional organization and
      where this

      group was, should, or could be positioned as their representative to the
      nation and to the world, where we are implicated in ongoing conflicts as


      anthropologists and as citizens.





      The challenges facing human populations today in every arena of human
      biology, culture and material production seem unparalleled in depth and

      scope. These challenges are themselves the dangerous results of
      critical, often uncharted intersections, yet none fall beyond the
      purview of

      anthropological research and our combined expertise. In the late 19th
      and early 20th centuries, new findings in archaeology challenged
      long-held

      assumptions about human origins and human impacts on environments.
      Anthropologists engaged issues of eugenics and race within the academy
      and

      in highly politicized public fora. Some were moved to action as
      ethnographic research took shape in an era marked by genocide
      biological,

      cultural and linguistic. Warfare, oppression and resistance led to
      diasporic population shifts, destabilizing rifts in values and
      practices,

      contested identities. Accelerating ecological devastation was linked to
      new technologies and the globalizing economies that fueled them. New

      work-environments etched racialized and gendered inequalities on the
      bodies of men, women and children. New class boundaries emerged.
      Innovations in

      medicine, sanitation and food production meant increased life spans for
      some, while others faced malnutrition, degraded environments and
      unchecked

      disease.





      The list is long and the issues endure. We invite presentations on these
      and similar topics, informed by historical examination of past
      engagement

      with dangerous issues and focused on knowledge production and how it is
      applied within the academy and beyond. While a handful of
      anthropologists

      worked in comparative isolation a century ago, the association's 11,500
      members are now united in cyberspace. Our projects continue to draw on

      cultural-material, linguistic, environmental, and biological findings in
      history and prehistory. Increased employment outside traditional
      academic

      departments has led to new intersections of anthropological knowledge,
      its practice and its application. Theoretical models used by
      contemporary

      anthropologists are multi-disciplinary in origin and in implementation.
      Our annual meeting has always provided a platform for direct
      intellectual

      exchange; the meeting program can and should invite us to assess both
      the potential and the limitations inherent in redrawing our boundaries.





      Anthropologists have powerful new research tools at our fingertips,
      including instant access to each other's work. What we make of such

      opportunities to engage wider networks will help to chart the course of
      an anthropological presence in the 21st century. We are poised to take
      new

      intellectual and professional risks, whether we choose as individuals
      and institutions to exploit or reject a unified subfield approach. We
      have

      never been better equipped to bring new knowledge to bear on issues of
      global concern. The intersections ahead will be dangerous. How we
      negotiate

      them will be critical.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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