SEA Statement of Solidarity: Juneteenth

The Executive Board of the Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) and the Economic Anthropology Editorial Office and Board stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We condemn racism and racialized state violence —as well as the use of force against people protesting oppression in their communities. We demand justice for the families of Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many other lives taken by a long and deep history of anti-Black racism and violence.

Economic anthropologists must do more to illuminate the mechanisms that enable structural inequalities—to question oppressive economic logics, to press against the devaluation of Black labor, and to condemn the racist designs that deny justice and limit access to education, healthcare, employment, fair wages and housing. We also recognize that structural racism has limited representation in higher education, to faculty positions, to publication opportunities, and to inclusion in anthropological instruction. We acknowledge that the most important voices for building emancipatory research and action are too rarely heard outside the confines of critical race theory. To our colleagues posting to #BlackInTheIvory and to the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA)— we hear you.

Today, on Juneteenth, the SEA resolves to move beyond introspection to begin the process of actively dismantling the structures put in place by colonialism and white supremacy. We commit to centering diverse voices and forms of knowledge to clear a way for the imagination of just economic systems that affirm human dignity and enable ALL humans to thrive.

We understand that this is just the beginning and are committed to a long-term process. Today, in honor of Juneteenth, the SEA commits to:

  • SEA Inclusive Syllabus Project: this collaborative project aims to broaden economic anthropology knowledge and instruction—ensuring stronger inclusion of research from BIPOC and other underrepresented perspectives (e.g. Queer, Feminist, Arab, LatinX…) in economic anthropology classrooms.
  • Recruitment and Inclusive Representation: We commit to actively supporting members of historically underrepresented groups interested in joining SEA for annual meetings, leadership positions, and for all award competitions.
  • Active Anti-Racist Programming: The SEA resolves to examine the format and content of our annual conference programming to support underrepresented voices and to engage with themes centered on how economic anthropology can contribute to the creation of just and fair economic systems that enable all humans to thrive.
  • Proactive Publication: The Editor and Editorial Board of Economic Anthropology commits to proactively inviting special issue proposals, papers and symposia contributions focused on the construction of just and anti-racist economic forms.
  • Building Bridges: The SEA encourages all members to seek out partnership by joining other relevant AAA sections [e.g., Association for Feminist Anthropology (AFA); Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA); Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA); Association of Indigenous Anthropologists (AIA)]

SEA News: Conference and Emergency Fund

Dear SEA Members and Friends
I hope this message finds you all healthy and well in this extraordinarily strange time! Despite the need for social distancing, and the regrettable cancellation of the spring meeting, the SEA board and 2020 program chairs have been hard at work planning for the future. I have a few updates for the membership:

2020 VIRTUAL MEETING “Economies of Convenience”
– Our 2020 Spring Meeting Program Chair, Rahul Oka, has been working hard to set up a virtual meeting which will take place April 30 (10:30 – 5:00 EDT) and May 1 (10:30 – 5:00 EDT). The lineup of speakers looks absolutely wonderful! Please mark your calendars and join us for as much of the conference as you can, from the comfort of your home, with a simple click of an email link! All SEA members are welcome and encouraged to attend and, as always, to provide useful feedback to our presenters. All participants must register, but it is FREE! The program and more information about how to register will arrive in your in-boxes early next week.

The AAA Executive Committee has authorized a very generous budget for an emergency grant program. Sections (including the SEA) are also contributing to match these funds. While the details are still emerging, it sounds like all AAA members who do not get full-time university benefits, are no longer supported by university funds or who derive at least 50% of their income from self-employment (consulting, etc) are eligible to apply. More information will be forthcoming from AAA but I wanted those in need to be aware that the deadline is currently planned for MAY 15. Please keep an eye out from the AAA.

At the moment the 2020 AAA meeting is still on and deadlines for panels, roundtables, posters and individually volunteered papers have all been extended. We invite you all to submit your papers to SEA for consideration. Our 2020 Program Chair AJ Faas looks forward to your submissions.

I’m sure many of you have seen the excellent article in the most recent issue of Anthropology News. SEA got the “headline” with Ieva Snikersproge’s excellent article Capitalism and the Coronavirus Conspiracy. Please check it out. Big thanks to Walt Little for doing such a stellar job as our AN editor. Please note that Walt plans to turn over the reigns in November and we are still looking for a replacement. If you are interested, please let me know.

I think that’s it for now. The SEA board wishes you all safety, good health, and comfort in these strange times!

My best –
Cindy Isenhour, SEA President