Beyond Snowden: The Anthropology of Whistleblowing
American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Washington, DC, Nov. 29-Dec. 3
Organizers: Steven Sampson, Lund Univ., Sweden and Cris Shore, Univ. of Auckland
Whistleblowing, exposing confidential, secret or illegal practices in firms, organizations and public authorities, has been viewed as a heroic act on the part of individuals who risk their jobs and even legal prosecution to expose their employers. Seen from the organization’s perspective, the whistleblower is a disloyal employee, who should have gone through proper channels to reveal ethical or legal shortcomings instead of going public. Since employees in modern workplaces are now more flexible and less loyal, since we are encouraged to promote greater transparency and disclosure in all aspects of business and government administration, and with social media exposure a few clicks away, the potential and risks posed by whistleblowers have increased exponentially. Faced with the whistleblowing threat and pressure to institutionalize whistleblowing procedures, firms, organizations and governments can choose to become more transparent, but they can also retaliate against whistleblowers with legal measures or worse. NGOs and government agencies can now also offer whistleblowers legal support against retaliation or even financial rewards. In an era of secrecy and surveillance, of disclosure and exposure, the era of Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks and the Panama Papers, this panel proposes an anthropology of whistleblowing. Papers on whistleblowing policies, practices, discourses, implications and scandals, including retaliation, protection, and organizational disloyalty are welcome.
Please send an abstract to:
Steven Sampson, Lund Univ. at [email protected] and Cris Shore, Univ. Auckland at [email protected]
The Media: Its Role in the Building and Derailing of Public Institutions and Public Trust
AAA 2017, Washington D.C., November 29-December 3
Organizer: Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb (New York University)
This session is committed to an in depth, clear-eyed, non-partisan look at Media’s role in the creation and dissemination of Public Knowledge and to suggesting parameters for Anthropological intervention.
Media ‘s power in framing public consciousness is undisputed; and occasionally feared. Journalists are singled out for assassination; through single images seared into our memory, they document nodal moments –lift-off of the last helicopter from Vietnam, a falling Berlin Wall, a small child washed ashore by the Mediterranean. In its “framing” role, the Media partakes in an ongoing fabrication of reality. From iconic Anchors of News to purveyors of Alternate Facts the Media has been a loud presence in our midst and our silent interlocutor in the creation of reportable information, hence of public knowledge.
This begs the questions of legitimacy and of Anthropology’s role in helping to disentangle the manipulation of information from the unavoidable limits of “framing.” Put differently, on the heels of Brexit and Trumpism, there is a need to delineate the parameters of facticity. Our working assumption is that there exists a central problem stemming from the internal contradictions of the Media’s role and of its self-interest. These contradictions fumble around what is printable or viewable at any one time. In so doing, they channel what information reaches the wider public and end-up determining the parameters of Public Knowledge, with cascading effects on the strength of Public Trust and Institutions.
Anthropology can help by directing its focus on a comparative analysis of the Media and its current and historical intersection with Anthropology. We will ask a number of questions: What considerations direct the privileging of particular issues and silence others? Under what conditions can such privileging be de-linked from the power structures in which the Media is embedded? To what extent has our concern with marking Anthropology’s professional distinction aided and abetted this silencing process?
Please submit a title and 250 word abstract by March 25, 2017 to Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb ([email protected])
As the US inaugurates a new president, AN will turn an eye toward the rise of populism from a global perspective. We’re seeking proposals for feature articles, notes from the field, commentary, photo essays and other media that address aspects of populism or populist movements. We’re looking for novel and engaging perspectives on the US, France, Austria, the UK, Turkey, Venezuela, and elsewhere. What does an anthropological sensibility bring to the conversation? What is the role of the anthropologist and the value of anthropology in this current social and political moment?
Please submit your proposal for our populism series by February 6.
Send [email protected] a proposal that includes:
A 250-word pitch. Can you tell us the main point of your story in a few sentences?
A 50 word author bio.
We’re particularly interested in proposals for photo essays (8–10 high resolution images and a 600 word introductory essay) and other media, including short ethnographic films (max. 5 minutes in length) and fieldwork cartoons.
Natalie Konopinski, PhD
Managing Editor, Anthropology News
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
Wk: 703-528-1902 (x1184)
The Interdisciplinary Center of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies (Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Interculturales e Indígenas), ICIIS is seeking both a resident research fellow and a visiting research fellow.
Click here for full details of both postings. Note that public policy is a specific focus.
I am writing to invite paper proposals for a AAA panel focused on the anthropology of policy in Africa. Please find below an abstract for the panel, which will explore policy processes in the context of postcolonial African societies. Those interested in participating should submit an abstract by April 12, 2015 to: [email protected]
On Policy and Power in the Postcolony: contemporary perspectives on Anthropology and Policy in Africa
Organizer: Theodore Powers, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa