Past Activities

APLA at AAA San Francisco 2012

APLA sponsored or co-sponsored six invited sessions this year, as well as 42 other panels. We hosted two special events aimed at career development for new PhDs, and held five graduate workshops. Below you’ll find detailed information about the events we held and the calls for participation we circulated.

Please join us for our annual business meeting on Saturday Nov 17th! At our “more than a business meeting, we will award our student paper prize, conduct some additional APLA business, and will feature Catherine Besteman leading an informal discussion of the following questions:

  • What forms can public anthropology take in the current political landscape?
  • How can anthropology respond to public anxiety?
  • What alternatives can anthropology suggest?

The APLA sessions and schedule can be found here at the main AAA page. Please take special note of our workshops:

LAUNCHING A CAREER IN ACADEMIA (Friday, November 16, 2012 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM)

Panelists
Catherine Besteman, Colby College
Jennifer Goett, Michigan State University
Jeffrey Martin, University of Hong Kong
Ramah McKay, University of Minnesota

(joint panel with NAPA) PRACTICING ANTHROPOLOGY IN POLITICAL AND LEGAL CAREERS (on Saturday, November 17, 2012 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM).

Panelists
Madelaine Adelman, Arizona State University
Amy Paul-Ward, Florida International University
Terry Redding, Beta Research Associates and Redding Services
Tim Wallace, North Carolina State University and President, National Association for the Practice of Anthropology

Graduate Workshops Introduction and Description: Each year during the AAA meetings, the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) sponsors a series of special workshops in which small groups of graduate students and faculty convene around thematic conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues. These workshops offer an intimate mentorship context in which students can engage in intensive discussions regarding specific problems in their anthropological research and writing. Each workshop is limited to 4-5 students, who meet with 2 faculty facilitators at a café or restaurant near the AAA conference hotel. This year’s workshop topics and facilitators are the following:

1. After “Studying Up”: Anthropologists and Elites, 40 Years Later
Faculty facilitators: Douglas Holmes, SUNY-Binghamton; Tess Lea, University of Sydney

On the 40th anniversary of Laura Nader’s call to “up the anthropologist,” this workshop invites participants whose projects confront new and enduring methodological, conceptual, and ethical issues in anthropology’s engagement with elites. In this context, the term “elites” encompasses a variety of subjects – including policymakers and bureaucrats, technical experts, judges, and scientists – who in some way “are directing the everyday aspects of our lives.” While Nader conceived of researching such subjects as “studying up,” this workshop encourages participants to explore how changing political, economic, and epistemic contexts create a multiplicity of ways for the anthropologist to approach and relate with elites.

2. Language and Linguistic Analysis in Political and Legal Anthropology
Faculty facilitators: John Conley, University of North Carolina School of Law; TBD

Theories and techniques developed in linguistic anthropology have long informed political and legal anthropological research. This workshop is intended for students interested in how to apply linguistic anthropology’s methods of data collection and/or analysis to research on law, policy, social movements, etc. It invites participants working to refine research projects focused explicitly upon language, as well as those who are grappling with how to “take language seriously” in broader studies of legal and political phenomena.

3. Using Documents and Archives in Ethnographic Research
Faculty facilitators: Jane K. Cowan, University of Sussex; Kregg Hetherington, Dalhousie University

This workshop invites students whose projects engage with contemporary or historical documents or other archival materials, whether as a supplement to, or an object of, ethnographic research. Participants will discuss how to understand and think critically about such documents’ roles as sources of data as well as “data points” in their research. The workshop will therefore be a venue in which to engage questions at the intersection of historical anthropology and recent research by legal and political anthropologists on the document and archive as form.

4. Governance, Jurisdiction, and the Politics of Scale
Faculty facilitators: Matthew Hull, University of Michigan; Annelise Riles, Cornell University

Recent anthropological scholarship on contemporary legal and regulatory formations demonstrates the significant analytical purchase of the concepts of governance, jurisdiction, and scale. This workshop invites students whose research engages with these concepts, and their relations to new and emergent legal subjectivities, objectifications, and forms of authority. This may include projects concerned with the proliferation and sub-division of legal regimes, the replication of governance practices across regulatory spaces, translations or transformations of governmental regimes across scales (e.g. “local,” “global,” “urban”), and the constitution of scales themselves.

5. Law, Property, and Infrastructure
Faculty facilitators: Julian Brash, Montclair State University; Rosemary Coombe, York University

This workshop invites students whose research focuses on the intersection between law and property, and especially those interested in recent battles over so-called public and private infrastructures. As various institutions and resources vital to the future of urban, agricultural, and “natural” environments are increasingly privatized, states can no longer be thought of as exclusive providers of “public goods.” Workshop participants may consider how such reconfigurations alter our notions of property, the role of law in constituting boundaries between kinds of persons and things, and the distribution of rights and responsibilities.

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APLA at AAA Montréal 2011

APLA sponsored 4 invited sessions, 36 panels, and a Recent PhD Panel. We also held our annual business meeting and held an APLA Distinguished Lecture.

