SEA Events at AAA Meetings

From Dolores Koenig, President, Society for Economic Anthropology

Bram Tucker, incoming SEA President, and I would like to welcome all to the AAA meetings. SEA is offering many exciting events.

There are many interesting SEA sessions, which look at issues such as: ethnography in white collar contexts, new energy landscapes in Africa (co-sponsored with Association for Africanist Anthro), the anthropology of corporations (co-sponsored with the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology), the value and authenticity of cultural products, technologies of governance and communication, calculating the value of food, space, and risk, commodity cycles, taxation, consumerism, entrepreneurship, and the middle classes. For more details on these sessions, see the AAA program.
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SEA at AAA in Minneapolis Nov 16-20

Dear SEA members and friends,

We look forward to seeing many of you at the SEA events this year. We have a variety of interesting panels, on diverse topics, including employment and unemployment, moral economies, migration, capitalism.

We also look forward to seeing you at the SEA Business Meeting, Friday, at 12:15. We will talk about the forthcoming SEA meeting on Financialization next April and some other new SEA initiatives. We are also looking for anyone who would like to assist in expanding SEA’s social media presence. We value your input and ideas, so please come.

We also look forward to seeing you at our reception on Friday, at 7:45, as well. Meet other economic anthropologists, have some food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring your friends.

SEA sponsored sessions at the AAA meetings

Thursday, 8:00 am NEW AFRICAN FRONTIERS: STRATEGIES OF SUPPORT AND ECONOMIC MORALITIES IN MIGRATION (3-0090)

Thursday, 8:00 am POLITICAL ECONOMIC LOGICS: SOLIDARITY ECONOMIES, VIKING FUTURES, AND THE AGENTIVENESS OF THINGS (3-0120)

Thursday, 10:15 am CONCEPTUALIZING THE ECONOMICS OF MIGRATION: REMITTANCES AND THEIR SOCIAL MEANING FOR INDIVIDUALS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES (3-0455)

Thursday, 4:00 pm MAKING AND REMAKING THE AFRICAN CITY: THE ROLE OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC EXCHANGE IN TRANSFORMING URBAN SPACES (3-1145)

Friday, 8:00 am GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON UNEMPLOYMENT (4-0070) – Invited session cosponsored by Society for the Anthropology of Work and SEA

Friday, 10:15 am THE VALUE OF HOMEOWNERSHIP: TOWARDS AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF MORTGAGE FINANCE (4-0460)

Friday, 12:15 pm SEA BUSINESS MEETING (4-0765) -Come to hear about recent initiatives of SEA

Friday, 4:00 pm POWER AND INTEGRATION: THE POLITICS OF ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE AND EUROPE Invited session cosponsored by the Society for Anthropology of Europe and SEA

Friday, 7:45 pm SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY (SEA) RECEPTION (4-1425)   Come for good fellowship, free food and cash bar

Saturday, 8:00 am MORAL ECONOMY AND THE GOOD LIFE IN AFRICA (5-0110) – Invited session cosponsored by SEA and Association for Africanist Anthropology

Saturday, 8:00 am SPIRITED CAPITALISMS: BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SUBJECT (5-0160)

Saturday, 10:15 am DISORDERED WORK AND THE LATE LIBERAL HOUSEHOLD (5-0400)

Saturday, 1:45 pm OFFSHORE ECONOMIES: NEW MARKETS, NEW PRESSURES, NEW QUESTIONS (5-0885) Invited session cosponsored by SEA and the Society for the Anthropology of Work

Sunday, 8:00 am LOCAL ECONOMIES: THE IMPACTS OF OLD AND NEW STRUCTURES

Sunday, 8:00 am TOWARD A MORAL ECONOMY OF GIVING: RETHINKING CHARITY, PHILANTHROPY AND NGOs (6-0070)

Call for 2018 conference program chair

It’s a long way ahead, but SEA would love to hear from you now if you are interested in being Program Chair for the Spring 2018 meetings.

The Society for Economic Anthropology holds annual meetings every spring (in late March or April). These meetings focus on one specific theme in economic anthropology. Recent meetings have been on Risk and Resilience (2016), Technologies and the Transformation of Economies (2015), Energy and Economy (2014), Inequality (2013), and the Political Economy of Cities (2012). This spring (2017), the focus will be Financialization and Beyond: Debt, Money, Wealth, and the Capture of Value.

So where do these themes come from? They come from you, interested economic anthropologists who see the chance to develop a theme of disciplinary and, usually, personal interest. Every year, the SEA Executive Board considers themes proposed by its members for future meetings. We are asking you to propose themes for future SEA meetings. If your topic is chosen, you will become Program Chair(s) for the appropriate meeting.

Why should you volunteer to be Program Chair(s) for the SEA meetings? First and foremost, it will offer you the possibility to gather together a group of colleagues interested in a similar topic. The structure and relatively small size of SEA meetings offers a chance for in depth discussion on a single topic. Second, since program chairs become editors of one of the yearly issues of Economic Anthropology, it offers you the chance to edit a publication on a topic of interest.

For each meeting, we need a Program Chair or Chairs; one or a team can volunteer to chair. We also need a Local Arrangements Coordinator, a person who can facilitate meeting arrangements. The Program Chair/Local Arrangements Coordinator can be the same person or team. However, they may be quite different people, from different places.

We are now looking for possibilities for the Spring 2018 meetings. If you are interested, please send a short paragraph to SEA President, Dolores Koenig (dkoenig@american.edu) as soon as possible. The Board would like to begin discussing possibilities when we meet at the AAA meetings in a couple of weeks.

