ASAP monthly update: October 2018

Recent Session: The Anthropology of Policy at 25 Years

In August, Cris Shore and Sue Wright hosted a session for ASAP at the 15th biennial conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, held in Stockholm, Sweden. This was a symbolically important event as it was twenty-five years ago that the project for an “Anthropology of Policy” was first initiated at EASA conferences held in Prague and Oslo. At that time, neoliberal experiments in the reinvention of government through structural adjustment programs, New Public Management reforms, and the “governance” turn were at their height in many countries, including Britain, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States. In the decades that followed, the rationalities that drove those processes have mutated, diversified, and spread rapidly, bringing major changes to the global economy and local societies. Titled “Policy mobility in a Globalised World: How Ideas and Practices of Governance and Management Travel, Settle and Colonise New Domains,” the panel examined how policy ideas and practices travel, how they get taken up, adapted, and applied to new contexts, and the new kinds of social relations, subjectivities, and cultural practices this process creates.

The eight papers in the Stockholm panel generated lively discussion of these themes. Tess Lea (Sydney) developed the evocative notion of “policy hauntology” as a way to think about the troubled legacies of indigenous policy in settler colonial Australia. Jens Adam (Humboldt Universität, Berlin) examined the various actors and assemblages around a failed tramway project in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, and the lessons of that failure for infrastructural projects. Reflecting on the uses of actor-network theory, Alexandra Oanca (Universidade do Vale do Taquari, Brazil) gave a thoughtful assessment of the value and limitations of assemblage theory for the anthropology of policy. Also using an assemblage approach, Jérémie Forney (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerlan) presented results from an international research project on environmental governance in the context of agriculture and food, with case studies from Switzerland, New Zealand, the UK, and at the EU. From a very different perspective, Jie Gao (Aarhus) combined Lacanian theory and critical discourse analysis to interrogate the “fantasmatic” logic behind China’s Ministry of Education and its policies for promoting Sino-Foreign partnerships as an instrument of soft power. “How do human rights policies travel?” was the question addressed by Miia Halme-Tuomisaari (Helsinki). Her analysis of NGO reports and UN Human Rights Committee meetings in Geneva invites us to rethink the idea of “universalising” human rights and what that term means empirically. Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins (Aberystwyth, Wales) explored what happens when EU policies to promote cohesion collide with nationalist ideas about devolution for Wales within the United Kingdom. Finally, the paper by Cris Shore (Auckland) and Sue Wright (Aarhus) explored how performance indicators and national rankings have become a populist project yet one that can easily slide into new forms of authoritarian management, as is illustrated by the spread of Private Finance Initiatives and the rise of Academy Schools in the UK.

Overall, these papers highlighted the rich range of topics and diverse theoretical approaches currently being developed within the anthropology of policy — still a new field but, at twenty-five years, now an established one.

Coming up

More information will be coming up on the AAA meetings in San Jose. But note especially that:

1. The ASAP business meeting will be on Friday,  from 7:45 – 9:15 in the evening. The time was not of our choosing. But we took the opportunity to try something new for ASAP: a cash bar and — by golly — free food courtesy of a little bit of ASAP money and some anonymous donations from the ASAP executive committee.

2. Cansu Civelek, our grad student representative on the exec. committee is organizing our usual mentoring session pairing grad students and younger scholars for small group discussion. If you are interested, see her call on our web site. The direct link is http://asap.americananthro.org/aaa-in-san-jose-mentoring-session/

As always you can find us . . .