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DIDIER FASSIN, “IN THE HEART OF THE STATE: THE MORAL ECONOMIES OF JUSTICE”, the William A. Douglass Distinguished Lecture (co-sponsored with the Society for the Anthropology of Europe), is at 6:15 in Hyatt Regency Montréal Soprano A. A cash bar and buffet will immediately follow at 7:30.

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Wednesday, November 16

12:00-13:45

LAW, LEGITIMACY AND POWER IN THE CONSTITUTION OF DEMOCRATIC POLITICS

TRACING COMPETING DISCOURSES OF INDIGENEITY AND AUTOCHTHONY

14:00-15:45

VIOLENCE AND POTENTIALITY

TECHNOLOGIES OF MEDIATION, LANGUAGES OF SOLIDARITY AND DIFFERENCE

16:00-19:45

INVESTIGATING THE “IDENTITY INDUSTRY”

18:00-19:45

QUERYING THE TIDEMARKS OF CRIME: RETRACING THE “NEW ANTHROPOLOGY OF CRIME”

TECHNOLOGIES OF REPAIR: TOOLKITS OF HUMANITARIAN GOVERNANCE AND INTERVENTION

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Thursday, November 17

08:00-09:45

DEPLOYMENT STRESSED: LEGACIES OF THE WAR ON TERROR IN HOME FRONT COMMUNITIES

08:00-11:45

OLD THREATS, NEW GUISES: SECUROCATIC WARS AND THE PRODUCTION OF DIFFERENCE IN THE AMERICAS

10:15-12:00

TRACES OF THE STATE: ETHNOGRAPHIES OF FORMATIONS, DISPERSALS AND DISAPPEARANCES

13:45-15:30

LEGACIES OF AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES: LOCAL PRACTICES OF MEMORY, JUSTICE AND SECURITY

13:45-17:30

BETWEEN THRILL AND DISILLUSION: ETHNOGRAPHY AND THE AFFECTIVE LIFE OF THE STATE

16:00-17:45

ILLICIT TRAFFIC: OUTLAW COMMERCE AND STATE GOVERNANCE IN THE 21st CENTURY

WAR AND CHILD SOLDIERS: A DIALOGUE WITH ISHMAEL BEAH, AUTHOR OF A LONG WAY GONE

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Friday, November 18

08:00-09:45

SOVEREIGNTY AND SUBJECTIVITY: FRAMEWORKS OF ENGAGEMENT AND DISENGAGEMENT

FORENSICS OF CAUSALITY: RISK, INJURY AND REDRESS

INVITED SESSION: TOWARDS AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF TRANSFORMATION, PART I

08:00-11:45

STATE PRACTICES AND LOCAL TRACES: TIDEMARKS AND LEGACIES OF REGULATORY REGIMES IN POST/LATE-SOCIALIST COUNTRIES

10:15-12:00

THE CREATIVITY OF CONCEALMENT

13:45-15:30

INVITED SESSIONLEAKS, LIES, AND RED TAPE – STATE SECRECY AND ITS DISCONTENTS

THE POLITICS OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION: ETHNOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVES

BETWEEN INTEGRATION AND RESISTANCE: MILITARIZATION IN THE PACIFIC

13:45-17:30

INVITED SESSIONFROM CLASS STRUGGLE TO INDIGENOUS RIGHTS? COMPARING PROCESSES, POLICIES AND POLITICS GLOBALLY

ILLEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGISTS

16:00-17:45

BORDERS, FRONTIERS, AND GOVERNANCE

VULNERABLE GOVERNMENT: BUREAUCRACY, MATERIALITY, HUMANITY

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Saturday, November 19

08:00-09:45

INSTITUTING ONESELF AS A POLITICAL SUBJECT: NEGOTIATING THE LEGACIES OF COLONIAL RELATIONS

THINKING THROUGH NGOs: HOW NGO STUDIES CONTRIBUTE TO ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY

08:00-11:45

ANTHROPOLOGIES OF THE COVERT: FROM SPYING AND BEING SPIED UPON TO SECRET MILITARY OPS AND THE CIA

10:15-12:00

INVITED SESSIONABORIGINAL DILEMMAS IN THE CANADIAN SETTLER STATE: ANTHROPOLOGY, LAW, AND SOVEREIGNTY

POLITICAL DISENCHANTMENT, CYNICISM, AND NOSTALGIA

13:45-15:30

HIGH TIDEMARKS IN ASIA-PACIFIC: THE POLITICS AND VOICES OF CONSTRUCTING HERITAGE

LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY: WHAT’S AT STAKE?

16:00-17:45

A FISCAL ANTHROPOLOGY? ETHNOGRAPHIC APPROACHES TO TAXATION

DEMOCRACY WITHOUT ADJECTIVES

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Sunday, November 20

08:00-09:45

CONSTRUCTIONS OF IDENTITY AND TOPOGRAPHIES OF JUSTICE

TRACES OF DEVELOPMENT: CONCEPTUAL LEGACIES AND THE MAINTENANCE OF INEQUALITIES IN SOCIAL INTERVENTION

10:15-12:00

VIOLENCE, POPULISM, AND (POST) NEOLIBERAL DEMOCRACY IN LATIN AMERICA

12:15-14:00

WILD COMPARISON IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF PREEMPTION

[DIS]CLOSING STATE NARRATIVES: NARRATIVES OF DISCLOSURE IN COLOMBIA’S ARMED CONFLICT

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APLA at AAA New Orleans 2010

The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) sponsored 5 invited sessions, 37 sessions, 1 recent PhD panel, and 3 graduate student workshops!

