Peter K. New Student Paper Prize

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) announces an annual student research competition in the applied social and behavioral sciences. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of $2000 and travel funds to attend the annual meetings of the SfAA.

The award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist and former president of the SfAA. The award will be given to the best paper which reports on an applied research project in the social/behavioral sciences. The research question should be in the domain of health care or human services (broadly construed). Please see the guidelines by clicking on the link below for additional information. The paper must be submitted to the SfAA Business Office no later than December 31 by emailing to:

"Thinking Allowed Award" for ethnography

The BSA (British Sociological Association) is delighted to announce it has teamed up with BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed to create a new annual award for ethnography. The inaugural Thinking Allowed Award for Ethnography will aim to recognize the study that has had the biggest influence in ethnography, having made a significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of a relevant area of research.

Trophies. Flickr/Snap®
The Award is open to all U.K. residents currently employed as a teacher/researcher or studying as a postgraduate in a U.K. institution of higher education, so if you are completing/or will have completed ethnographic research this year we are keen to hear from you!

Judging the Award will be Professor Dick Hobbs, Professor Henrietta Moore, Dr. Louise Westmarland, and BSA member Professor Bev Skeggs, with BBC Radio 4’s Professor Laurie Taylor acting as Chair. They will be looking for work that demonstrates sound methodology and clarity, as well as flair and originality, before selecting six finalists to compete for the prize.

From this shortlist, the Panel will choose an overall winner to be announced at the BSA Annual Conference in April 2014, where the winner will be presented with a check for £1,000.

For further information and details on how to enter, please visit the BBC Thinking Allowed webpage.

Journal issue on applied anthropology of tourism

The latest issue of Anthropology in Action includes the uses of tourism development projects in solving the problems of inter-communal violence, the politics of representation as well as understandings of audiences and media-based constructions of “‘the toured;” and the ways in which the state and capital intersect in the development of tourism policy. This journal is not open access.

Anthro in the news 2/4/13

• Violence in Africa begins with greed

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Kamari Maxine Clarke, professor of cultural anthropology at Yale University, argues that violence in Africa is rooted in greed, related to contested and highly desired natural resources, and corporate greed should be considered a war crime:

Gold dollar symbol
Gold dollar symbol/Wikipedia

“Violence in Africa begins with greed — the discovery and extraction of natural resources like oil diamonds and gas — and continues to be fed by struggles for control of energy, minerals, food and other commodities. The court needs the power to punish those who profit from those struggles. So do other judicial forums.

At a summit meeting here last week, leaders of the African Union proposed expanding the criminal jurisdiction of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to include corporate criminal liability for the illicit exploitation of natural resources, trafficking in hazardous wastes and other offenses.”

• Legal decision in Guatemala that genocide is genocide

According to an article in The New York Times, a Guatemalan judge ordered Efraín Rios Montt, the former dictator, and his intelligence chief to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the massacres of highland Maya villagers three decades ago.

President Otto Pérez Molina, a former general, says he does not believe that the killings during the war amounted to genocide. A UN truth commission determined that the military had carried out “acts of genocide,” including in the Maya-Ixil villages during the war, in which 200,000 people died. As a legislator until last January, Mr. Rios Montt was protected from prosecution. Prosecutors filed charges when his term expired, but his lawyers’ appeals delayed the case.

Guatemala CIA World Factbook
Guatemala/CIA World Factbook

Scholars of Guatemala said that a number of factors combined to get the case to court, including the tenacity of the attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz, and successful efforts to appoint more independent judges.

Victoria Sanford, an anthropology professor at the City University of New York who has written about Guatemala’s civil war, is quoted as saying: ”For Rios Montt to be tried breaks the wall of impunity … It says genocide is genocide and it is punishable by law.”

• Crash course in blood football

The Toronto Star carried an article about how “the concussion issue threatens to sack NFL’s business model” given the impending threat to profits from brain injury lawsuits.

