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March 18–22, 2001

Law and Empire in the Pacific: Intersections of Culture and Legality

Donald Brenneis, Co-Chair
Department of Anthropology
University of California at Santa Cruz

Sally Engle Merry, Co-Chair
Department of Anthropology
Wellesley College

The seminar explored these intersections in a historical and contemporary context through detailed comparisons of Hawai’i and Fiji: two societies that share many features of social composition and historical experience yet differ in their form of legal colonization …

April 22–26, 2001

The State at its Margins: Comparative Ethnographies of the Modern State in Africa, Latin America and South Asia

Veena Das, Co-Chair
Department of Anthropology
Johns Hopkins University

Deborah Poole, Co-Chair
Department of Anthropology
New School for Social Research

This seminar was designed to develop an ethnographic methodology and theoretical apparatus to assess perceptions of power in three regions where both state reform and violence have been particularly dramatic: South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Understanding how people perceive and experience the agency of the state was a central theme of the seminar. A driving question for our sessions was, “how is the state experienced on a daily basis?” said Deborah Poole.

October 7–11, 2001

Anthropology and Contemporary Immigration

Nancy Foner, Chair
Department of Anthropology
State University of New York, College at Purchase

Anthropology and Contemporary Immigration, took place October 7-11, 2001. Chaired by Nancy Foner, the seminar included ten scholars representing cultural, social, urban, medical, psychological, and feminist anthropology. Describing immigration as one of the most pressing contemporary social issues in the United States, Foner stressed the seminar’s focus on evaluating the unique role of anthropology in the emerging interdisciplinary field of immigrant studies.