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Why I am AAA

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Celebrating our diverse community of anthropologists who represent 40 specialized sections that work as one to advance knowledge and solve human problems.

Submit My Story!

Attention Students and New Professionals

The spring 2021 "I Am AAA" campaign is all about you - the next generation of the discipline. Submit your profile for the chance to be featured on the AAA website and social media channels.

Anthropology and Environment Society (A&E)

Frances Roberts-Gregory. A&E

Frances Roberts-Gregory
PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley
AAA Member Since 2018 | A&E Member Since 2018

"I am a Black feminist environmental anthropologist. I love anthropology because the discipline gives me the tools to interrogate historical injustice, cultural processes, geography, intersectionality, subjectivity, ethnography, extraction, colonialism, and climate change. My work explores how Gulf Coast women of color navigate contradictory relationships with energy and petrochemical industries, resist environmental racism, and advocate for climate solutions. I am AAA."

Susan Crate, A&E

Susan A. Crate, PhD
Professor, George Mason University
AAA Member Since 2005 | A&E Member Since 2013

"Since 1991 I have worked with Viliui Sakha communities of northeastern Siberia, Russia. In 2006 we began investigating the changes in their local weather and seasonal timing that concerned them and were increasingly challenging their horse and cattle subsistence practices. I am committed to advocating the importance of anthropological insights in climate research and recently worked on a documentary, The Anthropologist, to try and communicate the issue more broadly. I am AAA."


Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA)

Leslie Walker, ABA

Leslie Paul Walker
Public Education Initiatives Manager, American Anthropological Association
AAA Member Since 2016 | ABA Member Since 2016

"I decided I wanted to be an anthropologist to advocate on behalf of vulnerable communities that are at risk of losing their homes, heritage, and natural environment. Many of these communities include people of color. Studying anthropology provided me with a broad set of tools for thinking about the world, the people who live in it, and how to use cultural knowledge to solve human issues. I am AAA."

Bianca Williams, ABA

Bianca C. Williams, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
AAA Member Since 2012 | ABA Member Since 2012

"The Association of Black Anthropologists' legacy of mentoring and political organizing has always grounded me and pushed me to do better in my scholarship, teaching, and service to our discipline. The dynamic anthropologists that make up this community are aware that our work--ALL of our work--whether it be in the field, in the classroom, or in the streets, can contribute to social transformation. If anthropology’s mission is truly to "make the world safe for human difference,” as Ruth Benedict claimed, then I am AAA because of the work of ABA. They continue to affirm my commitment to fighting for justice and equity using my anthropological training, tools, and skills."

Kimberley McKinson, ABA

Kimberley McKinson
PhD Candidate, University of California, Irvine
AAA Member Since 2012 | ABA Member Since 2012

"I am AAA because, as a Jamaican anthropologist, I proudly stand on the shoulders of Zora Neale Hurston and use the spyglass of anthropology to imagine the Caribbean as a space that disturbs, disrupts and opens up new ways for engaging disciplinary epistemologies and methods."

Donna Auston, ABA

Donna Auston
PhD Candidate, Rutgers University
AAA Member Since 2013 | ABA Member Since 2013

"As an activist-scholar and woman of color who works in communities directly impacted by racialized violence, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination, I especially value my connection to the ABA community. There I find a vibrant, dynamic, intellectual space full of professionals whose commitment to scholarship and teaching is fundamentally shaped by generations of social justice oriented academics--scholars who model the likes of W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, and William Montague Cobb.  The people whose lives we enter as anthropologists are real, the issues affecting their lives are always more than academic exercises, and the work we do never exists in a vacuum.  Having a professional space which honors and cultivates this type of scholarship is necessary, and invaluable. I am AAA."

Kalfani Ture, ABA

Kalfani Ture
PhD Candidate, Winthrop University
AAA Member Since 2001 | ABA Member Since 2001

"I am AAA. Anthropology's multi-disciplinary breadth, personally and professionally, allowed me to understand the urban condition of African American communities and to chart meaningful solutions. Through my presence within and advocacy for the increased diversity of African Americans, particularly African American males in anthropology, I hope to increase the recruitment, retention and promotion of people of color in the discipline. If future generations of African Americans are to realize the value of this discipline, then there needs to be a higher visibility of African Americans here."

Elgin Klugh, ABA

Elgin L. Klugh, PhD
Associate Professor, Coppin State University
AAA Member Since 2003 | ABA Member Since 2003

"Anthropology is the venue through which am I am able to align my curiosities and my passion with my professional life.  As an applied anthropologist, I am interested in ways that anthropological knowledge can be used to improve lives and communities. I am AAA."

Anthropology of Consciousness (AC)

Ron Reminick. AC

Ron Reminick
Professor Emeritus, Cleveland State University

"Doing fieldwork in the Ethiopian Highlands in the late '60's, I was invited to a coffee party, complete with the local distilled beverage and snacks, with my neighbors and friends. My wife reminded me to be home before our guest, the governor, would be coming for dinner. Sometime in the afternoon, I suddenly remembered about our dinner guest, and I asked (in Amharic) the host, "yishimabyet, what time is it?", She said, "Wait just a minute" and stepped outside. Upon returning, she said, "It smells like 4 o'clock." This opened a whole new level of consciousness for me, smelling the different times of day in this perfectly beautiful countryside. I am AAA."