As context, the article points out: The National Football League brought in more than $9 billion in revenue in 2012, and tickets to its showcase event, this weekend’s Super Bowl, range from $850 to $1,250, and even more trough the online resale market. Meanwhile, corporations advertising on Sunday’s game paid a record $3.8 million (U.S.) for a 30-second slot. The NFL is the undisputed king of cash among North American pro sports.

Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs, 2006/Wikipedia
Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs, 2006/Wikipedia

But as the money piles up, so do lawsuits and workers compensation claims filed against the league and its teams by former players, who say they suffered irreversible brain injuries while playing in the NFL, and that the league and its teams never informed them about the lasting effects of football’s repeated head trauma.

Duke University cultural anthropology professor Orin Starn wonders if the legal action will lead to similar efforts to raise awareness among football players and fans: “Football is in the same situation; they’ve got a product that’s hazardous to your health,” says Starn, who specializes in the anthropology of sport. “It should come with a warning label stamped on the helmet. America is in massive denial about the blood cost of football.”

Continue reading “Anthro in the news 2/4/13”

Engaged anthropology with and for Latino immigrants

The University of South Florida News carried an article about ongoing research into the consequences of new Latino immigrants, African Americans and working class Whites coming face to face at work in the U.S. South and how to better bridge differences. The project is led by cultural anthropologist Angela Stuesse, an assistant professor at the University of South Florida. Here are some excerpts, with some paraphrasing, from the article:

Angela Stuesse accompanied leaders from a Guatemalan Mam immigrant community on a political education tour in Mississippi. Photo by Angela Stuesse

Recent immigrants and people descended from earlier immigrants – whether voluntary or forced – often eye each other warily, sometimes finding themselves at odds. Making a connection can be as simple as knowing how to start a conversation – one that can become the basis for working together – rather than a fight. But as Stuesse has found, such conversations often don’t just happen. And if they do, they can be touchy. “Across cultures, knowing what not to say can be as important as knowing what to say and how to say it,” points out, and “Immigrants, too, may hold racial and other biases toward those they come into contact with. There’s a need to help groups understand each other. Ideally, they can work together and develop mutual respect.”

Stuesse’s research has produced her forthcoming book, Globalization ‘Southern Style, which describes the transformation of small-town Mississippi when Latino immigrants begin working and organizing alongside African Americans in the area’s chicken processing plants.

While working in Mississippi, Stuesse was a founding collaborator of the poultry worker center, MPOWER, where she drew upon her research to help facilitate structured dialogue and spaces for political education and cultural sharing among immigrant and U.S.-born poultry worker leaders.

She has also developed Intergroup Resources, a comprehensive new online resource center that is becoming a national network. The user-friendly Intergroup Resources website built and designed by Stuesse’s research team offers curricula, dialogue guides, educational materials and descriptions of the efforts of various groups.

Position: cultural anthropologist/ethnographer

Historic Preservation Program / Bureau of Arts and Culture / Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs / Government of the Republic of Palau. This position is under the supervision of the Palau Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) and provides guidance and advice to the HPO relating to Oral History and Ethnography.  The primary responsibilities include assisting and supervising (when required) the Oral History/Ethnography Section of the Bureau of Arts and Culture/Palau Historic Preservation Office to record and index the oral histories and traditional laws of Palau for the purposes of preservation and education, and to assist in meeting the responsibilities mandated by the Title 19 of the Palau National Code (PNC), and Section 106 of the U.S. National Historic Preservation Act (16 USC 470).  The Palau Cultural Anthropologist will also be responsible for other program-related tasks that may be required by the Palau Historic Preservation Office.

This is a national level contract position funded by a Historic Preservation Fund Grant administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS). Compliance with all applicable U.S. federal laws and regulations is required in the course of duty.

**APPLICANT MUST BE A U.S. CITIZEN OR CITIZEN OF AN ASSOCIATED PACIFIC ISLAND NATION (Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Republic of the Marshall Islands).
Continue reading “Position: cultural anthropologist/ethnographer”