When I became president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in November, several people asked me, “What’s your agenda?”
What we do today makes our disciplinary history—nothing more, nothing less.
Like most professional societies, the activities of the American Anthropological Association are built on the pillars of membership, Annual Meetings, and publications. But there are reasons to think the character of each will transform over the coming decades; the perceived value of membership in organizations like AAA continues to change, Annual Meetings face growing challenges in an age of instantaneous digital communication and concerns regarding carbon footprints, and the landscape of scholarly publishing is shifting with dizzying speed. We need to be ready for those changes.
It’s traditional to make resolutions as a new year begins; the practice is widespread over time and continents alike. And many of us will make our own resolutions—to stop smoking, perhaps, or to lose weight, to spend more time with the family, or to be more productive. That’s all well and good, and I wish each of you every success in achieving them—even if I never quite do.