This is a blog recording the announcements that are sent out on the CASCA listserv.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SCA Student-Faculty Workshop Announcement

(Apologies for cross-posting)

Dear Graduate Students:

I'm pleased to announce the Society for Cultural Anthropology's 2012
Faculty-Student Workshop luncheons at the AAA meetings this November in
San Francisco.

Following upon the success we enjoyed at last year's annual meeting, the
Society for Cultural Anthropology will again be sponsoring four
faculty-student workshop luncheons at this year's meeting. The workshops
are intended to provide an informal setting where students can discuss
their work with faculty members and fellow graduate students from other
universities. They are:

Entangled Finance
Facilitator: Karen Ho (University of Minnesota)

Ethnography of Science and Problematics of Human Difference
Facilitators: Duana Fullwiley (Stanford) and Michael Montoya (UC Irvine)

Dilemmas of Studying Charitable, Humanitarian, Human Rights, and
Development Organizations in Insecure States
Facilitator: Erica Caple James (MIT)

Facilitators: John Collins (CUNY) and Carole McGranahan (University of

Further description of each workshop theme can be found at the end of this
e-mail, and at

The luncheon workshops will be limited to five students each, and they
will take at a restaurant near the conference hotel. The workshops are
free to all participants and open to SCA student members enrolled in Ph.D.
programs. Lunch is provided. All workshops run from 12:15 to 1:30 to
match the AAA's programmed lunch sessions.

To join one of these workshops, students are asked to submit by October
18, 2012 a 250 to 300 word description about your research project. You
are encouraged to include within the description specific questions for
the workshop leader(s) and for the group as a whole to consider.
Descriptions will be shared with fellow workshop participants in advance
of the meeting.

Please send your request to me at<>, Include
your name, your university affiliation, the workshop you want to attend,
and your one-page description. Please bear in mind that project
descriptions longer than one page will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis, noting
that: 1. the project descriptions are closely suited to the workshop
themes; 2. students and workshop leaders are from different institutions;
and 3. you are a member of the SCA. If you are not yet a member of the
SCA, but would like to join at the modest student rate of $12.50 a year,
which includes a full print subscription to the journal, Cultural
Anthropology, you can do so easily on our website:

Formal notice of participation will be sent out October 25, 2012.

Let me know if you have questions.

Grant Jun Otsuki
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto
Graduate Student Representative, Society for Cultural Anthropology

Workshop Descriptions

Entangled Finance
Facilitator: Karen Ho (University of Minnesota)

What kinds of projects, questions, and concerns might be the most
generative for the "next generation" of interdisciplinary, social
scientific scholars of finance to pursue? What are some of the
contributions, lessons, and/or pitfalls of current iterations of "the
anthropology of finance"? Specifically, in the face of dominant
financialization and the continual re-making of the contours of that
financialization, where lives are continually entangled with finance, are
older theoretical assumptions such as the disconnect between finance and
production, the abstract and the real, still very useful? How can we (or
do we need to) re-frame the core binaries and frameworks through which we
set up our methodological and theoretical approaches to finance in the
first place? Are there particular ways in which finance is being imagined
in anthropology that have prevented novel collaborations and rethinking of
taken-for-granted socio-economic categories and groups?

Ethnography of Science and Problematics of Human Difference
Facilitators: Duana Fullwiley (Stanford) and Michael Montoya (UC Irvine)

Many provocative lines of inquiry in the life sciences are reanimating
notions that anthropologists largely see as culturally and politically
constructed divisions of human social and biological life. Race, sex,
gender, disease tendencies, psychological capacity, and pharmaceutical
susceptibility are increasingly reiterated through high-tech science,
often in reductive ways. In this workshop we will examine these and other
objects of study within cultures of science. Specifically, we will ask
students to think about how global politics, market trends, and cultural
politics of belonging and inclusion play into the naturalization of
difference today. In discussing the importance of conducting
ethnographies of science, we will also engage problems of knowledge more
broadly. Beyond simply glossing how human difference is socially
constructed within science, we hope to push further and encourage students
to begin to describe the material, physiological, and biological effects
of how global disparities are evidenced in their field sites. What are
the processes through which such disparities become attributed to specific
bodies and populations? What scientific grammars and cultural politics
merge to make such knowledge possible?

Dilemmas of Studying Charitable, Humanitarian, Human Rights, and
Development Organizations in Insecure States
Facilitator: Erica Caple James (MIT)

Recent literature in anthropology has begun to focus intensively on the
historical and contemporary roles that governmental, nongovernmental, and
other institutional actors have played in managing and governing "life,"
while also delivering compassionate "care." Whether in studies of charity,
humanitarian relief, development, or other kinds of aid, contemporary
relationships based on gift-giving and exchanges of knowledge, practices,
technologies, therapies, and other discursive "objects," remain central
theoretical paradigms that are "good to think." This workshop is designed
to build an ongoing conversation to support anthropologists working on
issues of violence and trauma, human and civil rights, and organized
humanitarianism ("faith-based," "secular," etc.) in (post)conflict,
(post)disaster, and other "transitional" settings. The workshop welcomes
participants grappling with the moral and ethical dimensions of "activist
anthropology" and the methodological challenges of studying organizations,
as well as ethnographers engaged in clinical or therapeutic settings.

Facilitators: John Collins (CUNY) and Carole McGranahan (University of

What does it mean to put together anthropology and history, and why should
they be put together? How might ethnographers do so in ways that are
conceptually, methodologically, and theoretically sophisticated? That is,
how does one undertake historically "thick" scholarship as an
anthropologist? In this workshop, we consider history as a
culturally-specific epistemology, an academic discipline, and a social
ontology, arguing that sophisticated approaches to these domains and their
overlaps is critical to productive engagement with a variety of pasts,
presents, and futures. Such work may take a wide range of forms, from
examining different temporal ways of knowing, the production of history,
the politics of memory, lived experiences in earlier periods, the
constitution of historical subjectivities, and concerns with histories of
the present. What does it mean, for example, to do ethnography in the
archives or historical research in the field? What is the difference
between oral and ethnographic history? How might anthropologists move
between scales—from life histories to those of communities ranging from
villages through states and global institutions—in ways that remain
committed to an ethnographic sensibility? In a nutshell, then, how might
anthropologists' long-term concerns with institutions and the cultural
bases of knowledge and truth be integrated more effectively into an
exploration of historical consciousness in the world today?

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