AAA 2012: CFP–”Mediating Numbers: Representations of Data, Measurement, and Assessment Across Borders”
Call for Papers
American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 2012
Panel Title: “Mediating Numbers: Representations of Data, Measurement, and Assessment Across Borders”
Organizers: Damien Stankiewicz (Temple University) and Rebecca Howes-Mischel (New York University)
Numbers are today a ubiquitous medium for the representation of global realities, likely because they are understood to move across boundaries and borders in stable and “objectively” verifiable ways (Ong and Collier 2005). They seem able to “translate” the messiness of qualitative, local, and individual events into quantitative, mobile, and comparable measures. Economic indices; UN data on refugees; comparisons of radiation in Japan and Chernobyl; households with internet; average age of retirement; “happiness scales”; rankings of access to health care; child mortality-these are the numbers that order communities, nations and a world across mass media, governmental institutions, and people’s everyday lives.
This panel, about the mediation of numbers and the numbers of media, seeks to set science studies and media studies into generative conversation: How can approaches developed by anthropologists of law, science, and technology help us to understand media and mediation as claims about “objectivity”; reciprocally, how can the anthropology of media and mediation contribute to our understanding of quantitative assessments and data as narrative and representational? Working across these subdisciplines, we mean to ask both: what kind of media are numbers/data/statistics? And, how do media convey data?
In pursuing these parallel questions, this panel means to examine how quantitative and statistical measurements and assessments move across the borders and boundaries of different kinds of global scales, and how they help us to understand the uses and forms of numbers that travel. Data and statistics are powerful technologies of assessment and evaluation understood to map onto material realities that are abstract and thus, transcend culture-yet how do numbers and measurements, as these are generated by and for institutions and governments, change or take different forms as they move across and through national borders and boundaries? In what ways do they remain bordered or beholden to the national and local contexts in which they were generated? How do the social actors who produce these data, statistics, and indices understand them, like media, to be intended for particular “readings” or receptions? How are these numbers and data therefore anticipatory and performative? We mean to excavate the social relations and processes of production embedded in these mobile and mobilized data.
This panel hopes to bring together innovative scholars working across a variety of geographic regions who would like to think further about the intersection of measurement and mediation. Empirical objects might include television ratings; epidemiological statistics; corruption indices; indicators of economic behavior; or demands on digital bandwidth, inasmuch as these reveal the (in)stability, malleability, and performativity of numbers that mediate.
If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send an abstract of 250 words to Damien Stankiewicz at email@example.com and/or Rebecca Howes-Mischel at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1st.
Posted on: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
ON THE BORDERS OF THE IMAGE: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON VISUAL ETHICS
Chairs: Sara Perry & Jonathan Marion
This roundtable discussion, organised on behalf of the Society for Visual Anthropology’s (SVA) Ethics Committee, seeks to continue the SVA’s now six-year-old tradition of nurturing debate and critical reflection on the ethics of anthropological imaging. Building on this year’s conference theme of “Borders and Crossings,” we aim to probe anthropologists’ ethical negotiations with image creation, circulation and consumption within and across disciplinary boundaries. Of particular interest is the iterative and unstable nature of image use-the navigation of visual value systems and moralities across time, space, cultural and institutional context, particularly when circumscribed by programmatic ethical review models. How have histories of anthropological, scientific and related social scientific practice impacted on our contemporary management of imagery? Where is representational authority situated in unstable, multiply-occupied/authored anthropological contexts? How are shifting visual technologies and intellectual paradigms disrupting or rearranging our ethical priorities? How do we anticipate and negotiate future relations with pictorial materials? And what legacies are our current approaches to image ethics likely to leave behind?
Taken together, the intent of this roundtable is to give practitioners an opportunity to discuss the ethical implications of in-progress or recently-completed visual research, and to draw upon the collective input of roundtable attendees to plan for or rethink our visual responsibilities.
For those interested in participating, please provide a brief description (max. 150 words) of the particular scenario or issue you wish to contribute to this year’s discussion as soon as possible, and by 5 April at the latest. Decisions will be made by 10 April, and contributors will need to register for the conference via the AAA’s web-based system by 15 April. All correspondence should be sent to Sara Perry <email@example.com>.
The roundtable will take the form of a series of brief, 10-minute presentations by participants, culminating in an extended period of group discussion and debate.
Posted on: Monday, March 19th, 2012
The annual Visual Research Conference takes place with an informal no-host dinner on Monday evening, followed by interactive presentations on Tuesday, and Wednesday at the beginning of the AAA Annual meeting. These presentations are 45 - 50 minutes in length and allow for extended viewing of visual material and lively discussions. This is a wonderful way to meet and interact with others who do anthropological and anthropologically-related research on visual signification, visual communication, and visual forms of representation.
This year’s Visual Research Conference will take place in San Francisco, November 12-14, 2012.
