Call for Papers – SFAA 2020 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers – SFAA 2020 Annual Meeting                                            We invite paper submissions for our proposed session on Contested Cultural Citizenship and Family Inclusion: Insights from the Field. If interested, please email the session organizers (contact information below) by October 7th with your interest in joining the session and working paper title. All individual paper abstracts must be submitted by the 10/15 SFFA annual meeting deadline alongside conference registration.

Session Organizers                                                                                                    Anne Pfister, PhD, University of North Florida, [email protected]

Courtney L. Everson, PhD, Colorado State University, [email protected]

Session Title                                                                                                                Contested Cultural Citizenship and Family Inclusion: Insights from the Field

Session Abstract                                                                                                        Fluid concepts of family organization, and movement of families within dynamic socio-political structures, are important in envisioning services aimed at children and families (Bomar, 2004; Cowan et al., 2014; Vindrola-Padros et al., 2015). This session brings together applied researchers interested in how families and children negotiate nuanced layers of diversity and contested cultural citizenship that shape their experiences of learning, belongingness, and identity formation. Our discussion focuses on the richness of interdisciplinary frameworks for exploring cross-generational, multi-sited research and facilitating applied impacts aimed at improving a variety of supports for families and children.

Join the ACYIG Team as a Communications Committee Member

Starting January 2020 we are looking for the follow Communications Committee Member:

Webmaster – Maintains ACYIG’s website, including updated links, announcements, blogs and resources. Makes suggestions and implement functionality of the website that supports the continued online presence and growth of ACYIG. Knowledge of WordPress and coding a plus, but not required. Participation in quarterly Communications’ Team meetings is required.

If you would like to be considered for the position above, please email one to two paragraphs to Dori Beeler at [email protected] by September 30, 2019 stating why you would like to become an ACYIG sub-committee member and what you feel you can bring to the position. Please be sure to include your name, title, affiliation (academic or otherwise) and email/phone number so that we can respond to you, and clearly list the position for which you are applying.

The ACYIG Board will make decisions by October 7, and notify you soon after. Duties as an ACYIG Board Member or a sub-committee member will begin January 1, 2020 giving time for a handover with the current webmaster.

If you have any questions about ACYIG committee member duties or the open appointment process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions.

Area 51: Child’s Play and Conspiracy Theories

 By Elisa (EJ) Sobo (SDSU)

Evolutionary biologist Karl Groos observed more than 120 years ago that “animals do not play because they are young,” adding “they have their youth because they must play” (1898:76). With a few classic exceptions, this idea—equating children with play—colors what most people assume to be the anthropological study of childhood’s central focus. However, especially of late, we’ve seen plenty of explorations of how children cope with abuse and neglect, their role as household go-betweens or liaisons between the domestic and public realms, their productive capacities, and contributions to allocare as well as their service in the role of household head. Also of late, scholars have begun to see the value of play past the juvenile state.

Explorations of play in adulthood do differ in significant ways from those undertaken with or focused on children. That said, those who study play among adults have a lot to learn from the anthropological study of play in children; and in time, growth in understanding might be bidirectional. I realized this myself while engaged in a project on conspiracism. I was almost done, I thought, when an interview with the frisky young organizer of the Storm Area 51 event came across my screen, throwing my scholarly sobriety into a tailspin of sorts, or really, more of a cartwheel: an op-ed emerged in response.

In short, the op-ed, whose working title is ‘Free Beer for Aliens,’ asks conspiracy theory scholarship to bring play into the work. I also would suggest here that anthropologists of childhood might benefit conversely. Perhaps it is time we take more seriously as conspiracy theories the knowledge children create and carry in regard to the manipulations of parents, teachers, and others who hold power over them.

If you are interested in conspiracy theory scholarship and bringing play into this work, contact Elisa Sobo.

