Category Archives: AAA

VOTE!

David Beriss

The time has come to vote in the annual AAA elections. (And this posting is not about food, apologies to non-anthropology readers.)

The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition is a section of the American Anthropological Association, the main professional organization for anthropologists in the United States. If you are a SAFN member, you are also a AAA member. And that means you should vote.

Anthropologists are often heard complaining about the AAA, about positions it takes or positions it does not take, on issues that concern them. We have had fierce debates in recent years over the AAA’s position on Israel/Palestine, on open access publishing, and on a few other issues. We need even more fierce debates about the increasingly awful working conditions in public higher education, about the place of the social sciences in the public sphere, and much more.

One of the best ways to make all this happen is to participate in governance of the AAA. As it turns out, nearly everything the AAA does is the result of work by elected members. And the first thing you can do to make things happen is to vote.

Which you can do now. If you are a AAA member in good standing, visit this site. Follow the instructions.

There are association-wide ballots and section ballots. SAFN is voting for a treasurer and for a change in our by-laws (the details are on the ballot).

You have until May 31, 2017 to vote. Only by participating can you make the AAA an effective voice for anthropology and anthropologists. Do not miss your chance.

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AAA CFP Last Call // Sedimentation: Extraction, Soil and Memory

Sedimentation: Extraction, Soil and Memory

(seeking papers re: Agriculture, Food Commodities)

Co-organizers:

Serena Stein, PhD Candidate, Princeton University

Andrew Ofstehage, PhD Candidate, UNC-Chapel Hill

 

Land is often mobilized discursively as wastelands (Voyles, 2015) or zones of hidden potential and promise for capitalist development (Yeh, 2013) to justify frontier expansions worldwide. Land, landscapes and soil are also increasingly recognized as powerful actors in agrarian narratives and encounters, as agentive materials that help create their own history and futures (Kawa, 2016). This panel centers upon the encounters, memories, and afterlives of soil, putting forward the analytic of ‘sedimentation’ to recognize, reconsider and unsettle the dust upon which we tread in so-called development contexts of extraction. In particular, sedimentation, as a social analytic, aims to rethink processes and potential shapes of accumulation in extractive spaces, in terms of strata (tempo, order, verticality); accretion (formation, connection, growth); and provenience (origins, indigeneity, and future archaeologies) of resources taken from the earth, as well as the (im)material objects, spaces, imaginaries, and discursive remains.  Presenters will draw on multi-species and actor/non-actor encounters (Haraway, 2007; Ingold, 2000; Raffles, 2002; Tsing, 2015), materiality of things (Stoler, 2016; Bennett 2010), and memories and afterlives of land and soil encounters (Gordillo, 2014) to examine the placeness, temporalities and relationalities of encounters in and through land, with attention to disparate histories, political projects, and livelihoods in the Global South that help to constitute the material and narrative lives of soil.

Submit paper abstracts to Serena (serenas@princeton.edu) or Andrew (aofste@live.unc.edu) no later than 12 pm (ES) Thursday, April 13th.

 

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CFP on Waste Materialities & Meaning

AAA 2017 CFP

Session Title: Waste Materialities & Meaning: Anthropological Engagements with Reuse, Repair and Care

 

Organizers:

Cindy Isenhour, University of Maine

Anna Bohlin, University of Gothenburg

Staffan Appelgren, University of Gothenburg

 

 

The recent international focus on circular economies – which purport to reimagine waste as a resource rather than a market externality – has engaged scholars from multiple disciplines in the exploration of reuse as a tool for climate mitigation, reduced materials use and resource conservation.  This is certainly a positive development given the impact of contemporary production-consumption systems on humans and non-humans alike.  At the same time, anthropological engagements with so-called “waste” (garbage, rubbish, discards) raise questions about the novelty of the circular economy concept. Anthropology has already illustrated the deeply relational, situated and cultural entanglements implied in the determination of “resource,” “value,” and “waste”.  From ethnographies featuring innovative reuse among resource-strapped communities (Nguyen 2016) and garbage pickers on the margins of Brazilian society (Millar 2008) to sanitary workers in New York City (Nagle 2014), or among connoisseurs of thrift shops and vintage goods (Isenhour 2012), anthropology has long demonstrated the not-so-novel concept of informal circular economies in action.  Perhaps more importantly, anthropological engagements have helped to illustrate the materiality and generative capacity of “abandoned things” as they fundamentally shape social relations, our collective sense of memory and heritage, as well as human and non-human nature(Reno 2015). What is perhaps new about today’s circular economy imaginaries is that they signal the growing commodification and formalization of waste and reuse practices, raising important questions about the potential gentrification of reuse, and potential exclusion, as well as the shifting relationality of reuse to capitalist markets given projections of the “end of cheap nature” (Schindler and Demaria 2017, Moore 2015).   This panel seeks to both critically and productively engage with long-standing and emergent efforts to “save waste” through repair, care and reuse.  We seek contributions that engage theory and ethnographic detail to explore a wide variety of questions and themes with relevance to the meaning and materiality of reuse including, but not limited to, the following:

 

  • How waste and residual value are variously and situationally determined
  • How discarded goods or “abandoned things” circulate in space and across scales
  • How posthumanist perspectives can provide novel ways of conceptualizing human-object relations in contexts of reuse
  • The generative capacity of reuse to shape/reshape livelihoods, waste infrastructures and materials markets
  • Everyday practices of maintenance, repair and care – as processes of reuse
  • The potential of reuse markets and practices to bring transformative change (or variously, another individualist and niche market-based movement)

 

If interested, please send an abstract to Cindy Isenhour (cynthia.isenhour@maine.edu) by Friday, April 7th.  We’ll get back to you no later than Monday, April 10th so that we can submit the panel prior to the AAA deadline of Friday, April 14th.

