AAGE at #GSA2016: program highlights

lensonagingEvery few years, the Gerontological Society of America and the American Anthropological Association are scheduled for the exact same dates, and we have to make a difficult choice. A small contingent of anthropologists will be representing AAGE this year at #GSA2016, including Iveris Martinez who ends her tenure as President (but luckily stays around in our executive board as past president). Here you can find more information about our AAGE social events, business meeting and presentations by members. Continue reading

#AAGE2017 Registration is now open!

Sculpture outside the Sheldonian Theater, Oxford. Not to be mistaken for founding member Jay Sokolovsky.

AAGE members get big discounts on the conference registration fees, which include lunch and tea/coffee for two days of papers, workshops and keynotes.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Be sure to include your name and email when you register so that we can confirm your payment.

Abstract submission for papers, posters, organized panels or other event ideas (to fit within a 1.5 hour time slot) should be sent directly to jdanely@brookes.ac.uk. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Include contact information with your submission.We are particularly interested in submissions that address the theme of “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course,” but any submissions related to aging and anthropology will be considered.

The deadline for abstracts is December 15, 2016, so don’t delay!

 

AAGE Member News- October 2016

AAGE members do exceptional things, and as part of a regular monthly feature of getting to know our members, this section will highlight their latest achievements. If you’d like us to include your news in the next post, you can email them to us at admin@anthropologyandgerontology.com, including “AAGE member news” in the subject line. Also, if you are interested in being part of the member news team, please let us know!

The member news team (that would be me) have been taking a well-earned summer holiday, but it seems that all of you have not. You just keep on working, writing, presenting and stacking up your achievements. Well, we’ve dusted off the pom-poms and ready to cheer for all of your successes! Here’s a start: Continue reading

Members: update your directory profile

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We encourage every member to add information to their directory profile and a link to a personal website for the AAGE website. A guide to doing this can be found here.
As other members do the same, you should be able to browse our directory for other members with similar interests and foster opportunities for networking and collaboration. (We hope to soon have a searchable system of member information for specific interests, but currently you can only ‘search’ for names)
Note: The member directory and teaching resource section is accessible only to AAGE members.
AAGE is also creating a members only teaching resource section. Please send me your syllabi, handouts, lesson plans, PowerPoints, grading rubrics, assignments, and other resources that you have used to to teach classes in aging and the life course. Also, specify how you want to be acknowledged when someone adapts your materials (i.e. “Adapted from Jane Doe”).
Thank you!
Linh An (AAGE membership coordinator)
and Jason Danely (President Elect)

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AAGE at #AAA2016! How to get involved in Minneapolis this November

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The AAA meeting is massive. This year, thousands of anthropologists will descend on the “City of Lakes” for the four days of talks, meetings, workshops, and events, and once again, AAGE is there to help you find the most exciting panels on aging and the life course. The guide below contains links to the AAA program so that registered members can add them to the personal scheduler. There are also links to the AAGE/ Anthropology of Aging and the Life Course Interest Group meeting (Friday, 18 November 12:15PM-1:30PM) and  the AALIG special interlocutor session with Margaret Lock in conversation with Jay Sokolovsky and Athena McLean (Saturday 19 November 12:15PM-1:30PM). If we missed your panel/paper/poster or event, let us know. See you in Minneapolis!

*Please note that since the original post, room assignment are no longer listed on the online program and the rooms listed here may be incorrect. Best to check in closer to the conference!

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AAGE at #EASA2016

EASA 2016 was hosted by Univ. of Milano-Bicocca. (Photo: D'uomo, by Jason Danely)

The magnifient Duomo in central Milan. EASA 2016 was hosted by University of Milan, Bicocca

This was my first time attending the biennial meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropology, and with over 130 panels, laboratories, films screenings and events and some 1700 attendees from across Europe and the world, it didn’t fail to disappoint. It had all the breadth and excitement of the AAA meetings, but on a more modest scale that facilitated the kinds of interactions you get at smaller meetings of only a few hundred attendees. The meeting was hosted by the Department of Human Sciences and Education ‘Ricardo Massa’ and the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca. Not as flashy as a convention centre or hotel (the book exhibit consisted of about ten tables set up in a corridor), but I have to say the organization and technical support was outstanding. Aside from a mostly comical issue with a live feed during the opening plenary with Didier Fassin, everything seemed to run well (see Allegra Lab’s blog for an interesting take on Fassin’s talk). Which is very good news indeed when you are dashing between sessions trying to catch all the panels that you can!

