January 20, 2013 No Comments Lindsay Bell Uncategorized , , , ,

Dear SLA Student Members,

This year AES will be sponsoring four faculty-students workshops and one workshop for recent PhDs to provide an intimate environment for discussing issues important to AES as well as graduate students. These workshops may also be of interest to SLA student members who are equally encouraged to apply.

AES is also happy to announce there will be subsidies available for graduate student workshop
participants. AES will provide $160 for each workshop participant to cover the costs of one night in the
conference hotel.

These workshops include:
Workshop 1: Methodological and Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Research on Conflict and
Facilitators: Sally Engle Merry (NYU) Carolyn Nordstrom (Notre Dame)
4-5 participants, subsidies provided
As anthropologists focus more explicitly on situations of conflict and violence, they encounter new
challenges ranging from the difficulty of engaging with both sides of a conflict to concerns about personal safety. One of the challenges of this work is representing violence in a way that reflects experience without offering voyeuristic accounts. Another is the tension between the ethnographic stance of detachment and the pull of engagement. As anthropology moves toward recognizing the importance of engagement to an ethical anthropological practice and effective field research, this question becomes ever more important. Conflict situations often contain competing theories about the ideal way to resolve problems. To understand, if not to agree with, both sides requires some detachment while the terms of conflict ask for engagement. This workshop will consider these issues in the context of the co-leaders’ own experiences and those of the participants.

Workshop 2: Managing Careers, Balancing Personal Life
Facilitators: Andrew Buckser (Purdue U)
4-5 participants, subsidies provided

As a discipline, we tend to ignore things like family issues when talking about careers with students. Instead of focusing singularly on finding a job or managing early career publications, this workshop explores the possibilities for managing a career, a family, outside interests as well as other community or social demands. We hope that by having a workshop like this we can debunk the idea that the interaction of career and family is taboo. We can explore the extent to which career life is separate from personal life, with benefits and consequences, as well as issues surround parenting while completing a PhD.

Workshop 3: Becoming a Practicing Anthropologist
Facilitator: Riall Nolan (Purdue U)
10 participants, subsidies provided to graduate students but open to recent PhDs

From Dr. Nolan about the workshop:
“I have always been very interested in applying what I learned as an anthropology student to real-world problems and opportunities. So after getting my doctorate, I lived and worked overseas, not as an academic, but as a development planner and project manager. I worked for large development agencies, consulting firms, NGOs, and several national governments. I lived for years in Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tunisia and Sri Lanka, before coming back to the US in 1984 and taking a university job. When I finally re-entered academic life, I found that many students (and not just in anthropology) were very interested in non-academic careers, but unsure of how to proceed, or even unsure as to whether this was the right path for them. Today, I’m a Professor of Anthropology at Purdue University in Indiana, and I give workshops several times a year, here and elsewhere, on how to work outside the university. It’s easier and less stressful than people think. In my experience, people with graduate degrees (MAs and PhDs) who start considering AES Spring Conference Workshops non-academic employment suffer from two handicaps, both easily overcome. One is an uncertainty about what it is that they really know how to do. The other is a lack of confidence in approaching the world outside the academy.”

Workshop 4: Conflict and New Media
Facilitators: Ilana Gershon (Indiana U)
4-5 participants, subsidies provided

This workshop explores how to study new media’s role in conflicts. What does new media bring to conflicts that is “new” and how should we as anthropologists talk about this newness? How does the organization of communication shape how conflicts unfold? How do new technologies change who participates in conflicts and how publics around conflicts are formed? This workshop will discuss what analytical tools are already available in anthropology to address these questions and more.

Workshop 5: Grant Proposal Writing for Recent PhDs
Facilitators TBA
No subsidies provided


To join one of these workshops, participants are asked to submit a brief description of no more than
250-300 words (i.e., one-page) about your research project. You are encouraged to include in the
description specific questions for the workshop leaders and for the group as a whole to consider.
Descriptions will be shared with fellow workshop participants and workshop leaders in advance of the
meeting. Send applications to Jessica Hardin, jahardin@brandeis.edu by February 15th.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis, noting the following:

1. The project descriptions are closely suited to the workshop themes
2. Students and workshop leaders are from different institutions
3. Students are a member of the AES

Please send your application as soon as possible for consideration as the workshops fill up quite quickly. Again, it is first-come first-serve, so please submit immediately.

If you are not yet a member of the AES, but would like to join at the modest student rate, you can do so
easily on the AAA website: http://www.aaanet.org/membership/join.cfm. Membership comes with a full
print subscription to American Ethnologist.

Please feel free to forward this to interested students and do not hesitate to contact me with any
questions you may have.
Jessica Hardin
Graduate Student Board Member, American Ethnological Society
AES Spring Conference Workshops