WAPA Event Archives: 2003-04

Sunday, September 14: President's Welcome Party

The Fall President's Party is scheduled for Sunday, September 14, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the home of Rob and Kate Winthrop, 130 10th Street, NE, Washington DC. This will be an informal potluck party for members, potential members and friends. Bring any sort of dish or edibles you think might be appealing. Drinks, utensils, and related items will be provided.

Tuesday, October 7: Genetically Modified Organisms, Globalization, and the Human Right to Food: Anthropologists' Contributions

Ellen Messer, a Visiting Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University, will open a discussion that draws on some of her recent experiences working in interdisciplinary contexts that include molecular biologists, nutritionists, economists, political scientists, human-rights lawyers, and others. Dr. Messner will engage WAPA members in a discussion of what anthropological perspectives add to the study of human rights and the transformation of food systems, and how these activities contribute to what we call variously "engaged" or "public" anthropology.

Ellen Messner has been on the anthropology faculty at Yale University, Wheaton College, Rhode Island College, and Brown University, with interdisciplinary faculty appointments at Tufts University and Brandeis University. She was also the director of the World Hunger Program at Brown University (1993-1996). Her crrent research, writing, advocacy, and teaching concerns food and human rights and U.S. hunger organizations.

Location: Sumner School

Wednesday, November 5: The Return of the US to UNESCO

Speakers: Beverly Zweiben, US Department of State, and Hillary Wiesner, office of the UNESCO Director General.

Please note the change in date due to the election day.

Join WAPA in welcoming Beverly Zweiben, historian and officer in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Hillary Wiesner, executive officer and liaison to the US government from the office of the UNESCO Director General.

The programs of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) should be of interest to all anthropologists. In 2002 Ms. Zweiben headed the US delegation to UNESCO's Executive Board meeting that marked America's decision to return to membership, after an absence of nearly twenty years. She will discuss the issues that led to America's withdrawal from UNESCO in the Reagan administration, and the opportunities raised by our readmission last month. She will also discuss some recent UNESCO accomplishments, including the International Declaration on Human Genetic Data and the Convention on the Preservation of Intangible Heritage, as well as the proposed International Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Dr. Wiesner will present background and history on the withdrawal and reentry of the US into UNESCO, and put the conversation into its current context.

Location: Sumner School

Tuesday, December 2: Cultural and Historical Perspectives on the Crisis in Iraq

Meeting co-sponsor: GWU Culture in Global Affairs (CIGA) program

Please note change in venue for this meeting

Panel Speakers: Stephen Epstein, Office of Transistion Initiatives, US Agency for International Development
Dina Khoury, Department of History, George Washington University
Graham Leonard, Global Education Specialist, Cultural Strategies Institute

An anthropologist, an historian, and an educator will offer perspectives on Iraqi society and the American occupation. Presentations will be brief to allow extensive discussion. Refreshments will be served during a break between the presentations and discussion.

Location: GWU Elliott School building, 1957 E Street NW, 6th floor, Lindner Family Commons

Please note the change in venue for this meeting.

Sunday, January 4: Holiday Party

WAPA'S WINTER HOLIDAY PARTY. Sunday, January 4, 4 to 7 p.m., at the home of Ruth and Michael Cernea, Bethesda. This is a traditional WAPA potluck enterprise and RSVPs as soon as possible would be helpful to Ruth Cernea at rcernea@comcast.net. Dishes with enough for eight persons are requested; members can team up on dishes.

Last Name A to G: Bring salads

Last Name H to R: Bring desserts

Last Name S to Z: Bring appetizers or breads

The hosts will contribute the main course. WAPA will supply drinks and supplies. The party is open to all current and potential members and friends.

Directions to the home of

Michael and Ruth Cernea, 6113 Robinwood Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. 301-320-5579

Our home is just off River Road, a few miles north of the District. You can reach River Road from Wisconsin Ave, Western Ave, Massachusetts Ave, or several other ways. The easiest directions are below:

From DC
North on Massachusetts until it dead ends at Goldsboro Road. Right on Goldsboro, to River Road (first light). Left on River Road (be in right lane) to Whittier Blvd (first light). Right on Whittier Blvd to Robinwood Road (6th street on the right, at Walt Whitman High School) White house on left, up hill

From the Beltway
River Road exit, south, toward Washington. Fourth traffic light is Whittier Blvd. Left on Whittier, right on Robinwood (6th street on the right)

From Rockville, etc./via Bradley Boulevard
Old Georgetown Road to Huntingdon Parkway (church on corner). Right on Huntingdon Parkway to Bradley Blvd. Left on Bradley to Durban (white picket fence on corner). Right on Durbin to Plainview (second street).

