Upcoming American Anthropology conferences

A bit cynical, sorry.

The annual ‘Public Anthropology’ conference is Oct 16-17 this year at the American University. The theme this year is ‘Revolutions! Building Emancipatory Politics & Action.’ I have to admit I did smirk when I read the blurb, I mean, ‘revolutionizing academic conference?’ Looks interesting though. The blurb begins:

Join us for a revolutionizing conference as we work towards building coalitions across diverse social justice movements. We invite community activists, practicing and academic anthropologists and other social scientists, students, filmmakers and interested individuals to join us for two days of collaborative discussions and strategizing about how to better organize and collaborate across various sectors and disciplines to create new social justice alliances. Participants are encouraged to share experiences and insights from environmental, labor, liberation, LGBTQI, peace, anti-racism, anti-displacement, feminist, indigenous rights, health, disability rights, fair trade, and other social justice movements.

The American Anthropology Association conference is in New Orleans this year, Nov 17-21 (see http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/). I can understand the decision to hold the conference New Orleans if it’s to support the local economy and the like, however, I’m not sure how appropriate the theme ‘circulations’ is. I mean – it’s post-hurricane-Karina New Orleans where the majority of the population have recently had their homes and lives traumatically uprooted and… ‘circulated’ (?). Here’s the first part of the blurb:

In 2010, the AAA will conduct the 109th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where the river meets the sea. New Orleans channels flows into the heart of a continent, and out across oceans, around the globe. The boundary between river and sea, between water and earth, is shifting and unclear. The circula tion of people and other living organisms, of material things, and of ideas in such zones of passage constitutes some of the central social and physical processes of concern to all kinds of anthropologists, historically and in the present.

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