Webinar 12/2: For the Welfare of the Whole People: Heritage Stewardship in Indigenous and Black Communities

We are excited to announce the next webinar sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, and the Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley, For the Welfare of the Whole People: Heritage Stewardship in Indigenous and Black Communities”, on December 2, 2020 from 4-6 pm EST. You can register for the event here

The seminar will be moderated by Reno Franklin (Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, THPO Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe & Advisory Council on Historic Preservation) and panelists include Erik Denson (Diving with a Purpose), Frandelle Gerard (Crucian Heritage & Nature Tours), Octavius Seowtewa (A:shiwi, Zuni Cultural Resources Advisory Team), and Judy Dow (Abenaki, Gedakina).

The webinar will be hosted on Zoom and live-streamed via Vimeo. CART captioning will be provided and the event will be recorded and available for later viewing. 

This virtual panel discussion is part of a year-long series that features transformational approaches to archaeological storytelling. More information on the event series can be found here: www.sapiens.org/futures

 

Webinar 11/11: Black and Indigenous Storytelling as Counter-History

We are excited to announce the next webinar sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, and SAPIENS, Black and Indigenous Storytelling as Counter-History. The webinar will be held on November 11th from 4-6 pm EDT and is sponsored by the Cotsen Institute for Archaeology at UCLA.

Registration for the event can be accessed here.

Black and Indigenous Storytelling as Counter-History

For untold centuries, storytelling has been foundational to the ways Black and Indigenous people understand and connect to the world around them. However, knowledge systems upheld in academic settings continually disavow these narratives and those who hold them as valid sites of intellectual production. For BIPOC heritage professionals, storytelling taps into historically marginalized ways of knowing. It offers ways to reclaim and retell histories that often counter the harmful and one-sided narratives told about Black and Indigenous peoples through archaeology, museums, and heritage sites. In this webinar, we explore storytelling through artifacts, cultural landscapes, comics, graphic novels, and video games as a means of counter-history, illuminating new ways of imagining pasts, presents, and futures for Black and Indigenous people. Panelists will discuss how they engage storytelling as an intellectual entryway to interpretations of the material evidence of Black and Indigenous histories

Panelists:

Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva), Comic Book Artist and Illustrator

Antoinette Jackson, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department, University of South Florida

John Jennings, Professor, University of California at Riverside

Ora Marek-Martinez (Diné, Nimiipuu, Hopi), PhD, Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Center, Northern Arizona University

Moderated by Dian Million (Tanana Athabascan), PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the American Indian Studies Department, University of Washington

CART captioning provided by Lori Stavropoulos.

Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS

The panel will also be livestreamed on Vimeo.

 

Webinar 11/6: Civil and Civic Manipulations: Activism, Media, and Public Policy

On November 6, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST, the second installment in the webinar series: Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future“, continues with the webinar, “Civil and Civic Manipulations: Activism, Media, and Public Policy”, featuring Joan Donovan, Research Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University Kennedy School and led by Bill Maurer (he/his), Dean of Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion, UC Irvine
Taylor C. Nelms (he/his), Senior Director of Research, Filene Research Institute.

Bill and Taylor will be joined by:

Kim Fernandes (they/them), Ph.D. student in Anthropology and Education, University of Pennsylvania

Nina Medvedeva (she/her), Ph.D. candidate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota

Nima Yolmo (she/they), Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

Click here to register for this event.

Watch Now: Introducing the Series: Theory and Practice at the Edges of Academia

On October 23rd the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences in partnership with the Wenner-Gren Foundation kicked off the first installment of the webinar series: Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future“. An archive of the first episode, “Introducing the Series: Theory and Practice at the Edges of Academia” can be seen here.

Also on November 6, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST, be sure to check out the next installment in the series, “Civil and Civic Manipulations: Activism, Media, and Public Policy”, with Joan Donovan, Research Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University Kennedy School. Click here to register for this event.

NYAS Lecture 11/9: What Is the Utility of Anthropology in This Moment of Emergency?

On November 9th the New York Academy of Sciences hosted the lecture, “What Is the Utility of Anthropology in This Moment of Emergency?” Watch it now.

