Introducing the Wadsworth Institutional Grant

In 2019, the Wenner-Gren Foundation piloted the Wadsworth Institutional Grant in the Department of Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, based in the National Museum of Brazil, the site of a devastating fire.  At a time when Brazil’s right-wing government has slashed budgets for academic research, this new program provides pilot funding and training in grant writing to doctoral students, who in the future will be increasingly dependent on international sources of support.  To select the students who would receive an award, the anthropology department at the Federal University held an internal competition, using Portuguese language proposals modeled on the Wenner-Gren application.  The six winners, whose work is featured below, received grants of $5,000 or less to launch a preliminary exploration of their topics.  They are now preparing to apply for Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork grants.  Through this program, Wenner-Gren is exploring ways to level the playing field, when it comes to the structural inequalities that give students from well-funded North American programs an unfair advantage in the competition for our awards.

Byron Giovanny Ospina Florido

In search of the “Hicotea Man”: An Ethnography of the Amphibious Culture and Construction of a Peasant Way of Life.

La Mojana, is a natural, ecological region located on the Pacific coast in Colombia. It is known for its broad range of productive zones along the floodplains of the Magdalena, Cauca and San Jorge Rivers. It is in this wild setting — governed by land and water, floods and droughts, agriculture and fishing — that Orland Fals Borda described the “amphibious culture” of farmers he referred to as Turtle-Men.  Moving beyond Fals Borda’s analysis, I have sought in this project to explore the construction, as well as the capacities and limitations, of this amphibious culture and of “hicotea men” as an interpretive framework for understanding the contemporary way of life of the peasants who reside in the floodplains of the San Jorge River. I have also probed identity and everyday life and considered how processes of continuity, maintenance and transformation are shaped by often conflicting environmental, political and economic processes in a territory lacking clear boundaries between land and water.

Ellen Fernanda Natalino Araujo

The Fulni-ô People of the Brazilian Northeast:  An Ethnography of Possibility

I carried out the research reported on here among the indigenous Fulni-ô people (about 4,000 strong) who live in a transitional wilderness area in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil from November 2019 to April 2020. The research period was marked by an intense dispute between competing leaders, which resulted in a split between opposing factions and allowed me to observe processes of leadership transition firsthand.  My close relationship with the new shaman’s extended family and access to their social networks facilitated my research.  Because I was able to participate in the daily village life of the Fulni-ô, I obtained ethnographic data that shed light on socio-cosmological beliefs and emic perspectives, which has helped me to understand processes of social reproduction over time. Instead of simply describing mobility practices, my study is advancing understanding of the Fulni-ô by foregrounding the way in which they use mobility as a strategy to guarantee rights over the territory and resources that form the material basis of their ethnic identity.

Helena Santos Assunção

Relations between Women and Madjine: Spiritual Marriages in Ilha de Moçambique

In this research, carried out in Ilha de Moçambique and Nampula (northern Mozambique), I have focused on the relationship between people and spirits.  I have explored a phenomenon frequently encountered among women in this region, in which they take on a marido da noite (“night husband”) and suffer from doença de madjine (“spirit disease”).  Night husbands are gendered spiritual beings who engage in relationships with people and may manifest themselves in dreams or by possession, causing a series of effects, especially with regard to motherhood and sexuality. By following some of my closest friends in Ilha de Moçambique through their diagnoses and treatments, I have sought to understand how “spiritual marriage” takes place, why this expression is used to describe relations between people and spirits, and how these relations influence other affective relationships. To this end, I have established connections and comparisons between madjine rituals/drummings (ekoma ni djine) and female initiation rites (ekoma za quintale). I have also addressed the literature on gender and kinship in makhuwa/nahará matrilineal societies, which make up the regions’ main ethnic group. Through the study of relationships between women and their madjines, I intend to contribute to analyses of gender that not only examine power relations between men and women, but also consider relationships between humans and spirits that constitute a person.