Archaeology Division (AD)

Elizabeth Chilton, AD

Elizabeth Chilton, PhD
Professor, Binghamton University
AAA Member Since 1985 | AD Member Since 2013

“I am a professor of anthropology, an archaeologist, and the dean of arts & sciences at Binghamton University. My archaeological training and the anthropologist's gaze informs my perspective and impact as an academic leader, whether that means an appreciation for the diversity of sciences and humanities fields in my college or in my approach to understanding an institution's culture. My scholarship highlights the impacts of contemporary commemoration of the past--why the past matters. I am AAA.”

Lisa Lucero, AD

Lisa Lucero, PhD
Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
AAA Member Since 1992 | AD Member Since 1992

"I am AAA. I value the key importance of a multidimensional approach to understanding who we are, from where we came, and where we are going.  I study the impact of climate change on the Classic Maya and other pre-modern societies to cull lessons from the past that have a bearing on the present."

Tiffany Cain, AD

Tiffany Cain
PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
AAA Member Since 2010 | AD Member Since 2010

"Archaeology's concerns, its subject matter, who it chooses to serve, are all changing. It is more important than ever that as archaeologists we recognize that we are anthropologists, we are AAA."

Anna Agbe-Davies, AD

Anna Agbe-Davies, PhD
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
AAA Member Since 1998 | AD Member Since 1998

“I am an archaeologist because we can’t understand our present without understanding our past. I am AAA.”


Association for Feminist Anthropology (AFA)

M. Gabriela Torres, AFA

M. Gabriela Torres, PhD
Associate Professor, Wheaton College
AAA Member Since 2001 | AFA Member Since 2013

"I am AAA and a feminist anthropologist because understanding gender inequity matters to solving the key issues facing of our world.”

Carla Jones, AFA

Carla Jones, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Colorado
AAA Member Since 1994 | AFA Member Since 1994

"I am AAA, because anthropology and feminism were made for each other. As a feminist anthropologist, I love that I get to think about the things that are taken for granted.”

Jennie E Burnet, AFA

Jennie E. Burnet, PhD
Associate Professor, Georgia State University
AAA Member Since 1997 | AFA Member Since 1997

"I am AAA because women and girls everywhere deserve a say in peace negotiations and rebuilding their societies.”

Carla Freeman, AFA

Carla Freeman, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty, Emory University
AAA Member Since 2011 | AFA Member Since 2011

"I am AAA because rich ethnography and feminist critique are indispensable for interpreting and changing the world."

Elise Andaya, AFA

Elise Andaya, PhD
Associate Professor, University at Albany
AAA Member Since 2001 | AFA Member Since 2001

"I am AAA, because now more than ever we need feminist and intersectional voices to speak up and to speak out."

Erica Lorraine Williams, AFA

Erica Lorraine Williams, PhD
Associate Professor, Spelman College
AAA Member Since 2005 | AFA Member Since 2005

I am AAA because of the rich legacy of black feminist anthropologists who have come before me.”

Meena Khandelwal, AFA

Meena Khandelwal, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Iowa
AAA Member Since 1992 | AFA Member Since 1992

I am AAA because anthropology helps us demonstrate that familiar gender arrangements and their attached meanings are neither universal nor inevitable.”


Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA)

Mwenda Ntarangwi, AfAA

Mwenda Ntarangwi, PhD
Associate Professor, Calvin College
AAA Member Since 2001 | AfAA Member Since 2001

I am AAA because through it I found a community that shares my passion for a nuanced understanding of cultural life in Africa.”

Anita Spring, AfAA

Anita Spring, PhD
Professor Emeritus, University of Florida
AAA Member Since 1966 | AfAA Member Since 2001

I am AAA because of my passion for doing anthropological studies across the African continent on agriculture and its development, food security, entrepreneurship (from micro to global), and women and gender issues. I aim for ethnographic accuracy and collaborative teamwork on these topics.” 

Richard Werbner, AfAA

Richard Werbner, PhD
Professor Emeritus, University of Manchester
AAA Member Since 1979 | AfAA Member Since 2013

I am AAA. My current research on grassroots ecumenism as a popular movement in Africa makes a timely difference to our recognition of the importance in everyday life of tolerance, inter-denominational cooperation, and religious rapprochement. My interests grew from witnessing funerals during fieldwork in Botswana over some fifty years, first as a young student and now as an emeritus professor. Working with an interdisciplinary, global team of anthropologists, social historians, and scholars of religious studies, I have focused on problems of reconciliation and forgiveness in post-conflict societies and ecumenical and anti-ecumenical tensions in other, more peaceful societies.”


Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA)

Giulia Cavicchioli, APLA

Giulia Cavicchioli
PhD Candidate, University College London
AAA Member Since 2018 | APLA Member Since 2018

I AM AAA. My research focuses on how the triple disaster of March 2011 has impacted the lives of the survivors in northeastern Japan, particularly in Fukushima. I conducted 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork with the victims living in temporary housing and collaborated with NGOs involved in activities for them. To narrow down my research, I concentrate my analysis on the ways parents make sense of their role in post-nuclear disaster Japan.”

Lotta Björklund Larsen, APLA

Lotta Björklund Larsen, PhD
Docent, Linköping University
AAA Member Since 2009 | APLA Member Since 2012

I am AAA and I find taxation utterly exciting! Taxation is so central to many contemporary societal issues and is too important of an issue to be ignored by anthropologists. We need to address how taxation is made possible in a democracy? Why do we pay tax and why do we avoid doing so? I address this by investigating taxation as an economic transaction at the nexus of individuals’ values, governmental regulations and institutional impact.”


