Category Archives: News

2018 Margaret Clark Awards for best graduate and undergraduate student papers

AAGE invites graduate and undergraduate students to submit papers of interest to anthropology and gerontology to compete for the Margaret Clark Award. This award supports the continued pursuit of work following the example of Margaret Clark, a pioneer in the multidisciplinary study of socio-cultural gerontology and medical anthropology, and a scholar committed to mentoring younger colleagues. Published or accepted manuscripts are ineligible for this competition. Limit one entry per student.

Winning papers will receive $300, and the jurors may select papers for Honorable Mention with a free AAGE year membership. Winning papers will be given the right of first refusal by Anthropology & Aging and acknowledged at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting. Abstracts of the winning manuscripts will also be published on the AAGE website. Continue reading

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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

AAGE and Aging and the Life Course Interest Group at #AAA2017

AAGE is proud to once again partner with the Aging and the Life Course Interest Group at #AAA2017 in Washington D.C. November 29-December 3. We’ll be hosting events, panels, networking, mentoring events this year, and you can find ways to get more involved by attending our joint business meeting, where you can also learn about student awards, publishing opportunities and how to be a part of the new AALCIG advisory board!

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Don’t miss AALCIG and AAGE events at #AAA2017, Washington D.C.

AAGE, with its partner orgaization the Anthropology of Aging and the Life Course Interest Group (AALCIG) will once again be holding two joint events at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anthropology in Washington D.C. this year. The meeting will be held at the Wardman Marriot Hotel, November 28- December 3, and the theme is Anthropology Matters! We will be compiliing our annual guide to the meetings (see the 2016 guide here) so if you are an AAGE member and interested in having us advertise your panel or event, contact our AAA liasons Jay Sokolovsky or Maria Cattell. Also, if you want to keep up to date or exchange information to meet up at AAA for lunch or coffee, use our discussion forum HERE.

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UNAM 2nd International Interdisciplinary Congress on Age and Ageing

The Second International Interdisciplinary Congress on Age and Ageing was held from June 20th to June 22nd, 2017 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. The event, organized and led by Veronica Montes de Oca, sociologist and gerontologist, brought together participants from numerous countries and disciplines throughout Latin America, Spain and France, to discuss autonomy, mobility and adaptation in aging. The field of anthropology of aging was well represented, as well as sociology, psychology, philosophy, geriatrics, design and the arts, among others. Continue reading

How easily does ‘care’ travel? Crossing boundaries at #AAGE2017

By Gina Crivello

Every time I attend an anthropology conference it feels as if I’m returning to a piece of home, having worked for the past fifteen years in the multi-disciplinary field of International Development and during which time I have been just as likely to collaborate with economists as with anthropologists. Concepts like ‘kinship’, ‘culture’, ‘affinity’ and ‘relatedness’ might slide easily off the tongue in an anthropological discussion of care, but I have learned to not take such discussions for granted. Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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!

Contesting categories of age and youth at #AAGE2017

lunch was buzzing at the AAGE conference (Photo by Ebru Ozer)

The Association for Anthropology, Gerontology and the Life Course held its Biennial Conference meeting at Oxford Brookes University, in Oxford, United Kingdom this past June 8th and 9th. C The theme, “Culture, Commitment, and Care across the Life Course,” provided an opportunity to expand our perspective of the anthropology of aging by taking a comparative perspective on youth and seeking to explore the continuities between early childhood and the life-long process of aging. With a program packed with thought-provoking and relevant information, it was hard to choose what sessions to attend! Continue reading

AAGE at #SfAA2017

Past-president of AAGE Iveris Martinez spoke about her experience teaching in a medical school

AAGE was well represented at the Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, held this year in Santa Fe, NM.

One of the highlights was the AAGE networking breakfast, which provided an intimate social setting to discuss professional issues such as teaching and publishing.