Luis Reyes

Afro-indigenous Peoples of the Peruvian Desert: An Ethnographic Theory of Mestizaje and Afro-indigenous Relations in Zaña and Subtanjalla, Peru.

The hegemonic notion of mestizaje describes a process of hybridity between two discrete races/cultures, usually whiteness and indigeneity that results in the formation of a new “mestizo” race/culture. In this research, I have sought to challenge this hegemonic understanding by way of an Afro-Andean ethnographic theory of mestizaje from Zaña, a Peruvian district constituted by people who auto-identify as Afro-Andean mestizos, descendants of enslaved Africans and indigenous Andeans. Since Peru gained independence, its leaders have used classifications such as “the Peruvian mestizo,” “the Peruvian Indian,” and “the Peruvian peasant” to construct a national identity.  My intention is to introduce the notion of “Peruvian interculturality” into this conversation.  Peruvian society predominantly identifies as “mestizo.” However, paraphrasing Marisol de la Cadena, it can be said that in Peru the mestizo is a mestizo but not just that (De la Cadena 2014). Based on ethnographic research in Zaña and Subtanjalla, I am probing the Afro-Andean mestizo population’s ontological understanding of what mestizaje and mestizo are.  By focusing on the articulations between indigenous and Afro-descendants, this research will analyze the emic analytical concepts of grafting, graft, crossed and crossing, which are local words used to define mestizaje and mestizo, respectively.

Marcelo Moura Silva

Cosmopolitics, Transformation and Translation among the Yanomami of the Demini and Toototobi Rivers

I have been conducting research among the Yanomami in Brazil, more precisely among inhabitants of the region of the Demini and Toototobi Rivers in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory. My focus is on the dynamics of transformation activated through these inhabitants’ experience of the interethnic political relationships in which the Yanomami are involved, both in the forest and in the cities, where we can observe the interaction between two registers of political action.  My aim is to reveal constant and variable elements (and how these vary) in the communication between napë (“white”) politics and Yanomami politics.  Through an analysis of the translations – of terms, concepts and practices – performed on this relational interface, I am mapping the contexts associated with napë and Yanomami politics and exploring how these registers alternate in the spaces where the Yanomami act.

Mariane Aparecida do Nascimento Vieira

Rescuing the National Museum of Brazil: Between Collection Remnants and Curatorial Reinvention.

My thesis deals with the crisis surrounding the fire that ravaged the preeminent scientific institution of Brazil, the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. Working closely with interdisciplinary teams coordinated by the Rescue Group, my ethnographic study has focused on the process of recovering the remnants of the collections. Through an analysis of museum space and interviews with partners engaged in “aid policy,” I have examined rescue action protocols and their execution. This task has been especially challenging given that diverse collections, originally housed on three floors, have been lumped together. As a next step, I will reach out to the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia of Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Museum of Archeology and Ethnology of the University of São Paulo) and the Museu Antropológico of Universidade Federal de Goiás (Anthropological Museum of the Federal University of Goiás) to analyze the impact of the Museu Nacional fire on the broader scientific community and to create a network of collaborators to discuss strategies for the museum’s reinvention. In addition, I will visit the village of Karajá to explore the museum fire’s impact on its inhabitants and to better understand the relationship between the Museu Nacional and the people it aims to represent.

 

 

Introducing the Archaeology Centers Coalition

In response to urgent calls to address systemic racism in all spheres of institutional life, a group of archaeology centers based in the United States have come together to identify avenues for concrete change.  Since July, center directors and representatives have been meeting via Zoom to consider ways to move archaeology forward towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The initiative emerged out of conversations that began in the wake of the murder of George Floyd between the Society of Black Archaeologists (SBA), the Indigenous Archaeology Collective (IAC), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, SAPIENS, and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS).  In our search for effective strategies, it quickly became clear that archaeology centers have a fundamental role to play as key institutional loci of undergraduate recruitment, graduate student training, and faculty development.

