As some of you may know, the OAC is in many ways a re-invention of one of Keith's previous projects, the amateur anthropological association or 'small triple a'. With the recent passing of the annual meetings of the 'big triple a' in San Francisco, I wonder whether the OAC could host its own annual meetings, complete with panels... online, using either Ning, or else something like Open Conference Systems.

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Great idea. I'm in. Question: Do we need a theme? Panel submissions? That sort of thing?
P.S. As a possible model, I am thinking of the Anthropology of Japan in Japan group ||www.ajj-online.net/Welcome.html" target="_blank">http://www.ajj-online.net/www.ajj-online.net/Welcome.html||, which has two meetings, spring and fall, typically with themes and five or six panels. See, for example, the program for the fall workshop this coming weekend ||www.ajj-online.net/Blog/Entries/2012/11/19_Annual_Meeting_Program.html" target="_blank">http://www.ajj-online.net/www.ajj-online.net/Blog/Entries/2012/11/19_Annual_Meeting_Program.html||.

It's a good idea, Justin. We need to ask how we might modify the pattern of an annual meetings to fit our social purpose and character as a medium. For example, do they have to be grouped in a similarly concentrated period? Our online seminars take two weeks rather than two hours. Should we encourage topics that "fit" who we think we are? I attach below a request by Betsy Taylor to complement a physical session with an online version. Avi Heinemann tried to do something similar with an undergraduate conference in England. I would like to see an argument for attempting a large-scale coordinated event as opposed to encouraging more of these piecemeal efforts. We also have to consider the manpower involved in coordinating such an event. Could we work up to it rather than go straight there or would it be better to go for something striking at once rather than dribs and drabs?

Keith,

some folks in Society for Applied Anthro have suggested a roundtable at our March meetings -- on the commons.  I have suggested that we try to make it a participatory process -- rather than usual presentation of papers.  I suggested that before the meetings, there could be some kind of online forum / discussion -- to frame the themes & questions, before the meetings, thro debate.

Would OAC be interested in being the site for this?  It would involve:

posting papers & links to suggested readings
space for discussion

I would moderate the forum.

Here's the current description:

Session 3: Recovering the Commons
Organizer: Brian J. Burke (U Georgia)
In Recovering the Commons, Herbert Reid and Betsy Taylor interweave concepts from grassroots  activism and a broad range of social theory to provide new conceptual  and practical tools for stewarding our civic and ecological commons.  This session will examine these conceptual and practical tools alongside a number of ethnographic examples of activism for and stewardship of  the commons. Through this open conversation, we hope to advance a line  of anthropological thinking and politics that connects economic and  ecological activism in productive new ways. The precise nature of the  session will be developed collectively by interested participants during the months prior to the conference, using an online forum to select  appropriate readings, hold initial discussions, and review cross-cutting themes that merit broader consideration. The selected readings will be  posted online in advance of the conference, but all are welcome to  attend regardless of whether they have completed the reading in advance. 

Betsy Taylor

PS It is agreed that Betsy and her colleagues will do what is proposed here in March.

Maybe we shouldn't try to replicate the AAA. Perhaps we could try something more modest and intimate, something more along the lines of what CRASSH puts on. We could even think about doing workshops. I'll be very interested in seeing how the Recovering the Commons session goes.

Keith Hart said:

It's a good idea, Justin. We need to ask how we might modify the pattern of an annual meetings to fit our social purpose and character as a medium. For example, do they have to be grouped in a similarly concentrated period? Our online seminars take two weeks rather than two hours. Should we encourage topics that "fit" who we think we are? I attach below a request by Betsy Taylor to complement a physical session with an online version. Avi Heinemann tried to do something similar with an undergraduate conference in England. I would like to see an argument for attempting a large-scale coordinated event as opposed to encouraging more of these piecemeal efforts. We also have to consider the manpower involved in coordinating such an event. Could we work up to it rather than go straight there or would it be better to go for something striking at once rather than dribs and drabs?

Keith,

some folks in Society for Applied Anthro have suggested a roundtable at our March meetings -- on the commons.  I have suggested that we try to make it a participatory process -- rather than usual presentation of papers.  I suggested that before the meetings, there could be some kind of online forum / discussion -- to frame the themes & questions, before the meetings, thro debate.

Would OAC be interested in being the site for this?  It would involve:

posting papers & links to suggested readings
space for discussion

I would moderate the forum.

Here's the current description:

Session 3: Recovering the Commons
Organizer: Brian J. Burke (U Georgia)
In Recovering the Commons, Herbert Reid and Betsy Taylor interweave concepts from grassroots  activism and a broad range of social theory to provide new conceptual  and practical tools for stewarding our civic and ecological commons.  This session will examine these conceptual and practical tools alongside a number of ethnographic examples of activism for and stewardship of  the commons. Through this open conversation, we hope to advance a line  of anthropological thinking and politics that connects economic and  ecological activism in productive new ways. The precise nature of the  session will be developed collectively by interested participants during the months prior to the conference, using an online forum to select  appropriate readings, hold initial discussions, and review cross-cutting themes that merit broader consideration. The selected readings will be  posted online in advance of the conference, but all are welcome to  attend regardless of whether they have completed the reading in advance. 

Betsy Taylor

PS It is agreed that Betsy and her colleagues will do what is proposed here in March.

Could you say more about what CRASSH puts on, Justin?

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