Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diary for 17th September to 23rd September 2009

Lucy Special: The Royal Anthropological Institute's Annual General Meeting 2009

What is it?
The RAI's AGM meeting is an annual conference in which members and non-members of the RAI are able to meet award-winning anthropologists, find out about RAI activities, socialise with professors, students and fellow enthusiasts, and listen to the Curl lecture.

Who can attend?

The AGM meeting is open to anyone interested in anthropology and is free of charge.

Where is it taking place?

The RAI's AGM meeting will be held at the British Museum's Stevenson Lecture Theatre in the Clore Education Centre. For directions to the museum take a look here.

What time does it start?

The AGM meeting will start at 4:30pm. The agenda is as follows:
1. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 25th September 2008
2. Annual Report of the Council for 2008
3. Appointment of Auditors
4. Election of Officers and Council for the year 2009-2010
5. Announcement of elections of the Huxley Memorial Lecturer and Henry Myers Lecturer for 2010
6. Presentation of the Rivers Memorial Medial for 2009
7.Presentation of the two Lucy Mair Medals fro 2009
8. AOB

At 5:30pm there will be the Curl lecture given by Dr. Joost Fontein entitled: Graves, Ruins & Belonging: Towards an anthropology of proximity

Dr. Joost Fontein has undertaken extensive research in Zimbabwe. His research interests include anthropology of landscape, nationalism and the post colonial state, water and land reform. He currently teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in anthropology and African Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

What is special about the event?

Every year the RAI presents two very important awards to anthropologists who have made a significant contribution within and beyond the discipline. Their life stories and efforts in the field are incredibly interesting and awe-inspiring for anyone interested in how anthropology can make a difference to the social sciences and the world at large.

The first award is called the Rivers Memorial Medal. The Medal is given to an anthropologist for a recent body of work published over a period of five years which makes, as a whole, a significant contribution to social, physical or cultural anthropology or archaeology.

The 2009 Rivers Memorial Medal will be presented to Professor Wendy James. Professor James is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford. She has undertaken extensive research in Africa (mainly in the Sudan and Ethiopia), and has published numerous publications on fieldwork, folklore, cultural history and relations between minorities and majorities in post-colonial states. For more information and a list of recent publications take a look here.

The second award is the Lucy Mair Medal. This medal is intended to honour the application of anthropology to the relief of poverty and distress, and to the active recognition of human dignity.

This year there will be two anthropologists who will receive the 2009 Lucy Mair Medal: Professor Tom Selwyn and Dr. John Palmer.

Dr.Tom Selwyn is a Professor of Anthropology, specialising in tourism at the London Metropolitan University. Until recently he was the director of two European Commission TEMPUS projects helping to promote and support tourism and cultural industries in Bethlehem, Palestine and in Bosnia-Herzegovina- both through a consortia of European universities. Professor Selwyn was also a member of the coordinating group of the MED-VOICES project which brought together a network of academics and activists to explore tourism and heritage across the Mediterranean.

Dr.John Palmer is a social anthropologist resident in the Chaco, northern Argentina, where he assists the indigenous people Wichi, in their continuing campaign to regain their land-rights. His La voluntad Wichí was published in 2006. His work was recently presented by Simon Reeve in his BBC documentary Tropic of Capricorn. Dr. Palmer and Professor Jeremy MacClancy (Oxford Brookes) support the work of the Oxford-based international organisation Chacolinks, which help the Wichi in their struggle.

The descriptions here are just a glimpse into the fascinating lives of these award-winning anthropologists. The AGM meeting is a chance to meet them, as well as other professors, students, RAI staff and other enthusiasts of the discipline.

Hope to see you there!

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