Association of Senior Anthropologists (ASA)

Ralph Bolton, ASA

Ralph Bolton, PhD
President, The Chijnaya Foundation
AAA Member Since 1966 | ASA Member Since 1989

I AM AAA. I have spent my entire lifetime as an anthropologist seeking to understand the human condition. Motivated by the conviction that anthropological knowledge has a critical role to play in finding solutions to problems of poverty, sickness, social conflicts and injustice, it has been my privilege to work on such issues as HIV/AIDS prevention, the global struggle for LGBT rights, and the welfare of rural families in the highlands of southern Peru. For me, anthropology is a way of life and a lifelong commitment, not merely a career.”


Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP)

Diane O'Rourke, ASAP

Diane O'Rourke, PhD
Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington
AAA Member Since 1985 | ASAP Member Since 2012

I am AAA and always have been, from my 1st year of grad school on into retirement. I am ASAP because policy’s where the action is, and nobody does policy like anthropologists. Being ASAP links me to a vibrant intellectual and social community and that benefits my research. My work on non-recognition of Somaliland statehood and understanding multiple discourses around sovereignty brings me closer to how relevant policies are made. Being AAA and ASAP is what keeps the anthropology flowing for me.”

Paul Stubbs, ASAP

Paul Stubbs, PhD
The Institute of Economics, Zagreb
AAA Member Since 2009 | ASAP Member Since 2012

“I trained as a sociologist but cannot resist my inner anthropological tendencies. Ethnography digs deeper into the black box of policy in motion and the multiple meanings of disciplinarity. It connects agency, discourse, and power in ways which often surprise. I am ASAP and I am AAA.”

Eric Siu-kei Cheng, ASAP

Eric Siu-kei Cheng, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Hong Kong Baptist University
AAA Member Since 2012 | ASAP Member Since 2013

I am AAA, specializing in policy and governance of food, agriculture, and sustainable development, and am enthusiastic to provide North American scholars and citizens with an anthropological perspective of East Asia. Sustainability is key to our common future and anthropology is a useful lens and tool for us to appreciate cultural and bio-diversity throughout the world.”

Cansu Civelek, ASAP

Cansu Civelek
PhD Candidate, University of Vienna
AAA Member Since 2016 | ASAP Member Since 2016

I am AAA and I am ASAP because ethnography allows me to challenge the world of policies by exploring the unseen processes of policy-making and people’s agency and networks within them.”


Central States Anthropological Society (CSAS)

E. Paul Durrenberger, PhD. CSAS

E. Paul Durrenberger, PhD
University of Iowa and Penn State
AAA Lifetime Member Since 1993 | CSAS Member Since 2011

I am AAA because my 50 years of working to understand economic systems from the tribal to the industrial gave me the comparative vision to see that one of the keys to alternatives to industrial farming in Iowa is access to agricultural land for those who want to farm without crippling debt, that one of the remedies to our water pollution that is killing all life in the Gulf of Mexico is to farm sustainably and build our depleted soils, and that one way to improve our health is to make available healthy food. Anthropology shows us where problems are and ways we can work toward their solution. And it keeps us aware of our common humanity and that every person on this planet deserves one share of it. No more, no less.”


Culture and Agriculture (C&A)

David Meek, C&A

David Meek, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Alabama
AAA Member Since 2012 | C&A Member Since 2013

“My research explores how cultural traditions provide opportunities and constraints towards advancing sustainable agriculture.…I am AAA.”

Mary Beth Schmid, C&A

Mary Beth Schmid
PhD Candidate, University of Kentucky
AAA Member Since 2009 | C&A Member Since 2009

“My research investigates the nexus of agricultural livelihoods, immigration, kinship, and transnational knowledge to support transitions to more equitable agri-food systems. I am AAA.”


Evolutionary Anthropology Society (EAS)

James Holland Jones, EAS

James Holland Jones, PhD
Associate Professor, Stanford University
AAA Member Since 2004 | EAS Member Since 2004

I am AAA. I don’t really fit neatly anywhere and never have. Am I a natural scientist, social scientist, demographer, disease ecologist, epidemiologist, or social networks researcher? Am I a theoretician, a data analyst, an applied researcher, a field researcher, or a modeler? I am, in fact, a little bit of all of them because I am an anthropologist. In an era of intense specialization, anthropology still affords me the opportunity -- sometimes begrudgingly -- to be a generalist and employ whatever tools it takes to ask the questions that nag at me about the human condition.” Indeed, the ability to negotiate pluralistic approaches to understanding human behavior at different levels of organization and from varying perspectives is the anthropologist’s greatest asset and the hope for the continued relevance of our discipline."

Michelle Night Pipe, EAS

Michelle Night Pipe
PhD Candidate, Rutgers University
AAA Member Since 2012 | EAS Member Since 2012

I am AAA. I am holistic. I attempt to understand every facet of the complex issues that I study. I am sociocultural. I appreciate how society’s structures and institutions intersect with enculturated, embodied individuals. I am evolutionary. I integrate insights from the study of human evolution, especially as it affects human behavior, because I believe that we, as a species, suffer from a basic lack of understanding as to our nature as human beings. It is my hope that with understanding will come the ability to change. As anthropologists, we are facing unprecedented political challenges, the looming upheaval wrought by global climate change, and pending mass extinction. I will remain an advocate, an activist, and an ally, working throughout my professional career in an attempt to solve humanity’s most serious problems.”


Middle East Section (MES)

 Sa'ed Atshan Photo

Sa’ed Atshan
Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College
AAA Member Since 2009 | MES Member Since 2011

"My work as an anthropologist in the Middle East region has served as a constant reminder of the importance of placing human beings first above all else. Ethnography is powerful due to the human connections we are able to forge. My research, scholarship, teaching, and activism have been in the service of social justice and I'm thankful to be part of a discipline and sub-field where this is valued. I am AAA."