Graduate Student Workshops 2010

The Graduate Research Workshops are characterized by an informal and nurturing atmosphere where students can share their work and receive focused feedback from leading faculty and fellow students from around the country. These workshops were also an opportunity to network and get to know the work of peers in other universities. At the 2010 AAA meeting, APLA sponsored the following workshops:

Border Regimes of Circulation with Brenda Chalfin and Julie Y. Chu
Whether at land, maritime or air borders, the global circulation of people and things is a dynamic process of flows and stops. For a range of actors, the organization, regulation and disruption of this process is an ongoing project. Students researching the topic of circulation at borders will discuss their ideas with scholars and other students researching similar issues from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Student Organizer: Janell Rothenberg

Approaching Postcolonial State Sovereignty and its Limits with Michael Hardt and Jason Cross
As they have appeared in the postcolonial world, technologies and techniques of global capital over the last twenty years had two visible dimensions: on the one hand, industrial production has moved to urban peripheries in search of cheap labor, on the other, the extraction of natural resources in peripheries has been relentlessly pursued, even to the extent of war, with little interest in fostering local economies around these resources. What both share is the positioning of the “market” as sovereign. This raises the question of how we are to approach the state, and the postcolonial state in particular, given that there are lots of signs that it has not been rendered irrelevant as a mere mechanism of the market. This workshop invites students to reflect on the conditions and techniques of sovereignty, within, beyond, against, and alongside the state in the postcolonial world.

Student Organizers: Filipe Calvão and Bernard Dubbeld

Circulation of Transnational Threats with Gregory Feldman and Andrew Lakoff
Perceptions of the increasing influence of global phenomenon have led to modes of governance meant to address so-called transnational problem from climate change and natural disasters to money laundering and unauthorized immigration. Students working on transnational phenomenon will have a chance toworkshop their ideas with scholars and other students engaging with the transnational in their theoretical and ethnographic work.

Student Organizer: Connie McGuire

Sessions and Panels 2010

Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency: Constructions and Destructions of Conscience 

Empire, Multitude & Commonwealth: The Anthropology of the Global in the Radical Political Philosophy of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt

APLA’s Panel for Recent PhDs

Andean Territorialities and the Shifting Circuits of Water, Oil, Gas, and Land

Transitional Justice: Global Circulations and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence

Legacies in Motion: A Consideration of the Work and Impact of David Maybury-Lewis

Safe Haven in America: Thirty Years after the Refugee Act of 1980

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APLA at AAA Philadelphia 2009

APLA sponsored 5 panels and 7 mentoring workshops covering student research projects as well as career issues. We also held 4 research workshops, and 3 workshops on professional issues given the current market situation and the success of last year’s events.

Graduate Research Workshops 2009

We invited graduate students who are at the pre-, during, and post-fieldwork stages to discuss their work with faculty in one of four interest areas:

Cultures of Illegality with Susan Coutin and Ric Curtis

Affect and the Law with Elizabeth Povinelli and Don Brenneis

The Law and its Indigenous Others/Objects/Intersections with Rosemary Coombe, Madelaine Adelman and Ann Kakaliouras

Technologies of the Law with Kimberley Coles and Elizabeth Mertz

APLA Professional Mentoring Workshops 2009

Job Search: How to understand what search committees look for? with Bill Maurer and Sally Merry

What to do after you file? with John Bowen, Ilana Gershon, and Daniel Goldstein

Book Proposal Workshop with Mark Goodale and Tom Boellstorff

Sponsored Panels 2009

Towards a Medical Anthropology against Militarism (co-sponsored by the Society for Medical Anthropology)

Theorizing Infrastructure: Technopolitics of Development in Contemporary Africa (co-sponsored by the Association for Africanist Anthropology)

Bureaucracy and Befuddlement

The End of Citizenship in Latin America:  The Body as a New Site of Political Struggle (co-sponsored by the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology)

States of Desire: Citizenship, Political Subjectivity, and Social Change (co-sponsored by the American Ethnological Society)

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APLA at AAA San Francisco 2008

APLA-Sponsored Panels

Political Parties and Subjectivity in Africa (co-sponsored by the Association for Africanist Anthropology)

Critical Ethnographic Perspectives on the War in Iraq (co-sponsored by the Middle East Section)

Liberal Religiosities (co-sponsored with the Society for the Anthropology of Religion)

Graduate Student Research Workshops 2008

Religion and Politics: Intersections, Co-minglings, and Oppositions

Social Movements: NGOs, Non-NGOs and Other Political Strategies

Science, Technology, and the Law: Circulations and Placements

Time: Anticipation and Memory in Law and Politics

Public Policy and the Law: Politics in Action

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