Student-Faculty Workshops at the 2019 AAA Annual Meeting

The Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) is pleased to announce the lineup for our twelfth annual Student-Faculty Workshops, which will take place on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Vancouver, BC. These workshops provide a wonderful opportunity for graduate students to meet with other students and a leading scholar in the field on a particular method or theme. This year’s workshops will be held on Saturday, November 23, 12:15–1:45 p.m. at a venue near the conference location. We are pleased to offer the following three workshops:

“Course Syllabus Development,” Lisa Messeri (Yale University)

This workshop focuses on syllabus development. Students and Professor Messeri will discuss a process known as “Backwards Course Design” in which they begin with course learning objectives and think through how to move from these high-level ideas to the nitty gritty of a whole syllabus. Students and faculty will specifically work through a flow from objectives to assessments to course structure to readings. Participants should come with, at a minimum, a set of high-level questions or learning objectives for a course they would like to develop. If the participants have course material that is more developed—readings or a draft syllabus—they are encouraged to bring these documents as well, though they are not required.

“Interdisciplinary Research,” Jemima Pierre (UCLA)

This workshop will focus on interdisciplinary research, based on Jemima Pierre's experience as a professor of anthropology and African American studies. Focusing specifically on reading and working outside of anthropology, this workshop will reflect on the ways anthropologists can incorporate and are incorporated into projects that extend beyond anthropology, strictly defined. Participants will discuss strategies for doing interdisciplinary work, the challenges of working across departments, and the importance and impacts of this work for anthropology.

“Public Anthropology,” Emily Yates-Doerr (Oregon State University / University of Amsterdam)

This workshop will focus on developing ideas and techniques for writing for the public. It will also hold space to think about some of the risks and concerns in the push for public anthropology. Professor Yates-Doerr will guide graduate students in workshopping: a) options and ideas for applied anthropological work related (or not) to their projects and b) the techniques and critiques of how to write and present those projects to a non-academic public. Students and faculty will join in conversation about how to do this kind of writing while also expanding the experimental possibilities of public engagement. Students will be asked to provide a short piece of writing beforehand, such as an outline for an idea or a public-facing piece of writing that can be workshopped.


To keep conversations lively and intimate, each workshop will be limited to six current graduate students. The workshops are free, and lunch will be provided by the SCA. Preference will be given to SCA members. As a graduate student, you can join the SCA for just $20.

To be considered for one of this year’s workshops, please fill out the brief application form no later than Oct 28, 2019. You will be asked to supply a 250- to 300-word description of your research project and its relation to the workshop theme. In addition, you are encouraged to articulate your specific interest in the workshop. Participants will be notified in the beginning of November. All participants will be asked to read one short text in advance of the workshop or will be required to provide an additional piece of writing.

If you have any questions, please email Julia Sizek, graduate student representative to the SCA board, at jsizek[at]