As with most anthropology conferences, I didn’t get to see half of the panels I wanted to, and if anyone else reading this blog had a favorite panel related to ageing that I don’t report on, my sincere apologies. Please leave a comment below and let us know about it! Continue reading

AAGE Member News June 2016

As this month’s member news attests, it is not only the senior members of AAGE who get all the accolades. All of the entries for this month’s news are students and early career (within 5 years of last degree) members who deserve tremendous praise for finding success in this highly competitive field.

For those of us who can no longer count ourselves among the ‘early career’ group, it is always nice to remember where we came from and how AAGE influenced where we are now. In what is also to be a regular feature of the news, scroll down to see a short reflective piece by one of our long-standing members, explaining why they continue to participate in AAGE and what it has meant for their career. You might think of this as member news on a different scale of time, but we also hope it encourages our current members to make the most of this association and to get to know their colleagues.

Now, to our members!

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“Not in His Right Mind”: The Life course of Adoptees Diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder in the United States

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By Rachael Stryker

In spring 2010, Tennessee adoptive mother, Torry Ann Hansen, sent her seven-year-old adopted son, Artyom (Justin) Savelyev, back to his native country of Russia with a note that effectively said “Return to Sender.” Her reasons? That the child was “not in his right mind,” “violent,” and “mentally unstable” (Batty 2010). In the weeks that followed, the world witnessed a twisted version of “he said/she said” as government officials in Russia and the U.S. attempted to determine exactly what went wrong with Savelyev’s placement. Even months later,  the rhetoric would prioritize saving political face within economic and diplomatic relations, rather than addressing those factors associated with international adoption pathways that would drive a mother to send her adoptive son back to his sending country (Loiko 2013).

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The Value of Intergenerational Storytelling

Photograph by Sara Thiam. Do not reproduce without permission

“This is really starting to get interesting, because I have lots of stories to tell!” exclaimed Bernice (pseudonym), a 95-year-old participant in the newly-launched Upper Peninsula Digital History Initiative (UPDHI) in Hancock, a small town in northern Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.  The tension in the air was palpable as the four older adults and four youth participants introduced themselves around the table in the conference hall of the hosting organization, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.  In fact, Bernice, who turned out to be the project’s most captivating storyteller, insisted that her limited education level and current vision and hearing troubles would prevent her from being able to produce a video, and she nearly dropped out of the program.  But once the storytelling got started the mood eased and the elder participants filled the afternoon with moving tales and funny anecdotes covering topics ranging from war and activism to surviving the long, dark Hancock winters as children.  They were energized – and even surprised – that others were so were interested in their stories.  To my surprise, I left that conference room with a new perspective on the tiny town I grew up in – which I thought I knew inside out. Continue reading

The Importance of ‘Blood,’ Identity, and Intergenerational Relationships over the Life Course of Ugandan Children Orphaned by AIDS

Photograph by Kristen Cheney. Please do not reproduce without permission

 

“They are my daughter’s blood. I couldn’t watch my blood suffer,” an elderly grandmother in Uganda told me. She was referring to her daughter’s four orphaned children, explaining why she refused to allow the children to go live with their father’s clan – the clan that is traditionally responsible for the upbringing of orphaned children.

In my forthcoming ethnography, Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV/AIDS (Cheney 2017), an intergenerational, life-course approach helped me examine the way AIDS orphanhood has influenced child circulation and dynamic processes of kinship construction in Uganda.  I trace the sometimes-contradictory social, economic, and emotional effects of orphan circulation within and across family networks, highlighting orphaned children’s concerns with identity that prompt intra-family mobility as they grow into adulthood. In doing so, I show how orphan care in the age of HIV/AIDS is consequently transforming both fosterage practices and kin obligation, potentially jeopardizing children’s well-being and their ability to identify with the ‘blood ties’ that still form powerful tropes of relatedness for them – in spite of, and sometimes because of, AIDS’ tainting of ‘blood’. Continue reading