The Archaeology Centers Coalition includes representatives from CIAMS, the Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley, the Archaeological Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass, Boston, the Columbia Center for Archaeology, the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, the George Washington University Capitol Archaeological Institute, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology at Brown University, the Peabody Institute of Archaeology at Phillips Academy Andover, the Stanford University Archaeology Center, the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology at UC San Diego, the University of South Alabama Center for Archaeological Studies, and the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan.

The first initiative of this coalition is the development and support of a webinar series entitled “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black and Indigenous Futures in Archaeology”. Beginning last July and continuing through April 2021, this webinar series seeks to reshape the stories that archaeology tells and who tells them. Key themes include monuments and memory, the archaeology of redress, and cultural stewardship.

The Archaeology Centers Coalition is also seeking to define avenues of impactful change in four key areas: curriculum and training, administration and finance, the culture of archaeology, and capacity building and community engagement. In the coming months, the group anticipates developing a series of recommendations on best practices for overcoming traditional barriers to inclusion. Through these conversations, the SBA, IAC, and Wenner-Gren will work with archaeology centers to help bring substantive change.

Announcing the Recipients of the Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences

The Wenner-Gren Foundation, in collaboration with the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is proud to announce the recipients of Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences.  Below is a list of the projects funded by Wenner-Gren, all of which were proposed by anthropologists and scholars in closely related fields. For a full list of recipients and further information about this program, please visit the SSRC website.

Covid-19 Messaging and Youth Engagements on TikTok

Crystal Abidin, Senior Research Fellow, Internet Studies, Curtin University

Enduring Social Inequalities: Black Communities’ Responses to the “Covid-19 Crisis” in Brazil, Colombia and Kenya

Jaime Alves, Assistant Professor, Department of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Raquel de Souza, Researcher, Federal University of Bahia

Wangui Kimari, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Cape Town

Amanda Pinheiro, Doctoral Student, University of California, Santa Barbara

Terrance Wooten, Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Humor as a Semiotic Resource: Coping with Covid-19 Stress in Africa

Bassey Antia, Professor, Linguistics, University of the Western Cape

Sinfree Makoni, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Occupational Diseases in the Context of Pandemic: Managing Risk and Care among the Working-Class Households

Basak Can, Assistant Professor, Sociology Department, Koç University

Zeynel Gul, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins University

A People’s History of the Pandemic: Global Households and Covid-19 in Asia

Cathryn Clayton, Associate Professor and Chair, Asian Studies Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa

The Impacts of Covid-19 on Community-Based Maternal Health Projects

Haile Cole, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Containment and Distrust: Impacts of Covid-19 responses and historical containment on city making from below in Nairobi

Anders Ese, Head of Research and Development, Urban-A

Romola Sanyal, Associate Professor of Urban Geography, London School of Economics and Political Science

Joseph Mukeku, Community Design Architect & Affordable Housing Specialist, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Benjamin Sidori, Research Assistant, Urban-A

Queering the Surveillance Assemblage: Covid-19 and Homophobia in South Korea

Timothy Gitzen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, University of Hong Kong

Wonkeun Chun, Research Professor, Sookmyung Women’s University

Re/defining “Essential Work”: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Venezuelan Migrants in Argentina

Mariya Ivancheva, School of Histories, Languages, and Cultures, University of Liverpool

Jésica Lorena Pla, Permanent Research Fellow, Research Institute Gino Germani, University of Buenos Aires

Lockdown Diaries: Pandemic Stories from the Field

Ann Laudati, Instructor of Human-Environmental Geography, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley

Charlotte Mertens, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Melbourne

Stephanie Perazzone, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Antwerp

Re-Imagining Social Futures:  Lessons from Diverse Household Experiences during a Global Pandemic

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Professor, School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Well-Being in a Time of Social Distancing: Indonesian Domestic Workers in Singapore and Hong Kong