Emergencies push people to reflect on what is meaningful, to become clearer about who they are (individually and collectively), and to figure out what they need to survive. They are reckonings. They demarcate who is included and who is excluded, who has access – to rights, to the “good life,” to living at all – and who doesn’t. In this conversation, Deborah Thomas and Bianca Williams will draw from their own experiences in and of the discipline to reflect upon the extent to which anthropology offers tools to make sense of, and find our way out of, emergencies. They will discuss what drew them to the field, what their continued investments are, and how they attempt to make the discipline accountable to who they are. If the urgency of this moment demands that anthropologists use our tools not only “out there” (in some faraway place that is the “field”), but also right here in the places we work, sleep, and eat, then anthropologists must be prepared to turn the lens on themselves, their departments, their professional organizations, and their funding agencies. How might contemporary discussions about white supremacy, anti-Black violence, and class disparity allow us to do deep thinking about estrangement, alienation, and engagement “at home?” Are anthropologists ready for this kind of radical honesty?

SPEAKERS

Deborah A. Thomas

Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania

Bianca C. Williams

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Women & Gender Studies, and Critical Psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY

About the Speakers:

Deborah A. Thomas is the R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology, and the Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also a Research Associate with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg.  Thomas is the author of Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation:  Sovereignty, Witnessing, Repair, Exceptional Violence:  Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica and Modern Blackness:  Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica; and co-editor of the volume Globalization and Race:  Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness.  Her articles have appeared in a diverse range of journals including Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Radical History Review, Anthropological Theory, small axe, Identities, Interventions, and Feminist Review.  Thomas has also co-directed and co-produced two documentary films:  BAD FRIDAY:  RASTAFARI AFTER CORAL GARDENS, which chronicles violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community; and FOUR DAYS IN MAY:  KINGSTON 2010, which explores the effects of the “Tivoli Incursion” in May 2010, when Jamaican security forces entered West Kingston to arrest Christopher Coke, wanted for extradition to the United States, and killed at least 75 civilians.  Thomas is also the co-curator of a multi-media installation titled Bearing Witness:  Four Days in West Kingston, which opened at the Penn Museum in November 2017.  Thomas edited the journal Transforming Anthropology from 2007-2010, and currently sits on the editorial boards of Social and Economic Studies and Anthropological Theory.  From 2016-2020, she was the Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association.  She has served on the executive boards of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), the Caribbean Studies Association, and the Society for Cultural Anthropology.  Prior to Thomas’s life as an academic, she was a professional dancer with the New York-based Urban Bush Women.

Bianca C. Williams (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Women & Gender Studies, and Critical Psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned a graduate certificate in African & African American Studies and her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. Her research interests focus on Black women and emotional wellness; race, gender, and equity in higher education; and Black feminist pedagogical and organizing practices. The investigative thread that binds Williams’ organizing, teaching, and research is the question “How do Black people develop strategies for enduring and resisting the effects of racism and sexism, while attempting to maintain emotional wellness?” In her award-winning book The Pursuit of Happiness: Black Women, Diasporic Dreams, and the Politics of Emotional Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2018), Williams argues that pursuing happiness is a political project for Black women, while examining how African American women use travel to Jamaica and the Internet as tools for escaping U.S. racism and sexism. She is co-editor of Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education with Dian Squire and Frank Tuitt (SUNY Press, March 2021). Additionally, Williams has written about “radical honesty” as feminist inclusive pedagogy in the volume Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment, and published in the journals Souls, Cultural Anthropology, Teachers College Record, and on the blogs Anthrodendum and Anthropoliteia. She is a recipient of the American Anthropological Association & Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology. Finally, Williams is Faculty Lead of the PublicsLab at The Graduate Center, and the Executive Program Chair for the 2021 meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

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.

Watch Now: Migration through the Camera Lens: Ethnography, Film, and the Migration Crisis

On October 19th the New York Academy of Sciences hosted the lecture, “Migration through the Camera Lens: Ethnography, Film, and the Migration Crisis”. Watch it now.

