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Activities and Events of Interest to Anthropologists

Members can post announcements regarding activities and events of interest to WAPA members.  To access a list of recent posts on your web browser links bar, click on the RSS feed button above, then click on "subscribe now."  Items posted in this section can be viewed by the public.  Click here for information on WAPA-sponsored events.
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  • 15 Sep 2018 8:15 AM | Maria Sprehn

    Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. September 15 Symposium

    The annual symposium of the Pre-Columbian Society/D.C. will take place in Washington on Saturday, September 15, 2018.  This year’s symposium title is “The Peopling of the Americas: Recent Research and Perspectives.”  Six archaeologists (including one with a focus on genetics) will address the still controversial topic of when and how people first arrived in the New World, their migration routes, and the process by which they spread throughout the North and South American continents.

    David Meltzer of Southern Methodist University will serve as symposium moderator.  Other speakers include James Adovasio of Florida Atlantic University; Jon Erlandson of the University of Oregon; Kelly Graf of Texas A & M University; David Kilby of Texas State University, and Jennifer Raff of the University of Kansas.

    Registration is now open for this  one-day event.  Program details and registration information are available on the PCS website: www.pcswdc.org.  Please note that there is a special registration rate for enrolled students.

  • 26 Jun 2018 1:27 PM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)

    This Friday Evening: Invitation for WAPA members to the Migration Mixer and Armenian Jazz at the 2018 National Folklife Festival

    WHEN:  Friday, June 29, 2018, 5:30 to 7:00 pm

    WHERE:  Smithsonian Folklife Festival, National Mall

    Participant Hospitality Area:  Look for the shady, grassy tree plot along Madison Drive facing the National Museum of American History, between 12th and 14th Street; access Mall side from gravel path.

    The 2018 Festival includes international and transnational research teams and partners, many of whom are involved in research focused on migration at the global and local levels. Come meet old friends, new colleagues, and enjoy a cool drink before an evening concert of Armenian jazz featuring Miqayel Voskanyan and friends.

    Since 2016, the Festival through its ongoing On the Move initiative and AAA have been collaborating on public programs that engage the public in exploring how migration both unsettles and energizes cultural practices and community life. This year, we have organized a series of daily conversations about the role of creativity and culture in making place and community on shifting ground. These include musical demonstrations and live interviews by media hosts with Armenian and Catalan program participants, local cultural producers, and international artists from related Smithsonian initiatives. AAA and This Anthro Life will be documenting and sharing migration stories from the Festival in future podcasts.

    Please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/migration-mixer-2018-smithsonian-folklife-festival-tickets-47312897149.

  • 26 May 2018 4:57 PM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)

    Bending the Arc - Screening & Panel Discussion

    by National Academy of Medicine

    Date and Time

    Tue, June 5, 2018

    3:30 PM – 6:15 PM EDT

    Add to Calendar


    National Academy of Sciences Building

    2101 Constitution Avenue, NW

    Washington, DC 20418

    View Map
  • 21 Apr 2018 3:41 PM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)
    Renowned forensic anthropologist Kari Bruwelheide will be discussing how anthropology uncovered the mysterious death of Robert Kennicott, a 19th century naturalist and collector. After the talk, Kari will be showcasing a few objects from the museum’s Anthropology collection.  This program is free and open to the public with registration here: https://s.si.edu/2JfJMO7
  • 14 Apr 2018 11:50 AM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)
    The Embassy of Canada will be hosting a symposium and art gallery opening about the Arctic explorations of Captain George Comer and his relations with the Inuit of Hudson Bay on May 3, 2018. Comer was born in Canada but moved to the U.S. at an early age. He explored the Arctic from 1875-1919. The exhibition drawn from material collected by Comer, captures a moment in time. Comer’s body of work provides an intimate and sensitive portrait of people whose way of life was changing. His work also reveals his appreciation for the ingenuity  and skills of his Inuit companions. Inuit people supported Comer’s by willingly sharing their knowledge and helping him to survive.

    THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018

    4:30–6:00PM    Symposium: Comer and the Inuit People

    6:00–8:00PM    Opening reception


    501 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20001
    Government-issued photo ID required for entry
    For questions or to RSVP email: Comer@canadianembassy.org

  • 25 Oct 2017 2:45 PM | Leslie Walker

    FREE ADMISSION -Register Here

    NYU Washington, DC -1307 L Street Northwest

    Thursday, November 30, 2017 from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM (EST)

    This public event is in conjunction with the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) held in Washington DC, November 29 – December 3.  World on the Move: 100,000 Years of Human Migration is an AAA initiative designed to change the public conversation about migration, immigration, and displacement. The special event will include the screening of El mar la mar, a documentary on undocumented immigration.

