[URBANTH-L]CFP: AAA 2004 Meeting Relocation Session

Harriet Richardson Seacat 3seacats at comcast.net
Tue Mar 22 21:32:12 EST 2005

Hello all,
    We still need one, probably two more papers for a proposed session on
the AAA 2004 Meeting Relocation session.  As far as I know, only one paper
at the 2005 meetings will address the SF labor strike and AAA response.  I
feel that it is crucial that we hold this session so to stimulate discussion
on the occurrences surrounding the 2004 meeting relocation.  If you feel
that it is important to get other anthropologists talking, too, please
respond to this call for papers.  This is a chance, too, to talk about how
to appropriately deal with next year's meetings in SF--part of the deal made
between the AAA and the SF Hilton.  We need to voice our concerns about the
decisions made if we hope to make changes.  Please join us in making this
happen and forward to your contacts!

Harriet L. Richardson Seacat, M.A.
Adjunct Faculty
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
University of South Alabama

"The Outcome of this Struggle will Impact all Working People"[1]:

Anthropologists and Our Feigned Attempt at Union Support

As a prerequisite to our unique ability to suspend ethnocentrism, many of us
are concerned with the impact of powerful corporations on the lives of the
people with which we work.  From Karl Marx to Immanuel Wallerstein, many
scholars have explored the inequalities that exist in a capitalistic system.
Scholars, particularly anthropologists, have examined with similar virility
how people of cultural minorities are marginalized in this system.  The 2004
AAA meetings provide us with an awkwardly proximate example of how our
decisions as consumers impact people's lives.  Even without a labor strike
and the prospect of crossing a picket line, our decision to meet in huge
corporate venues perpetuates inferior working conditions, like those being
protested by the San Francisco Hilton workers.  The strike and the AAA
response to it reminds us of our relative privilege as white collar workers
who support the corporate infrastructures which marginalize (and, at times,
terrorize) the labor force which sustains them.  The situation begs the
question of how we can criticize the effects of globalization while we
simultaneously provide the cash support upon which the system exists.  We
need to ask serious questions of ourselves as we plan for next year's AAA
meetings and all meetings to come.  The unions which were striking in
November of 2004 in San Francisco believe that the "outcome of [their]
struggle will impact all working people" as we enter an age in which
corporate power is becoming paramount.  This session and its presenters
explore different arenas of thought surrounding these issues, including the
politics of corporate power, the impact of corporate power on low-wage
laborers, ethnographic insight into the San Francisco strike and
anthropologists' reactions to it, and how consumers can impact corporate


[1] Workers Action, strike support flyer, 2004

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