05 April 2018

CfP - Speaking more broadly: Adapting anthropological concepts for a broader audience

Following up on our previous post, AAA in San Jose - Anthropological Concepts for Non-Anthropologists, Jennifer and I would like to take this opportunity to circulate a call for papers for our proposed AAA panel. We hope that this panel will be a launching pad for the new kind of anthropological handbook we have been imagining over the past year or so.

So, without further ado, here's our call! If you are interested in participating in this panel/ project, please get in touch with us by April 12th.

Call for Papers  |  Speaking more broadly: 
Adapting anthropological concepts for a broader audience

For questions or to submit an abstract for consideration, please email Jennifer Long (longjen@mcmaster.ca) and Rhiannon Mosher (rhmosher@yorku.ca) by April 12th.

In this panel, we seek to identify, contextualize and ‘translate’ anthropological concepts and constructs for a broader audience. This year's conference organizers ask anthropologists to write about holism, social change, resistance, resilience, and adaptation in the contemporary moment, and to recognize the importance of discussions about species, societies, reorganization, transformation and stasis. We invite anthropologists to take this challenge literally.
This CfP seeks authors who wish to break down the organizers' questions into their sum of parts in an effort to consider: how other disciplines, our applied experiences, and interdisciplinary partnerships inform our discussions. We want to know how we can tap anthropological experiences and perspectives to engage and educate a wider public? We seek to understand specifically how an anthropological vocabulary shapes and frames the field and our practices with our partners, interlocutors, and colleagues. Further, we want to better understand the ways in which anthropological understandings are understood, changed, and integrated into new contexts.

This proposed panel is a response to calls like Ryan Anderson's (2013) post (on the blog now known as Anthro{dendum}) to break the closed loop in which anthropologists often work. Anderson argues that anthropologists often end up speaking (just/ only) to one another about our work – all the while, this cacophony of anthropological insight remains locked behind closed doors. In our current sociopolitical context, and with more and more of our graduates working outside of the academy in interdisciplinary contexts, learning how to "get involved, to collaborate, to find ways to communicate and bring the ideas of anthropology to wider issues and conversations" (2013) should be the discipline's priority.

While the irony of calling for papers at the Annual Meeting on the topic of breaking open the closed loop of anthropological discussions is not lost on the panel organizers, we seek to create a resource which situates various anthropological concepts historically within our discipline, and then contextualizes these concepts in their new, renewed, and revised contexts. Importantly, each concept or term should be explained through a case study, an experience from the field, with researchers from different disciplines or through original research. It should be noted that this call is open to anthropologists in all four fields. The goal of this panel is to jump-start the draft for a text where various concepts are discussed using to be used by students, practicing and interdisciplinary colleagues.

Therefore, panel organizers seek papers that define, describe, and compare anthropological concepts used in practice, past experience, in industry (e.g. ethnography in user design or market research) or other disciplines (e.g. other social sciences, hard sciences or technology, engineering or math). Panelists should define the term in plain language, provide a brief history of its origin and use, then elucidate on the term using a case study from fieldwork, in conversation with non-anthropologists, and the workplace.

For questions or to submit an abstract for consideration, please email
Jennifer Long (longjen@mcmaster.ca) and Rhiannon Mosher (rhmosher@yorku.ca)
by April 12th.