Alconini, Dr. Sonia, U. of Texas, San Antonio, TX - To aid workshop on 'The South-Central Montane Forest and Adjacent Areas: Regional Political Developments, Inter-regional Exchange and Cultural Interaction,' 2013, Bolivia
'The South-Central Montane Forest and Adjacent Areas: Regional Political Developments, Inter-regional Exchange and Cultural Interaction'
July 22-28, 2013, Sucre, Bolivia
Organizer: Sonia Alconini (U. Texas at San Antonio)
The aim of this workshop was to discuss the current status of archaeological research in the south-central tropical mountains of South America and their importance in the development of sociopolitical complexity in the nearby Andes and tropical lowlands. This region, also known as Yunga and Jungla Tucumana further north, is often described as an 'uninhabitable,' marginal territory. Challenging such assumptions, the workshop goals were: 1) to illuminate the nature and evolution of the distinct political trajectories and cultural traditions that developed in the south-central tropical mountains; 2) to understand the nature of the agrarian systems in such Yunga environments; 3) to examine the political development of populations in the nearby temperate valleys; and 4) to assess the nature of the distinct spheres of interaction and circulation of goods, symbols, and peoples that crossed this ecological spectrum. Thanks to the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Universidad Mayor de San Francisco Xavier, sixteen scholars who work on the region were brought to Bolivia. Papers were circulated online prior to the workshop to facilitate discussion, and twenty-two presentations were made. The results exceeded organizers' expectations, considering the different scopes, methodologies, and theoretical orientations present at the meeting, and plans to have the proceedings published are underway.
Panter-Brick, Dr. Catherine, U. of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom - To aid conference on 'Health, Risk, and Adversity: A New Synthesis from Biological Anthropology,' 2006, U. of Durham, in collaboration with Dr. Agustin Fuentes
'Health, Risk, and Adversity: a New Synthesis from Biological Anthropology.' April 7-10, 2006, Durham, United Kingdom. Organizers: Catherine Panter-Brick (University of Durham) and Agustin Fuentes (University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana). Research on health involves evaluating the production of disparities that are systematically associated with the experience of risk, including genetic and physiological variation, environmental exposure to poor nutrition and disease, and social marginalization. Anthropology and Public Health research often converge in focusing attention on the important issue of who suffers from poor health outcomes, but both disciplines are still developing approaches to examining this question in conjunction with issues as to why and how health differentials are produced over the lifetime of given individuals. This conference aimed to enhance understanding of both outcomes and processes shaping relationships between health, risk and adversity -- to facilitate linkages between multiple levels of inquiry, into who or what drives the production of health disparities as well as into how, when and why differential health outcomes are produced. The conference, held at the University of Durham, focused on discourse related to pathways of risk and adversity conducive to variation in human health, and was attended by researchers from North America, Mexico, and England. Participants sought to reflect systematically on the theoretical and practical contributions of biological anthropology to these issues.
Lavento, Dr. Mika, U. of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland - To aid '18th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA),' 2012, U. of Helsinki, in collaboration with Dr. Friedrich Luth
Preliminary abstract: The EAA's annual conferences aim to bring together archaeologists from all parts of Europe, and an increasing number from the United States of America and other parts of the world. The purpose of the conferences is to exchange ideas, to develop partnerships within Europe and beyond, to stimulate academic debate in a variety of archaeological fields, and to coordinate and enhance the management of cultural resources and the development of the archaeological profession, especially in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. While it is essential to offer insight into the recent development of archaeology in different parts of Europe and the world, it is perhaps even more important to exchange and share new ideas and methodological innovations to enable preservation of the cultural heritage in the globalizing world. These goals are achieved by dividing the conference topics in three major thematic blocks: Managing the Archaeological Record & the Cultural Heritage; Archaeology of Today: Theoretical & Methodical Perspectives; Archaeology & Material Culture - Interpreting the Archaeological Record. The information shared in the session and round table presentations establishes further discussion among EAA members and other colleagues both during the conference and later on in EAA publications (European Journal of Archaeology, The European Archaeologist) and on-line.
