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PAC: National Nurses United Panel

This weekend was an exciting time for the Anthropology department at AU. We hosted our 13th annual Public Anthropology Conference. Speakers represented a multitude of schools and organizations. One particularly exciting session highlighted a new partnership between the American University Department of Anthropology and National Nurses United.

National Nurses United is the largest union of registered nurses in the history of the United States. This fall, NNU and the Anthropology Department unrolled a new certificate program in Health Inequity and Care (HIC). Three of NNU’s educators, Heidi Hoechst, Alana Glaser, and Chris Nielsen joined AU Professor Adrienne Pine to talk about this new opportunity.

The panel focused on the potential of the new partnership between NNU and AU as well as the dynamic online learning format for all of the HIC courses. It gave students a chance to ask questions and learn more about NNU and the certificate program. The certificate includes six different courses, each exploring the relationship between health care and political and economic structures. Courses such as Militarization and Health and Neoliberal Globalization and Health take a critical look at our healthcare system, offering students the chance to learn how to examine it as part of a “larger structural machine.”

The panelists discussed the format as one of the most exciting parts of the new program. All of the courses are offered online. This enables registered nurses from around the country to be enrolled along with undergraduate and graduate students from AU. Registered nurses have the opportunity to critically examine the structures they are working in and traditional students have the unique chance to learn about healthcare from those at the frontlines. The NNU educators hope that this will offer the space for “asking critical questions” and facilitate a constructive dialogue about what it means to be effective social advocates.

This year’s PAC was hoping to create a conversation between academia and social activism. The NNU panel exemplified what this conversation can look like moving forward. NNU and the anthropology department at AU are both committed to issues of social justice. The nurses working with NNU often witness these issues firsthand. They are activists who understand that well-being encompasses far more than what happens in clinical settings. The Health Inequity and Care Certificate is a chance for social activism to meet academia in a space committed to taking a critical look at health.

Learn more about the Health Inequity and Care Certificate or email any questions to healthinequityandcare@american.edu.

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PAC: Bridging the Gap between Academia and Activism

This year’s Public Anthropology Conference (PAC) had no shortage of amazing speakers discussing a broad range of interesting and important topics. From drone usage to minority solidarity, the various workshops and panel discussions allowed conference participants to get a glimpse of the many different arenas of public thought and activism in which the discipline of Anthropology has taken a part. However, the conference did not focus solely on the state of the discipline, instead opting to pursue the theme of “Creating Dialogues Between Social Movements and Academia”.

Nowhere was this more apparent than within the keynote dialogue, which took place on Saturday, October 8th. To reflect the general theme of the conference, the traditional keynote address was replaced with a panel style discussion, in which the three participants were asked to discuss the various ways in which activists and academics can impact one another’s work. This format allowed for multiple perspectives in the discussion, rather than become entirely focused on the important but limited perspective of a single speaker.

Dr. Marcia Chatelain, representing Georgetown University, provided valuable insight on the integration of Anthropological models of thought into her work within the Black Lives Matter movement. Her experience, both as an academic and within a particular social movement, allowed her to speak to the ways in which these parts of her professional life are able to work in tandem.

The same can be said of both Chelsea Parsons and Elizabeth Banach, both of whom are important figures within the movement to end gun violence. Elizabeth Banach works with the organization Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, and gave voice to the specific goals of the movement. Following a description of how personal events shaped her relationship to the movement, Ms. Banach suggested a number of ways in which Anthropologists within the Academy could both offer aid and reap benefits from a relationship with the movement.

Chelsea Parsons also spoke about the movement to end gun violence, but did so from within her own realm of experience. As the Vice President for Guns and Crime Policy within the Center for American Progress, Ms. Parsons was able to provide more general context for the movement. All three of the speakers were able to create a fruitful environment for dialogue, and were able to effectively address a number of questions brought forth by the audience.

The panel was moderated by by Dr. Angela Stuesse from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her moderation allowed the discussion to move between the specifics of the organizations represented by the speakers, all while encouraging dialogue between those within the academic discipline of Anthropology and those involved in the social movements represented throughout the conference.

This week will be all about highlighting some of the wonderful conversations that took place at the 13th Annual Public Anthropology Conference. Check back in tomorrow to learn more!

5 Anthropology Conferences to Attend This School Year

5 Anthropology Conferences to Attend This School Year

 

When anthropologists come together, the most important conversations of our day evolve, deepen, and expand. We’re proud of the rich exchange of ideas that happens in our own anthropology department, and we encourage students to engage with scholars from outside AU by attending conferences both on and off our campus.

Below are five conferences we have our eye on for the upcoming school year, and you can find more by exploring the calendar at at the American Anthropology Association.

 

Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. Symposium

September 17, 2016

U.S. Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center, Washington, D.C.

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. is dedicated to furthering understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. This fall, their one-day symposium will explore “Divine Kinship: The Political Ideology of Pre-Columbian Rulers,” probing historical connections between the sacred and the political.

 

The Public Anthropology Conference 2016

October 8-9, 2016

Mary Graydon Center, AU, Washington, D.C.

AU’s own Public Anthropology Conference is in its 16th year, and this year’s theme is “Social Movements & Academia.” Together, we will explore concrete ways to strengthen collaborative efforts between activists and academics, with the goal of combatting social inequalities and injustices. The conference will highlight panels, papers, workshops, dialogues, posters, film, audio/visual displays, and performances.

 

Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting

March 28–April 1, 2017

La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Society for Applied Anthropology is an association of professionals interested in making an impact on the quality of life in today’s world. Its members come from social and behavioral disciplines including anthropology, economics, sociology, planning, medicine, nursing, and law. The theme of the 77th annual meeting is “Trails, Traditions, and New Directions,” and papers are welcomes until October 15th.

 

Lavender Language & Linguistics Conference XXIV

April 28-30, 2017

University of Nottingham, UK

American University’s own Lavender Language & Linguistics Conference is hitting the UK in its 24th year. The call for papers is live until October 3rd, and the organizers have already received submissions from France, Brazil, Australia and the U.S. Conference topics will include language, sexuality and pedagogy, LGBTQ+ discourse and media representations, (Anti)homophobic and transphobic discourses, and much more.

 

Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference

Spring 2017 (Check back for dates and details)

Katzen Arts Center, AU, Washington, D.C.

Each year, the AU College of Arts and Sciences invites undergraduate and graduate students to present original scholarly and creative work before faculty and colleagues. Now in its 27th year, the conference is funded in part by a generous grant from AU trustee and alumna Robyn Rafferty Mathias, and students from all disciplines are encouraged to enter and attend. Cash prizes will be awarded for outstanding presentations, and a professional presentation prize will be offered to graduate students to cover the cost of attendance at a professional, peer-reviewed national conference at which the student is presenting.

 

Our program invites students to join the most important conversations in the world of anthropology. Find out more about the master’s degree in public anthropology.