July/August 2009 Newsletter

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Over the last two years, many active NAPA members have been working to create a more active and inclusive section within the context of the American Anthropological Association. Both NAPA and the AAA need to hear your voices and your concerns in order to better understand the importance of where we have been, what is most interesting to us, and who we want to become. After all, our identifications will always be a continuous negotiation.

Although we seek to more actively engage the AAA as well as our many diverse AAA sections, we also know that we must look beyond our professional organization because so many NAPA members, and potential members, are doing exciting things beyond the boundaries of the AAA.

Over the next year, we will continue to experiment with new columns and we seek your contributions in shaping this mediated production. With your involvement we can continue to be the renegades that we are—those who cross and double-cross boundaries of what it means to be an anthropologist.


Elizabeth Nanas

NAPA e-Newsletter Editor

NAPA now has an increasingly active LinkedIn Group. We hope you will join us in this forum to share your ideas, announcements, and anything else of importance to you.

To join you must be a member of LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/

Please note that LinkedIn’s professional social networking basic membership is free. Basic membership is all that is required to join a

LinkedIn Group.

Once you are a member, click on

This link is located toward the top left of your home site. A yellow button that says “Find a Group” will appear toward the right side of your browser. Click that link and type in: NAPA or National Associatioin for the Practice of Anthropology.

We look forward to your involvement in our professional social networking group! And please share this information with any of your colleagues whether they are official members of NAPA or not. Everyone interested in practicing anthropology is welcome in this space.

On Mary’s Mind

Summertime and the living is easy. More or less! My tomato plant is growing well in a pot on my back deck. The baby ducks have come and gone in my pond. It’s been a stormy spring. In May, lightening struck a tree in the back of my house making a powerful noise that aroused the whole neighborhood. Fortunately things have been more calm lately. I have been busy working on the NAPA budget for 2010 and thinking about ways to move the 2008 Strategic Plan forward.

Two areas are a focus of our strategic thinking right now – membership and mentorship. At one time in late 2007 we were within a few members of the magic number of 600 that would entitle us to another invited session at the AAA meetings. Now, like many sections in AAA, NAPA is suffering a decline in membership. The number of NAPA members went from a 588 in February 2008 to 535 in February 2009. Things are definitely going in the wrong direction.

NAPA’s strength depends a lot on how well our members are supported as full-time or part-time practitioners of anthropology. Our effectiveness in recruiting and maintaining members determines our reach to practitioners and the success of our efforts to establish the centrality of practice to the larger world of anthropology. Once people come in the door, mentorship is critical because the expertise acquired by practitioners is often transferred on the job rather than in more traditional academic settings. Without effective mentoring, we lose beginning anthropologists to NAPA, to AAA and all too often to the profession as frustrated practitioners abandon anthropology altogether

In the past three months, I have appointed a Mentoring Task Force headed by Tom Greaves, the chair of NAPA’s Mentorship Committee. This group will look at what NAPA does now in mentoring, explore mentoring needs and brainstorm ideas for strengthening the mentor program. Recommendations from this Task Force will be presented to the NAPA GC in Philadelphia in December 2009. The Membership Committee, chaired by Mick Iris, also is identifying steps that we can take to attract practicing anthropologists to NAPA.

We are taking steps toward better management of NAPA Special Interest Groups. The first NAPA SIG – the Evaluation Anthropology Interest Group – was established in 2003, and was followed by the Design Anthropology Interest Group and the OT Interest Groups in 2007. A resolution specifying procedures for establishing SIGs in NAPA was approved by the GC in 2008 and calls for a review of each interest group every five years. The EAIG is overdue for a review. In June, I appointed a Task Force, headed by Lenora Bohren, to develop policies and procedures for reviewing SIGs.

Upcoming on my screen are nominations for open offices in AAA. Each year, the NAPA GC compiles slates of NAPA members as candidates for open AAA offices. We recruit people to run for offices, help them with submissions, and write letters of support for them to the AAA Nominations Committee. I was a member of the AAA Nominations Committee for several years, and I know that this has worked in improving the presence of practitioners in the larger association. Check out open offices and let me know if you would like to run for one of these.

Finally, I am beginning to plan for the AAA meeting in the fall. We will have two meetings in conjunction with the AAA

meetings in Philadelphia – the NAPA Business Meeting and the NAPA Governing Council meeting. In thinking about

this, I will focus on moving forward to incorporate more parts of the 2008 Strategic Plan. The next Strategic Plan priority is to identify a NAPA member to serve as a Liaison Coordinator to help us develop and implement a plan to build relationships with other AAA sections that have a lot of practitioners. Interested? Let me know.

Have a wonderful summer – exciting or restful as you prefer. Be back in the fall. Until Next Time,

Mary Odell Butler, NAPA President


NAPA Needs Your Involvement!

Do you have ideas to build on the success of our mentoring program? Please join our Task Force on Mentoring by contacting the Chair of NAPA’s Mentoring Committee, Tom Greaves, at greaves@bucknell.edu or NAPA President, Mary Odell Butler, at:  maryobutler@verizon.net.

The NAPA section of the AAA needs to expand our membership in order to receive additional invited sessions at the AAA meetings. To help us develop recommendations and actions for the Membership Committee, contact NAPA’s Membership Committee Chair, Micki Iris, at: miris@northwestern.edu.

