It is the end of January and I think it is finally safe to say that 2013 was a successful year for ADTSG. The website has been on a bit of a hiatus over the last few months since the AAA meetings due to final exams and the holidays, but we hope to be able to start updating more often. In this post, I want to recap on a few points from the AAA meetings and solicit some suggestions/help from our membership moving forward in in the new year.
AAA Roundtable: In 2012, ADTSG put out what must have been a record number of panels for the AAA meetings with excellent attendance. This year, we decided to try something different and organized a roundtable on public engagement with some of our very own experts in the field of drug studies: Helena Hansen, Mimi Nichter, Bryan Page, Will Garriott, Daniel Lende. Despite the Wednesday evening time slot, it was well attended and we generated some great questions for our participants both before the session and during the Q&A period. Thanks so much to everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to our participants, our moderator Roland Moore, as well as Shana Harris (and myself) for organizing this event. We are in the process of writing a round table review so look for that in the near future.
Communications: Once again, ADTSG made a strong impression during the SIG chairs meeting with new SMA president, Linda Garro. We continue to be at the forefront of leveraging digital technology, increasing visibility and growing our membership – but there is always room for improvement. In particular, we are interested in increasing our social media presence and determining the best way to facilitate discussions/collaboration among group members. Although this blog has been a great way for us to reach our membership, we are ready to explore new mechanisms to stimulate conversation between conferences. Part of addressing this might include developing a communications subcommittee who can brainstorm and implement such a plan of action. If you have any ideas or would like to spearhead something like this, please email me at email@example.com.
SMA Takes a Stand: As we discussed last year, the SMA is requesting all SIGs to create a public policy statement as part of the SMA Takes a Stand Program. We have tentatively selected the issue of the decriminalization/legalization of Marijuana. Bryan Page has agreed to take lead on this project but we would like to recruit at least 3-4 more members to help draft this statement. If you are interested in being involved in the process, please send me an email and I will put you all in touch.
AAA 2014 events: During the ADTSG business meeting, we began brainstorming ideas for AAA 2014. Some potential events included:
- Organizing a poster session on the Anthropology of Drugs and public engagement (with contributions from graduate and undergraduate students)
- A panel focusing on the role of professionals in the treatment of drug use
- A panel or roundtable looking on how other fields are examining ADT issues and inviting experts already located in the D.C. area
- A panel or posters examining ADT issues from across the four subfields of Anthropology
- Teaming up with some of the other AAA sections/groups like the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Association for Politial and Legal Anthropology to co-sponsor an event
If you are interested in any or all of these proposals, or would like to help organize an event for the 2014 AAA, please contact me ASAP. It would be great to see a number of these come to fruition but we need your help to make it happen!
Graduate Student Paper Prize: Finally, we had a wonderful response to our annual graduate student paper prize this year. Our winner was Nayantara Sheoran for her paper, “Stratified Contraception: Imagined Cosmopolitanism versus Lived Tangibility of Emergency Contraceptive Pills in Contemporary India”. Our honorable mention was Marc Blainey for his paper, “Forbidden Therapy: Santo Daime & the Disputed Status of Entheogens in Western Society”. Thanks to Roland Moore, Shana Harris and Lee Hoffer for their hard work reading and offering feedback on these fantastic papers. We plan to offer this prize again this year so if you are interested in serving as a judge, please contact me for details.
As I close this post, I realize that there is a lot to be proud of – but there is even more we can do to make the most out of the networks and resources provided by this study group. In the coming weeks, I will be sending out some systematic requests to the group for help on these and other projects. Also, if you have any announcements you would like us to post, please send them to the gmail account. Thanks again for your continued engagement with ADTSG – I look forward to hearing from you and exploring new ways to improve your member experience.