Call for Session Papers, AAA 2018

Please send abstracts of 250 words for consideration

to Jennifer Wies [email protected]


Hillary Haldane Hillary.hald[email protected]


Deadline: March 1, 2018

To Change the Anthropological Imagination, The Sites Where Anthropology is Produced Must Change

While anthropology is practiced across variable sites, non-governmental organizations, healthcare systems, policy areas, development agencies, the main locus of its social reproduction is within the academy. To consider how one can imagine anthropological inquiry and engagement differently, university- based anthropologists must interrogate the structures (physical, policy and otherwise) that contextualize and shape the pedagogy, theory and practice of our discipline.

This panel explores campus sexual violence as a key locus for understanding the constraints on our discipline, as well as how addressing and responding to campus sexual violence demonstrates the potential for transformation. We engage with the way various actors resist the demands and expectations of others, whether as a student, administrator, staff or faculty. Conversely, authors explore the resistance to change entrenched in our discipline and our departments, where ignoring or denying harassment and assault are status quo.

Authors question the possibility and limits of resilience, of both individuals and institutions, in the face of anti-Title XI forces in the US, and government and private interests in other countries that prefer silence over solutions. Lastly, the papers question the adaptability of policies and practices, drawing clearly from the anthropological commitment to local perspectives, voices, experiences, and structures. As universities across the globe see an increase in pressure to change the often sexist, racist, and ableist approaches to education, this panel cautions against a “quick-fix” solution by importing practices from one university to another, not just within the United States, but from country to country. 

Central for the necessary disruption to business as usual are the frontline workers of the academy—the student affairs staff, human resources, residential hall monitors, security personnel and the like. These frontline workers are often most precariously positioned in the academy, without tenure or long term contracts, yet are often the gatekeepers and bridge builders to academic peers to identify transformational possibilities.

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