The Shattered Echo Chamber: Experiences of #AmAnth2016 in the Wake of the Election

As anthropologists convened for the 2016 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, just one week after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, attendees and presenters expressed a range of reactions that could be seen, like fingerprints, on every aspect of the conference. From hardly surprised, shocked, despondent, and resistant to hopeful, shattered, tearful, and renewed, presenters radically rewrote and recrafted their papers and presentations to respond to how the election results shifted the context for their scholarship. Many conversations revolved around how we had moved from a hopeful to a hateful future, and around the urgent need to find hope again. The reflections collected in this Dialogues series are an attempt to capture this moment in Minneapolis, as anthropologists began to consider how to challenge the president-elect’s racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and generally vicious invective and those whom his words have emboldened. This is a snapshot of a discipline in motion, reeling but also invigorated.

Posts in This Series

Gazing and Talking Back

Silence and Privilege Renegotiated

The Private and the Public

Postelection Shell Shock, Resilience, and the Dangers of Desensitization

What Do I Tell My Students?

“Some of Us Have Memory”: On Shock, Race, and the Long History of Theorizing the Impossible

Light Struck: On Stories, Art, and Work among the Broken Pieces