Anthropology Matters!

November 29 to December 3
Washington D.C.

AES at AAA 2017

Below you will find information about AES events, including a list of AES’s eight co-sponsored sessions, an AES-sponsored reception, an AES-sponsored “Community Engagement Event,” our Business meeting, and three workshops. We look forward to seeing you in Washington DC!

Featured Session

How’s the Trumpocene Going? Anthropologists Reflect on the Past Year
Sponsored by: Association for Feminist Anthropology; American Ethnological Society

Saturday, December 2, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Marriott Ballroom Salon 3

In this roundtable discussion, anthropologists will comment and reflect upon life in the Trumpocene era. Among the questions that will be posed are: How has Trump’s rise to power transformed global attitudes towards the US and Americans more generally? To what extent have anthropologists neglected to conduct ethnographic research in the Rust Belt and rural America, where President Trump received strong support from voters? In what ways will recent movements like Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement be affected by a self-described “law and order” president? How might federal funding for anthropological research be affected by new budgetary priorities designed to strengthen the military, rather than the sciences and humanities? To what extent is Trump’s rise to power indicative of broader global political trends? How are people mobilizing themselves to oppose a series of dramatically new initiatives that threaten to dismantle structures and policies designed to protect some of the most vulnerable members of US society? And finally, what roles should anthropologists play in a democratic society whose top elected official has demonstrated authoritarian, misogynistic, and xenophobic tendencies?

Participants: William O. Beeman, Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, Adrienne Pine, Christine J. Walley, Laura Nader, Jose N. Vasquez, Bianca C. Williams, Roberto Gonzalez, Narges Bajoghli.

Featured Community Engagement Event

Strategizing for Sanctuary
Organized by: Adrienne Pine (American U.).

Saturday, Dec 2., 3- 5:45 PM
St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Sanctuary DMV ( has led the nation in revitalizing the Sanctuary movement. Recent achievements include: Working to strengthen DC’s Sanctuary City status; creating safe houses to shelter families facing deportation; accompanying individuals at risk of deportation to their court dates and ICE check-ins; creating “rapid response” groups to monitor sites of ICE activity; providing “Know Your Rights” training to community organizations; and organizing interfaith sanctuary congregations. We will bring DMV-area sanctuary leaders together to inform anthropologists interested in supporting sanctuary efforts. Because community partners all have nationwide networks, non-local attendees can make connections enabling collaboration with sanctuary movements in different regions.

Second Annual Debate of Anthropological Keywords

Friday, December 1, 2017. 4:15-6 PM
Marriott: Thurgood Marshall South

The Second Annual Debate of Anthropological Keywords, a joint project between AES, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, and L’Homme. This year’s keyword is “Humanism.”

Debaters: Didier Fassin, Hugh Gusterson, Saba Mahmood, Joel Robbins, Danilyn Rutherford, Lucy Suchman
Hosts: Cléo Carastro, Giovanni Da Col, Carole McGranahan

Late breaking session

Climate Denialism, Global Warming and Environmental Catastrophe in the Trumpocene Era
Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society

Saturday, December 2, 2017: 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Marriott Ballroom Salon 1

The year 2017 may go down in history as a turning point in the politics–and the reality–of climate change. The year began with the inauguration of Donald Trump, who for years had denied the existence of climate change. After appointing Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental Protection Agency (an entity that he had sued over a dozen times over clean water and air laws), Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord in June. In the meantime, a series of deadly and disturbing weather events have occurred in the US and other countries over the past year: Hurricane Harvey, which inundated eastern and southeastern Texas with torrential rains and unprecedented flooding; wildfires raging across Oregon, British Columbia, and other parts of the Pacific northwest; historically low Arctic and Antarctic sea ice levels; mass coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; monsoon floods across South Asia that inundated one-third of Bangladesh and killed more than 1200 people; and the devastation of Hurricane Irma, which at one point had the highest winds ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. This roundtable session will explore the following questions: How can an integrative anthropological approach informed by a knowledge of social and environmental interactions lead to a more holistic understanding of climate change? In what ways might ethnographic approaches help to communicate the lived experiences of those affected by extreme climate events at the local level? How can our discipline’s long-term perspective contribute to a better understanding of global warming and its relationship to human technological and social development? What can anthropological knowledge about human adaptation and survival contribute to contemporary discussions about climate change? How have political and economic structures affected popular understandings of climate change? And finally, how might social scientists effectively confront the Trump administration’s general assault on science?

