New Year’s news from AAGE, January 2019

The original seal of AAGE, circa 1979!
The image above shows an imprint made on a sheet of paper by the official AAGE corporate seal, a handheld metal embosser. Dr. Christine Fry, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Loyola University of Chicago, First President of AAGE when it was established in 1979 (the culmination of a process begun in 1978), recently mailed the embosser to me along with the original Certificate of Incorporation. As she explains, in a very nice cover letter, she recently found these items when packing up in preparation for a remodeling project. She writes:
In finding this, I am reminded of the Australian Aboriginal “Dream Time.” The point of origin is now nearly 40 years ago… I did check the AAGE Web site and I am most impressed with all AAGE has to offer. To me what is most impressive is that I recognize comparatively few of the main players. This is truly wonderful! AAGE has survived as a corporate social group that transcends the personalities of those who created it. It has succeeded in accomplishing the tasks we set forward in its creation. Furthermore it has moved forward creating new needs as it adapts to a changing intellectual environment.

I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Fry and so many other dedicated scholars, as the newest President of AAGE. Other energetic individuals are also joining the AAGE team, with good ideas for how to continue building a strong and thriving scholarly community:

  • Cristina Raluca Douglas (Ph.D. student, University of Aberdeen) is our new Membership Coordinator
  • Celeste Pang (Ph.D. student, U of Toronto) is our new Student Liaison
  • David Reyes (Research Associate, Institute for Community Research) will be helping make improvements to our website


At the AAGE business meeting in San Jose, we discussed the idea of organizing a workshop on “Disability and the Age of Onset,” together with the Disability Research Interest Group (DRIG) and the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG). Folks present expressed interest in a broader perspective on the lifecourse (i.e., “aging” is not only about the elderly). There was also interest in seeing panels, papers or workshops on a number of specific topics:

  • challenges of ethnogrpahy with older adults
  • futures of aging / temporaliteis
  • aging and technology in social science perspective
  • aging and religion
  • aging in immigrant / minority communities
  • aging & displacement
  • posthuman aging (Patrick Devlieger would be glad to hear from others interested in this, you can reach him at
I’m very happy to share with you that AAGE now has a new members-only listserv [] which will make it much easier for all of us to reach out to each other to find panelists, workshop participants, research collaborators, etc.  As a member of the organization you have already been added, look for a ‘welcome’ message shortly. (You are of course free to unsubscribe at any time, if you wish). I look forward to the conversations that will develop!

Many AAGE members will likely be attending the Society for Applied Anthropology conference in Portland in March (and of course, our own Sherri Briller is President-Elect of SfAA!).  Events planned there include a remembrance of Bob Rubinstein. We are jointly sponsoring a table there with the Society for Disability Studies (SDS), and we hope that the listserv will help members communicate and connect with each other around SfAA events.

I am also very happy to announce the next AAGE conference in Seattle, late June 2020, on the theme of “Aging, Health, and Justice”! Details will follow, as plans develop.

Janelle Taylor,

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