Dyah Pitaloka, Research Scholar, Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship

Frenia Nababan, Lecturer, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara

Governing the Pandemic: Relief and Resilience in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Maya Ratnam, Assistant Professor, School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University

Stigma Syndemics and End-Stage Kidney Disease in Disenfranchised Urban Communities Fighting Covid-19

Merav Shohet, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University

Insa Marie Schmidt, Postdoctoral Researcher, Boston University

Lauren Dana Stern, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University

Mapping Daily Routines, Rituals, and Virtual Emotional Intimacies in Covid-19 Pakistan

Zujaja Wahaj, Assistant Professor, International Business and Marketing, NUST Business School, National University of Sciences and Technology

Oliver Kayas, Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Asfia Obaid, Assistant Professor, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad

Lubaba Sadaf, Assistant Professor, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad

“Invisible Monsters”: The Pandemic Imaginary of Infectious Pathogens and Infectious Bodies

Lisa Wynn, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University

Thomas Strong, Lecturer, Maynooth University

Susanna Trnka, Associate Professor, University of Auckland

 

Watch Now: Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair

On Wednesday, June 17, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS joined forces to share excerpts from four critically significant and deeply relevant books and a conversation with the authors on how their work speaks to our times.  We were delighted to have an opportunity to introduce to a broad audience some of the most important and provocative thinkers working in our field.

This is a moment of reckoning.  The murder of George Floyd was not an isolated incident but the latest episode in a long history of anti-Blackness, a form of violence that is deeply rooted and global in its reach.   The books featured in this webinar help us understand the workings and origins of this form of violence and its infiltration into every corner of our societies.  At the same time, these books mobilize the power of the anthropological imagination to show what it might take to make a better world.  At this moment of sadness, anger, and possibility, these books are essential reading for anyone worried about where we’ve come from and what to do next.

Authors:

Laurence Ralph, Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and Director of the Center on Transnational Policing.  The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence.

Christen Smith, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.  Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil.

Savannah Shange, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Anti-Blackness, and Schooling in San Francisco.

Deborah A. Thomas, R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, and the Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania.   Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Sovereignty, Witnessing, Repair.

Moderators:

Chip Colwell, Editor-in-Chief, SAPIENS

Eshe Lewis, SAPIENS Public Fellow

Danilyn Rutherford, President, Wenner-Gren Foundation

Additional Resources:

https://abolitioniststudy.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/security-does-not-mean-safety-1/https://abolitioniststudy.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/security-does-not-mean-safety-1/ 

https://www.sapiens.org/body/covid-race-genetics/

https://www.sapiens.org/body/is-race-real/

https://www.sapiens.org/column/race/biological-race-and-reality/

https://www.sapiens.org/news/tulsa-race-massacre/

https://www.sapiens.org/language/national-lynching-memorial-poetry/

 

 

 

Call for Letters of Intent: Webinars on the Future of Anthropological Research

Wenner-Gren is welcoming letters of intent for webinars focusing on the future of anthropological research.   We particularly welcome proposals from pairs of scholars, one established and the other an advanced graduate student or recent PhD in the early stages of their career.  Webinars can focus on methodological, ethical, or conceptual aspects of anthropological research in these times of upheaval and change.  We will consider letters of intent on a rolling basis, until our budget for this program is depleted, and provide funding for up to $5,000, which we expect organizers to use to cover technical costs.

Your letter of intent should be roughly four single-spaced pages long and include a discussion of the theme or problem you plan to address, your proposed format and the speakers you intend to recruit, the skills or insights you hope your webinar will cultivate, and your plans for reaching the most inclusive audience possible with a stake in what you will discuss.  Where applicable, you may also include a bibliography of relevant work.  Please address your inquiries and proposals to Laurie Obbink at lobbink@wennergren.org and Danilyn Rutherford at drutherford@wennergren.org.