Giulia El Dardiry, MES

Giulia El Dardiry
PhD Candidate, McGill University
AAA Member Since 2011 | MES Member Since 2011

I am AAA because I am a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology whose work explores the dynamics of Iraqi and Syrian displacements into Jordan, particularly the everyday relations, solidarities, and frictions between refugees and host communities."

 Yasmin Moll I AM AAA Photo

Yasmin Moll
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan
AAA Member Since 2007 | MES Member Since 2007

"I am AAA because anthropology is unique in its focus on the ordinary, often unremarkable, ways in which peoples and societies experience and understand the powerful and large-scale structures and forces shaping their lives. This granular, fine-grained lens is especially important in the study of the Middle East and of Islam, a region and religion too often framed through tired binaries and pernicious stereotypes with devastating results."

 Zeynep Oguz I AM AAA Testimonial Photo

Zeynep Oguz
Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
AAA Member Since 2008 | MES Member Since 2013

"I am AAA because I care about how the underground, science, technology, and coloniality are entangled in Turkey through oil. I argue that despite the scarcity of oil, oil exploration and extraction have been central to sustaining colonial relationships and warfare, the making of national pasts and futures."


National Association for the Practice Of Anthropology (NAPA)

Betselot Wondimu, NAPA


Betselot Wondimu
Public Health Analyst, RTI International
AAA Member since 2020 | NAPA Member since 2020

"Lift anthropology up. It is a powerful discipline that has a strong footing in its own right and in interdisciplinary settings. Nothing occurs in a vacuum, as all human proceedings are touched by historical realities and institutional forces. Take this knowledge with you wherever you go. I am AAA."

Elizabeth Briody, NAPA


Elizabeth Briody
Founder and Principal, Cultural Keys LLC
AAA Member since 1982 | NAPA Member since 1982

"I would love to see all of us step out into the world beyond our day-to-day jobs…While we certainly need to discuss, confer, and debate among ourselves, I believe that making room in our busy lives for anthropological outreach is our next frontier and one worth embracing immediately. I am AAA."

Eric Haanstad, NAPA

Eric Haanstad
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
AAA Member Since 1997 | NAPA Member Since 2018

“Twenty years ago, a AAA internship brought me to the halls of the Senate, the collections of the Library of Congress, and the infrastructure of the Association working with the professionals who make anthropology what it is today. As a design anthropologist, undergraduate director, and artistic practitioner, anthropology’s breadth offers the holistic space to incorporate performance, policy, design, and desire. In this union of expressive practice, I am AAA.

John P.N. Massad MA, NAPA

John P.N. Massad MA, PhD
Independent Practitioner, NAPA Past President
AAA Member Since 1991 | NAPA Member Since 1991

“I believe anthropology can and must address injustice, as it is woven into our lives, through the calm and therapeutic voice of the practitioner.  Our job is to improve the lives of the people with whom we work.  I have spent over 10 years in leadership in NAPA, where I have seen the myriad ways we applied anthropologists achieve those goals.  We are dedicated, and that is our unique legacy.  And, I have learned to herd cats, for that is what you do when you lead such an organization.  But, that is not what defines me as an anthropologist.  I see anthropology everywhere.  In practice, we apply anthropology to daily life.  I find it in line at my ghetto grocery store, in an inner-city Montessori school, on my front stoop.  In practice, the simplest observations reveal so much and can help others see through our gaze, provided we clearly tell them our stories – and cherish theirs.  In such practice, we serve.  I am a social justice activist, an ethnographer, a shepherd of cats, yes, but also a poet.  And, I will stand by any and all of those terms. I am AAA.”

Cathleen Crain, NAPA

Cathleen Crain
Partner, LTG Associates, Inc.
AAA Member Since 1985 | NAPA Member Since 2012

I am AAA. I am a professional anthropologist and I believe in possibilities and potential. I believe in the future of anthropology as a fully integrated discipline with a home for professional/practicing/applied anthropologists.  I believe in the power, sensitivity, and importance of the tools of anthropology to understand and help to address the complex problems that face our and each generation.”

Taapsi Ramchandani, NAPA

Taapsi Ramchandani
PhD Candidate, Syracuse University
AAA Member Since 2013 | NAPA Member Since 2013

I am AAAI am AAA. As a student of applied research, I believe real conversations can lead to real change. I am a lover of diversity and live it every day. I was born in India, trained in the United States and do research in Trinidad. For me, anthropology is a way of life that acknowledges the power of social networks and the magic of observation."

Joshua Liggett, NAPA

Joshua Liggett
Research Specialist, Uplift Family Services
AAA Member Since 2012 | NAPA Member Since 2014

I am AAA...not because of years of study or those embroiled in research and applied work (though, these certainly help), but for the questions that burn from the core of my being as to why we are as we are and why we do what we do. Answering these writhing and slippery questions are the force behind all of our invaluable efforts: evaluative, arcane, or to gather knowledge for its own sake. All that we do, we do together! I am AAA because we are AAA."

Tara Hefferan, NAPA

Tara Hefferan, PhD
Affiliate Professor, Grand Valley State University
AAA Member Since 2012 | NAPA Member Since 2014

I am AAA because social inequalities are human creations that can be dismantled.  Anthropologists have the necessary tools.”


