Author Archives: Aaron Seaman

Member News, November 2017

Last time, Member News was posted shortly before the IAGG/GSA meeting in July. And now, our newest round-up arrives just in time for the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting. Without further ado…

Cristina DouglasCristina Douglas graduated summa cum laude with her PhD in (Medical) Humanities at the University of Bucharest. Her research, she writes,  “examined the myth of immortality as reflected in Romanian advertising (covering the 1850-present period) in relation to medicalisation of old age and dying, new practices of dying, normative and successful ageing in the social sphere of action, and the neoliberal moral values of responsibility towards one’s body (as reflected in the concept of active ageing).” She is now beginning a PhD program in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, where she was awarded the Elphinstone Scholarship. Working with people who have dementia, she will “explore the emergence and negotiation of personhood in the liminal space of living and dying in end-of-life (nursing homes) and palliative care (hospices) facilities in the network created by the interactions between humans (residents, their families, staff members and people associated with therapy animals) and therapy animals. In addition, I will explore related concepts such as choice, compassion, and good death as reflected in both practices, policy documents, and official discourses.” Congratulations, Cristina!

***

Denise LewisDenise C. Lewis, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and affiliate faculty in the Institute for Gerontology at the University of Georgia (UGA) has had quite the summer! She recently was named a Generations Faculty Fellow in the Center for Generational Studies, a research center at the University of South Alabama.

On top of that, she was awarded a $3M grant from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to UGA’s press release, Lewis and her co-investigators will “engage with Cambodian and Laotian families in Mobile, Ala., to determine how individual, family and community-level strengths and vulnerabilities contribute to community health and how individuals utilize social networks for formal services to respond to environmental stressors and disasters.” See the full press release here. We look forward to hearing how this exciting project develops!

***

Janelle TaylorJanelle Taylor also received positive news over the summer…beyond her role as AAGE’s newest President-Elect! Taylor has received funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for a new study titled “Health Outcomes for Patients with Dementia without Family Caregivers.”  This two-year R21 project will be a collaboration between Taylor as PI and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and UW Medicine, Social Work, Anthropology, and the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. Collaborators are Marlaine F. Gray, Eric B. Larson, Paul K. Crane, Elizabeth K. Vig, Stephanie G.B. Wheeler, Ann M. O’Hare, Clara W. Berridge, and Bettina Shell-Duncan. More information on the project is available through the NIH Reporter. Congratulations, Janelle!

***

Publications:

Jason Danely (2017Carer narratives of fatigue and endurance in Japan and England. Subjectivity: Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 411-426.

Dennis Wiedman and Iveris L. Martinez (2017) Organizational Culture Theme Theory and Analysis of Strategic Planning for a New Medical School. Human Organization: Fall 2017, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp. 264-274.

Plus, the current issue of Anthropology & Aging!

***

Hope to see some of you in Washington, DC, at the AAA’s this year. And, please, send me your news — about everything from jobs to grants to projects to programs to publications and everything (to do with aging, that is) in between —  at aarontodd11 (at) gmail (dot) com!

Member News, Summer 2017

As of January 2017, Iveris Martinez began serving on the Board Chair for the Alliance for Aging, Inc., the area agency for aging for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in Florida. The agency provides a wide range of services, valued in excess of $35 million, to older people through a network of local agencies. Some of the services provided include congregate and home-delivered meals, adult day care, personal care, legal help and transportation. Through its service network, the Alliance also provides support, training, education, counseling and respite for caregivers, including grandparents raising grandchildren. In the past year, over 77,000 people received services through this network.

Iveris also was recently invited to speak and presented at the semi-annual meeting  of the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences on “Aging and the Family among Latinos in the United States.”  The meeting was held on June 15, 2017, at the Keck Center in Washington, DC. In light of high disability rates for older Latino immigrants and the relative absence of data for understanding the caregiving needs faced by immigrant families, she noted the need for theoretical models and more studies, especially qualitative studies, to better understand the dynamics of familial and social support for Latino older adults.

***

Aaron SeamanAaron Seaman began a two-year postdoc at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine as a researcher in the Department of Internal Medicine in August 2016. Working there with clinical and anthropology mentors, Aaron has been able to draw his interests in aging, kinship, and caregiving into new contexts, including examining how people and their families make decisions and pursue care in the contexts of cancer survivorship and palliative care. Along with research in the University hospital, he also works at the Iowa City VA with a group of qualitative researchers that includes AAGE member Samantha Solimeo. Aaron also was elected to the AAGE board as secretary in early 2017, and he looks forward to contributing to the continued development of AAGE in the coming years.

***

Members also have had several publications appear thus far in 2017.

Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work, edited by AAGE members Parin Dossa and Cati Coe, has been published by Rutgers University Press. As the RUP website states, the volume “documents the social and material contributions of older persons to their families in settings shaped by migration, their everyday lives in domestic and community spaces, and in the context of intergenerational relationships and diasporas.”

Successful Aging as Contemporary Obsession: Global PerspectivesSuccessful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives, edited by Sarah Lamb, has been published by Rutgers University Press. Along with Lamb’s contributions as editor, the volume includes an introduction co-authored by Anna Corwin, Lamb, and Jessica Robbins-Ruskowski, as well as chapter contributions by AAGE members Elana Buch, Corwin, Jason Danely, Lamb, Annette Leibing, Robbins-Ruskowski, Janelle Taylor, and Emily Wentzell.

Along with their contributions to the volume on successful aging, Anna Corwin, Annette Leibing, Janelle Taylor, and Emily Wentzell had other work in various publications.

Anna Corwin’s article, “Overcoming Elderspeak: A Qualitative Study of Three Alternatives,” was published online this spring in The Gerontologist. Following a story by Reuters, the work has received numerous mentions in popular and news media, including the CBC, AARP News, HuffPost (formerly the Huffington Post), and the Daily Mail. It’s exciting to see AAGE members’ work making waves both in and beyond the academy.

Annette Leibing published an editorial on the emplacedness of end-of-life care in Brazil, “Hospitals: the place where most elderly people die in Brazil — the start of a debate,” in Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Aging, the journal of the Brazilian Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Janelle Taylor had an article appear in the June 2017 issue of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, a special issue entitled “Moral (and Other) Laboratories” and edited by edited by Lone Grøn and Teresa Kuan. The article, “Engaging with Dementia: Moral Experiments in Art and Friendship,” comes out of her work on informal non-kin relations in dementia and dementia care.

Emily Wentzell’s article, “Medical Research Participation as ‘Ethical Intercorporeality’: Caring for Bio-social Bodies in a Mexican Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Study,” appeared in the March 2017 issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Samantha Solimeo and colleagues also had an article appear in the same issue of MAQ: “Gatekeepers as Care Providers: The Care Work of Patient-centered Medical Home Clerical Staff.”

A hearty congratulations, everyone!

And we know that this doesn’t begin to capture all the great work that AAGE members are doing. So, please share your news with us: new projects, publications, positions, progress, possibilities…We are interested in hearing about all of it and sharing it with all our members! Email us anytime at aarontodd11 {at} gmail {dot} com. Cheers!