    Still taken from film, El mar la mar (2017)

     Over the last 20 years, the US border patrol is alleged to have retrieved 6,029 human remains from the arid terrain of the Sonoran desert that stretches across the US-Mexico border. The bodies of thousands of others who have tried to enter the US through this treacherous stretch of desert may have been obliterated by the sun before they were found.

     El mar la mar shares the harrowing stories of individuals who attempt this journey. Filmmakers Joshua Bonnetta and JP Sniadecki spent almost three years documenting this hostile environment, filming the landscape, recording wildlife, and talking to border rangers, aid workers and people-smugglers to put together a film that speaks to the devastating reality that many who set out to find a better life in the US never make it through.

    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/205561041

  • 28 Sep 2017 10:44 AM | Ruth Sando (Administrator)

    Please join us on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7 PM for our first meeting of this season.  We will meet at The Charles Sumner School and Museum, 17th and M Streets, NW. You are also welcome to join us first for dinner at 5:30 PM at the Mayflower Hotel, Edgar Bar and restaurant - lobby level (moderately priced).

    "Raising UP The Voices" with Cathleen Crain, Niel Tashima and Reiko Ishihara-Brito of LTG Associates

    We will have a discussion of advocacy videos on raising children in poverty.  LTG Associates recently completed the development of two video ethnographies for The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).  The two video ethnographies and a library of video clips are being used by DHCS for education and advocacy focused on law makers, policy makers, service developers and implementers, and students of social services and sciences.  "Raising UP The Children" brings the voices and stories of low-income parents working to raise fully healthy children.  The video will be shown and there will be an opportunity for discussion with the presenters, Cathleen Crain, Niel Tashima and Reiko Ishihara-Brito  from LTG Associates.

  • 21 May 2017 6:37 AM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)

    WAPA May Happy Hour

    May 25, 2017

    5:30-7:30 PM

    Mackey’s Public House, 1306 G St NW, Washington, DC 20005

     Come to our reinstated WAPA happy hour this Thursday at Mackey’s Public House at 1306 G Street NW, the former location of the Laughing Man Tavern. Note that Mackey’s has moved, and this is NOT the old location where we have had happy hours before. Metro Center is the closest metro station. Reduced price drinks and appetizers will be available until 7:00. I hope everyone can come out to meet and reconnect. Open to all.

  • 29 Apr 2017 7:34 AM | WAPA Communications (Administrator)



    Sunday, April 30th, 2017

    3-5 P.M. 

    Home of Greyson Harris in Petworth


    4309 Kansas Ave. NW, Apt. B

    *Blue house, second door on left

    Washington, DC 20011


    Greyson’s Cell:



    *Feel free to bring snacks or drinks



    Dear WAPA Ethnography Participants;

    After many discussions between the Purpose Statement, Methodology, and Literature Review groups, we will meet this Sunday to update the entire group. Please forward this email to anyone you don't see on the list who should be. We will update the list at the meeting! 

    There is still much to be discussed and planned if we hope to start interviews in mid-June, but I am confident that we can hash this out together and vote on some of the ideas.

    You will find below a draft purpose statement for the Virginia Ethnography. It is not yet set in stone, nor is the title, so I have asked Greyson to set up an overhead projector where we can look at those and the interview questions in order to discuss and make changes on the spot. The methodology is not yet ironed out, but I think we will get there once the group shares some of their ideas.

    At the meeting, we will figure out which online platform to use for information sharing, and we will place all relevant documents, including a spreadsheet for the literature review there. Please be patient as we have a mutli-generational group with diverse digital skills.

    What is clear is that the faster we get a well-thought-out but simple pilot on the ground, the more likely we are to be able to insert some of our findings in an interactive website, and even start adding a few photos and short video clips with compelling interviews. This is crucial if we want to have an impact beyond academia.

    While lots of us are progressive anthropologists, I think there is a general understanding that we are doing this as a listening project to reflect the complexity of thinking in a swing state like Virginia, so that the public can develop more understanding, empathy, and ultimately feel more empowered about whatever political and civic engagement decisions they make.

