APLA at AAA 2017 : Speaking Justice to Power

APLA and PoLAR are pleased to announce our special event at the 116th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association! Join us at Busboys and Poets in Washington DC on Thursday, November 30th for drinks, appetizers, discussion, and a roundtable with special guests Orisanmi Burton, Laura Nader, Ayşe Parla, and Sara Shneiderman.

Contemporary politics seem besieged by an apparent surge of populist longing for authoritarian, “strong man” leaders. Across the world, we have seen rhetorical and electoral assertions of ethnicized sovereignty against outsiders, particularly against “others” within nation-states and migrants. The reasons any given electorate may long for authoritarianism are numerous, including shifts in economic fortunes (e.g., neoliberal policies, rising inequalities within and between states, globalization, and deindustrialization), local political histories and hierarchies, armed conflicts, and massive crises such as climate change and human displacement/migration.

This event is an opportunity for us to collectively consider our responses to the politics of crisis, as both scholars and citizens. How can anthropologists analyze current political events in ways that are timely, well-informed, and accessible to a broad public? How can anthropology contribute to and inform policy decisions that impact the people we work with? Members of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) join with the editors of PoLAR: Political & Legal Anthropology Review to chair an open discussion about making anthropological scholarship more accessible to the public and increasing our profession’s impact in advocating just politics and law. Building from the successful PoLAR/APLA initiative to publish topical responses to current events, such as Trump’s Executive Order 13769 (aka, the immigration ban), series authors and APLA members are eager to make anthropology a voice of progressive engagement — we hope you can join us in that effort!

Busboys and Poets is a politically progressive event space at the corner of 14th and V streets in downtown DC, designed as “a space for art, culture, and politics to intentionally collide.” We chose this site because we want to get APLA and AAA members physically out of the convention center, and hopefully, to get our minds out into the real world as well. The event is free and all are welcome.



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