National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA)

Jessica Chandras, NASA

Jessica Chandras
PhD Candidate, George Washington University
AAA Member Since 2009 | NASA Member Since 2014

I am AAA because I foster connections with fellow student anthropologists through the National Association of Student Anthropologists section of the AAA. Through NASA, I have chaired, presented on, and organized panels for AAA annual meetings and I have written for and served on the editorial board for NASA’s journal, Student Anthropologist. By bringing anthropological perspectives to my daily interactions and by connecting with other student anthropologists I help spread knowledge about anthropology and develop greater understanding and empathy for others.”

Catherine Whittaker, NASA

Catherine Whittaker
PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh
AAA Member Since 2015 | NASA Member Since 2016

“My deep concern over global inequalities has led me to pursuing a PhD in social anthropology. Convinced that local knowledge is crucial to creating effective policies of affirmative action, I have studied gender violence and the politics of indigeneity in the rural south of Mexico City by interviewing women's groups, medical professionals, politicians, teachers, and police. Anthropology is uniquely equipped to mapout larger connections, and facilitate communication between different sides and actors in the fields of human rights, gender rights, and environmental justice, while also questioning the very meaning and divisibility of these domains. I AM AAA.”

Veronica Sirotic, NASA

Veronica Sirotic
Undergraduate Student, University of Virginia
AAA Member Since 2016 | NASA Member Since 2016

“I am a college student and a budding anthropologist. I am drawn to the idea of seeing the world with different perspectives and solving problems through cross-cultural collaboration. College is a place where many different cultures and backgrounds converge and I have found that the skill set I have acquired from anthropology does not end in the classroom. I work with many different social justice organizations to advocate for survivors of rape and sexual assault. I am particularly interested in the execution of anthropology through different media and the ethics of representation. In the future, I hope to do field research and conduct ethnography surrounding rape culture and party culture at UVA. I am AAA.”


Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC)

Amanda Wolcott Paskey, SACC

Amanda Wolcott Paskey
Professor, Cosumnes River College
AAA Member Since 2001 | SACC Member Since 2001

I am AAA. Every day I expose lower division, general education students in my classes to the field of anthropology. As a community college professor, I need to be holistic, as I have to teach across all the sub-disciplines and subfields of anthropology. I am also a teacher-practitioner.”


Society for the Anthropology Of Work (SAW)

Carrie Lane, SAW

Carrie Lane, PhD
Professor, California State University, Fullerton
AAA Member Since 2000 | SAW Member Since 2000

My work is fueled by the conversations, collaborations, and camaraderie I have shared with other anthropologists. I am AAA.”


Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA)

Sonja Luehrmann, SCA 

Sonja Luehrmann*
Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University
AAA Member Since 2002 | SCA Member Since 2002

I am AAA because anthropologists are academics who pay equal attention to the most arcane philosophers and the most down-to-earth ‘people from the street’. We need both kinds of voices to unsettle the myths we all like to believe about our societies and organizations.”


Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA)

Cynthia Werner, SEA

Cynthia Werner, PhD
Texas A&M University
AAA Member Since 2004 | SEA Member Since 2013

I am AAA. I have always enjoyed learning about the diversity of human experiences by reading books and traveling to new places. The idea of doing fieldwork attracted me to a career in anthropology. I am especially interested in learning how people in Central Asia think about decisions that have economic implications. Anthropology provides me with a perspective for understanding how experiences in the post-Soviet present connect to the Soviet past (and re-imaginings of the past). “

Laura Tilghman. SEA

Laura Tilghman
Assistant Professor, Plymouth State University
AAA Member Since 2008 | SEA Member Since 2013

“I am a cultural anthropologist with interests in human migration, economic livelihoods, health, and food security, and have explored these issues in Madagascar and the United States. Most of the students in my classes are not future anthropologists. Yet I strongly believe that the ideas and values of anthropology are useful and valuable to all students no matter their major or career. I am helping to form culturally-sensitive citizens with an appreciation for holism and diversity. I am AAA.”

Dawn Rivers, SEA

Dawn Rivers
PhD Candidate, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
AAA Member Since 2017 | SEA Member Since 2017

I am AAA. Economic anthropologists are not as easy to come by as one might have supposed. I study individuals in advanced economies who are not employers or employees but who operate non-employer businesses. I am happy to have found a place to share what I learn about the place these people carve out for themselves in late capitalist economies.”

Susana Narotzky, SEA

Susana Narotzky
Professor, Universitat de Barcelona
AAA Member Since 1985 | SEA Member Since 2016

“To someone based in Europe, AAA offers the opportunity to engage in conversations with many international colleagues working on themes that intersect with my interests and in different world regions that enhance the comparative aspect of debates around particular issues. I am AAA.”

Rahul Oka, SEA

Rahul C. Oka, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
AAA Member Since 2005 | SEA Member Since 2013

“As an economic anthropologist, I use archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data from port cities and merchants across the Indian Ocean to study the evolution of trade, commerce, and finance in human societies. This integrative approach has also enabled me to investigate the complex social economies of refugee camps and conflict zones in Northwestern Kenya. Now I have been engaged with UNHCR, the World Bank, and the local governments to encourage them to move away from the refugee encampment paradigm toward self-sustaining settlements for refugees and hosts together. The AAA supports building historically and culturally sensitive, and scientifically valid and actionable knowledge for understanding the past, present, and the future. I am AAA.”

Caitlin Zaloom, SEA

Caitlin Zaloom, PhD
Associate Professor, New York University
AAA Member Since 1996 | SEA Member Since 2013

 “I am AAA. I study the financial economy. In advanced market economies, finance is the hidden infrastructure of both seemingly impersonal domains, like the complex global economy, as well as our most intimate territories, like family life. My research examines how systems of credit, debt, and money management shape the problems we face, the way we think, how we treat each other and understand ourselves.”


Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN)

Kerri Lesh. SAFN

Kerri Lesh
University of Nevada, Reno
AAA Member Since 2015 | SAFN Member Since 2015

“After a few study abroad trips as an undergraduate to learn about cultures and various languages, I became an elementary Spanish teacher. I longed for the days of learning about new places and peoples in another language and gaining additional knowledge with the goal of creating understanding for myself and others. With the help of a great advisor, I was able to combine my love of languages {and} gastronomy. The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition has been my "home base" at annual meetings. AAA and SAFN have given me a smaller group of people with whom I can share my interests, concerns, and love of anthropology. I am AAA.”


Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology (SLACA)

Ronda Brulotte. SLACA

Ronda Brulotte
Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
AAA Member Since 1999 | SLACA Member Since 1999

I am AAA because I am a cultural anthropologist specializing in craft economies in Mexico and I currently serve as the President of the Society of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology. My section has allowed me to stay connected with an amazing group of anthropology colleagues who work throughout the region. Even through my home department is now Geography, AAA and SLACA keeps me grounded in the field I love most.”

Sarah R. Taylor. SLACA

Sarah R. Taylor
Assistant Professor, California State University, Dominguez Hills
AAA Member Since 2008 | SLACA Member Since 2012

“I use ethnographic methods to understand the cultural logic that drives resource management in Yucatan, Mexico. As a member of SLACA, I learn from colleagues working throughout Latin America how culture and ecology supersede borders. Our research yields insights about the relationship between humans and their environment and informs my teaching. Helping my students understand how the holistic perspective can positively influence their interactions with the world around them and is why I am AAA.”

Jordan Lynton. SLACA

Jordan Lynton
PhD Candidate, Indiana University, Bloomington
AAA Member Since 2014 | SLACA Member Since 2018

“As an alter(ed)native anthropologist, I am dedicated to sharing the complex transnational stories of Chinese communities in Jamaica. I explore how anthropologists can optimize digital humanities methodology to attend to complicated ethnographic topics, such as migration and diaspora. I am AAA due to communities like SLACA that provide support for young researchers like me, as we wade through difficult methodological and theoretical issues within Caribbean and Latin American contexts.”

Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, SLACA

Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, PhD
Professor,  Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
AAA Member Since 1992 | SLACA Member Since 1992

I am AAA. My work has focused on the culinary and gastronomic traditions of the Yucatán, paying special attention to the simultaneity of change and preservation of cooking and eating habits, and of regionalist and cosmopolitan dispositions. Being a member of the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology has led me to take into account wider and fluid processes whereby concepts such as “translocality” and the “politics of identity,” as well as postcolonial theory have proven useful tools of ethnographic analysis. I have always found that the AAA fosters intellectual development and provides bridges between academics from different cultures and societies.”

Matthew Lebrato, SLACA

Matthew J. Lebrato
PhD Candidate, Indiana University, Bloomington
AAA Member Since 2013 | SLACA Member Since 2013

"AAA is building new connections, reaching new audiences and publics, and exploring new ways of knowing. SLACA is at the forefront of this work, examining and transgressing boundaries and borders in Latin America and the Caribbean. All these elements guide my research, scholarship, and teaching, and that is why I am AAA."

Lisa Breglia, SLACA

Lisa Breglia, PhD
Associate Professor and Director, George Mason University
AAA Member Since 1997 | SLACA Member Since 1997

I am AAA because I am committed now more than ever to promoting a nuanced, empirically-based, humanistic and ethical understanding of Latin America in a global context. Whether interacting with my students or with the public at large, I am gratified to be part of a dynamic community of scholars, practitioners, and activists whose work, alongside my own two decades of ethnographic research in Mexico, can provide a powerful counter narrative to the dangerous and destructive myths circulating in the popular media about Latin America, Latinos in the US, and border regions.


Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA)

Chu Paing. SLA

Chu Paing
PhD Student
University of Colorado Boulder

“When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to answer "a scientist" and later "an anthropologist". I had no idea what anthropologists study then, but I knew I enjoyed watching people engaged in their daily activities from the window of my childhood home's second floor. There was no climax, no plot, or no ending, but there was always something meaningful there in those facial expressions, those choices of fabric, and those changing tones of voice. Now, I am more than happy to be pursuing a career in a field where my childhood affinity is put to use in a professional setting. My childhood home has been long demolished, but I am still here watching people at bustling tea shops in Taunggyi, peaceful pagoda compounds in Mandalay, and crowded buses of Yangon nowadays.”


Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA)

Katharina Rynkiewich. SMA

Katharina Rynkiewich
PhD Candidate, Washington University in St. Louis
AAA Member Since 2011 | SMA Member Since 2013

"Anthropology challenges me to appreciate the multitude of ways we engage with microbes and medicines in this world. I am a medical anthropologist examining antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in the United States. The particular methods and theories of medical anthropology are essential to understanding the social, cultural, historical, and political overlays in the prescribing practices of hospital-based physicians. I am AAA."

Utpal Sandesara, SMA 

Utpal Sandesara, PhD
MD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
AAA Member Since 2017 | SMA Member Since 2017

I am AAA because anthropological theory and method open up a unique, vital discourse on health and suffering. As a physician-in-training, I often see how our work can spur much-needed changes in global public health. My current project is an ethnography of sex-selective abortion in India. Combining fieldwork with insights from medical, moral, and political anthropology allows me to social scientists, policymakers, and the general public a new perspective on a hotly debated problem.”