 

Webinar 6/17: Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair

On June 17th the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS will be hosting a webinar on, “Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair”.

Featuring books by Laurence Ralph (The Torture Letters), Savannah Shange (Progressive Dystopia), Christen A. Smith (Afro-Paradise), and Deborah A. Thomas (Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation) and a conversation with the authors on how their work speaks to our current moment.

Moderated by Danilyn Rutherford, Eshe Lewis, and Chip Colwell, the webinar will be began at 7:00 PM EDT (11:00 pm GMT). Click here to register.

The University of Chicago Press and the Wenner-Gren Foundation collaborate to produce SAPIENS

The University of Chicago Press and the Wenner-Gren Foundation have expanded their long-standing relationship to include collaboration on SAPIENS, a free online magazine that is dedicated to sharing anthropological research with a public readership. The new initiative supports the missions of both the Press and the Foundation, while maintaining SAPIENS’ editorial independence.

As the largest and one of the oldest university presses in the United States, the University of Chicago Press will provide SAPIENS with economies of scale and expertise in scholarly marketing and administrative services. This will allow the SAPIENS editorial team to focus on developing the stories and writers that serve their wide readership and the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s commitment to broadening the reach of anthropology.

“SAPIENS has been successful in demonstrating the relevance of scholarship to the broader public and we’re proud to align with the Wenner-Gren Foundation—our partner on Current Anthropology since 1971—to serve the academy and the public in new and timely ways,” said Journals Division Director Ashley Towne.

SAPIENS launched in 2016 with the goal of transforming how the public understands anthropology, themselves, and the people around them. Contributors to SAPIENS include anthropologists and science journalists who explore the human experience through news coverage, features, commentaries, reviews, and photo essays all grounded in anthropological research. The articles published on SAPIENS.org are read by millions of non-anthropologists worldwide, and in syndication through publications like ScientificAmerican.com, TheAtlantic.com, and DiscoverMagazine.com.

“We’re so excited about SAPIENS’ continued growth.  We have a smart team of editors and writers.  They’ve built a broad audience through engaging and relevant writing, an active social media presence, and robust podcast programming,” said Wenner-Gren Foundation President Danilyn Rutherford, Ph.D. “The magazine has now reached over 8 million readers.  With its reputation for excellence, the University of Chicago Press will help us build on this momentum and amplify the impact of anthropology in the wider world.”

Interested readers and potential contributors can learn more about SAPIENS at sapiens.org, and at upcoming conferences hosted by the Society for American Archaeology, the Law and Society Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Schools of Oriental Research.

The University of Chicago Press publishes more than 80 scholarly journals that cover a wide range of disciplines, from the humanities and the social sciences to the life and physical sciences. In addition to working with departments and faculty of the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago Press publishes influential scholarly journals on behalf of learned and professional societies and associations, foundations, museums, and other not-for-profit organizations. All are peer-reviewed publications, with readerships that include scholars, scientists, and practitioners, as well as other interested, educated individuals.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. is a private operating foundation dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world. Located in New York City, it is one of the major international funding sources for anthropological research and is actively engaged with the anthropological community through its varied grant, fellowship, conference, and capacity building programs. It founded and continues to publish Current Anthropology and disseminates the results of its symposia through open access supplementary issues of this international journal. It also publishes SAPIENS, an award-winning open access magazine read by millions of non-anthropologists worldwide. The Foundation works to support all branches of anthropology and closely related disciplines concerned with human biological and cultural origins, development, and variation.

COVID-19 and Wenner-Gren Foundation Funding

At the Wenner-Gren Foundation, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the global coronavirus epidemic on those we serve.   It’s harder than ever to be an anthropologist, and yet our research is more relevant than ever.   We have an ethical duty as a Foundation to protect the safety of the anthropologists we fund and the broader communities affected by their projects.  But we also have an ethical duty to help our discipline survive and thrive.   Given our limited resources, we are being forced to make hard choices.  At the same time, we are eager to support anthropologists who are seeking new ways to do their work in these strange and uncertain times.