Chair/Roundtable Introducer: Shanti Parikh
Roundtable Presenters: Katherine E. Browne, Shirley J. Fiske, Susan A. Crate, Vincanne Adams, Julie K. Maldonado, Anthony R. Oliver-Smith
Organizers: Hugh Gusterson, Roberto Gonzalez
Discussants: Andrew Revkin, Barbara Rose Johnston

Panels, roundtables, and special events

Retrospective – Oral Presentation

Sponsored by: Association for Feminist Anthropology; American Ethnological Society
(3-0045) Frontiers and Reflections on the Anthropology of Kinship and Gender: Papers in Honor of Susan McKinnon (Part 1)
Thursday, November 30, 8:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Oral Presentation Session

Sponsored by: Association of Black Anthropologists; American Ethnological Society
(3-0425) 21st Century Resistance, Protest, and Ethnography in the African Diaspora
Thursday, November 30, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Oral Presentation Session

Sponsored by: Society for Medical Anthropology; American Ethnological Society
(3-0855) Knowledge and Action: The Value of Critical Ethnographic Engagement in the Work of Shirley Lindenbaum (Part 1)
Thursday, November 30, 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM


Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society
(4-0590) Margery Wolf Memorial and Life Celebration
Friday, December 1, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM

Oral Presentation Session

Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society; Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology
(4-0820) Deserving DREAMers, Do-Gooders, Delinquents, and Drop-Outs: Understanding Immigrant Youth’s Narratives of Self and Citizenship Status in Nativist Times
Friday, December 1, 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM


Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society; General Anthropology Division
(4-1110) Humanism: The Second Annual Debate of Anthropological Keywords (ADAK)
Friday, December 1, 4:15 PM – 6:00 PM


Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society; Association for Feminist Anthropology
(5-0610) How’s the Trumpocene Era Going? Anthropologists Reflect on the Past Year
Saturday, December 2, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Oral Presentation Session

Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society; Association of Black Anthropologists
(5-0850) Between Visibilities and Invisibilities: Forms of Racism and Anti-Racism in the Twenty-first Century
Saturday, December 2, 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Roundtable Session

Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society
Climate Denialism, Global Warming and Environmental Catastrophe in the Trumpocene Era
Saturday, December 2, 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Organizing Meeting (Community Engagement Event)

Sponsored by: American Ethnological Society
(5-0965) Strategizing for Sanctuary
Saturday, December 2, 3:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Oral Presentation Session

Sponsored by: Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology; American Ethnological Society
(6-0215) Policing the Crisis (Part 2)
Sunday, December 3
10:15 AM – 12:00 PM

AES Business Meeting

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Marriott: Thurgood Marshall East

This special event is open to all current and prospective AES members. We will announce the winner of the Sharon Stephens Prize (for a junior scholar’s first book) at the AES business meeting, followed by a conversation between the winners and the prize committee: AES Councilor Shanti Parikh, chair (Washington U in St. Louis), Ilana Gershon (Indiana U, Bloomington), and Laurence Ralph (Harvard U). The conversation, entitled “Reflections on Ethnography and Theory with Nayanika Mathur and Jon Bialecki: A Conversation with the 2017 Stephens Book Prize Winners,” is open to all! At this meeting, we also will thank our incoming and outgoing board members.

AES Workshops

Pre-registration here

1) Teaching Anthropology

Led by Tristan Daniel Jones (Rutgers University) and Kenneth J. Guest (Baruch College, City University of New York); Organizer: Kenneth J. Guest
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Undergraduate students enrolled in introductory cultural anthropology courses, both majors and non-majors, comprise our discipline’s largest public audience. More than a blog post, an op-ed or a citation in a major media piece, the introductory classroom provides anthropologists with opportunities for in-depth and extended presentation of the key research strategies and analytical frameworks of our field. Come discuss how to create a dynamic and engaged intro classroom experience designed to help students apply the key concepts of anthropology to their everyday lives.

2) Publishing a Peer-Reviewed Article: Thoughts from a Journal Editor

Led by Niko Besnier, AE Editor
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

This workshop is focused on helping attendees who seek to publish their manuscripts in peer-reviewed academic journals, particularly anthropology journals. The workshop will be coordinated by the editor-in-chief of American Ethnologist, who during his tenure has reviewed hundreds of manuscripts on a wide range of topics. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions from an experienced journal editor, and in so doing potentially improve the chance that they will succeed in getting their own manuscripts published. Topics to be covered include: choosing an appropriate journal for your manuscript; understanding the importance of submission guidelines; demystifying the process of peer review; tips for responding to reviewers’ comments and revising your manuscript; what to do if your manuscript is rejected outright; and tips for promoting your work once it is in print.

3) Getting Your Book Manuscript Published: Meet with Academic Press Editors

Led by Fred Appel, Princeton University Press; Priya Nelson, The University of Chicago Press; and Ken Wissoker, Duke University Press; Organizer: Roberto Gonzalez
Friday, December 1, 2017, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This workshop is focused on helping attendees who are interested in the possibility of submitting book manuscripts to peer-reviewed academic publishers. Workshop participants will include acquisitions editors from three university presses who have overseen the review of hundreds of manuscripts covering a wide range of topics. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions from these experienced editors, and in so doing potentially improve the chances that they will succeed in getting their own book manuscripts published. Some of the topics that will be covered include: choosing the right publisher for your work; preparing a book proposal or prospectus; submitting your book manuscript; how the peer review process works; revising your manuscript; working with publishers to promote your book; and tips for avoiding common mistakes.