New Article: “Zambian Children’s Imaginal Caring: On Fantasy, Play, and Anticipation in an Epidemic”.

by Jean Hunleth

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork she conducted in Zambia between 2005 and 2014, Jean Hunleth’s new article examines the fantastical stories children created to account for their own caregiving practices during a TB and HIV epidemic in Lusaka, Zambia. Through the lens of fantasy, Hunleth provides a productive account of children as both agentive and vulnerable, imaginative and cognizant.
This article was originally published in Cultural Anthropology and may also be accessed at the following link: https://journal.culanth.org/index.php/ca/article/view/3915/442

Who are the ‘Experts’? Coproducing knowledge with adolescents in Bulgaria and Tanzania

by Kristen Cheney

(This work first appeared in its original form on BLISS on September 26, 2018. This is an updated version. Read the original here with photos)

It is often assumed that social research is the domain of experts—and that those experts are necessarily adults. Most research on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) is adult-led and adult-centered, not only ignoring young voices but denying diversity amongst young people. Information about young people’s sexuality therefore often remains insulated within their peer groups, preventing innovation in ASRHR programming. This too often leads to a deficit or pathological perspective on adolescence in ASRHR research and intervention.

ISS departs from this premise in our latest youth participatory research project, Adolescents’ Perceptions of Healthy Relationships. The APHR project is funded by the Oak Foundation, with the objective to inform their child abuse prevention programming through greater attention to the broader societal, structural factors that provide an enabling environment for the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. The project is led by ISS’ Kristen Cheney and involves Auma Okwany as East Africa lead researcher. Continue reading Who are the ‘Experts’? Coproducing knowledge with adolescents in Bulgaria and Tanzania

ACYIG BOARD POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) is currently soliciting the following volunteer positions. All positions are open to accept joint appointments between two individuals. Joint appointments are required for positions indicated in plural. Open until filled.

Continue reading ACYIG BOARD POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

NEOS FEBRUARY 2019 EDITION NOW AVAILABLE!

The February 2019 issue of Neos is now available for your reading pleasure at http://acyig.americananthro.org/neos/current-issue/.

Highlights include: 
  • “Parenting and solidarity in research on (im)migrant youth” by Andrea Dyrness (U of Colorado, Boulder) – pp. 4
  • “Childhood and divergent experiences of armed conflict in Nepal” by Krista Billingsley (U of South Florida) – pp. 8
  • “On Hopes, Dreams, and Tensions: Youth Perspectives on Combining Digital Literacy and Cultural Resurgence” by Amy C Mack, Rob McMahon, and Herman Manyguns (U of Alberta) – pp. 15

Let us know what you think! Share your reactions in a Letter to the Editor at [email protected].

An Undocumented College Student’s Journey of Hyperdocumentation in Drawings

by Aurora Chang and Espiritu*

(This work first appeared on Youth Circulations on February 4, 2019. Read the original here with photos)

Espiritu, an undocumented college student, narrates her journey of hyperdocumentation – the excessive production of documents, texts, and papers in an effort to compensate for undocumented status or feelings unworthiness – through her own drawings. Her story is one among so many that need to be told.

Doing research, or storytelling, in this age of post-truth feels entirely demoralizing and … necessary. In a time when any utterance of text is suspect, it can be downright frightening at most and risky, at least, to document anything. When we see powerful leaders spewing personal beliefs and emotions in lieu of facts and evidence, and people embracing this approach to the world, what are we left with?  But the irony of all of this is that right when we find ourselves discouraged to speak is the same time when we must bring our stories to the forefront because they are most threatened. We must also find and provide outlets for young people to share their stories – telling our truths is still the best defense against despair.

Espiritu’s Journey

Espiritu’s big, round, enveloping eyes are dark brown, almost black. Her shiny hair, done up in the most precise tresses, hangs easily below her waist. Soaking wet, she is maybe one hundred pounds. There is a shyness to her toothy smile and an eagerness for knowledge that is palpable. An unaccompanied minor, she hyperdocumented her way through high school, community college and then to a prestigious four-year university on full scholarship. “Hyperdocumentation” is a term I use to define the excessive production of documents, texts, and papers in an effort to compensate for undocumented status or feelings of unworthiness – something I experienced and continue to experience as a once undocumented immigrant myself.

* Espiritu is a nom de plume.

…read more on youthcirculations.com

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