- Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carried an article about the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology which was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, marking the 75th meeting of the SfAA. Over five days, 1,800 members of the Society convened to hear academic presentations at over 300 sessions as well as spending one day focusing on social challenges and real-life application of theory in Pittsburgh. Ten field trips included visits to museums and industrial sites including a coal-mining site in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The article quotes Kathleen Musante, anthropology professor at the University of Pittsburgh and president-elect of the Society. She said that the board members who chose the site of the conference “perceive Pittsburgh as being a symbol of the kind of community that has been able to not only adapt to changing circumstance but to flourish because of an enduring will to be a great place…Pittsburgh is also continuing to have the same issues that are true for other parts of the country. There is still inequality here, there are still adjusting economic circumstances. The board saw Pittsburgh as a place that really tries to address those issues.”
- Anthropology should be taught from kindergarten on
Ed Liebow, executive director of the American Anthropological Association, published an article in The Huffington Post arguing in support of the teaching of anthropology in primary and secondary schools around the world. Given the importance of understanding human behavior and values to prevent and solve global and local challenges from racial bias to climate change, he points to the exemplary model developed by the Royal Anthropological Institute. In 2010, after several years of careful curriculum design, the RAI succeeded in establishing an anthropology A-level course (roughly equivalent to high school Advanced Placement courses in the U.S.). Liebow bemoans the recent decision by the British Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) to discontinue the course and steering students to sociology or history courses. AQA said that it could not continue to offer the anthropology course because demand has been disappointing and the difficulty of finding graders. (more…)