Flash Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Council on Anthropology and Education
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Resistance
Secondary Theme: Persistence
In November 2017, Anthropology and Education Quarterly published a special issue dedicated to reflecting on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, titled “Educational Anthropologists Respond to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: Rupture, Continuity, and Resistance.” The idea for the special issue was born at the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Minneapolis, MN, which began just one week after Donald Trump was announced as the winner of the U.S. presidential election. Trump had risen to popularity on a platform of unapologetic bigotry, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny. During the campaign, he also displayed a worrisome lack of knowledge about the basics of U.S. and international politics, a callous disregard for evidence-based facts, a pattern of lying, and an erratic temperament. As such, his electoral victory dominated much of the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting: Last minute sessions were added, statements were drafted, and agendas were altered to consider how various groups within AAA might respond. One such instance occurred during the Anthropology and Education Quarterly editorial board meeting where the idea for a special issue was discussed, and quickly approved.
The special issue invited contributions that engaged the question: “What does the 2016 presidential election—and the new political era it has ushered in the United States, and around the globe—mean for the Council on Anthropology of Education (CAE) as a body, for the intellectual field of educational anthropology, and for scholars, activists and educators working with targeted populations? What are the implications of this moment, and how can we respond?” The call for papers invited shorter works (under 5,000 words) and a variety of genres including poetry, op-ed style essays, personal stories, testimonios, visual art, and photography submissions. The issue was published within one year of announcing the call for papers, and released just prior to the 116th Annual Meeting of AAA in November-December of 2017. It featured seven articles, three poems, a speech by Spindler Award winner Perry Gilmore, and an Afterword by CAE President Thea Abu El-Haj.
In this flash session, contributors to the special issue will engage a discussion of where we have been and where we are now (or will be in November 2018), one year after the special issue was released and two years after the election. Our primary goal is to generate discussion among the contributors and audience members about what the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election means for the CAE, for educational anthropologists, and educators committed to social justice. To facilitate this goal, the flash session will be organized as follows: First, the session organizers will introduce the aims and format of the session. Then each contributor will provide a 5-minute snapshot of their paper (or poem); their comments will include reflections on the moment it was written and/or the present moment. Third, the discussants will provide a 5-minute response that identifies key themes and questions for discussion. The remainder of the time will be dedicated to open discussion among participants and audience members, moderated by the session chair.