Public Advisory Board Events
San Francisco AAA Meeting, November 19-23, 2008
Embeddedness, Advocacy, Collaboration, Friendship, Complicity:
Navigating Ethics in Contemporary Ethnography
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 4-5:30, Union Square 18
Panelists: David Westbrook, CA Public Advisory Board, with Laura McNamara, Melissa Cefkin, Stuart Kirsch, Michelle Stewart, Michael Montoya
What does Cultural Anthropology have to say about ethics in ethnography – with ethics conceived in terms of our relationship to others, whether they be those we study or other experts we work alongside? What obligations and opportunities do ethnographers have to share their knowledge and techniques? What relationships should ethnographers’ refuse or approach with trepidation and a sense of restraint? What new relationships are ethnographers navigating as the world changes around them? How can ethnographers cultivate -- amongst themselves, and in others -- ethical imaginations attuned to the opportunities and challenges of the contemporary world?
The conversation in this session will explore these questions, considering specific arenas – national security, policing, corporations, policy and law – where ethnographers are called upon to participate. The session responds to recent deliberation among anthropologists over the risks and benefits of anthropologists’ engagement with U.S. military and intelligence activities. It also begins SCA and CA’s engagement with the AAA process (to continue over the next three years) to amend the AAA’s Code of Ethics.
David (Bert) Westbrook, University at Buffalo Law School / author, Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters (University of Chicago Press 2008) / Member, Cultural Anthropology Public Advisory Board.
Laura McNamara, Sandia Laboratories / Member, AAA Ad Hoc Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities
Melissa Cefkin, IBM Almaden Research Center / On-going research on and participation in corporate ethnography.
Stuart Kirsch, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan / On-going research on and participation in environmental advocacy in response to corporate mining operations.
Michelle Stewart, Department of Anthropology, University of California Davis / Current research on crime prevention and crime reduction practices with police in Canada and the UK
Michael Montoya, Department of Anthropology, University of California Irvine / On-going research on and participation in public health projects addressed to health disparities.