    Julienne Gage



  • 12 Apr 2017 1:43 PM | Laurie Krieger (Administrator)

    Tuesday, May 2 at 7 pm at The Sumner School

    Dinner/happy hour starting at 5:30 pm at the Mayflower Hotel restaurant (behind the bar)

    Our final speaker of the year will be Tony Whitehead, Ph.D., Ms.Hyg., Professor Emeritus, Anthropology University of Maryland

    The title of his talk will be:

    "Is Anthropology Just for White People?  Deconstructing Institutionalized Racism in an Academic Department"

    Dr. Whitehead describes his talk:

    I am currently trying to complete the writing of a professional and personal memoir tentatively titled The Education and Emancipation of a Negro Anthropologist: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Bullshit, and this presentation takes excerpts from the Bad, the Ugly, and the Bullshit sections of that manuscript. But after receiving the invitation from WAPA, I have decided to also use this presentation to initiate a larger study that asks one major research question: “How are some academic departments allowed to practice decades of admitting very few African American graduate students, or hiring very few African American faculty within universities that have long espoused student and faculty diversity?” The focus here is on Anthropology, with a secondary research question: “If Anthropology is the study of human diversity, would not the discipline be enhanced through training a diverse pool of anthropologists?”

     This project takes into consideration that anthropology has not had a natural attraction to most African American students, and those of other non-white groups. Similarly, in many cases, it has not been a field that parents of color have seen as an attractive profession for their children, usually because of perceptions of a lack employment opportunities, or livable salaries. However, a number of senior anthropologists, particularly those of color, have written about the institutionalized racism that operates in graduate school admissions and hiring practices excluding students and faculty of color even when they do apply. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that there are pervasive institutional attitudes and practices that contribute to a persistence of whiteness in those departments, as well as in the discipline as a whole.  At the same time, most anthropologists, including those based in academic departments, have built their individual careers, and the field as a whole, predominantly through ongoing studies of peoples of color.

     This WAPA presentation will focus on one specific department, drawing on its record of graduate admissions and faculty hiring, and the observations and experiences of the only two African American anthropologists hired in the department over a 30-year period. For the larger study, I propose: (1) to locate and interview the few African American graduate students who completed the department’s master’s degree over that same period (none have been admitted into the Department’s PhD program in its 10-year history); (2) to conduct an additional literature analysis of works by other senior anthropologists (to gain longer historical perspectives; and (3) if time permits, conduct interviews of some of those authors. Among the issues explored will be examples of impacts on the health, and personal and professional well- being of faculty members of color negotiating their survival and success in these white cultural spaces. Beyond the issue of race, other factors will also be explored, which might help us better understand a range of factors that contribute to persistent whiteness within a discipline that owes so much to human diversity, and perhaps come up with more effective strategies both within and beyond the discipline to address the human wages of persistent whiteness.

    Tony Whitehead, Ph.D., Ms. Hyg.

    Tony Whitehead is Anthropology Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), where he was a full-time faculty member for 27 years (1987-2014), spending the first five years as Department as Chair. Prior to coming to UMCP, he served for 11 ½ years as a faculty member in the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) School of Public Health. While serving (1982-1983) as president of the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA), he initiated the action that led to the ABA becoming a formal unit of the AAA. Early In his tenure (1989-90) as Anthropology Chair, he found the Cultural Systems Analysis Group (CuSAG), an applied ethnographic research center, offering research, program planning, implementation, and evaluation assistance to local, national, and international organizations committed to addressing health and other human service needs. Primarily through external research funding, CuSAG persisted for 25 years, ending with his retirement. He has broad research and technical assistance experiences in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, related to: (1) reproductive health topics such as adolescent motherhood, men, masculinity, and family planning, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; (2) chronic conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, and cancer, diet, and obesity, food and culture; (3) urban issues such as drugs, violence, crime, incarceration, and community reentry; and (4) the design, implementation, and evaluation of community health and development programs. Over his career, his research and technical assistance activities have received funding from the Russell Sage, Rockefeller, and Annie E. Casey Foundations, the National Research Council, the Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Child Health and Development, the National Park Service, and local health care agencies such as the Baltimore City and Prince Georges County Health Departments, the AIDS Administration of the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Liberty Medical Center of Baltimore, Maryland.  At UMCP, he was co-founder of the graduate training track, The Anthropology of Community, Health, and Development (ACHD), which morphed into the current Health Area of Concentration. Over his career, he has published two books and three dozen journal articles and book chapters. At retirement, he initiated the UMCP-HBCU Scholarship Fund (which is now being disbanded), established a website for his many un-peer reviewed papers and projects for global access while he is currently reorganizing into a monograph series titled, Coding, Reading, and Writing Culture as an Interpretive and Applied Human Science.

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