. . . on the web at www.anthofpolicy.org
. . . on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @anthofpolicy

Key contacts
– Eric Cheng for the listserv at: [email protected] or [email protected]
– David Haines for the web at: [email protected]
– Georgia Hartman for Instagram at: [email protected]
– Judi Pajo and Ted Powers for ASAP columns in AN at: [email protected] and [email protected]
– Jason Scott for Facebook and Twitter at: [email protected]
– Paul Stubbs for the ASAP program at the 2018 AAA in San Jose: [email protected]

Call for papers: SfAA on gender-based violence

Call for Panels and Papers:

Gender-Based Violence at the Society for Applied Anthropology in Portland (March 2019)

The Gender-Based Violence Topical Interest Group invites submissions for panels or papers to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Portland, OR from March 19th to 23rd, 2019. The overall conference theme is “Engaging Change in Turbulent Times,” with the aim to consider the ways that anthropologists, other applied social scientists and professionals in related fields address “the content, pace, and process of change today.” With a recognition that “the communities where we live and work may be experiencing pronounced uncertainty, isolationism, extremism, trauma and violence, and racial and ethnic tensions,” how is anthropology responding and what can an anthropological lens lend to an understanding of reactions to rapid and turbulent change? The TIG will host sessions that take up this idea while continuing to explore the ways in which gender and violence have been and should be configured or reconfigured. Specifically, we hope to examine ways to expand our understanding of gender and violence as well as put these expanded definitions in conversation with one another. Papers and sessions might address the following questions:

  • What does it mean to consider violence, in both intention and action, with an expanded understanding of gender?What does it mean to consider gender, as organizing ideology and social construct, with an expanded understanding of violence?
  • How does an expanded notion of gender and/or violence complicate our approach to thinking about gender-based violence?Has the current political environment further complicated those notions—and if so, how?
  • What does anthropological insight offer the public about the social justice movements addressing gender violence during these turbulent times and the trajectory creating the context for these movements?What do these movements say about our contemporary culture as well as the context from which these movements have risen?
  • Where and how do we sustain a critique of gender-based violence that takes race, poverty, age, disability, citizenship and sexuality seriously?What do the impacts of these other identities mean for applied work in this area?
  • Does the usual rubric of “gender-based violence” limit the efficacy of applied approaches?Where and how?  And how do we expand that rubric to better reflect what we see on the ground?
  • How do these assumptions shape the production of anthropological knowledge, and our engagement in applied work?

Instructions:

The GBV-TIG’s panel organizers will accept proposals that speak to these questions and others. Proposals are due by October 12th.  Please email submissions to [email protected], with SfAA 2019 Abstract in the subject line.  You can embed your proposal within an email or attach a word file.  Submissions must include the following:

 

Individual papers: A paper title, a 100-word abstract, the author’s name, contact email and affiliation.

Panel Sessions: A session title, a 100-word session abstract, individual paper titles with 100-word paper abstracts, the name, email addresses, and affiliation of all participants (including chair, presenters, and discussants as needed). A full panel includes 4-5 papers.

The GBV-TIG panel organizers will work with session organizers and paper presenters to build panels, thensubmit the sessions to the Society for Applied Anthropology on behalf of the TIG. The SfAA Program Chair and TIG panel organizers will schedule all TIG-related sessions in clusters, so as to form a mini-conference within the larger meeting. All GBV-TIG-clusters will be listed at the front of the conference program.

After the GBV TIG approves your submission for inclusion as part of a GBV TIG panel, you must complete registration by October 15th at: https://www.sfaa.net/annual-meeting/meeting-registration/ in order to be included in the official SfAA Program. During registration, you must pay the requisite fees, submit a 100-word abstract, and designate the appropriate GBV-TIG panel in your submission.  Please email Elizabeth Wirtz ([email protected]) with any questions. We look forward to learning more about your work (by October 12th!) and engaging set of conversations in Portland.

Elizabeth Wirtz
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Purdue University

https://purdue.academia.edu/ElizabethWirtz

Position listing: Biocultural with applied orientation

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. John’s University in Queens, NY, is currently conducting a tenure track search for a biocultural anthropologist with an applied orientation. Please see the link for full details.

https://stjohnsedu.silkroad.com/epostings/?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=218441&version=1&source=listserv

Best, Anne

 

Anne M. Galvin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology,
Anthropology Program Coordinator,
Coordinator of High Impact Practices, St. John’s College,
Senior Research Fellow, Vincentian Center for Church and Society
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
St. John’s University
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439