The Society for Applied Anthropology will convene for its 69th annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico from March 17-21, 2009. The theme for the convention is "Global Challenge, Local Action: Ethical Engagements, Partnerships, and Practice." About 1,600 people from across the United States are expected to attend. Millsaps College's own Dr. Julian Murchison, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, will take part in the conference, presenting a paper that will be recorded and published online in the form of a podcast.
Murchison will present his paper entitled 'The Anthropologist's NGO?': Examining the Practice and Theory of Collaborative Work during the conference. Along with several other speakers, he will discuss his exploration of ideas focused on Collaboration, Community and Ethics, specifically in his involvement with Songea-Mississippi (SOMI), a non-governmental organization that he co-directs in Tanzania. He is also a founder of the organization, which recognizes the need for an official entity dedicated to education and culture.
SOMI is located in the southern region of Tanzania in the municipality of Songea. The aim of the organization is to create and maintain a first-class center for culture and education that will foster intercultural connections and exchanges between southern Tanzania and the southern United States, mainly Mississippi.
The Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Conference schedule is tightly packed - speaker will present their work in over 100 sessions. However, only 17 sessions were selected to be recorded and made into podcasts. Individuals interested in attending the conference were asked to choose presentations to be recorded on the basis of "hot" topics, famous speakers and wide range of interest. Murchison's work created an excited buzz among those planning to attend the SfAA conference and was selected as one of the few to be recorded and posted and recorded as a podcast. The recordings will be available for listening and download in early April at the SfAA website, http://sfaapodcasts.net/.
The Society for Applied Anthropology was created to promote interdisciplinary exploration of the ways in which humans relate to one another. It allows researchers to share their findings with their colleagues through publications and annual conferences. It also provides a way to suggest curriculum in education programs for applied anthropologists, as well as an outlet for SfAA members to express their personal interests.
The SfAA was formed over fifty years ago and works to define the role of "anthropologist" as a satisfying, rewarding and professional role in many aspects of the public domain, whether consultant, activist or university professor. The label "applied" signifies that the focus of anthropological study is to build an understanding of cultural behaviors based on comparison.