Tag Archives: AAA

News of the New Year at SAFN

David Beriss
President, Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Happy New Year!

We have news of changes here at FoodAnthropology and, more broadly, at the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. First, Rachel Black, having completed her extended term as our glorious leader, has now joined the ranks of our many illustrious past presidents. We are all grateful for her amazingly productive work. And I am sure she will continue to play a significant role in shaping this organization and the anthropology of food and nutrition in general.

At the last meeting of the American Anthropological Association I officially became the new president of SAFN. Hopefully I can live up to the standards set by my predecessors. I have only just begun to learn the secret codes, handshakes, and mysterious workings of the AAA itself. I keep hoping that an image of Sidney Mintz will appear in the sugar on a beignet and point the way forward, but that has not yet happened. I suspect that successful leadership of SAFN will mostly involve finding ways to help other people pursue whatever brilliant ideas they have for the organization. And, as it happens, there are already people stepping up with great ideas to pursue.

In coming weeks, I will post updates about some of those ideas and activities here. One of the first and most important ones has to do with the blog itself. Amy Trubek and Abigail Adams are taking over as co-editors of FoodAnthropology. They already have a number of really great ideas for new themes for posting here. You will continue to read many of the occasional postings (like our reading digest, “What FoodAnthropology Is Reading Now”) and series that have proven popular over time. I am sure that Amy and Abigail will bring in new writers and themes in coming weeks that will make the blog more dynamic and exciting. If you have ideas, reach out to them at atrubek@uvm.edu and Adams@ccsu.edu.

Unlike some of the bigger sections of the AAA, SAFN does not have its own conference. What we do have, however, is the ability to participate in one of the most exciting interdisciplinary annual food studies conferences anywhere. The joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture Food and Human Values Society occurs every June and showcases a lot of the best and most interesting research in food across many disciplines (we posted the CFP on the blog a few weeks ago, here). It is a terrific opportunity to network with people and there is usually a significant SAFN presence. This year’s conference will be in Madison, Wisconsin, from June 13-16. We would like to organize several SAFN panels there. The overall conference theme is “The Agroecological Prospect: The Politics of Integrating Values, Food, and Farming,” and, of course, panels and papers on other topics are welcome. Let’s use the blog and the SAFN listserv to organize panels starting now. Got ideas? Let us know or post a call on the listserv to recruit others. The deadline for submissions is February 15, so we must get organized quickly! (You must be a SAFN member to use the listserv. Not a member? We would love to have you among us! See the top of the blog for a link to how to become one.)

Last year we created an elected position for a student representative on the SAFN Executive Board. We are now officially seeking nominations for that job! Our current appointed student representative, by the way, is Kelly Alexander, whose work you can find all over this blog. If you are interested in running, please contact David Sutton, who is our nominations chair.

I will post further updates here soon, as will the many other contributors to this blog. You should reach out to Amy and Abigail with ideas for ways you can participate in the blog as well. This has proven to be a wonderful resource for getting information out to the world on the work of anthropologists in food. When you post here, a lot of people will read what you write, including many people outside the world of universities. Use that power to get your work read! This is an exciting time to be working on food and nutrition. Let’s get the stories of our research and of the people we work with out there!

 

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Filed under AAA, AFHVS, anthropology, ASFS, SAFN

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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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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Filed under AAA, anthropology, Israel, Palestine

AAA Webinar Wednesday: Research Methods for Anthropological Studies of Food and Nutrition

SAFN is organizing a webinar with the American Anthropological Association. Former SAFN presidents Janet Chrzan and John Brett will lead a discussion of their forthcoming edited collection on research methods for the anthropological study of food and nutrition.

The volume is a truly comprehensive collection of methodological essays by many of the leading scholars in our field. Of course, many of them are SAFN members. You can read more about the book here. It will be published by Berghahn, in a series organized by SAFN, which you can read about here.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the book, discuss the stunning range of methods the book covers, talk with Dr. Chrzan and Dr. Brett, and make contact with others interested in methods issues.

The webinar will be on October 7, at 2 pm Eastern time. Participation is free, but you must register in advance. To do that, visit this web site soon. The password is “anthro” (without the quotes).

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Filed under AAA, publications, SAFN Member Research

Thomas Marchione Award 2015

The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition is pleased to announce the 2015 Thomas Marchione Award.

Honoring the seminal academic and humanitarian work of Thomas J. Marchione, this award is given to MA and Ph.D. students whose active engagement in food security and food sovereignty issues continues and expands Dr. Marchione’s efforts toward food justice, food access, and food as a human right.

The award can be in recognition of exemplary work completed or in progress, or for proposed work in the field of food as a human right and the social justice aspects of food systems.

To apply for the award, submit the following:

  • Statement of problem/research question, with clear statement of how the research addresses food security, food justice, or food as a human right (up to ½ page).
  • Literature review where you articulate how your work builds on and advances Dr. Marchione’s work (up to one page).
  • Clear articulation of your research strategy, design, methods, and analysis plan (up to one page).
  • Statement of your preparation for the proposed research, including language and research training and experience, program description, mentor name and contact information, and a brief budget (up to one page).
  • Statement of how the award and associated research will develop your career goals (up to ½ page).
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Letter from your thesis/dissertation chair/advisor attesting to your preparation and status.

