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VIDEO DOI: https://doi.org/10.48448/e1af-5122


AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Care/Work in the Academy: Our Responsibility to Care


engaged anthropology



Can Anthropology become a discipline that cares? In this roundtable, we aim to consider this urgent question after a year of intersecting global emergencies laid bare the stakes and consequences of our failures of care. The care/work experiences of anthropologists during the last year underscore that our discipline and the larger project of higher education are often not only uncaring, but also inflict harm and injury on the very people who comprise it and who seek to find shelter - if not a home, in these institutions. The crises of COVID-19 and of racism exploded and collided, revealing yet again how the practices of anthropology in particular and of the academy more generally are rooted in long histories of racialized, gendered, and classed inequality and oppression, which they--and we--continue to reproduce. In what ways are all of us invested in the very systems that are causing harm to ourselves and each other? This roundtable prompts a reflection on the hard truths of care/work. Too often, the giving and receiving of care are taken for granted as necessary, thus not always supported, reciprocated, rewarded, or rewarding. It is often cloaked. Indeed, the experiences of care can be coercive and violent. In the current rush to “be like before,” it seems especially important for anthropologists to ask: what lessons have we learned from our year of crisis that can become the foundation of a better “after” for care? In this roundtable, the chairs and organizers frame the discussion with findings from their five-year study of the experiences of anthropologists in the academy. Next, presenters will draw from their own research and scholarship in the anthropology of care as well as their diverse experiences of personal and professional care/work, especially during the last year. We pay particular attention to intersectionality, our disciplinary histories, and structures of higher education in the United States. Our discussion will build toward imagining more careful structures and caring futures for selves, households, departments, our discipline, and the academy itself.


Transcript English (automatic)

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