For many of us (including me) the new year means time to pay AAGE dues. That means a little reflection on what AAGE was worth to me last year, and what I can contribute to it (aside from dues) in the coming year. (If you want to renew now, click here!)
Let’s start with the changes. AAGE website users will notice that we have made some changes to our look. In order to improve the security features of the site, we have adopted a simplified design, but we are not stopping here. We are about to embark on a much larger redesign that will make the site the hub of our activities between workshops and conferences. Look forward to future improvements to member-only section, including information on jobs, grants, and teaching (syllabi, activities, other resources) most relevant to our members.
Unless you are a website designer, you may feel like you’d rather contribute to AAGE in a different way. You might submit your article to our journal, or conference, you might consider writing a post (or series of posts) for our evolving site.
If you are a member, and you need a New Year’s resolution (or five), here are some ideas for how to contribute to AAGE in 2017:
- Complete a member profile– link your website, upload a photograph, and fill out a short biography. Step-by-step Instructions can be found here
- Send your member news– Every month or two, we post a list of our members’ recent achievements. Plug your publication, tell us about an award, a new job, or an upcoming conference you organized. Help us get to know you! See some past member news items here.
- Become a leader– Make your membership count by taking on a position in our organization. We are currently looking for a Secretary (self-nominations for election) and anyone interested in helping with the website maintenance and/or design (working in cooperation with a professional service). But if you have an idea for another position, like a meeting or journal liaison, or would like to help with our conferences, workshops, awards or journal, let us know! Learn about our governance here.
- Tell someone about AAGE– word of mouth is still our best method of building membership. Many of us are isolated in our departments or schools (the only anthropologist in a department of ageing studies or the only one who studies ageing in a department of anthropology). Word can travel slowly over such dispersed networks. So if there is something you like about AAGE, let someone know!
- Participate in our conference activities– The 10th Biennial Conference abstract deadline is 20 January 2017, so there is still plenty of time. But if you can’t make it to Oxford, reach out to other AAGE members to plan panels or events for other conferences. See more on our other conference activities here.
As incoming President of AAGE, I have some resolutions of my own. In addition to the website improvements, I hope to make our 10th AAGE Biennial Conference one of the biggest and best yet (we already have abstract submissions from four continents!). We continue to produce Anthropology & Aging, which earned a DOAJ Seal in 2016 (a sort of gold standard for open access publishing), and our Editors Philip Kao and Cortney Rinker are eager for any papers that emerge out of our conference. Looking ahead to 2017, we will finally be able to reinstate our student essay awards, which had been on a three year moratorium. Together with a new mentoring program and workshops/webinars on professionalization, and a new student column editor for the journal, the coming years will have more opportunities for students than ever.
2016 was a great year for AAGE, and we continue to renew our commitment to sharing resources and expertise to strengthen the position of anthropology within age studies. I look forward to all the changes in the next year, and hope to get to know all of you much better in 2017. Happy New Year from AAGE!