Falgueres, Dr. Christophe, Museum National D'histoire Naturelle, Paris, France - To aid conference on 'Modern Man in Northern Africa: Chronology, Behavior and Cultural Heritage,' 2015, Rabat, Morocco, in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed El Hajraoui
Preliminary abstract: The project aims in meeting several searchers coming from different labs from Canada, France, Morocco, Italy and to enlarge to other labs from Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria. The main scopes are dedicated to geochronology, caracterisation methods applied to global heritage since the origin of Modern humans to the historic period in Maghreb. Two main subjects will be discussed :1.) Chronology and behavior of Modern Man since its origins about 130 000 years in Maghreb area; and 2) Caracterisation of pigments and colorants using different non invasive and portable methods in the frame of cultural heritage.The goals are:to establish the state of the art of the research in Morocco and discuss the results obtained since the last 5 years in Morocco; to reinforce the dialog between teams who are working in Morocco and to enlarge collaborations to other countries such as Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal in order to reconstruct the history of Modern Man in Northern Africa and his behavior from a cultural point of view. In 2010, a first meeting was organized by UQAM at Montreal. This previous colloquium allowed a good synergy between labs and inititated several collaborations in which phd students were involved. In 2013, a new edition was organized by MNHN-CNRS, Paris, involving Moroccan labs. In 2015, the next conference in Rabat is intended to consolidate these collaborations and initiate new prospectives for research and training.
Baker, Dr. Brenda, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid workshop on 'Disruptions as a Cause and Consequence of Migration in Human History,' 2012, Saguaro Lake Ranch, Mesa, AZ, in collaboration with Dr. Takeyuki Tsuda
'Disruptions as a Cause and Consequence of Migration in Human History'
May 3-5, 2011, Saguaro Lake Ranch, Mesa, Arizona
Organizers: Dr. Brenda Baker & Dr. Takeyuki Tsuda (Arizona State U.)
Migration has been integral to the development of human societies since the emergence of our species and has continuously reshaped the economic, ethnic, and political dynamics of various societies over time, yet little dialogue has occurred between scholars examining contemporary and past migrations. This workshop was intended to stimulate an intellectual exchange among sociocultural anthropologists, archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, and others who study migration to analyze the extent to which environmental and social disruptions have been a cause of migration over time and whether these migratory flows have in turn led to disruptive consequences for the societies that receive them. Another goal was to help develop an understanding of common processes operating in past and present migrations. An initial conceptual framework developed by a collaborative group of faculty from Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change was circulated to workshop participants to help guide articulation with common themes and stimulate discussion. Presentations and lively discussions were geared toward developing our understanding of the relationship between disruptions and population displacements from prehistory to the present. This workshop has resulted in the submission of revised papers for publication in an edited volume.
Walsh, Dr. Andrew, U. of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada - To aid workshop on 'The Anthropology of Precious Minerals,' 2015, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, in collaboration with Dr. Annabel Vallard and Dr. Elizabeth Ferry
Preliminary abstract: Gemstones, gold, rare earths, and other coveted but ostensibly 'scarce' minerals are 'precious' to humans in two ways: first as hard-to-access materials that miners, traders, collectors, consumers, salvagers and others imagine, pursue and handle with great precision and/or care in a variety of contextually specific ways, and second as highly valued, high-price, natural resources that circulate as commodities through local and global markets. The international workshop proposed here will enable the anthropologists gathered to present, discuss and comment on ethnographic research concerning the variety of ways in which such doubly 'precious' minerals figure in human lives. By proposing that a collection of ornamental and industrial minerals that are not often grouped alongside one another be considered alike in their 'preciousness', we intend to exercise the anthropological prerogative of disrupting assumed classificatory schemas (of which there is no shortage in both mineralogy and anthropology) to productive ends. Presenters will focus specifically on how the preciousness of minerals is a product of two interconnected, relational processes: the first involving miners', traders', investors', collectors', speculators', consumers', salvagers' and other situated actors' engagements (or lack thereof) with the matter of particular minerals, and the second involving these same situated actors' relations with one another in the uneven social, political, and economic networks through which these minerals and information about them circulate. Considering these two processes together in this workshop will enable new understandings of the role of affect and materiality in the formation of intersubjective relations and exchanges, and will help us to grasp what is at stake in markets for 'precious' and 'scarce' resources. The end result of the workshop will be an edited volume.