Thanks to Sherri Briller and Jay Sokolovsky for organizing this event and all of the attendees for making it a success!

all photographs taken by Jay Sokolovsky. Do not copy or reuse without permission Continue reading

What commitments and cares connect generations? #AAGE2017

The 10th Biennial AAGE Conference, “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” brought together over 100 participants from 15 different countries for two days of research presentations, workshops, and keynote lectures. We opened on June 8th, as UK citizens were voting in a snap election that would proclaim their commitment to education, social care, housing security and tolerance. Whereas the Brexit vote one year earlier seemed to push generations and their values further apart, the results of the snap election showed a broader support for the Labour Party across age groups, and perhaps a rejection of the kind of misguided policies that would take school lunches from children and issue a #dementiatax on the old.

So there couldn’t be a better time to talk about the ways our commitments to values and aspirations are linked to our experience of generation and the life course.

For the first ever AAGE conference to be held in Europe, this enthusiastic turnout exceeded my expectations, and I was thrilled to meet so many students and scholars for the first time. I was so impressed, in fact, that I quickly put together a proposal to establish a new research network of the European Association of Social Anthropology so that we could continue to stay in touch and hold conferences even when AAGE’s Biennial moves back across the pond.

One of the keys to the success was our partnership with ACYIG, represented by my unflappable co-organizer Patrick Alexander. ACYIG has been a fantastic supporter of AAGE through the Collaborative Research Network on the Life Course. Through the CRN, we’ve organized a blog exchange and organized panels for #AAA2017 focused on how age is situated within the life course. One of the classic anthropological works on culture and the life course is Mead’s ‘Culture and Commitment’, and when Mead’s daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson agreed to fly over as a keynote speaker, it felt like we really had a conference worth shouting about.

And you heard. While I can’t possibly summarize all 16 panels (73 papers!) presented, as you can imagine, there were several on inter-generational relationships, kinship and community and many more on the ways global and local politics of care bring youth and age into closer affinity. The life-course perspective meant grappling with the ways personal and historical change intersect, how mobility, precarity and hopes might be shaped by generational patterns as well as changes in life-course trajectories. Alone, telling such a complex story would be formidable, but together, I could see how each of the conference presenters contributed some unique piece of the puzzle.

Apart from the papers, the conference included a workshop on ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa by Jaco Hoffman of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing and another on research on children and development by Young Lives. These workshops were mainly aimed at presenting outward facing research aimed at contributing to public policy. Nearly half of the presenters at the conference were PhD students or recent graduates, and these workshops helped them consider the ways our research can have impact and the kinds of opportunities that are available outside of academia.

AAGE President Jason Danely introducing Mary Catherine Bateson on Day 1

Finally, we were treated to two wonderful keynote presentations, both of which drew out the fundamental importance of inter-generational life-course interactions. Mary Catherine Bateson spoke of the importance of learning from each other and the joys of being depending on each other at every age. She spoke of how infants and children teach adults how to be better carers, and how older adults can offer perspectives to the young. Pia Christensen told stories of ‘wonder’ that arise when we listen and pay attention to the worlds of children. I felt that much of what she said could easily be applied to our thinking about old age as well, and how aging societies might provide new chances for reflecting on the values and commitments that are most important to our shared future.

ACYIG Board Member Patrick Alexander introduces Pia Christensen on Day 2

What’s next?

Over the last 20 years, anthropology of aging and of youth has produced an impressive body of research that recognizes the agency and influence that people of all ages have on culture and society. As ethnographers who strive to bring a more holistic perspective of human relationships to our work, it seems that the next step is to try to understand the life course inter-generational interactions. What kinds of care are given or received across the life course? Are there commitments that cross generations? What do different ages bring to our understanding of the role of commitment in social and political change?

These are questions that can’t easily be solved by looking at only a narrow slice of the life course or one demographic group within a multi-generational society. The connections made at AAGE 2017 between the themes and ideas of presenters doing work at different ends of the life course presented an exciting challenge, both intellectually and empirically, and I hope AAGE and ACYIG will continue to work together in the future to strengthen our common interest in the life course. With the establishment of a formal network within the European Association of Social Anthropology (coming soon!) and organized panels ready for AAA 2017, we hope to keep up the momentum started in Oxford.

Thank you again to everyone who made the conference a success and to all of the presenters and chairs. I encourage all of you stay in contact with people you met at AAGE2017 and stay tuned for AAGE2019!