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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WORKSHOP: SCA Faculty-Student Workshops at the AAA

Dear colleagues:

The deadline for the SCA's Faculty-Student Workshops at the AAA is
approaching and only a few spots are left. Please share with
interested colleagues and students. Lunch is provided!

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


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

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

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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