Find out more by clicking on the “Visual Research Conference” menu items at
deadline for submissions: Sunday, March 25, 2012, 11:59pm, Hawai’i time
Posted on: Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Festival of Visual Anthropology ASPEKTY in Poland is pleased to announce submission for the 5th edition of festival. Submissions are free and open for every documentary films from any field of ethnographic, anthropological, analytical approach to cultures and societies. Festival has audience competition program. Submitted films must have been completed after year 2008
Entries Deadline: 1st July , 2012; Films Delivery Deadline: 31st July, 2012;
ASPEKTY is a yearly anthropological film festival, which aims in exploring various areas of culture. The principle of the festival is to discover and present various relations, phenomena, interactions and mechanisms within cultures For more information and submission forms, rules please visit http://aspektyfestival.pl/en or contact us: festival (AT) aspektyfestival.pl
Posted on: Saturday, March 10th, 2012
AAA CFP: Panel Title: Apocalypse, Millennialism, and the Maya: Reflections on Crossing the Ultimate Boundary
Panel Organizers: Michael Hesson, Temple University, & Gordon Gray, Berea College.
Panel Proposed for: 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association
Proposals are invited for papers and/or short video interrogating the relationship of millenial movements to borders and border crossing at 111th annual meeting of the AAA’s. More information about this panel can be found towards the end of this document. We encourage graduate student submissions.
Talks will be 15 minutes long, with 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts should be 250 words, font size 12 pt., with one-inch margins, and should include the author’s name(s), title, & contact information. Abstracts should be sent by email in pdf, .docx or .rtf format to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailto:email@example.com. Please use ‘abstract submission’ as subject heading. The deadline for submissions is 12pm (EST) March 11th, 2012. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 13th.
SESSION ABSTRACT: Apocalypse, Millennialism, and the Maya: Reflections on Crossing the Ultimate Boundary
Posted on: Saturday, March 3rd, 2012
CFP, AAA 2012: Session Title: Crossing paths with Johnny Cash: Anthropological musings on the man in black
AAA Annual Meeting 2012 - San Francisco, Borders and Crossings
Session proposal: Crossing paths with Johnny Cash: Anthropological musings on the man in black
Organizers: Paul Christensen, Union College
U.S. born singer/songwriter Johnny Cash remains a profoundly influential, albeit controversial, figure in the lexicon of American popular music. His genre-crossing songs earned critical accolades and commercial success, and remain popular today among a diverse and diffuse fan-base. Through his distinct voice and compellingly understated lyrics, Cash urged audiences to consider the morality of prisons, the consequences of war, the horrors of Native American genocide, the grace of spirituality, and the darkness of humanity. However, Cash’s fame was about more than his music. Conveying an overtly masculine, often unabashedly Christian, persona, Cash presented a sound and image that felt and sounded quintessentially American. He was the man in black, “an embodiment of the American male’s most flattering picture of himself” (McClintock 1978). He was also contradictory, rubbing shoulders with political and religious elite, yet remaining a rebel who pushed the sensitivities of a pre-Woodstock America, struggled with addiction, and helped fuel the rise of rock and roll.
The organizers of this panel are both fans of Johnny Cash who feel there is power, message, and meaning in his songs and life. However, we are also detractors in various senses, recognizing that no man can be a saint without blemish. Still, in the “man in black” we find profundity, humor, insight, and indignation, as well as good rhythm. Thus, our goal is to create an entertaining and intellectually rigorous panel that draws on the life and work of Johnny Cash. Papers in this session will use the music and mystique of Johnny Cash as starting points for anthropological discussions concerning persistent issues of contemporary relevance. Our hope is that specific songs will serve as cues for focused and general conversations on the ongoing importance of anthropology, possibilities from within the discipline for social change, and the role of popular culture in scholarly discourse. Put simply, we feel that songs and artistry matter and thus take time to muse on the man in black, and thereby give notice to meaningful areas of ongoing attention in anthropology. (more…)
Posted on: Monday, February 20th, 2012
Panel on Art and Anthropology
Posted on: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Forbidden No More: The New China in Ethnographic Film festival and
For a schedule of events, directions to Haverford, and filmmakers¹ bios,
Posted on: Friday, February 10th, 2012
Download the 2012 SVA Call for Submissions here [PDF]: 2012-sva-cfs
The SVA welcomes paper and poster session proposals for consideration at this year’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco (November 14-18, 2012). The theme for the meeting is “Borders and Crossings,” which provides a rich context for exploring the innovative and exciting work conducted under the broad rubric of visual anthropology. Last year, SVA sponsored sessions explored such diverse topics as public art, visual ethics, photography of the unsettling, sensing culture, visualizing history, aesthetic production, digital storytelling and visualizing the technological disjoint in communities.
For the 2012 Annual Meeting, the SVA programming committee consists of:
Both Jennifer and Jonathan are more than happy to work with you on your paper, poster, or roundtable sessions - please be in touch early, and as often as necessary, with us! We’re happy to assist session organizers with the structuring of their proposals. The SVA encourages innovative formats, including poster sessions, extended screening of visual materials, and fostering more dynamic discussion periods.
Because the SVA sponsors a number of events during the Annual Meeting, here is a breakdown of upcoming deadlines and the appropriate contacts for each. (more…)
Posted on: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Sensate is a peer-reviewed, graduate-student-run journal for experiments in critical media practice. It aims to create, present, and critique innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences and to build on the groundswell of pioneering activities in the digital humanities, scholarly publishing, and innovative media practice to provide a forum for scholarly and artistic experiments not conducive to the printed page.
Posted on: Sunday, January 8th, 2012