2005 Annual SCA President's Report

1) SCA Activities and Accomplishments During 2005

Officers. For the year 2005 (from the end of the 2004 AAA meeting through the end of the 2005 AAA meeting), the officers of the SCA were as follows:

President: Pauline Turner Strong <pstrong@mail.utexas.edu>

Secretary: Bonnie Urciuoli <burciuol@hamilton.edu>

Treasurer: Robert Foster <rftr@uhura.cc.rochester.edu>

Journal Editor: Ann Anagnost <anagnost@u.washington.edu>

Board Members: Ana Alonso <alonso@u.arizona.edu>

Marisol de la Cadena <mdelac@ucdavis.edu>

Judith Farquhar <farquhar@uchicago.edu>

Michael Fischer <mfischer@mit.edu>

Bruce Grant <bruce.grant@nyu.edu>

Lisa Rofel <lrofel@cats.ucsc.edu>

Section Assembly Rep for SCA:Dan Segal <dan_segal@pitzer.edu>

Membership and Budget

The membership & subscription reports provided by AAA show that SCA and its journal, Cultural Anthropology, remain healthy. The Board is, however, concerned over evidence that membership may be declining due to the new availability of Cultural Anthropology to all AAA members regardless of section membership. There were 1,677 members in September 2004, the largest membership base in 10 years; by September 2005 that number had dropped to 1,559. Approximately 37% of these are student members, also a slight decline. In the face of this decline the Board has discussed more restrictive policies with regard to manuscript submissions and spring meeting attendance; none, however, have been put into place.

Print subscription income from CA has dramatically increased, from $19,151 in 2000 to $46,403.94 in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available). Royalties also increased dramatically in 2004, to $23,678.57. Income from digital subscriptions, however, is far below that which AAA projected ($352.29 as of 9/30/05, compared to $6,853 projected for 2005).

We are concerned that royalties from Proquest, Wilson and J-Stor, which were beginning to provide a significant revenue stream for the journal, will diminish as a result of AnthroSource—hence our intense interest in a revised revenue-sharing formula.

In the recent past, SCA has been able to balance its budget and, in many years, slowly grow its fund balance. This fortunate financial situation continued in 2005, although this is partly because no spring conference was hosted in 2005. Net assets on 9/30/05 were $154,284,30; this compares to $124,542.67 on the 2004 year-end financial statement.

Cultural Anthropology

During 2005, editor Ann Anagnost continued the timely and on-budget publication of Cultural Anthropology, which continues to be among the AAA’s most highly cited journals. The journal remains highly selective, publishing approximately 20% of the articles submitted, often after extensive revisions. With the launch of AnthroSource in November 2004, CA became available on-line to all AAA members, regardless of whether or not they choose to support the Society for Cultural Anthropology by becoming a member. The Board is closely monitoring the effect this has on revenue from memberships. SCA officers continue to work through the Section Assembly to exert pressure on the AAA Executive Committee to include a value component in its revenue-sharing policy with respect to AnthroSource revenues.

A successful Editorial Search was carried out, chaired by Judith Farquhar. Kim and Mike Fortun were selected from an excellent pool of applicants for a four-year term as Editors; they will begin reviewing manuscripts in January 2006, and their first volume will appear in 2007. At its Spring Meeting the SCA Board voted to fund the position of part-time managing editor. The Board’s intent was to make the position of Editor more attractive and feasible while at the same time allowing for more attention to the financial aspects of the journal.

We are concerned, however, about the financial consequences of this decision. As a result of SCA’s investment in the journal, the marketing and administration fee assessed by the University of California Press almost doubled in 2006. We strongly urge that the basis for calculating this fee (currently a percentage of expenditures) be reviewed and revised. SCA’s commitment of its own assets to its journal should be rewarded rather than penalized.

At the request of a committee chaired by Susan MacKinnon, the SCA Board agreed that the essay written by the winner of the new David M. Schneider Award would be set to the Editor of Cultural Anthropology to be reviewed for possible publication. This award, for the best graduate student essay, was presented for the first time at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

Spring Board Meeting

The SCA held its annual spring Board Meeting on June 4, 2005 in Austin, Texas. Topics of discussion included AnthroSource, the AAA Labor Relations Commission, the 2006 SCA Spring Meeting, nominations for open SCA and AAA positions, the AAA Governance Commission (on which SCA Section Assembly Representative Dan Segal serves), and the Labor Relations Commission (on which SCA President Pauline Turner Strong serves).

AAA Annual Meeting

SCA sponsored two of its signature Culture-at-Large Sessions at the 2005 AAA annual meeting—including a session originally scheduled for the 2004 AAA annual meeting. One session, organized by Judith Farquhar, featured Susan Buck-Morss (Government, Cornell); discussants were Bruce Grant, Nancy Ries, Michael Fischer, and James Faubion. The other session, organized by Michael Fischer, featured George Lipsitz (American Studies, U of California Santa Cruz); discussants were Faye Ginsburg, Henry Jenkins and Kim Fortun, who replaced scheduled discussant Dorinne Kondo. Two additional invited sessions were sponsored by the SCA Program Committee, chaired by Bruce Grant. These included “The Molecularization of Race and Identity,” organized by Duana Fullwiley, and “Affect: What Is It Good For?,” organized by Wiliam Mazzarella (U of Chicago).