Or (from Chevy Chase area)-anywhere on Bradley to Durbin. Can only turn one way on Durbin. Right on Plainview to Robinwood Road (third street); Left on Robinwood to 6113.

By Metro
Bethesda station. Pick up cab at the Hyatt Hotel, just above the Metro station (about $6). Tell the driver to take Bradley to Durbin, Durbin to Plainview, Plainview to Robinwood, as above.

Tuesday, January 6: Conserving Place: Prince William Forest Park and the African American Experience, 1933-1945

Speaker: Sue Ann Perkins Taylor, Ph.D., R.N.

In the absence of built form, the conservation of place depends on the memories of those who lived there. The goal of reconstructing the experiences of African Americans entails creating a microhistory of ordinary people's lives by exploring the circumstances of daily living within the context of the larger society. It includes the examination of political and personal accounts of what transpired in a particular place and at a particular time.

Oral histories were collected from families displaced for the construction of parklands by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of FDR's New Deal programs and again when the site became training grounds for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII. Through stories and public and private documents, the conservation of this place is possible. Recommendations are made to the National Park Service for acknowledging the rich cultural history that is at risk of being lost.

Sue Taylor is a research and training consultant in urban and applied medical anthropology and gerontology. Dr. Taylor received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. She holds M.A. and B.A. degrees in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH and is a registered nurse. Dr. Taylor was Director of the Master's Degree Program in Applied Medical Anthropology at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. While there she also served as the Director of the Minority Aging Program and Faculty Associate for the Institute of Gerontology. She also taught at Miami University, Oxford, OH and Howard University, Washington, DC.

She was appointed to the Michigan Commission for Services to the Aged, 1981-84, and was a delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. She served as a Research Fellow for the Ohio Department of Mental Health. She has had experience as a Director of Nursing in Long-term Care facilities in Michigan and Ohio. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged in Washington, DC.

Dr. Taylor's research interests include the collection of oral histories of older African Americans. Previous work included the coping strategies of African American women. She continues to collect stories of the experiences of African Americans on the Home Front during World War II. Most recently her focus is on the concepts of place and memory. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, William Wesley Taylor, architect. They have three grown children.

Location: Sumner School

Tuesday, February 3: Flashpoints for Amazonian Native People Impacted by the Hydrocarbon Industry: The Camisea Project in Peru; Texaco and Sarayacu in Ecuador

Panel Chair: Leslie Brownrigg

A panel discussion will focus on the impacts of Amazonian petrochemical exploitation on Amazonian native peoples, their environment, and the structure of the native peoples' self-assertion and environmentalist advocacy. The discussion will compare recent (2000-2003) efforts to get "tribal people" /social impact/environmental considerations funding in front of international lending for the CAMISEA gas pipeline project (just beginning in Peru) with the Shushufindi (and other) gas, petroleum, refinery and pipeline complex in eastern Ecuador. Thirty years later, the dire predictions of human and environmental devastation can be observed. The situation the petroleros left behind is subject to ongoing litigation against Chevron-Texaco, to obtain funds for the clean-up and mitigation. (This foreign tort claims act case was referred from federal court to Ecuador and hearing opened there on October 13, 2003.)

Leslie Brownrigg will present a briefing on the Camisea natural gas project in Peru and current petroleum controversies in Ecuador, and profile the impacts on the various affected native Amazonian people. Leslie lived long term in both Peru and Ecuador, working on development projects, and continues to visit and follow issues in these Andean nations.

Amy Gray will discuss how Peruvian and international NGOs coordinated a campaign against IADB and Ex-Im public financing of the private Camisea Consortium in 2003. Amy spearheaded the Bank Information Center's participation in that and other campaigns as the BIC director for Latin America. Amy has worked on issues intersecting human rights and development finance for many years.

It is anticipated that there may be other panels members at the time of the meeting.

Web pages relating to this topic will remain active on the WAPA web site at http://www.smcm.edu/wapa/amazon/index.html. Contributions are welcomed.

Tuesday, March 2: Subject: Apprenticeship for the Professional Anthropologist

Panel Organizers: Judd Antin, Andrea Berardi, Stanley Herman, Tamar Johnson, and Maria Weir

Student Liaison: Judith Freidenberg, U Maryland

Practicing anthropologists, like all professionals, engage in an ongoing process of professional development through education and experience. During that process, anthropologists often find themselves acting as an apprentice under the direction of a supervisor or "mentor," learning the essential skills and knowledge which come only from experience. Because anthropologists' primary tools for analysis are sociocultural tools, experience is perhaps even more crucial to the development of an anthropologist. Experiences gained as an apprentice can have a profound impact on the progression of a novice anthropologist's career. This presentation will examine apprenticeship through the eyes of the student apprentice--from an "emic" perspective--by discussing the experiences of the presenters. Through an examination of several contexts in which apprenticeship exists--notably the context of the young anthropologist transitioning from theory to praxis--this presentation will attempt to foster thought and discussion which can be beneficial for new and experienced professionals alike.

