SEA Spring Meeting Contingency Plans in Effect

The Executive Board of the Society for Economic Anthropology has voted to cancel our Spring Conference “Economies of Convenience” at the University of Notre Dame (Apr30-May3). Despite this disappointing news, please click here to read some promising contingency plans.

While the extent and severity of COVID19 in the United States is still uncertain, we feel that the most responsible thing to do is to practice the precautionary principle — in the interest of our community, our families, and society at large. We also understand that many who were registered for the conference are now facing university-wide travel restrictions.

The executive board would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Rahul Oka (chair), Samantha Zepponi, and Reiti Gengo – this year’s program and local organizing committee. The University of Notre Dame has hosted the SEA in the past, with great hospitality and generosity. It is a shame that we won’t get to enjoy their warm welcome this year, but we hope that we’ll find ourselves back in South Bend in the future.

Please note that the AAA will refund all conference registration fees within the next two weeks. We also understand that many airlines are allowing for reservations to be cancelled and rebooked within 12 months without penalty.

In closing, I include a note from Rahul Oka, Program Chair, which encourages us to think further about the theme of convenience, from the perspective of the COVID19 Global Pandemic and SEA’s cancellation.

“While this cancellation is sad and inconvenient for the SEA, the outbreak and its socio-economic and political aftershocks ricocheting across the world brings to light the precarity of an immense, globally-networked economy based on the consumption of services and goods designed to make everyone’s life more efficient, enjoyable, functional, AND “convenient.” If there is any consolation for the fear and loss of life to the virus, we have also seen the dramatic impact of decreased human activity (an inconvenience for some, a tragedy for many) on the environment in the span of just a month. The world will be different after this, in ways that we cannot yet predict. Ironically, this crisis is the time when economists have seemed to recognize that social interaction is the central underlying driver for economies. From the Washington Post, in the words of Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank: “The wheels of the economy can’t continue to turn as fast if the whole country avoids social interaction and tries to live online through the Internet. With less store traffic, merchants may have to actually cut prices instead of raising them.” – Rahul Oka 2020 SEA Program Chair (March 11, 2020)

Stay well everyone.

With my very best regards,
Cindy Isenhour (SEA President 2019-2021)

A Reason to Celebrate — SEA turns 40!

Dear SEA Members and Friends!

I am honored to introduce myself as the new SEA President. Thank you for the opportunity to lead the organization, which will be 40 YEARS OLD IN THE NEW YEAR! We have very good reason to celebrate at our spring meeting!

This year’s conference will be held April 30 – May 2, hosted by Rahul Oka at The University of Notre Dame. The theme is “Convenience” —and we sure hope it will be convenient for you to join us! The submission deadline is Jan. 15th, with notification by Jan 30th. For more information please visit our 2020 Spring Meeting page. Please note that the board prioritizes affordability. We worked hard to keep registration rates low and have approved three travel awards to help defer costs for students and/or un- or under-employed faculty with excellent abstracts.

Please also allow me to take a moment to thank all those of you who have served SEA over the years, helping to create such a strong, vibrant, engaging and friendly community. I’d also like to extend thanks to everyone currently involved in leading the organization, and to warmly invite others to join us.

BIG, BIG THANKS to our current leadership!!!!
Board Members: NORA HAENN (President Elect); BRAM TUCKER (Past President); RICHARD WALLACE (Treasurer); JOHN MILLHAUSER (Secretary); MAIA GREENE; RAJA SWAMY; LAURA TILGHMAN; EMMA MCDONELL, JOANNE BARON, MELISSA BERESFORD & LAURA COCHRANE

The SEA Book Prize Chair and Social Media Coordinator: JOHN MILLHAUSER;
M. Estellie Smith Award Chair: DAN MURPHY;
The Rhoda Halperin Memorial Award Chair: LAURA TILGHMAN;
The Harold K. Schneider Paper Prize Chair: LEILA RODRIGUEZ;
AAA Program Chair: AJ FAAS;
SEA 2020 Spring Meeting Program Chair: RAHUL OKA;
Anthropology News Editor: WALTER LITTLE;
Economic Anthropology Editor & List-serve Moderator: BRANDON LUNDY;
SEA Webmaster: DAWN RIVERS

We have several opportunities for others to get involved!
If you are interested in running for a board position, please do let us know as we have an election coming up. We are also looking for someone interested in serving as the Chair of the Schneider Paper Prize, as Leila is stepping down after several years of service (THANK YOU SO MUCH LEILA!). Walt Little also plans to step down as the Anthropology News Editor in November. He will be a tough act to follow, that is for sure (THANK YOU WALT), but we feel sure one of our members is up to the challenge! If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please send a quick email to cynthia.isenhour@maine.edu.

Please keep an eye out for another wonderful issue of Economic Anthropology, coming in January! This open issue includes an excellent symposium discussion prompted by the question: “What does economic anthropology contribute to the understanding of the economics of peace and conflict?” Our contributors include Laura Nader, Gearoid Millar, Cynthia Mahmood, Mark Moberg, and Erik Bähre! Please be sure to download it, cite it and share it! Also please note that Economic Anthropology is currently soliciting submissions for the January 2021 open issue. The deadline is January 20, 2020.

The SEA leadership wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy new year!

Cindy Isenhour
SEA President 2019 – 2021