At the 2005 SCA Business Meeting Board member Lisa Rofel and a graduate student jury awarded the fourth annual Cultural Horizons Prize to Sarah S. Lochlann Jain for her article, “‘Dangerous Instrumentality’: The Bystander as Subject in Automobility.” The article appeared in the February 2004 issue of Cultural Anthropology (vol. 19, no. 1). This year’s jury consisted of Zeynep Gursel (UC Berkeley), Rebecca Howes-Mischel (NYU), and Matthew Wolf-Meyer (Minnesota). Jain was awarded a small cash prize and the opportunity to organize an invited session for the 2006 annual AAA meetings.

For the first time, SCA and the American Ethnological Society held a joint reception at the AAA annual meeting. The reception was very well attended.

The following retiring Board members and officers were thanked for their service at the 2005 Board and Business Meetings: Ann Anagnost (Outgoing Cultural Anthropology Editor), Lisa Rofel (Board Member), Pauline Turner Strong (Board Member, President), and Bonnie Urciuoli (Secretary).

Other Activities

The SCA Board participates actively in the nomination of scholars for AAA positions. Of the scholars we nominated in 2004, several were elected. Nominees were also put forward for several AAA positions in 2005. The Board encourages the AAA Nominating Committee to acknowledge the efforts of sections in making nominations by informing them of the outcome of the nomination.

The SCA Board supported a successful Section Assembly resolution sponsored by SOLGA endorsing the principle that AAA meeting policies apply to Sections, including restrictions on where meetings may be held.

Board member Bruce Grant continued to keep the SCA web site current.

2) Future Plans

Several new officers and Board members assumed their positions at the end of the 2005 AAA annual meeting, including:

o Judith Farquhar, President (Chicago)

o Stacy Leigh Pigg, Secretary (Simon Fraser)

o Kim and Mike Fortun, Incoming Cultural Anthropology editors (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

o Veena Das, Board Member (Johns Hopkins)

o William Maurer, Board Member (UC Irvine)

In 2006 the SCA membership will elect a new Board Member to replace Bruce Grant, whose term ends at the end of the 2006 AAA annual meeting. A new Treasurer will also be appointed to replace Robert Foster, whose second term as Treasurer will also end.

Proposed changes to the by-laws will also appear on the 2006 ballot. These are primarily to recognize changes in the organization of AAA, but also involve a more flexible provision for extending the terms of the Secretary and Treasurer.

The 2006 Biennial SCA Conference, organized by Judith Farquhar and Robert Foster, will be held May 5-6, 2006 in Milwaukee, at the historic Pfister Hotel. The theme is “Translations of Value,” and the keynote David M. Schneider Memorial Lecture will be given by Timothy Mitchell (NYU).

The SCA Board will continue to focus attention on AAA’s plans for AnthroSource, seeking to ensure the financial stability of SCA and its journal.

Working through the Section Assembly, the SCA Board will continue to take an active role in reformulating the governance structure of the AAA in order to better take into account the interests and experience of AAA sections.

The SCA Board will continue to support the AAA Executive Board and the Labor Relations Commission in implementing the Executive Board’s resolution to hold AAA and Section conferences in unionized facilities.

The SCA Board will continue to seek ways to cooperate with the American Ethnological Society, including such events as a joint reception at the AAA meeting.

The SCA Board is considering setting up a quasi-endowment to support the David Schneider Memorial Lecture and the Cultural Horizons Prize. This has been deferred, however, until the financial consequences of AnthroSource are better understood.

The SCA Board plans to digitize its archives and make them available, as appropriate, on the SCA web site. Retiring officers Pauline Strong and Bonnie Urciuoli have offered to work on this project.

3) Items for consideration by the AAA Executive Board and Long-Range Planning Committee:

The SCA Board believes it is urgent that a fair revenue-sharing formula be put into place in 2006, one that makes up for the loss of revenue from membership dues and royalties, and includes one or more value components (e.g., citation rates, downloads, or “hits”).

The SCA Board recommends that the AAA Executive Board and Long-Range Planning Committees conduct a continuing assessment of the effect of AnthroSource on the financial and intellectual health of AAA Sections.

The SCA Board recommends that the AAA Executive Board and Long-Range Planning Committees develop a mechanism through which the American Anthropologist will operate under the same financial constraints as other AAA scholarly journals.

The SCA Board is concerned with the rising cost of producing its journal, and recommends that the AAA Executive Board’s Publications Committee closely monitors the charges assessed by the University of California Press.

The SCA Board encourages the AAA Nominating Committee to acknowledge the efforts sections put into recruiting candidates by communicating to sections its decisions regarding section-sponsored nominees; this will allow section officers to maintain good relations with unsuccessful candidates.

Respectfully submitted, Pauline Turner Strong, SCA President, 2003-05