Saira Mehmood, SMA

Saira Mehmood
PhD Candidate, Southern Methodist University
AAA Member Since 2009 | SMA Member Since 2016

I am AAA because anthropology provides a holistic outlook and the tools to dismantle the health disparities I see in the communities where I work.”

Mika Kadono, SMA

Mika Kadono
PhD Candidate | MPH Graduate Student, University of South Florida
AAA Member Since 2016 | SMA Member Since 2016

I am AAA. Through medical anthropology, I am able to weave together my interest in infectious diseases with the cultural, political, and economic facets of health and illness. I am able to work across disciplines to gain a better understanding of peoples’ lived experiences, toward finding effective ways to address health disparities.”

Emily Mendenhall, SMA Emily Mendenhall, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
AAA Member Since 2012 | SMA Member Since 2013

"Working as a medical anthropologist enables me to bring a critical eye to some of the most challenging global health problems. Some told me that having children before tenure would put my career, which involves deep personal commitments to social justice, on hold.  But finding balance in your life -- in whatever form that looks like to you -- cannot be put on hold. I am an academic mama, and proud to bring up budding feminists who can face big challenges for our future. I am AAA."

Dana Ketcher, SMA

Dana Ketcher, MPH, CPH
Research Assistant II, Moffitt Cancer Center
AAA Member Since 2015 | SMA Member Since 2015

"I am AAA because I am passionate about investigating and understanding the intersection of humans and health - from genetic testing for hereditary cancer in the US to the impact of malaria on rural communities in Uganda, and everywhere in between!"

Lauren Penney, SMA

Lauren Penney, PhD
Research Health Scientist, Veterans Health Administration
AAA Member Since 2012 | SMA Member Since 2013

"Every day, anthropology provides me the holistic framework for understanding the social relations and meanings that undergird how we differently experience health and wellness. Anthropology helps me go deep, to talk about the roots of inequalities and to start to implement and sustain better therapeutic practices. I am AAA."

Adrienne Strong, SMA

Adrienne Strong
PhD Candidate, Washington University in St. Louis
AAA Member Since 2009 | SMA Member Since 2009

"Understanding maternal mortality requires working with and understanding history, communities, clinicians, governments, and pregnant women themselves; medical anthropology does just that. I am AAA because I have seen first-hand how medical anthropology can help save pregnant women's lives when clinicians alone cannot."

Anatilde Idoyaga Molina, SMA

Anatilde Idoyaga Molina, PhD
Director, The Argentine Center of American-Ethnology
AAA Member Since 2016 | SMA Member Since 2016

"I am AAA because medical anthropology allows me to understand the variety of meanings therapeutic choices have for members of different socioeconomic sectors, with diverse multiethnic and cultural backgrounds. They shed light not only on the essence of health and illness constructs but also on how we may signify human behavior."

Mercedes Saizar, SMA Mercedes Saizar, PhD
Professor, Universidad Nacional de las Artes
AAA Member Since 2017 | SMA Member Since 2017

"I am AAA because I am passionate about the multiple ways of seeing the world and of inhabiting it. Particularly, I am interested in medical anthropology because it allows me to understand the meanings one gives to personal experiences of suffering."

Seth Holmes, SMA

Seth Holmes, PhD, MD
Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
AAA Member Since 2000 | SMA Member Since 2000

"Medical anthropology offers us the theories and methods to understand and respond to many of the most critical issues of our time. I am passionate to use these tools collaboratively to confront the health and health care problems of immigrants and refugees in the United States and around the world. I am AAA."  

Matthew Dudgeon, SMA

Matthew R. Dudgeon, MD PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Emory University
AAA Member Since 1998 | SMA Member Since 1998

“As an internal medicine physician, I work on the front lines of healthcare at one of the highest acuity hospitals in the country. I apply my training as a medical anthropologist every day, providing culturally sensitive care to our diverse patient population. I teach those same skills to our medical students and residents, both at the bedside and in the classroom. And I continue research in medical anthropology, participating in projects investigating HIV, Hepatitis C, and emerging infections, and bringing an ethnographic perspective to hospital medicine practice. I am AAA.”


Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA)

Erin K. McFee, SPA

Erin K. McFee
PhD Candidate, University of Chicago
AAA Member Since 2010, SPA Member Since 2012

“My research focuses on how experiences with armed conflict shape possibilities for trust in communities of former combatants and their victims living together at the ends of war. I examine the reach and limits of state and NGO interventions intended to foster reconciliation in such communities, and the novel ways in which participants take up and circulate intervention discourses and practices. I am a collaborator on interdisciplinary research teams, as well as a solo ethnographer. I am AAA.”

Tanya Luhrmann, SPA

Tanya Luhrmann, PhD
Watkins University Professor, Stanford University
AAA Member Since 1983 | SPA Member Since 1983

I am AAA. My work focuses on the edge of experience: on voices, visions, the world of the supernatural and the world of psychosis. I set out to understand the phenomenology of unusual sensory experiences, the way they are shaped by ideas about minds and persons, and what we can learn from this social shaping that can help us to help those whose voices give them pain and to understand those whose voices bring them joy.”

Lesley Jo Weaver, SPA

Lesley Jo Weaver, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, The University of Alabama
AAA Member Since 2012 | SPA Member Since 2012

I am AAA. My research on mental health and health disparities is at the heart of AAA’s mission to address human suffering around the globe. My recent work has examined the biocultural processes behind high rates of diabetes and depression among women in India. In addition to ethnography, it offers culturally grounded methodological approaches to supplement efforts in global mental health to measure and treat mental health cross-culturally.”

