Select Page

March 6–10, 2005

Toward an Anthropology of Democracy

Julia Paley, Chair
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Funded in part by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc., the seminar set out to “deepen understanding, reconfigure frameworks, and rewrite the terms of debate” by encouraging scholars to examine the forms democracy takes as it emerges around the world. Through research in Peru, Ecuador, Mozambique, Japan, Guatemala, India, and the U.S., participants focused on how freedom, rights, popular sovereignty, citizenship, rule of law, and political equality are received and executed where cultural roots of these ideas often predate any formal introduction of democracy.

April 17–21, 2005

Ethnography and Policy: What Do We Know About “Trafficking”?

Carole S. Vance, Chair
Associate Clinical Professor and Director
Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights

Bringing together ethnographers and other experts who conducted research in Moldova, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, India, the Philippines, and the U.S., seminar participants examined what is known about human “trafficking.” The word itself is controversial, Vance said, because it incorporates “elements of sexual and non-sexual labor, coercion, abusive conditions of work, migration, global inequality, gender, and sexuality.”

September 25–29, 2005

Rethinking Frameworks, Methodologies, and the Role of Anthropology in Development Induced Displacement and Resettlement (DIDR)

Anthony Oliver-Smith, Chair
Department of Anthropology
University of Florida

The World Bank calculates that development projects displace approximately 10 million people a year. Families and communities are displaced by capital-intensive, high-technology, large-scale projects that convert farmlands, fishing grounds, forests, and homes into reservoirs, mining operations, industrial complexes, tourist resorts, and other uses that favor national or global interests. Designed to spur economic growth and spread general welfare, many of these projects leave locals permanently displaced, disempowered, and destitute. The extent to which development can be carried out both ethically, democratically, and effectively was a central concern of this Advanced Seminar.