Over the coming months, we will take the following measures so we can continue to award grants and fellowships:

  • We are proceeding with our review of applications for the Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants submitted at the November 1, 2019 deadline. Applicants will have an opportunity to submit additional information on how their plans have changed.  The Foundation will be in touch directly with each eligible applicant with more information on the process and timeline.

 

  • With much regret, we will not be accepting applications for Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants at the May 1, 2020 deadline. This is a temporary pause.   We will be accepting applications for Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research grants at the November 1, 2020 deadline.   We remain committed to funding the research of anthropologists at every stage in their careers.  For more information, see the Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grant program pages.

 

  • We will be accepting applications for the Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship at the May 1, 2020 deadline. Candidates for the Fejos are only eligible if they are able to complete their project safely and ethically, which may preclude applicants requiring additional research and/or filming.  For more information see the Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship program pages.

 

  • We are launching a Global Initiatives Program that will support collaborative, capacity-building projects of benefit to the discipline. We encourage anyone interested in collaborating on a topic connected to the pandemic’s impact on anthropology to submit a letter of intent at the May 15, 2020 deadline.   For more information see the Global Initiatives Program page.

 

  • We will only be accepting Workshop Grant applications at our June 1, 2020 deadline. We will only be funding virtual events.  Applicants for Conference Grants should wait until our December 1, 2020 deadline, when we will run an expedited review process for events held in 2021. For more information see the Conference and Workshop Grants program page.

 

  • We will accept Wadsworth International Fellowship renewal applications at the July 1, 2020 deadline. For more information see the Wadsworth International Fellowship program page. We will accept Wadsworth African Fellowship applications at the December 15, 2020 deadline.  Click here for more information regarding the Wadsworth African Fellowship.

 

  • We will accept applications for Engaged Anthropology Research Grants at the August 1, 2020 deadline. However, we will only fund projects that the researcher can undertake safely and ethically, most likely through virtual forms of engagement.  See the Engaged Anthropology Grant program page for more information.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.  In the meantime, we wish you and yours the best.   Please be well.

Conference Program Associate Position Announcement

 

Conference Program Associate
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc.
New York, NY

The Wenner-Gren Foundation is a private operating foundation dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world.  Located in New York City, it is one of the major international funding sources for anthropological research and is actively engaged with the anthropological community through its grant, fellowship, conference, publication, and capacity building programs. We are committed to playing a leadership role in anthropology.  We help anthropologists advance anthropological knowledge, build sustainable careers, and amplify the impact of anthropology within the wider world. We are dedicated to broadening the conversation in anthropology to reflect the full diversity of the field.

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all employees and seeks to recruit from a broad pool of talented candidates. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position. Addressing the precarity of anthropology and anthropologists is a key element of our mission, which we will take into account in the selection process.


Position Description

 The Conference Program Associate is responsible for all aspects of Wenner-Gren’s broad slate of academic gatherings.  As an integral member of a small, hardworking staff, the Associate oversees the Conference and Workshop Program, which provides funding to organizers of small working sessions and major international meetings, and works with the President to host Wenner-Gren’s Symposia and Seminars, which are designed to foster new conversations in anthropology and lead the discipline into new terrain.  The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in anthropology, be intellectually curious and discerning, and have an expansive vision of the discipline.  This individual will also be exceedingly well-organized and collegial, and have experience executing the wide range of administrative tasks essential to making an academic meeting a success.  The Conference Program Associate must be an excellent writer, have extraordinary interpersonal skills, and enjoy serving and collaborating with a diverse community of scholars and professionals.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee Conference and Workshop Grant Program:
    • Field inquiries.
    • Participate in application review process, collate results, and rank proposals.
    • Cooperate with President in final selection.
    • Communicate results with applicants.
    • Administer grants and evaluate final reports.
    • Update web information and application materials.
    • Participate in program evaluation and long-term planning.

