Ola Sher. Thanks for the heads up on Conway. I am still finding good references that I probably should have had before I went into the field. I am totally with you on the blank stares when I try to explain what life is like outside the US. My favorite question was someone asking me if I spoke African, not Afrikaans. As if Africa is all one continent and culture. If that pending Moz malaria project comes through, let me know.
Hi, Hugh, In response to your comment of a couple of days ago, I have not renewed my AAA membership since I do not view the organization, even with NAPA, as truly addressing the needs of applied practicing anthropologists who aren't in academia. I might yet renew for 2007 (give me good reasons why...), but will not likely attending many AAA conferences unless they are near me. I am keeping my SfAA membership and thought about attending the meetings in Tampa, even coming at the last minute, but ended up on jury duty that week (and ended up sitting on my first trial as a juror). I find the smaller SfAA conferences more congenial and better for networking, but as a sole proprietor have to consider which conferences I attend when. For example, I definitely intend to go to the American Evaluation Association conference this fall since I have had direct time conflicts the last two years and really value my contacts at that conference.
Hugh, I'll be in DC from June 20 to 26 for my son's wedding on June 23, and then staying on with my wife for part of the American Library Association meetings. One of my major clients is New York State Library, for whom I am doing a grant evaluation. Unfortunately, that time period doesn't cover the first Tuesday. My son and his fiancee owns a condo in DC in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood (within a long walk of the AAA conference hotel), but is about to go to graduate school starting later this summer (probably Wharton but Berkeley still has an outside chance). He is debating about selling the condo, although I am encouraging him to hang on to it and rent it out while he is in graduate school in case he wants to return to DC. Other than the remote possibility of my being able to stay there during the next AAA meetings, I seriously doubt that I will make them.
Hi, Hugh --
It's been a long time since we were in touch. Nice to hear from you. I live in Portland, OR, now and travel quite a lot -- to Bangladesh, NYC, and Los Angeles, where my children live.
Thanks for the message.
I'm obviously happy that you're using the Development Anthropology book, and I would be very interested in your comments and suggestions after you get through with it. It seems to fill a niche, but I am always looking for ways to improve things, and although a second edition is not yet in the cards, at some point one might be.
I will indeed be in Washington for AAA, although not for the entire thing. I will be there mainly for the SfAA board meetings, of which I am a member. I actually dropped my AAA membership last year; I have been very frustrated by the lack of interest shown by AAA in applied and practicing people, and in the issues and opportunities that practice presents. SfAA does a much better job with this. So unless AAA changes fairly drastically, they won't get me back as a member any time soon.
Let's keep talking, bopth about the Development Anthropology course you're doing, and about the Human Terrain stuff. If you want to email me directly, it's firstname.lastname@example.org, although I don't mind doing it this way, either.
I share your perspective on the Human Terrain stuff. The blog that AAA is running has some very thoughtful contributions on it, in addition to the usual blanket condemnations. One of the issues for me is that of complicity with the war machine. I have no issues with the military, and few with the intelligence people, but I am deeply disturbed at what the politicians have done to both our military and to our society, in recent years. I've tried to get a discussion going of how anthropology relates to this, but there has been no response -- literally, none. In the AAA blog, several of the contributers pointed out that unless we do something to inform, guide, nudge and otherwise influence field outcomes, we are complicit in the war effort as it presently stands. I tend to agree.
But I still don't know how to get this out there in any meaningful way. I will be at AAA for only a couple of days, and I may not make the business meeting, but if I do, I will be listening hard for constructive suggestions for engagement.
I can't find the message I sent either. Don't know what happened to it. Anyway, I was telling you that I hoped you and yours had enjoyed the holidays. I was in Panama and Costa Rica for 5 weeks -- part vacation and part research -- and just returned on Monday evening.