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Five Fields Abstracts

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  • Dianne C
    Applied and Practicing Anthropology in the US: A Bright Future within and without the Discipline Tim Wallace Associate Professor Dept. of Sociology &
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2006
      Applied and Practicing Anthropology in the US: A Bright Future within and
      without the Discipline

      Tim Wallace
      Associate Professor
      Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology
      North Carolina State University
      Box 8107, Raleigh, NC 27695-8107

      The long winter for applied anthropology is over and the future is bright.
      This paper briefly discusses the reasons for the fall and rise of American
      applied/practicing anthropology and how and why applied anthropology is now
      at the center of the AAA, even if it is still not quite there yet within the
      discipline as a whole. The variety of activities of applied anthropologists
      is detailed and contrasted with that of public anthropologists, and the need
      for better education and training of our graduates for a globalized world is

      All that Clash Talk: Doing Cultural Anthropology in the Contemporary Middle

      Daniel Martin Varisco
      Chair, Anthropology
      Hofstra University
      200 Davison Hall
      Hempstead, NY 11549

      Thirty years ago anthropologists conducting ethnography in the Middle East
      were just starting to look beyond their segmentary lineages and step out of
      their little-tradition village studies. Edward Said included anthropology
      in the Orientalist line-up, even as ethnographic reflectionists were
      replacing Levi-Strauss with Foucault on their critical theory reading lists.
      For anthropologists currently working in a field still geographically
      placed between North Africa and Pakistan it is the ongoing political turmoil
      that dominates both method and theory. We anthropologists have evolved to
      treat culture as our sacred turf, but it is impossible for any of us to
      avoid the clash of civilization talk that underwrote the U.S. military
      invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, underlines America�s post 9/11 war on
      terrorism, and undervalues the ongoing humanitarian crises in Gaza and
      Darfur. In this talk I discuss the potential and constraints for
      ethnographic research today in Middle Eastern societies. How do we as
      American scholars, often in disagreement with the current foreign policy,
      enter into a field mined with political rhetoric? Is it possible to conduct
      ethnography and not become advocates for the people we interact with? In
      what sense can we claim to observe Islam when Muslims across the region
      increasingly have reason to believe the West is Islamophobic and a threat to
      local cultural authenticity? What do we as anthropologists have to
      contribute through our research to making the world a better place to live
      and not just to think about or self-servingly deconstruct?
      The Great Pueblos and the Future of Human Conflict

      Douglas Schwartz, Senior Scholar
      P.O. Box 2188
      Santa Fe, NM 87504-2188

      When the Spanish reached the northern Southwest, they discovered it speckled
      with farmers living in huge mud-walled pueblos. Blocks of rooms, three to
      four stories high surrounding large plazas. The Spaniards probably assumed
      that these Indians had always lived in similar settlements. Only in the
      last century did archaeologists discover that these great pueblo communities
      had only been constructed for about two hundred years prior to the arrival
      of the Spanish. Several new lines of evidence from archaeology, history,
      climatology, and the study of human conflict have coalesced to reveal why
      these large pueblos were originally built. Buried within this explanation
      is also a cautionary tale about threats to human societies that could be a
      warning to the future of our own civilization.

      Unity and Divisions of Multidisciplinarity in Biological Anthropology:
      Challenges in Undergraduate Teaching and Research

      Laura Cahue, Ph.D.
      Thomas Leatherman, Ph.D., Chair
      Dept. of Anthropology
      Hamilton College 315
      University of South Carolina
      Columbia, SC 29208

      In recent surveys of biological anthropology research publication visibility
      and impact, Stojanowski and Buikstra (2005) and Armelagos and Van Gerven
      (2003) examine research trends in human osteology, reaching somewhat
      different conclusions. This paper examines the relationship these trends
      have to multidisciplinarity in biological anthropology. We argue that
      multidisciplinarity has both united and divided our field, contributing
      toward the research trends reflected in the publication record, and
      challenged our ability to teach a five-field biological anthropology. We
      further argue that it is essential that we help our students develop
      critical thinking skills to facilitate the re-integration of our field as
      anthropology and distinction from other fields and disciplines, eg. biology,
      chemistry, medicine or criminalistics.

      Language Structure, Objects, and Social Practices: Integrating Linguistic
      Anthropology and Archaeology

      Charles M. Goodwin, Professor
      Department of Applied Linguistics & TESL
      University of California, Los Angeles
      3300 Rolfe Hall
      P.O. Box 951531
      Los Angeles, CA 90095-1531

      Marjorie Harness Goodwin
      UCLA Department of Anthropology
      341 Haines Hall - Box 951553
      Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553

      This paper will investigate some of the ways in which research agendas in
      different subdisciplines may be mutually relevant to each other. Some
      contemporary research in linguistic anthropology investigates emerging talk
      as a public process that both creates environments that shape what others
      are expected to do next and provides structured materials that are reused by
      others as they construct subsequent talk. This interest in dynamically
      built, and rebuilt, environments resonates with the interests of some
      archaeologists in how built environments structure human action through
      time. Though operating at vastly different time scales, both lines of
      research share an interest in how human beings build action by secreting
      relevant structure into a consequential environment. In so far as the
      language practices at issue here provide ways of building coordinated
      action, they also constitute a primordial form of human social organization,
      one that requires mutual intelligibility, and is thus deeply tied to
      culture. In brief, the vision of multi-field anthropology offers the
      possibility of an integrated perspective on the organization of human
      action, embodiment
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