Building on the long tradition of anthropological research in borderlands, questions of mobility have received heightened attention by scholars in recent years as migration crises make headline news. Alongside new works exploring the political and experiential elements of migration, some anthropologists are turning to filmmaking as an ideal ethnographic method for actively engaging migrant subjects in the research process, raising public awareness about the human rights of migrants, and building on existing theories of individual, group, and national identity construction in borderlands. Distinguished panelists will discuss their experiences documenting migration through the camera lens. Prior to the event, registered guests will have the opportunity to view Border South, which focuses its lens on the border space between the United States and Mexico, and selections from The Burning, which focuses on the southernmost borders to the European Union in North Africa; an email with the links and passwords to view the films will be sent to registered attendees 48 hours before the event. These films will set the stage for an engaging event on film as an ethnographic method, the ethics of doing research with migrant populations, and the politics of mobility in critical border regions with global health and humanitarian crises on the rise. Key questions center on how border crises are created and manipulated by those in power, and how governments use natural barriers, including deserts and seas, to reinforce the violent, traumatic, and even deadly experiences of border crossing.

 

SPEAKERS

Jason De León

Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP)

Isabella Alexander-Nathani

Founder and Executive Director of Small World Films

Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana

Independent Filmmaker and Cinematographer

MODERATOR

Naeem Mohaiemen

Filmmaker, Author and Mellon Fellow at Heyman Center, Columbia University

About the Speakers:

Jason De León is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) Inc., a 501(c)(3). The UMP is a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Latin America and the United States that uses a combination of ethnographic, visual, archaeological, and forensic approaches to understand this violent social process. He has published numerous academic articles and his work with the UMP has been featured in a variety of popular media outlets. He is the author of the award-winning book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail” (featuring photos by Michael Wells) and Head Curator of the forthcoming global exhibition Hostile Terrain 94. De León is President of the Board of Directors for The Colibrí Center for Human Rights and a 2017 MacArthur Foundation fellow.

Dr. Isabella Alexander-Nathani is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, educator, and human rights activist. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, her work is motivated by her belief that storytelling has the power to humanize complex political issues. Her latest book Burning at Europe’s Borders (Oxford University Press, 2020) and related documentary film The Burning (Small World Films, 2020) uncover the human sides of our global migrant and refugee crisis. Alexander-Nathani’s work has been featured on BBC, CNN, NPR, PRI, and Al Jazeera, and she is a regular contributor to SAPIENS, where she writes a monthly column called “Borders.” Her speaking programs have brought her to stages around the world, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Parliament of the World’s Religions, where she has delivered keynote addresses to audiences of more than 10,000. The American Anthropological Association presented her with the “Emerging Leader in Anthropology” award in 2016, and her latest project has been supported by multiple grants from The National Science Foundation. She has held faculty positions in the Departments of Anthropology and Film Studies at Emory University and the Department of Social Sciences at Morocco’s national university. She currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of Small World Films, a non-profit production studio. She uses grounded social science research and storytelling to lift the voices of marginalized populations to the global stage and fight for international policy change.

Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker and cinematographer. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.”  His last feature film Border South follows the migrant routes from southern Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. The result is a close-up, nuanced, and highly original view of the migrant experience, one fraught with risk and danger but also camaraderie, ingenuity, and humor. Border South had its world premiere at the 2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K., its U.S. premiere at the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington D.C. and its Latin American premiere at the 2020 Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) in Mexico. Raúl is a Princess Grace Awards Special Project Grantee, a Camargo Foundation Cassis France Artist Alumni, a Tribeca Film Institute grant recipient, a 2018 IFP Filmmaker Labs fellow, a 2018 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, a 2018-20 Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2020 New America National Fellow, a 2018-20 Ford Foundation, JustFilms grantee, a 2020 Colorado Humanities grantee, and a 2020-21 Sundance Institute grantee.

MODERATOR
Naeem Mohaiemen makes films and writes essays about rhizomatic families, malleable borders, and socialist utopias – beginning from Bangladesh’s two postcolonial markers (1947, 1971) and then radiating outward to transnational linkages. He is author of Midnight’s Third Child (Nokta, forthcoming) and Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel, 2014); editor of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat, 2010); and co-editor with Eszter Szakacs of Solidarity Must be Defended (Tranzit, forthcoming) and with Lorenzo Fusi of System Error: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (Sylvana, 2007). Naeem is Mellon Fellow at Heyman Center, Columbia University, New York, and Senior Fellow (non-residential) at Lunder Institute of American Art, Colby College, Maine. He is on the board of the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School, New York, and the film council of ICA, London.

 

Webinar Series: Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future

The Wenner-Gren Foundation in partnership with the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences are excited to announce a new webinar series, “Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future“.