Open to MA and Ph.D. students who will have completed their coursework and research proposal by the time of the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Students must be members of the AAA to apply. Winners receive a $600 cash prize.

DEADLINE: 31 OCTOBER 2015

Submit your application to Amy Trubek via email at atrubek@uvm.edu. For additional information and full submission guidelines and eligibility criteria, visit www.foodanthro.com/thomas-marchione-award/

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Filed under AAA, awards, Thomas Marchione

Call for Papers: Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

safn-logo-temp

Your opportunity to present at the 112th American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Chicago, November 20-24, 2013

The theme of this year’s conference is “Future Publics, Current Engagements”. The AAA executive committee asks us to consider “how anthropological theory and method can provide insight into the human past and emerging future.” In particular, we are asked to examine “our efforts to transform our disciplinary identity and capacity in terms of knowledge production and relevance in a world of radical change.” SAFN members are particularly well situated to contribute to discussion around the theme, as many, if not most of us, work across anthropological sub-disciplines and/or with colleagues in other disciplines, using theories and methods that cross-cut disciplinary boundaries in innovative ways. For more information about the national meeting, including elaboration of the theme and important dates, see http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/index.cfm.

SAFN is seeking proposals for Executive sessions, Invited sessions, Volunteered papers, posters and sessions, and alternative session formats including Public Policy Forums, Roundtables and Installations.

There are three deadlines for submission: a deadline for Executive sessions (Wednesday, February 6), Invited sessions (Friday, March 15) and Volunteered sessions (Monday, April 15).

The deadline for proposing an Executive session is coming up fast. An Executive session is a unique, highly visible forum on a topic of interest to a wide audience that connects directly to the conference theme. Anyone interested in organizing an Executive panel or roundtable needs to submit a session proposal on the AAA meeting website by 5 PM EST, February 6. Decisions will be announced on March 1st. (Note that if the decision is negative, you can submit the panel for invited/volunteer sessions—see below.) If you are interested in submitting an executive session, please let Helen and Neri know asap (see our emails below). To apply, you will need: a session abstract (of no more than 500 words), keywords, length of session, anticipated attendance, presenter names and roles. The organizer(s) must be a current AAA member unless eligible for a membership exemption (anthropologists living outside of the US/Canada or non-anthropologists) and have registered for the 2013 Annual Meeting. Individual presenters must submit their own abstracts (250 words), paper title and keywords via the AAA meeting website by 5 PM EST, April 15. Any discussants or chairs must also be registered by April 15th

Invited sessions are generally cutting-edge, directly related to the meeting theme, or cross sub-disciplines, i.e. they have broader appeal. Session proposals must be submitted via the AAA meeting website by 5 PM EST, March 15. Session proposals should include a session abstract of no more than 500 words, key words, number of participants in the session, anticipated attendance, as well as the names and roles of each presenter. Decisions will be announced on April 4th. Individual presenters must submit their own abstracts (250 words), paper title and keywords via the AAA meeting website by 5 PM EST, April 15. Any discussants or chairs must also be registered by April 15th. One way to increase your and our presence at the meetings is to have a co-sponsored invited session between SAFN and another society. Invited time is shared with the other sub-discipline and the session is double-indexed. Please include any other societies we should be in contact with about possible co-sponsorships.

Volunteered sessions are comprised of submitted papers or posters that are put together based on a common theme as well as sessions proposed as invited that were not selected as such. Volunteered session abstracts should be 500 words or less, individual paper abstracts 250 words or less. Both must be submitted via the AAA website by 5 PM EST, April 15.

Installations are a creative way to present ideas that capture the senses, and may include performances, recitals, conversations, author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression. Selected Installations will be curated for an off-site exhibition and tied to the official AAA conference program. Successful proposals will offer attendees an opportunity to learn from a range of vested interests not typically encountered or easily found on the traditional AAA program. Organizers are responsible for submitting the session abstract (of no more than 500 words), keywords, length of session, anticipated attendance, presenter names and roles by 5 PM EST, April 15.  Presenters must also be registered by the April 15, 2013 final deadline in order to appear on the 2013 Annual Meeting Program. If you have an idea that might require some organizational creativity please contact the Executive Program Committee as soon as possible at aaameetings@aaanet.org.

Public Policy Forums are a place to discuss critical social and public policy issues. No papers are presented. Instead, the ideal format is a moderator and up to seven panelists. The moderator, after introductions, poses questions that are discussed by the panelists. It is recommended that at least one panelist be a policymaker. Proposals should include a 500-word abstract describing the issue to be discussed, and the moderator and panelists’ names. Submissions are reviewed by the AAA Committee on Public Policy; the deadline for forum submissions is 5 PM EST, March 15.

For further information or to log in to submit proposals, go to http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/Call-for-Papers.cfm. Remember that to upload abstracts and participate in the meeting you must be an active AAA member who has paid the 2013 meeting registration fee. (Membership exemption is in place for anthropologists living outside of the US/Canada or non-anthropologists.)

If you’d like to discuss your ideas for sessions, papers, posters, roundtable discussions, forums or installations feel free to contact the 2013 Program Chairs, Helen Vallianatos (vallianatos [at] ualberta.ca) or Neri de Kramer (dekramer [at] udel.edu).

We look forward to another exciting annual meeting with a strong SAFN participation!

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Filed under AAA 2013 Chicago, anthropology, Call for Papers