AAA Annual Meeting to include Focus on Culture and Transnational Communities

By Sehba Imtiaz
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) 115th Annual Meeting will include a panel on Transnationalizing Ethnography: Challenges, Implications, and Methods is focusing on how ethnographic research is becoming de-centered; transnational communities are adapting cultural practices to maintain vibrant social lives, as spatial boundaries continue to expand for communities. The theme focuses on how ethnographers must then adapt the traditional ethnographic research methods to capture and participate in transnational lives, and reconstruct concepts and invent new practices to meet the current challenges of speaking and working with transnational people.
The panel is a part of the Meeting’s broader theme, ‘Evidence, Accident, Discovery’, raises issues central to debates within both anthropology and politics in a neoliberal, climate-changing, social media-networked era: What counts as evidence? What does evidence count for? What are the underlying causes and foreseeability of violence and catastrophes? How is misfortune interpreted, and causality, attributed in cases of humanly-preventable harm? And in the give and take of relationships on which anthropological evidence typically depends, Who gets to claim that they discovered something? We welcome proposals that debate these and other questions stimulated by the conference theme, in the opportunity that our annual meeting provides for “big tent” debate.
AAA’s 115th annual meeting, held in Minneapolis, MN in November 2016, is seeking out papers which draw on empirical research experiences. The aim is to include papers from a variety of stages and aspects, including research, analysis, writing, and theorization, of transnational ethnography. Please contact Andrew Ofstehage ( or Mary Beth Schmid ( for more information.

Header Photo via Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Grant Project: Migration, ICTS and the Transformation of Transnational Family Life.

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The author Sehba Imtiaz is currently pursuing her Masters’ in Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland. She has an Honors BA in Architectural Design and Art History from the University of Toronto. Her thesis is focused on how interpretation at historic sites can be used to engage the community and public on creating a dialogue on today’s narrative and social justice issues.  Her work at US/ICOMOS’s Pathways to Diversity Initiative is made possible through a collaboration between US/ICOMOS and the Historic Preservation Program of the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

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