Organized by Bill Maurer (Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion, UC Irvine) and Taylor C. Nelms (Senior Director of Research, Filene Research Institute)

 With Kim Fernandes (University of Pennsylvania), Nina Medvedeva (University of Minnesota), Nima Yolmo (UC Irvine), and Chris Chan (University of Washington)

That the future of anthropology is up for grabs is not new. Anthropology has always been the outcome of struggle, and anthropologists and their allies have long sought to speak truth to power and to convey their own and others’ stories to address inequality, domination, and violence in all its forms. Our record is mixed, to say the least.

Yet the opportunity for intervention arrives anew, and seizing it requires confronting the methods of knowledge production/dissemination and professional reproduction together. What are the possibilities and limitations of working inside, outside, alongside, against, at the edges, or in the hybrid in-between spaces of anthropology’s multiple and heterogeneous publics? And how ought we imagine and describe the position of “public,” “applied,” or “practicing” anthropologists (all inadequate idioms) vis-a-vis academic anthropology and the organizations with whom they work?

This interview series, supported by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, will look to new spaces of inquiry and intervention outside the academy—in tech, finance, and nonprofit worlds, specifically—to explore new forms of knowledge production and dissemination and new kinds of organization and communication. The webinar series will feature anthropologists and other social scientists working across institutional boundaries and with partners outside the academy to put into practice alternative financial and economic arrangements. Speakers will take up what it means to make anthropology—and anthropologists—accountable to its history and to the political economic demands of the moment. And they will investigate what forms critique takes, and what other kinds of intervention are possible, in industries, from finance to tech to philanthropy, that hold concentrated power over the material lives of so many around the world.

SCHEDULE: All webinars will take place Fridays, 12-1pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time/9-10am Pacific.

October 23, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#1 – Introducing the Series: Theory and Practice at the Edges of Academia

With Bill Maurer and Taylor C. Nelms

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_1_Maurer_Nelms

 

November 6, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#2 – Civil and Civic Manipulations: Activism, Media, and Public Policy

With Joan Donovan, Research Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University Kennedy School

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_3_Donovan

 

December 4, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#3 – Communicating and Community-Building: Working in, with, and against Big Tech

With Mary L. Gray, Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Associate Professor, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, & Engineering, Anthropology, and Gender Studies, Indiana University

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_4_Gray

 

December 18, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#4 – Building Race as an Analytic into Anthropology, Within and Outside the Academy

With Sareeta Amrute, Director of Research, Data & Society

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_5_Amrute

 

January 8, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#5 – Expanding the Anthropological Imagination: Working in, with, and against Wall Street

With Hannah Appel, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UCLA

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_6_Appel

 

January 22, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#6 – Precarious Professions, Organizing for the Future

With Eli Thorkelson

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_7_Thorkelson

 

February 5th, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#7 – Public, Open/Libre, Commons: Cultures of Liberation and the Liberation of Culture in Anthropology

With Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Reader, Department of Social Anthropology, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_8_Jiménez

 

February 12, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#8 – What Does Social Change Look Like?

Angela Russell, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_9_Russell

 

February 26, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#9 – On Emergencies: Socializing and Institutionalizing in Crisis

Federico Neiburg, Professor of Social Anthropology, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_10_Neiburg

 

March 12, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#10 – Pedagogical and Political Commitments: The Opportunities and Limitations of Anthropology outside the Academy

With Noelle Stout, Research Faculty, Apple University

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_2_Stout

Webinar Series: From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black and Indigenous Futures in Archaeology

Credit: Backbone Campaign/Flickr

If you haven’t already please be sure to check out the ongoing monthly webinar series, “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black and Indigenous Futures in Archaeology“.

Widespread protests against police violence and anti-Black racism have recently swept the globe. In the wake of protests in May and June, specifically, many citizens and communities looked to build new momentum in the fight for civil rights and social justice.

The field of archaeology has its own history to confront. Racism, elitism, and colonialism suffuse the discipline and its practices. Although some scholars have been working to unearth these stories and envision a new future for the field, much work remains to be done.

To advance critical conversations about archaeology, a coalition of organizations created a new webinar series. These public dialogues—intended for both scholars and the larger public—are among academics, artists, and community members.

The next installment in the series, “An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice” will be on Wednesday, October 7th from 4-6 PM (Eastern). To register for this event click here.

Head on over to SAPIENS for the full list of events.

Organized by the Society of Black Archaeologists, the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS.