Douglas-Jones, Dr. Rachel, IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark - To aid workshop on 'Hope and Insufficiency: Capacity Building in Ethnographic Comparison,' 2015, ITU, in collaboration with Dr. Casper Bruun Jensen
Preliminary abstract: Capacity building is a central concept at work in many projects that come under anthropological scrutiny, from institution building and national development to individual and community transformation initiatives. It is a concept of hope: full of potential, a prelude to possible futures. Objects of past capacity building reveal perceptions of insufficiency, an absence. Looking forwards, it announces itself as a pragmatic of change. But what is capacity, who defines it, and how is it built? Despite its near global ubiquity, capacity building's effects, intended or otherwise, have not been systematically examined or theorized within the social sciences. By not taking the promises of capacity building for granted, by investigating the manner in which desired futures are implemented, we aim to advance theoretical understanding of its ubiquity and develop anthropological purchase on its persuasive power. This workshop brings into dialogue scholars whose combined work offers a comparative basis for analyzing the conceptual labor of capacity building. Attending to its promises of hope and politics of insufficiency, we examine capacity building's work in three core contexts: development agendas, infrastructural settings, and inter-personal worlds. We organize discussion along two axes of engagement. First, who or what has the right and ability to define what capacities are desirable? Second, we focus on the building of capacity as an act of reforming social relationships. The workshop thus seeks new anthropological ground from which to advance the first edited volume dedicated to theorizing capacity building in ethnographic comparison.
Alemseged, Dr. Zeresenay, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA - To aid Second Conference of East African Association for Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, 2009, Arusha, Tanzania, in collaboration with Dr. Jackson K. Njau
'Second Biannual Conference of the East African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology (EAAPP)'
August 16-20, 2009, Arusha, Tanzania
Organizers: Zeresenay Alemseged (California Academy of Sciences) and Jackson Njau (Tanzania National Museum)
This Second Biannual Conference of the EAAPP was scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the OH 5 type specimen of Paranthropus boisei at Olduvai Gorge. The meeting brought together more than 100 researchers, museum officials, and students representing 14 countries. More than 40 papers on human origins research and related fields were delivered in three days of non-overlapping sessions. The presentations focused on a diverse range of specialized studies on chronology, stratigraphy, paleobotany, vertebrate paleontology, archaeology, hominin taxonomy, systematics and functional morphology. Many of the African students and young researchers benefited from direct discussion with some of the most prominent researchers in the field. In addition to the researchers, local policy makers were also invited in order to facilitate communication between them and researchers, helping informed decisions to be made with regard to heritage management, conservation, and laboratory and field research permits. Issues related to insufficient funding and lack of infrastructure in Africa were addressed at various levels during the conference. Representatives of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the South African Scientific Trust were instrumental during these discussions. On a one-day field excursion, conference participants visited Olduvai Gorge and environs. It was agreed that the next meeting would be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Werbner, Dr. Pnina, Keele U., Keele, UK - To aid workshop on 'Beyond the Arab Spring: The Aesthetics and Poetics of Popular Revolt and Protest,' 2013, Aga Khan U., London, in collaboration with Dr. Martin Webb and Dr. Kathryn Spellman
'Beyond the Arab Spring: The Aesthetics and Poetics of Popular Revolt and Protest'
March 14-16, 2013, Aga Kahn University, London, UK
Organizers: Dr. Pnina Werbner (U. Keele), Dr. Martin Webb (U. Sussex), and Dr. Kathryn Spellman (Aga Kahn U.)
The meeting focused on the aesthetic dimensions of the Arab Spring and worldwide protest movements that followed it, bringing together twenty anthropologists, cultural studies scholars, or curators who had conducted fieldwork during the protests. It brought together a diversity of anthropological and cultural perspectives in political, media, visual, economic and linguistic anthropology, the anthropology of work, art, social organisation and social movements. The workshop aimed to address a neglected feature of the protests, untheorized and certainly not analyzed comparatively: the salience of images, songs, videos, humour, satire and dramatic performances and the way that these had 'travelled' globally. This failure to recognize the centrality of the aesthetic in constituting a global politics of revolt, the creative use of mass invasions of space and of material, visual, auditory, theatrical and sensual expressions, arguably also constituted a failure to identify the central role the aesthetic played in energizing the massive mobilizations of young people, the disaffected, the middle classes, and the apolitical silent majority spreading to quite distant parts of the world, enabling solidarities and alliances among democrats, workers, trade unions, civil rights activists and opposition parties. The result has been a volume in press with Edinburgh University Press.
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.
Lindbekk, Monika, U. of Oslo, Oslo, Norway - To aid workshop on 'Women Judges in the Muslim World,' 2013, U. of Oslo, in collaboration with Dr. Nadia Sonneveld
'Women Judges in the Muslim World'
December 17-18, 2012, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Organizers: Monika Lindbekk (U. Oslo) and Nadia Sonneveld (U. Nijmegen)
The workshop brought together scholars from different countries in order to address a hitherto unexplored aspect of sharia in practice, namely women's participation in judicial decision making processes. During the last decades the number of female judges in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and South-Asia has increased. This increase, however, has not been reflected in legal-anthropological court studies that deal with sharia as a lived reality and where the perspective of women judges is almost completely lacking. The workshop filled a gap in academic scholarship by investigating the situation of female judges in Muslim majority countries, and the relationship between the introduction of female judges and women's access to justice. This was done by creating an international platform for discussion and debate between scholars who have extensive knowledge on the subject matter in the Western world and outstanding academics on 'sharia in practice' in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The workshop also had as its targeted goal the publication of a book.
Floyd, Dr. Simeon I., Max Planck Inst., Nijmegen, Netherlands - To aid workshop on 'The Grammar of Knowledge Asymmetries: 'Conjunct/Disjunct' Alignment from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective,' 2011, Boulder, CO, in collaboration with Dr. Lila San Roque
Preliminary abstract: Knowledge is negotiated in speech according to specific norms of interaction and grammar. 'Conjunct/Disjunct' (C/D) alignment systems are an under-studied grammatical expression of such negotiations. Verbs are marked as 'conjunct' in first person statements or in second person questions, and as 'disjunct' in other situations, picking out the participant with the highest epistemic authority. C/D systems have been described for languages of the Himalayas, the Caucasus, Andean South America and Highlands New Guinea, but have not yet been well-studied in cross-linguistic perspective. C/D systems are relevant for theories of social cognition: the morphology reflects the exchangeability of viewpoint with others, a topic that is currently being taken up as 'intersubjectivity' in linguistic and evolutionary anthropology, as well as in interaction studies. This workshop will bring together for the first time specialists working in four geographic areas where C/D alignment is attested to form a scholarly community, address conceptual and terminological divides between specific regional traditions and build towards a cross-linguistically viable framework for further work. A focus on C/D forms in interaction will highlight their relevance for social behavior more broadly, allowing this emerging area of linguistic typology to contribute to research on the social organization of intersubjective knowledge.
Barham, Dr. Lawrence, U. of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK -To aid 10th CHaGS conference on 'Resilience and Vulnerability in Hunter-Gatherer Research,' 2013, U. of Liverpool, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Widlok
Preliminary abstract: In 2013 it will be 10 years since the last international conference on hunting and gathering societies took place. The proposed 10th Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, CHaGS 10, provides a forum for the research results that have since emerged in a field which continues to be one of the few domains in anthropology where research across all four anthropological subdisciplines takes place. The main theme of the conference to be held in Liverpool, UK, is 'Resilience and Vulnerability' which is highly relevant to hunter-gatherer research but also more generally in a world struggling with economic, cultural and ecological turmoil. In its 20 panels CHaGS 10 will seek to show what the world in general and hunter-gatherer research in particular might learn from some of the most resilient but also most vulnerable of societies past and present. The conference will include fresh empirical input on the current state of hunter-gatherer research in the context of resilience and vulnerability, and it will also provide room for discussions concerning methodological innovations for current and future research in this domain that has decreasing opportunities for conventional field research. There is no anthropological association, nor any other conference that would be in the position to fulfil this role and ChaGS 10 will provide the opportunity to create the institutional tools, in terms of an academic organization and in terms of a regular publication outlet, that ensure the continuity of hunter-gatherer research into the future
Rudan, Dr. Pavao, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia - To aid 13th congress of the European Anthropological Association (EAA): a quarter century of EA A - Reflections and Perspectives, 2002, Zagreb
'13th Congress of the European Anthropological Association (EAA): 'A Quarter Century of the European Anthropological Association - Reflections and Perspectives',' August 30-September 3, 2002, Zagreb, Croatia -- Organizers Dr. Pavao Rudan, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia. It was organized by Croatian Anthropological Society and Institute for Anthropological Research. Funding from Wenner-Gren Foundation made it possible for 48 students to attend the 13th EAA Congress, which consisted of six plenary sessions (30 lectures), thirteen symposia (172 presentations) and a poster session (234 posters) comprising a wide range of anthropological topics. Altogether 419 scientists from 36 European and overseas countries, including many students and young researchers, gathered to re-evaluate EAA past achievements and, more importantly, to specify its future goals. The emphasis was laid on the need to strengthen cooperation and to broaden the range of educational possibilities in anthropology in Europe.
Marsic, Dr. Drazen, Archaeological Museum, Zadar, Croatia - To aid 13th annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), 2007, Zadar, in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Filmer Harding
'13th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)'
September 18-23, 2007, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia
Organizers: Drazen Marsic (Archaeological Museum, University of Zadar) and Anthony Harding (University of Exeter)
More than 600 archaeologists from 42 countries attended the EAA Meeting in Zadar. Over 500 papers and posters -- organized into 58 sessions and roundtables -- were delivered. The main themes were 'Managing the Archaeological Record and Cultural Heritage;' 'Archaeology and Material Culture -- Interpreting the Record;' and 'Archaeology in the Modern World: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives.' Chronologically, the contributions ranged from early Palaeolithic to the 18th century AD and included current matters related with archaeology in modern Europe. This year's academic sessions and roundtable discussions were complemented by a variety of conference-sponsored social events and excursions to the most important Croatian archaeological sites as well as by an exhibition of archaeological literature. Nearly 60 archaeologists from Eastern and Central Europe were able to attend the meeting with Wenner-Gren support.
Grine, Dr. Frederick, State U. of New York, Stony Brook, NY - To aid conference on 'What Is Homo? The origin of our genus,' 2006, Stony Brook, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Leakey
'Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium.' October 3-7, 2006, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York. Organizers: Frederick Grine and Dr. Richard Leakey, Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University has recently begun sponsoring a series of Workshops in Human Evolution. These are modeled along the lines of the Wenner-Gren conferences that were held at Burg Wartenstein, Austria, bringing together small groups of scholars to meet in an informal setting for several days. These workshops seek to address major issues in palaeoanthropology. The first two workshops, held in 2004 and 2005, focused on the topics 'African Origin of Modern Humans' and 'Out of Africa I: Who, Where and When?' This third workshop addressed 'The Origin of the Genus Homo.' The goal of the workshop was to bring together the researchers who have contributed most influentially to the interpretation of the palaeontological, archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence pertaining to the origin and early evolution of our own genus. The opening day was held on the Stony Brook University campus, and consisted of a public symposium with lectures by seven of the participants. These lectures were followed by panel discussions involving the other workshop participants. Following the one-day, public symposium, the workshop was convened at a private retreat where the participants engaged in informal, round-table discussion of different topics addressing several themes that are relevant to the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. General themes included: Alpha taxonomy, Phylogeny, Ancestry, Archaeology, Behavior, Diet, Bodies, Development, Energetics, Geochronology, Paleoclimates, and Paleoecology. The individual papers that were contributed and discussed will be brought together in an edited volume to be published by Springer.