Rafferty, Dr. Janet, Mississippi State U., Mississippi State, Mississippi - To aid workshop on 'SAARAS: Systematic Assessment And Reform of Archaeological Systematics,' 2012, Mississippi State U., Starkville, in collaboration with Dr. Kevin Nolan
'Systematic Assessment and Reform of Archaeological Systematics (SAARAS)'
April 16-18, 2012, Mississippi State University, Starkeville, Mississippi
Organizers: Dr. Janet Rafferty (Mississippi State U.) & Dr. Kevin Nolan (Ball State U.)
It is increasingly evident that most current archaeological systems of classification, initially developed in the mid-twentieth century, are inadequate to address important questions in modern archaeology. In the last fifty years there have been many changes in the ways in which the archaeological record is approached and the kinds of questions being addressed. Since the 1960s there has been a proliferation of theoretical approaches, however there has been little change in the units used in analyses. This problem was recognized by Binford in his critique of the normative approach to culture in the 1960s but, by and large, subsequent systematics retained the old normative units. As a result many of the systems in wide use comprise bundles of formal attributes with discrete space-time distributions. While it has been recognized regularly, and for some time-that such units create artificial patterns in the history interpreted out of the record-there has not been a sustained, systematic assessment and reform of archaeological classification. In most regions, the old classes continue to do the work of the 'new' archaeology. If all systems of classification are designed for a particular purpose, then the discipline needs to reassess its systematics. Toward this end, the SAARAS conference sought to: 1) examine the extent of the problem represented by uncritical use of inherited typological units of space-time and bundled formal content; 2) discuss alternative approaches to analytical classification that consider the various dimensions of the archaeological record as independent and free to vary; 3) examine case studies of successful applications of new classificatory systems; and 4) discuss prospects and strategies for moving the discipline towards a more dynamic use of systematics in the exploration of dynamic systems.
Long, Dr. Nicholas James, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid workshop on 'Post-Democracies,' 2013, U. of Cambridge, in collaboration with Dr. Henrietta Moore
April 15-18, 2013, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Organizers: Dr. Nicholas J. Long, Dr. Henrietta Moore, and Dr. Joanna Cook (U. Cambridge)
The workshop sought to interrogate the causes and consequences of post-democratic forms of political life. Across the world, states and citizens who were once passionately committed to the ideal of democracy now appear to be drifting away from it. Some actively proclaim themselves disillusioned or disappointed with democracy. Others simply trammel democratic values within their political practice. Why does this happen, and to what effect? To date the scholarly literature surrounding 'post-democracy' has contained almost no references to ethnographic studies. As a consequence the analytic frameworks developed have tended to reflect the distinctive experience of a specific type of state (Western liberal democracies) at a particular historical moment (a period of economic growth prior to the 2008 financial crisis). The workshop juxtaposed such theories with ethnographies of post-socialist democracies, emerging and transitional democracies in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and contemporary austerity politics to develop a more multi-faceted account of how and why people come to abandon once-cherished political ideals. Participants examined how various new configurations of democracy and capitalism have heightened awareness of the tensions and disjunctions inherent within democratic models; discussed how ethnographic portraits of subjectivity and ethics might complicate our understanding of what is at stake in political commitments; and explored the formative interconnections between 'post-democratic' contexts at the levels of both international relations and social imaginaries.
Long, Nicholas J., and Henrietta L. Moore (eds.) 2013. The Social Life of Achievement. WYSE Series in Social Anthropology, Vol. 2 Berghahn Books: New York and Oxford.