Rebecca Lester, SPA Rebecca Lester, PhD
Associate Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
AAA Member Since 1992 | SPA Member Since 1992

“Anthropology challenges us to continually reach beyond our own horizons, to appreciate all the complex and intricate ways that human beings embrace and are embraced by the world. I am AAA.”

Neely Myers, SPA

Neely Myers, PhD
Assistant Professor, Southern Methodist University
AAA Member Since 2002 | SPA Member Since 2002

I am AAA I am engaged in long-term ethnographic research on culture, subjectivity and the understanding and treatment of psychosis in local moral worlds. My work uses medical and psychological anthropological theory and methods to investigate how social and historical contexts shape self-care, care giving, and systems of care for people with serious mental illness in the US and Tanzania.”

Richard Zimmer, SPA

Richard Zimmer, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University
AAA Member Since 1993 | SPA Member Since 1993

I am AAA. I am both an anthropologist and psychologist.  In my scholarly work I have addressed how one has to factor in cultural factors of all sorts in addressing clinical issues of seniors, special needs populations, children, and people significantly different from one's self. This is true as a researcher and as a clinician and it is the mission SPA continues to address.”

Ipsita Dey, SPA

Ipsita Dey
Undergraduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles
AAA Member Since 2017 | SPA Member Since 2017

"As an undergraduate anthropology student conducting ethnographic research for a grant-funded thesis, I study post-traumatic recovery in domestic violence survivors. In the near future, I hope to conduct a similar project for graduate studies in psychological anthropology. I am most excited to engage the unique and valuable perspectives of anthropology in future innovation, intervention, and application. I am AAA."


Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA)

Alize Arican. SUNTA

Alize Arican
PhD Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago

I am AAA because urban anthropology gave me a vocabulary to articulate issues I was uncomfortable with in Istanbul, the city I grew up in. My interest in urban transformation, temporality, care, and urban future-making is grounded in engaged practice, which I believe is an important interstice of anthropology and activism. So urban anthropology, as I understand it, is one (of the many) venues in which we can act upon and shape cities, in addition to understanding and theorizing them.”

Susan Hill, SUNTA

Susan Hill
PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
AAA Member Since 2013 | SUNTA Member Since 2014

I am AAA because I bring an ethnographic lens to underemployment in the American city." 

Camille Frazier, SUNTA

Camille Frazier
PhD Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles
AAA Member Since 2011 | SUNTA Member Since 2017

"I am AAA because I believe that anthropology transforms how we approach and understand our world. Ethnographic insights into globally pressing issues such as urbanization and climate change have never been more critical than in the present moment. It is my goal to contribute such insights, both through my own ethnographic research examining shifting food supply systems in Bangalore, India, and through my work as an educator."


Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA)

Harjant Gill, Society for Visual Anthropology

Harjant S. Gill
Assistant Professor, Townson University
AAA Member Since 2004 | SVA Member Since 2004

“As a South Asian anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker, I am driven by the compulsion to chronicle and preserve a snapshot of the lives of people in places I study - often in remote corners of India, the nation of my birth. These places are undergoing rapid transformation while people struggle to keep up with the dizzying pace of social and cultural change. It is an intensely intimate act, knowing that the representations I create today through the lens of my camera will exist far into the future as perhaps the only tangible memories of communities where I conduct my research and of worlds to which I too belong. The job of collective memory making, which is to a large degree what the business of visual ethnography is about, brings with it a great deal of responsibility. I am AAA.”

Rachel Ward, Society for Visual Anthropology

Rachel M. Ward
PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University
AAA Member Since 2015 | SVA Member Since 2015

I am AAA, an artist, and a researcher. As a PhD student, I’m exploring new mediums in the creation of an aesthetic, experimental, and interactive anthropology. I'm writing my doctoral thesis on how to use new digital technologies for ethnography while filming a virtual reality (VR) documentary. I believe that VR represents a groundbreaking way for anthropologists to share their fieldwork experiences with the public, as an applied teaching tool in the classroom, and as an artistic form of research-creation in the field of anthropology.”


American Anthropological Association (Staff)

Ed Liebow, American Anthropological Association

Edward Liebow
Executive Director, American Anthropological Association
AAA Member Since 1977

“I am AAA. My career has focused on research in the public interest, and, more recently, serving the profession. This work has been dedicated to the search for upstream solutions in the policy realm, where small, manageable changes at key intervention points can have significant impacts in the quest for a more just and sustainable future. I now have the privilege of leading the AAA staff, where every day we have the opportunity to fully exercise the Association’s convening power and the power of voice to advance human understanding and apply that understanding to tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

Daniel Ginsberg, American Anthropological Association

Daniel Ginsburg, PhD
Professional Fellow, American Anthropological Association
AAA Member Since 2014 | SLA Member Since 2015

“Before I joined the AAA staff, I was a linguistic anthropologist of education doing research on communication in the mathematics classroom. I learned to treat teachers and students as authorities on their own lived experience, and to listen carefully to the way they talk and tell their stories. I’m working now to incorporate that philosophy into my research in the community of anthropologists. It’s interesting to see how students rank their career options on a survey, but it’s even more enlightening when you can also hear them explain how they have come to want what they want. While other scholarly societies often employ sociologists or education statisticians to do this sort of work, I believe that we need “thick data” to contextualize “big data” and help us reach real understanding. I am AAA."