AAGE guide to the meetings: Gerontological Association of America, Nov 5-9,2014

October is quickly upon us, and for many of us that means that it is time to start thinking again about those fall conferences we submitted abstracts for back in March. While AAGE has not had its own booth at the meetings in recent years, it still holds its annual business meetings at the two major North American conferences where our members are likely to be presenting papers and posters: the meeting of the American Anthropological Association and the Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting.

As many of you with interests and colleagues in both of these events know, it is sometimes a tough choice, given that they commonly overlap or occur in quick succession. But every once in a while, we get a year like 2014, where it is possible to attend both, and both are going to be in Washington, D.C., usually one of the most well-attended locations, and a bonus for our East Coast members.

The Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting will be held November 5-9, and the American Anthropological Association will have its meeting December 3-7.

Since these are massive meetings, with hundreds of sessions and posters and thousands of participants, AAGE usually produces a custom “guide to the meetings” each year to direct members to sessions of interest, especially if the organizers and participants are AAGE members. And of course, there is the business meeting! UPDATE! THE AAGE BUSINESS MEETING and LUNCH are combined: Nov 7, 1:30 (meet outside of conv center 1pm. entrance near 9th st . we will walk. cab to 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW if you want to share a cab). **Reservations were required, so we may not be able to accommodate those without a reservation.

So whether you are a grad student trying to decide if it is worth scratching together the cash and finding a few roommates to get to the conference, or if you are a senior scholar looking for the cutting edge in anthropological research on aging, we hope these posts not only get you to the meeting, but help you find the best of the bunch (and help you get to the right room to see it).

I will save the overview and list of AAA sessions in a future post, but since GSA comes first, let’s  start there.



If you are a member of the GSA, you can find sessions and create a personalized schedule using their online Meeting Planner but finding the anthropologists might be a little trickier. Just as AAA still does not list “aging” among its keywords, searching for “anthropology” among GSA sessions will only give you a small handful of results. I have found a few places to start, and encourage readers to leave comments if I have missed your poster or presentation.

The theme of GSA 2014 is “Making Connections: from Cells to Societies.” It is in several buildings: The Washington Convention Center (CC); the Washington Marriot Marquis (M)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


4:30pm Rm 208AB (CC)
Narratives and Healing: Making Connections Through Stories

Bob Schrauf (Penn State) will present Doing Lucidity: The Momentary Return of Conversational and Cognitive Competence in Dementia. Although the co-presenters are not all AAGE members, the whole session on narrative looks fantastic (and I don’t know anything else on this day)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

8:00am, East Salon B (CC) Spirituality and Religion

AAGE secretary and general powerhouse Lydia Manning presents on Pathways to Resilience: Exploring the Connections between Spirituality and the Managing of Hardship in Later Life  (if you haven’t seen her article on resilience in The Gerontologist, click here)

8:00am Liberty Salon I (M)  Theorizing Family Caregiving in East Asia

Unfortunately, I will be missing Lydia, since I will be presenting concurrently on Sources of Strain and Strength in Japanese Family Caregiver Narratives

10:00am Archives (M) GSA-NCCA Symposium: Gene D. Cohen Research Award in Creativity and Aging

While big meetings like this one can be overwhelming, they can also be great opportunities to recognize the big (or upcoming) names in the field who you might not see otherwise. This session will have a lot of great speakers, including Rita Charon, MD, PhD, who many know from her work on narrative, who will present Building the Science: Creativity and Aging in Geriatric Education

10:00am, Room 202B (CC)

Implementing Autonomy into the Daily Lives of Residents with Dementia: Challenges in Assisted Living

AAGE member Robert Rubinstein (UMBC), Patrick Doyle (BGSU), J. Kevin Eckert (UMBC) and Michael Brazda (UMBC) present The Influence of Staff Members’ Classifications of Residents with Dementia on Residents’ Autonomy

11:45am Exhibit Hall D (CC) Cultures of Caregiving (Poster)

Friday November 7, 2014

8:00am Room 209C (CC)

Incoming AAGE President, Iveris Martinez, and her colleagues will be presenting on Late Life Disability for Hispanics in the US in a panel on minority health and physical functioning.

10:00am Exhibit Hall D (CC)

Lydia Manning (again!) will exhibit her poster Resilience as a Buffer to the Deleterious Impact of Chronic Illness on Disability in Later Life

1:30pm AAGE Business Meeting/lunch Founding Farmers 1924 Pennsylvania.

3:00pm, Liberty Salon J (M)

Working with State and Local Governments: Opportunities for Aging Research

AAGE member Allen Glicksman (Philadelphia Corporation on Aging) and colleagues will present a session that is likely to be of interest to members, especially those in applied fields.

5:00pm Liberty Salon O (M)

Improving the Transitional Care Process

Rebecca Berman, AAGE elections coordinator,  presents Facilitating Access to Wrap Around Services After Hospital Discharge: Care Managers’ Perspectives

Saturday, November 8, 2014

As usual, the program team breaks my heart by scheduling two really interesting sessions in the same time slot. They are, however, next door to each other, so I may be able to pop back and forth.

1:00pm Liberty Salon N (M)

Successful Aging: Connecting Critical Gerontology and Critical Anthropology

While there has been some serious and important critiques of the “Successful Aging” construct, how have anthropologists added to these critiques, and where do they suggest we direct our attentions?  J.C. Robbins-Ruszkowski (Wayne State), Toni  Calasanti (Virginia Polytechnic), and Sarah Lamb (Brandeis) will bring together critical and cr0ss-cultural research to direct on questions. In the process, we get to hear about Catholic nuns (Anna Corwin), Alaska Native Elders, Hindu ashram dwellers, Thais of diverse ethnicities (Mark Luborsky), and Polish and American lifelong learners. See Lamb’s article on rethinking Successful Aging here.

1:00pm Liberty Salon O (M)

Making Connections through the Art of Losing: Using Humanities Approaches to Understand Later Life

Kate de Medeiros (Miami University) co-chair of NANAS, Thomas Cole (UT Houston), and cultural gerontologists take the meeting theme and (creatively) turn it on its head to look at issues of culture, communication, and art (including the Netflix series Derek!). With the launch this last year of their own open-access journal Art Culture Humanities, and the first NANAS conference coming up in May 2015, it appears that social and cultural perspectives on aging is having a very good year.


Apologies in advance for any omissions! Please leave comments and promote your paper, poster, or event or any other GSA function that you think AAGE would appreciate. We would love to see you and GSA and will post information on AAGE meetings or social events as we get closer to the meeting!

Coming next… AAA 2014!


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