Questions addressed:

What do we mean by apprenticeship?

How is the apprenticeship process unique/uniquely important in the context of the professional anthropologist?

What forms does apprenticeship take throughout a professional anthropologist's career?

What might apprentices expect/hope for from a mentor or from the apprentice/mentor relationship? What expectations do apprentices have of mentors? Are these expectations reciprocated by mentor?

Included also:

Presenters' personal experiences as apprentices

Thoughts on the value of mentors outside of the workplace (to support WAPA mentoring initiatives)

Thoughts on the challenges of working without a mentor


Each of 5 presenters will give a short, 5-8 minute presentation, followed by a 20-minute discussion period

Tuesday, April 13: Masiphumelele High School: Re-schooling the Social Movements in South Africa

Speaker: Dan Moshenberg, Acting Director, Spring 2004, Women's Studies Program, and Associate Professor of English, The George Washington University

In 2002, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign joined with other members of Mandela Park, in Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town, to address a perceived crisis of violence, in particular street crimes, in their community. The AEC and community members felt a relationship existed between so-called criminal activities in their neighbourhoods and the presence of large numbers of youth on the streets during school hours. Under the aegis of the AEC's Right to Education Campaign, the community organised and conducted a survey and found that 400some youth had been excluded from school due to inability to pay fees or to age restrictions. Further, the students, their families, and the community at large emphatically indicated that they wanted a school. From this emerged the Masiphumelele/People's Power High School.

The community sought out teachers who were committed to the vision of a people's right to education and who were prepared to volunteer, for as long as necessary, their time, energy, and expertise. They found teachers, many of whom were retrenched or unemployed and all of whom were registered. They found space, however inadequate to their numbers and needs, at the Andile Nose Community Centre. Materials, again however inadequate, were donated by local supporters. An administrative structure was established to ensure a continuing relationship with the community. In response to the numbers of students and restricted circumstances, ie crowded time and space, additional systems were put in place. All of this occurred before the doors formally opened to learners in February 2003.

Within a week, Masiphumelele/People's Power High School had registered well over a thousand learners. Well over a thousand learners from Mandela Park and surrounds voted with their feet and their minds to demand an education. They wanted to learn, they deserved a future, and they believed it was the responsibility of all to work to ensure that.

By September 2003, Masiphumelele/People's Power High School was no more. Dramatic as that seems, this is not a tale of failure. This paper follows the high school's rise and dissolution through incorporation, and re-emergence across the Western Cape and beyond. By so doing, it attempts to read the lessons of Masiphumelele/People's Power High School.

Daniel Moshenberg is currently the Director of the Women's Studies Program at the George Washington University. He has worked with women's movements, youth movements, worker and trade union movements, anti-privatization and anti-eviction movements, and landless peoples' movements, in South Africa, where he has taught at the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education at the University of the Western Cape [1995] and at the Centre for Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town [2003].

NOTE: This is a date change from the original calendar

Tuesday, May 4 Subject: Participatory Ethnomusicology

Organizer: Laurie Krieger

Bring your kazoos and dijeridoos! May will be a participatory ethnomusicology meeting.

Please bring instruments and music from your field site; dances also welcome, as are accompanying recordings. Please be prepared to tell us (in 5 minutes) something about the music and/or dance, its cultural context, and how you learned it. Not feeling musical? Either bring a recording or suggest a musically uninhibited anthropologist we may contact and invite to perform and speak. We'll start off the evening with Mark Edberg, performing and discussing narco-corridas from the U.S.-Mexican border, the subject of his highly acclaimed and soon-to-be-published dissertation. To volunteer yourself or another, please call Laurie Krieger at (301) 942-9718--you can also just show up with an instrument in hand and a song in your heart.

Sunday, June 6: WAPA Spring Picnic Cruise

This is the final event of the WAPA calendar year. By popular demand, another boat trip on the Potomac is the activity.

Get out your sailor hats for Sunday, June 6, 6:30-8:30 pm. Our boat will sail from the waterfront docks at Alexandria. WAPA will supply various snack foods and some beverages.

The boat has a capacity of 50 people, so it's first come, first served. Tickets are $15 per person.

Interested sailors should make a reservation via to our captain, Ruth Cernea, via e-mail: rcernea@comcast.net. This should be accompanied by a check to her address:

6113 Robinwood Road
Bethesda, MD 20817

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