We need your involvement to grow NAPA and to ensure that we will develop future leaders and visionaries to champion the practice of anthropology.

We also need your contributions to develop this Newsletter. Do you have a story or an idea to share with us that will help your colleagues in their practice? Have you read a book, subscribed to a journal or magazine, or used a product that has enhanced your work? Do you know about a conference or an event that we should publicize? Let us know what you’d like

to see here by sending Elizabeth Nanas an email at:


NAPA e-News Calls for News, Proposals, and Ideas

NAPA is seeking contributions for our bi-monthly e-Newsletter. The listing below provides the e-Newsletter submission deadlines and some thematic ideas for 2009-2010:

Submission Deadline: August 24

For September 2009 NAPA e-Newsletter that will supplement the Anthropology News focus: (1) Codifying

Anthropological Ethics, and (2) Responding to Economic Crisis.

NAPA’s e-Newsletter is edited by Elizabeth Nanas. Ideas & submissions may be addressed to her at:

Wayne State University

College of Engineering – IME

4815 Fourth Street, Room 2033

Detroit, MI 48202

Phone: 313-205-8595 (cell/text) E-Mail: enanas@wayne.edu

Submission Deadline: October 19, 2009

For November 2009 NAPA e-Newsletter that will supplement the Anthropology

News focus: (1) Aging and the Life Course, and (2) The Future(s) of Anthropology

Calls for article proposals to Anthropology News are always available at www.aaanet.org/issues/anthronews /callforpapers.cfm. We hope that you will submit longer article proposals to AN while also sending NAPA your ideas, resources, and shorter discussions on these topics. In addition, we continue to welcome your ideas for getting conversations started on any topic that is relevant to anthropological praxis.


NAPA + AAA Election Results

Please join me in welcoming our newly elected NAPA officers are:

•    Eva Friedlander, Secretary

•    Cathleen Crain, member-at-large

•    Laura McNamara, member-at-large

In addition, we are very pleased to announce that Jay Scheunsel was elected to the AAA Executive

Board and Pam Puntenney was elected to the AAA Committee on Public Policy.

We are so very grateful for all of the time and effort our new NAPA officers, AAA Executive Board Member, and AAA Committee Member will be contributing as we continue to grow our discipline. We look forward to supporting all of you and to learning about all of your exciting work!

Anthropology News Calls for Article Proposals: Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance -1Proposal submission deadline: August 25, 2009

Maintaining a balance between work and other aspects of life—including family, home, community and outside

interests—can be challenging for both academic and practicing anthropologists. Some cite inflexible educational or professional infrastructures or the challenges of doing local anthropology as barriers to maintaining a healthy and comfortable work–life balance.

View the full CFP:  http://www.aaanet.org/issues/anthronews/CFP-Work-Life-Balance.cfm

Anthropology of Water -1Article proposal submission deadline: September 21, 2009

In 2005, the coordinator of UNESCO’s Network of Water Anthropology called for an increase in studies of how various peoples think about and use water, as necessary to develop more sustainable forms of water management. Anthropologists have responded by expanding research and education in this vital area, and participating in important interdisciplinary conversations with environmental scientists, geographers, political scientists, human rights activists and others.

It is within this framework that Anthropology News seeks contributions for our January 2010 thematic issue on the anthropology of water—to highlight ongoing conversations about communities’ changing relationships with and around water, across time and place. Such work is crucial not only to assess the implications of floods, droughts and water rights conflicts today, but also the ways in which water has always—and everywhere—been a mediated resource.

View the full CFP:  http://www.aaanet.org/issues/anthronews/CFP-Water.cfm

AN Guidelines

To participate, email a 300-word abstract and 50-100-word biosketch to Anthropology News editor  Dinah Winnick. Selected writers will be invited to contribute a 1000-1400 word commentary.



Upcoming Conference Announcements

Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference

Chicago, IL USA, August 30 – September 2, 2009. For details, see:  http://www.epic2009.com/

The Opening Keynote speaker will be Howard A. Tullman, who serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of

Flashpoint Academy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Experiencia, Inc., and is the immediate past President of Kendall College, in Chicago, which he recently sold to Laureate Education. Mr. Tullman has over 35 years of new business development, entrepreneurial ventures, management, and turn-around experience with a particular emphasis on information systems for the insurance and automotive industries as well as extensive operations and production background.

The Closing Keynote speaker will be Gillian Tett. Dr. Tett is an assistant editor of the Financial Times and oversees the global coverage of the financial markets. She was warning about the looming credit crisis over two years ago, her background as a social anthropologist having alerted her to the danger. In March 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. In 2007 she was awarded the Wincott prize, the premier British award for financial journalism, for her capital markets coverage. She has received numerous additional awards and conducted work around the world. She is now deputy head of the Lex column. She is the author of “Saving the Sun: How Wall Street mavericks shook up Japan’s financial system and made billions.”

Medical Anthropology at the Intersections: Celebrating 50 Years of Interdisciplinarity

Yale U, New Haven, CT USA, September 24 – 27, 2009. For details, see:  http://www.yale.edu/macmillan/smaconference/

COINS 2009 Collaborative Innovations Networks Conference

Savannah, GA, USA, October 8 – 11, 2009. For details, contact Christine Miller at cmiller@scad.edu

American Anthropological Association

Philadelphia, PA USA, December 2 – 6, 2009. For details, see:  http://aaanet.org/meetings/

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