ABA is a section of the American Anthropological Association

Author: Ashante Reese

Introducing the 2020 ABA Program Committee

We are pleased to introduce ourselves as the 2020 ABA Program Committee. We are: karen g. williams, Mieka Brand Polanco, Holly Okonkwo, and Tiffany Marquise. We look forward to putting together a solid and stimulating program and poised to work with you as we prepare for the 2020 meetings in Saint Louis, Missouri. We also proudly note that our own Bianca Williams is serving as this year’s Executive Program Chair for the AAA conference.

You might already know that 2020 is a special year for the ABA, as it marks our section’s 50th anniversary. We look forward to celebrating this momentous milestone in Saint Louis. The Executive Board has been ginning up some rich events, and we hope you will contribute too by putting together a thought-provoking, boundary-breaking, celebratory roster of panels, papers, posters, and events. Here are some notes to keep in mind as you plan your own conference participation:

  • Truth and Responsibility: The overall theme for the 2020 AAA meetings is Truth and Responsibility. The Call For Papers for this theme opens with the following provocation:

“Truth and Responsibility” is a call to reimagine anthropology to meet the demands of the present moment. The imperative to bear witness, take action, and be held accountable to the truths we write and circulate invites us to reflect on our responsibility in reckoning with disciplinary histories, harms, and possibilities. To whom are we giving evidence and toward what ends? For whom are we writing? To whom are we accountable, and in what ways?

You can read the full Call for Papers here. There are abundant ways our collective research comes to bear on these questions. For submissions for ABA review, you may want to interrogate topics that address what gets counted as “truth” – and who gets to decide; who becomes accountable for wrongdoings – and to whom do they bear responsibility; Who gets left out of the accountability ecosystem, etc. We look forward to seeing your submissions. The deadline for abstract proposal submissions is April 8 at 3 pm.

  • 3 PM?? Just wanted to underscore that deadline time. It is not the end of the day. Not even 5 pm. It is smack in the middle of the afternoon: 3 PM, people. Don’t miss it.

  • 50th Anniversary: The Association of Black Anthropologists turns 50! We hope you use this opportunity to propose panels and events that commemorate ABA’s past, celebrate what it is now, or imagine its future, as well as panels that reflect the breadth and depth of past and present members, and their impact on the discipline.

  • Invited Panels: Note that we are able to host only a very limited number of invited panels. If you think your panel ought to be considered for “invited” status, please (1) reach out to us at ABAProgramCommittee@gmail.comto give us a head’s up and discuss; (2) Let us know whether your panel might potentially be co-sponsored with another section, as this will increase the number of panels we are able to invite.

  • Waived Registration Fee: You can find information about Financial Assistance and Support for the AAA Annual Meeting here. Please note that the deadline for Waived Registration Fee applications is March 18, 2020.

  • We’re here for you: Reach out with any questions as you prepare your abstracts and panels. We’ll do our best to answer – or direct you to someone who can. Our email is ABAProgramCommittee@gmail.com .

Book Signing with Kia L. Caldwell and Alvaro Jarrin: Dec 2, 2017

2017 ABA – Sponsored Sessions (and Other Sessions of Interest)


ABA General Body Meeting – Thursday, November 30, 2:30 p.m. Join us as we discuss association business and make plans for the upcoming year.

ABA Legacy Awards Program and Reception – Friday, November 20, 7:45 p.m. Come mingle with your fellow ABA members as we enjoy one another’s company and honor the accomplishments of members of our community, including Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, this year’s Legacy Scholar. ABA-AFA-AFAA-ALLA-AQA-SANA-SAW Joint Section reception to follow!

AAA Opening Keynote: Bending the Arc of Change – A Conversation with Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim – Wednesday, November 29, 6:30 p.m.

AAA Annual Business Meeting – Friday, December 1, 6:15 p.m.

Presidential Address Delivered by Dr. Alisse Waterston “Four Stories, a Lament, and an Affirmation” – Saturday, December 2, 6:15 p.m.

Sponsored Sessions

Thursday, November 30

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (3-0425) 21st Century Resistance, Protest, and Ethnography in the African Diaspora (Co-sponsored by the American Ethnological Society)

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (3-1080) Race, Religion, and the State: Afro-Diasporic Imaginaries and the Politics of Black Self-Making (Co-sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of Religion)

Friday, December 1

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (4-1265) Anthropology Beyond the African Burial Ground Project: Epistemologies, Ethics, and Interpreting the African Diasporic and Native American Pasts (Co-sponsored by the Association of Indigenous Anthropologists)

Saturday, December 2

2:00–3:45 p.m. – (5-0850) Between Visibilities and Invisibilities: Forms of Racism and Anti-Racism in the Twenty-first Century (Co-sponsored by the American Ethnological Society)

Other Sessions

Wednesday, November 29

12:00–1:45 p.m. – (2-0105) Identity politics versus naive workerism? Revisiting race, class and gender in the era of Trump and Brexit

Thursday, November 30

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (3-0440) Anthropology and the Matter of Whiteness

2:00–3:45 p.m. – (3-0845) Centering Prisons: Reframing Analysis of the State, Relations of Power and Resistance

