Winter 2014 Digest

It has already been a busy 2014 for us at the Society for Cultural Anthropology. Below, we present some highlights of the past few months. As always, the best way to stay current on the SCA’s latest activities is to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and visit regularly. In the meantime, here are some of the things we’ve been up to:

With the February 2014 issue of Cultural Anthropology, we’ve relaunched our journal as an open access publication. You can now access the journal’s articles, even if you are not a member of the AAA or at a research library, simply by visiting our website. If you would like to know more about what this means for the SCA, read our full press release and outgoing SCA President Brad Weiss’s op-ed in the latest issue. For more information on open access and anthropology, download episode 8 of our AnthroPod podcast series,  "Can Scholarship be Free to Read?", featuring Brad Weiss, CA managing editor Tim Elfenbein, Sean Dowdy of Hau: The Journal of Ethnographic Theory, and Alex Golub of Savage Minds. The May issue of the journal will also feature a special section on open access from a number of perspectives, so mark your calendars.

March saw the publication of the latest Hot Spots series, “The Politics of ‘Post-conflict’: On the Ground in South Asia.” Editors Sara Shneiderman and Amanda Snellinger present 14 essays exploring “post-conflict” as an analytical and political category with pieces focusing on Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The series also includes two introductory essays and an extensive suggested reading list. In December we published the Hot Spots series, “Protesting Democracy in Brazil,” which takes a look at last year’s country-wide social protests. The essays gathered together by Alexander S. Dent and Rosana Pinheiro-Machado aim to answer the following question: What exactly happened in Brazil in June and July, 2013? Amongst the 23 essays featured in this series are pieces from James Holston, Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, and Claudio Lomnitz.

The website recently launched Commentary, a new forum for responses, elaborations, and reflections on material published in Cultural Anthropology. Our first three entries respond to “The Politics of Ontology” series, edited by Martin Holbraad and Moten Axel Pedersen, published on our website in January 2014. The first entry, “‘Otherwise Anthropology’ Otherwise: The View from Technology,” comes from Debbora Battaglia and Rafael Antunes Almeida; the second, “The Ontological Spin,” is by Lucas Bessire and David Bond; and the most recent, “The Form of the Otherwise,” was written by Emily Yates-Doerr. If you are interested in submitting your own Commentary post, the journal editors welcome submissions of short manuscripts (1000 words or less) for consideration. Send your manuscripts to

We have just seen the completion of our latest Field Notes series in which four anthropologists wrote interrelated posts on sports. In her Provocation, Jasmijn Rana discusses changing gendered aspects of combat sports. Niko Besnier responded with her Translation, "Sport as an interrogation of social and cultural life." Sertaç Sehliko─člu’s continued the conversation with his Deviation on "Imagining the Self as Sporting Body." Finally, Benjamin Eastman wrapped things up, suggesting that "anthropologists of sport may yet have something more to say about how the politics of play shape rather than merely reflect the play of politics in his Integration. This month four anthropologists are writing on the theme of care, so keep checking back at our website.

Also on the website, AnthroPod episode 7, “Worlding with the Body,” returns to the annual American Anthropological Association meeting, held in Chicago in November 2013, to showcase the SCA sponsored panel of the same name. In the podcast we talk to Alison Kenner, Miho Funahashi Ishii, Abou Farman, Grant J Otsuki, and Gergely Mohacsi. In January, we also screened the ethnographic film Phantom Foreign Vienna. The film is no longer free to watch, but you can still read our interview with the filmmaker and other supplemental material.