 

  • Oversee Wenner-Gren Symposia:
    • Publicize program and field inquiries
    • Receive and circulate letters of intent with President and Advisory Council.
    • Collect, collate, and circulate feedback from Advisory Council.
    • Lead discussion of proposed themes at Advisory Council meeting.
    • Cooperate with President in theme selection and the recruitment of organizers.
    • Research possible sites, cooperate with President in venue selection, and manage all communications with hotels and vendors.
    • Organize virtual and in person meetings with organizers. Lead discussion of format, venue, and process for refining the theme and selecting participants and paper topics.
    • Manage communications with participants and organizers.
    • Manage travel arrangements for participants and organizers.
    • Collaborate with President and organizers to plan supplemental activities.
    • Join President in representing the Foundation at event. Document proceedings.  Serve as liaison for hotel management and vendors.  Take responsibility for all logistical arrangements and address any issues that arise.
    • Oversee preparation of Symposium papers for publication in Current Anthropology. Recruit reviewers and oversee review process.  Manage deadlines.  Coordinate with organizers, journal editors and staff.
    • Update web information.
    • Participate in program evaluation and long-term planning.

 

  • Oversee Wenner-Gren Seminars:
    • Publicize program and field inquiries.
    • Receive and circulate letters of intent with President and Advisory Council.
    • Collect, collate, and circulate feedback from Advisory Council.
    • Lead discussion of proposed topics at Advisory Council meeting.
    • Cooperate with President in theme selection and recruitment of organizers.
    • Research possible sites, cooperate with President in venue selection, and manage all communications with hotels and vendors.
    • Research and brainstorm with President on possible formats.
    • Organize virtual and in person meetings with organizers. Lead discussion of format, venue, and theme and help the group arrive at a process for developing a list of senior participants, a process for recruiting junior participants, and a description of the roles each participant will play.
    • Manage recruitment of junior participants.
    • Manage communications with participants and organizers.
    • Manage travel arrangements for participants and organizers.
    • Collaborate with President and organizers to plan supplemental activities.
    • Join President in representing the Foundation at event. Document proceedings.  Serve as liaison for hotel management and vendors.  Take responsibility for all logistical arrangements and address any issues that arise.
    • Coordinate follow-up.
    • Update web information.
    • Collaborate with President in program evaluation and long-term planning.

 

  • Assist with the Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grant Programs:
    • Participate in identification of reviewers.
    • Participate in internal review process.
    • Use data on applications to identify possible Symposium and Seminar themes.

Qualifications and Experience

  • PhD or ABD in anthropology or closely aligned discipline.
  • Track record of service to anthropology.
  • Track record of success in fostering conversation in diverse groups.
  • Proven commitment to an inclusive vision of anthropology.
  • Professional experience in event planning and management.
  • Self-starter with a high degree of energy and careful attention to detail.
  • Highly flexible, creative problem solver, with a strong ability to multi-task.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent social media skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills.
  • High level of professionalism and demonstrated good judgement.
  • Superb organizational and time management skills.
  • Proficient or advanced skill in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and Outlook).
  • Proficient skill or willingness to learn Salesforce and other event management tools.

Compensation

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  Benefits package includes 401(k) plan, health insurance, group term life and disability insurance, generous paid time off and flexible work arrangements.

 

How to Apply

Applications for this position are being accepted online via Ziprecruiter.com, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/job/db68ca79  You will be asked to upload your curriculum vitae or resume, a letter of interest, and salary requirements to the site. In the letter of interest, please comment on how your skills and experience are a good match for this position and where you learned about the position.

Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2020.  Due to the expected high volume of applications for this position, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  Please note that candidates must be authorized to work lawfully in the United States. Wenner-Gren does not provide visa sponsorship for employment.

The ideal start date is June 1, 2020, but the Foundation will be flexible to accommodate the selected candidate’s circumstances.