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New Call for Paper’s Website Section

M. Ruth Dike

University of Kentucky

In an effort to centralize Call for Paper’s for the upcoming American Anthropological Association (AAA) annual meeting, we have created a new Call for Paper’s section of the website! This will be a place where anyone can browse CFP’s related to the anthropology of food for the upcoming AAA meetings. If we see Call for Paper’s that are relevant to the anthropology of food, we will first post them on the blog and then on the CFP’s section of the website.

2017_AAA Meeting

We hope to also post CFP’s for other conferences such as ASFS/AFHV in the future.

If you see a CFP relevant to the anthropology of food, please send it to mruthdike@uky.edu to be posted on the blog and/or our listserv. The deadline for AAA Invited and Volunteered Panel, Individual Paper, Roundtable Sessions and Poster Submissions is Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 5 pm EDT, so please send in any relevant CFP’s in ASAP!

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SAFN and AAA 2017: Sessions, Papers, Posters!

The Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN) would like to invite colleagues to submit sessions and poster presentations for this year’s 116th AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC (November 29 – December 3, 2017). You can submit here:

https://www.conferenceabstracts.com/cfp2/logincustom.asp?EventKey=TWAPLBWD

The Society welcomes innovative, well-rounded sessions, strong individual papers, and posters representing the full range of topics food and nutrition anthropologists are concerned with. In particular, however, we especially welcome submissions that engage creatively with this year’s conference theme “Anthropology Matters”, which calls for anthropologists to employ their critical skills to address contemporary issues of social injustice, health and well being, and environmental challenges. Frankly these themes seem tailor-made for research related to food and nutrition.

The deadline for Invited and Volunteered Panel, Individual Paper, Roundtable Sessions, and Poster Submissions is Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5pm EDT

We will select several sessions/roundtables among those submitted for review by SAFN for designation as INVITED. These are generally cutting-edge, directly related to the meeting theme, or cross sub-disciplinary. SESSION proposals should include a session abstract of no more than 500 words, keywords, anticipated attendance, as well as the names and roles of each presenter. Individual presenters must also submit their own abstracts (250 words), paper title and keywords via the AAA meeting website. ROUNDTABLES are a format to discuss critical social issues affecting anthropology. No papers are presented in this format. The organizer will submit an abstract for the roundtable but participants will not present papers or submit abstracts. A roundtable presenter is a major role, having the same weight as a paper presentation.

More information on proposal submission types, rules for submission and participation, and access to the online portal can be found on the AAA website, here: http://bit.ly/2m4GuVj

PLEASE NOTE, one way to increase your and our presence at the meetings is to have co-sponsored invited sessions between SAFN and another society. Invited time is shared with the other sub-discipline, and the session is double-indexed. When prompted during the submission process, please select additional AAA sections for review if you think that we should be in contact with them about possible co-sponsorship.

If you are considering proposing a session with us, have any questions, or are looking for additional presenters to make up a session, please do not hesitate to contact the 2017 Program Committee members at Abigail Adams (Chair): adams@ccsu.edu ; Amanda Green amagreen@gmail.com ; Ryan Adams adamsr@lycoming.edu

Abigail Adams
Chair, Program Committee
Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

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Open Anthropology Features Food Anthropology

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The June 2016 issue of Open Anthropology is dedicated to Food Anthropology. Many SAFN members are featured in this open-access selection of articles and reviews from American Anthropological Association journals. Check it out!

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Food Research and Political Action: Why I support BDS

Editor’s note: SAFN is a section of the American Anthropological Association. The AAA is currently holding a vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. There has been a great deal of useful debate around the issue, some of which you can read about here. Although SAFN has not taken a position on the resolution, we welcome commentaries from anthropologists that do advocate positions on the resolution (from any perspective). In keeping with the mission of this blog, commentaries related to the resolution should have some relationship to the anthropology of food and nutrition. The election that includes the resolution closes on May 31, 2016. Please send commentaries for the blog to dberiss@gmail.com.

Anne Meneley

As the recently departed and much mourned anthropologist Sidney Mintz argued so persuasively, food links the quotidian needs of humans, inflected by their culturally inculcated memories, desires, and emotions, to wider global political economies that often include exploitation and oppression. In my study of extra-virgin olive oil, I was inspired, as so many of us food anthropologists were, by Mintz’ classic work on sugar, especially his emphasis on the need to understand different moments in a food commodity’s life: in the political economies of production, consumption and circulation. I began work on Palestinian olive oil a decade ago. Even if I had not been trained, as most of my generation was, to critique an anthropology that ignored the overarching structures of colonialism, there was no way to ignore the shocking impact of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. My work on olive oil production required that I witness firsthand the effects of land confiscations, settler violence, the fragmenting effects of checkpoints on people’s time and social ties, and the destruction of their beloved olive trees along with their livelihoods. An Oxfam report noted that the Israeli blockade of Gaza which so strangles the import of food, also blocks the export of olives and olive oil, so essential to Palestinian diet and culture, from the West Bank to Gaza.[1] I was asked by Palestinian activists, olive oil professionals, and academic colleagues, to participate in boycott activities, from consumer to academic, in an attempt to address the injustices of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank; it is the very least I can do to reciprocate for the help they have given to me in my research.

Most of you have not had the opportunity to do the kind of research that I have done.  Nonetheless, I hope many of you will join me in voting “yes” to our AAA boycott vote, as part of an ethical stance that we can take as anthropologists to address a grave injustice in our world.

[1] Lara El-Jazairi.  The Road to Olive Farming: Challenges to developing the economy of olive oil in the West Bank.  Oxfam International October 2010.

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