4:15–6:00 p.m. – Invited Session (3-1115) Sounds of Vacations: The Political Economy of Caribbean Tourism

4:15–6:00 p.m. – Late Breaking Session (3-1088) Until We All Get Free: Black Feminist Leadership and Organizing within The Movement for Black Lives

Friday, December 1

8:00–9:45 a.m. – (4-0115) Centering Black Women: Examining Stigma, Belonging, and Transgressive Practices

8:00–9:45 a.m. – (4-0195) Racialized Terror, Persistence and the Otherwise: Histories and Horizons of Struggle and Surveillance

10:15 a.m–12:00 p.m. – Invited Session (4-0295) Black Food Matters: Race, Food Consumption, and Resistance in the Age of “Food Justice” (Sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition)

10:15 a.m.–12:00p.m. – (4-0495) Race and White Privilege: Explorations of Racial Conjunctures in Latin America and the Caribbean

2:00–3:45 p.m. – (4-0850) There’s Levels to This: Protest, Disruption, Resistance

2:00–3:45 p.m. – Invited Session (4-0980) Toward a Transdisciplinary Coalition in Sociocultural Linguistics: A Collaborative Analysis of Presidential Discourse in Trump’s Black History Month Listening Session (Sponsored by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology)

2:00–3:45 p.m.– AAA Executive Session (4-0900) Beyond the African Burial Ground: Anthropological and trans-disciplinary innovations in theory, methods, and technologies

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (4-1145) In Medias Race: Black Embodiments Present and Future

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (4-1175) Spaces of Racialization, Spaces of Resistance: Race, language, and education

4:15–6:00 p.m. – Late Breaking Session (4-1173) From the Streets of #Charlottesville: Activism, Academia, and Anthropology

Saturday, December 2

8:00–9:45 a.m. – (5-0100) Blackness, Politics, and Performance: Essential Contestations in the Crisis of Nostalgic Nationalism

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (5-0397) ‘Blackened Knowledge’ in Anthropocene

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (5-1085) Anthropology Matters: Understanding and Presenting Ancient Egypt in Its African Context

Sunday, December 3

8:00–9:45 p.m. – (6-0070) Language, Race, and Digital Space10:15AM-12:00PM – (6-0195) Engaging Contradictions, Negotiating Memory: Reimaging Tourism, Blackness and Entrepreneurship in Contested Spaces

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (6-0210) The Space(s) Between: Matters of Kinship, Belonging, and Crossovers

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (6-0275) Citizenship on the Periphery: Race, Class and the Struggle for Full Citizenship

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (6-0260) Lives Spaces, Globalized Economies, and Consumption in African Contexts

12:15–2:00 p.m. – (6-0515) The Whitelash is Real: The New Politics of Exclusion

12:15–2:00 p.m. – (6-0470) Race and Indigeneity


Thursday, November 30

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – Late Breaking Session (3-0373) In whose honor? On monuments, public spaces, historical narratives, and memory

4:15–6:00 p.m. – AAA Executive Session (3-1225) Do Black and Brown Lives Matter to Anthropology? Race, Bodies, and Context

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (3-1150) #NoBanNoWallsNoJailsNoDAPL: An Anthropology of Accomplices

Friday, December 1

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (4-1145) In Medias Race: Black Embodiments Present and Future

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (4-1095) Anthropology Matters – Fighting Essentialist Ideas about Poverty, Race, and Intelligence in the Trump Era (Co-sponsored by the Biological Anthropology Section and General Anthropology Division)

Saturday, December 2

8:00–9:45 a.m. – (5-0155) Racialization, Incarceration, and Struggle in Settler Colonial Societies: Israel and the United States

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (5-0475) Making Anthropology Matter – Teaching Race as an Act of Resistance

2:00–3:45 p.m. – (5-0940) From Margin to Center: Teaching Race in Times of Trump

4:15–6:00 p.m. – (5-1120) I am Not Your Negro: Rethinking Race Relations and Becoming Ethical Subjects

Sunday, December 3

8:00–9:45 a.m. – (6-0050) Anthropology and/as African Diasporic Intellectual History

Workshops, Installations, and Films

Wednesday, November 29

5:05–6:05 p.m. – (2-0680) Changa Revisited (Film)

Thursday, November 30

9:00–11:30 a.m. – (3-0225) Participatory Ethnographic Theater of the Contemporary: State of the Nation

4:15–4:39 p.m. – (3-0990) Who is your grandfather? (Film)

Friday, December 1

12:20–1:44 p.m. – (4-0720) The Return (Film)

1:00–3:45 p.m. – Annual ABA Mentoring Session. This is a great opportunity for students and early career members to connect with potential mentors. For more information contact Dr. Riché Barnes.

4:30–4:35 p.m. – (4-1290) Make it Rail (Film)

Saturday, December 2

8:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – (5-0275) From the Classroom to the White House: How Anthropologists, Educators and Activists Can Influence Education Policy (Co-sponsored by the Council on Anthropology and Education)

3:06–4:14 p.m. – (5-0950) We Must Be Dreaming (Film)

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