At this time, we do not need a finished proposal, but a several paragraphs about the theme and the possible program chairs would be useful.

2017 SEA conference call for papers: Financialization and Beyond: Debt, Money, Wealth, and the Capture of Value

SEA Annual Conference 2017

Financialization and Beyond: Debt, Money, Wealth, and the Capture of Value

When: April 6-8, 2017

Where: University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA

Abstracts due December 1, 2016

Finance is hard to escape. In recent years, the increasing social impact and interconnection of ?nancial discourses, markets, actors, and institutions have been understood under the broad concept of financialization. Natascha van der Zwan identifies three distinct research streams that have approached financialization as 1) a regime of accumulation, 2) the influence of financial markets and instruments on non-financial corporations as well as the banking and finance industry, and 3) a discourse of risk-taking, self-management and self-fulfillment that is transforming people into investing subjects. Some anthropological skeptics, however, argue that finance has a far longer genealogy than the financialization literature has to date recognized. For example, in the context of a lengthy human history of creating hierarchy, financialization may simply be a new technology serving an old purpose.

On behalf of the Society for Economic Anthropology, and in co-sponsorship with the International Sociological Association’s Economy and Society Research Committee, we aim to put in dialogue divergent visions of what constitutes finance and financialization, and how finance and financialization impact our societies. The program committee especially welcomes scholarship from anthropologists (in all sub-fields), sociologists, scholars in the social studies of finance, and other social scientists who do not necessarily self-identify as financialization scholars, but whose work provides comparative, historical, ethnographic, or quantitative insights into the workings of finance and financialization.

As an initial organizing tool we have divided areas of potential contributions into three categories of inquiry. These are not exclusive categories and we welcome contributions that don’t readily fit in what we outline.

Debt

  • Finance predates capitalism. Therefore, what are relevant cross-cultural, historical, and archaeological cases which help illuminate our current moment?
  • Tracing who owes what to whom is as old as the discipline of anthropology. Do new financial instruments such as credit default swaps share forms and logics with older kinds of reciprocities?
  • Are the new instruments of finance comparable to those found in the cultural and archaeological record, and especially to other forms of debt?
  • Numerous scholars have argued that financialization is creating new subjects and selfhoods, accompanied by a shift of risk from states to households. What are the material objects, spaces, and infrastructures that translate financial abstraction into new ways of understanding personhood?

Wealth, Money, and Financial Instruments

  • Does financialization alter our comprehension of what kind of social organization goes with what type of wealth—a leitmotif in the comparative study of human societies, particularly since the rise of agriculture?
  • How can we interpret potentially novel forms of financial innovation, such as Islamic finance and banking?
  • How do ideologies such as shareholder value or social finance transform economic practices?
  • How do non-elites use new forms of money (such as phone cards, paypal, gift cards, local currencies) to alter hierarchies or seek alternative forms of wealth accumulation? How and with what consequences are elites transforming money’s materiality?

Depoliticization and the Capture of Value

  • Many have noted that financialization promotes a depoliticizing process, in which state services, formerly held accountable to government, are now being replaced by private markets. How do these processes compare to other instances of political drift and shift that have come with new modes of abstraction?
  • How is finance racializing and gendering? Where can we observe moments of openness, where finance can be emancipatory?
  • What kind of ethics, politics, and social goals do financial elites envision? How do these compare to those brought into being by classes that dominate the wealth and financial systems in different cultural or economic contexts? What new forms of informality are promoted by financialization?
  • The supply chains of financial products connect different places and political projects across the globe. How do such financial instruments transform social life?

We request abstracts for both papers and posters on these topics. Please indicate whether your abstract is for a paper, a poster or either. Proposed papers must pertain to the meeting theme. SEA also welcomes poster abstracts on any aspect of economic anthropology.

Publishing Opportunity

The Society for Economic Anthropology publishes Economic Anthropology, a peer reviewed journal published electronically via the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Each year Economic Anthropology dedicates one of its two issues to the theme of the SEA meeting. A special issue on financialization will be developed from select conference presentations.

Organizers

Fabio Mattioli, New York University, fabio.mattioli[at]nyu[dot]edu
Aaron Z. Pitluck, Illinois State University, Aaron.Pitluck[at]IllinoisState[dot]edu
Daniel Souleles, Brandeis University, dsouleles[at]brandeis[dot]edu


PAPER AND POSTER ABSTRACT SUBMISSION

Abstract submission deadline is December 1, 2016: submit via instructions below

Abstracts of proposed papers and posters should be no more than 500 words. Abstracts are advised to include the following information: problem statement or theoretical frame, methodology, findings, and implications. If you submit a paper abstract, please indicate your willingness to present a poster if the organizers are unable to accommodate your paper in the plenary sessions. Poster sessions at SEA are taken very seriously, and most conference participants attend these sessions. In order to be considered for inclusion in the journal issue tied to this theme, please plan to have a complete, publishable-quality version of your paper ready at the time of the conference. Additional information for potential authors will follow.

To submit an abstract, you must first register for the conference through the AAA. At the moment, the registration site is not yet available on the AAA web site. SEA is working with AAA to get the registration site up; this will occur shortly.

  1.  Go to americananthro.org and log in.  If you don’t have a login id and password, create one (you do not need to join the American Anthropological Association).
  2.  Once you are logged in, look to the left hand column, click on Meeting registration.
  3.  Click on register under the SEA 2017 Annual Meeting then follow online prompts to register for the meeting (if we do not accept your abstract and you decide not to attend, you may request that your registration fee be refunded and we would be happy to do so).
  4.  Once you are registered, AAA will automatically send you an email inviting you to submit an abstract.  Click the link and follow the instructions.