2004 Annual SCA President's Report

1. Accomplishments During 2004:

For the year 2004 (from the end of the 2003 AAA meeting through the end of the 2004 AAA meeting), the officers of the SCA were as follows:

President: Pauline Turner Strong

Secretary:  Bonnie Urciuoli

Treasurer:  Robert Foster

Journal Editor: Ann Anagnost

Board Members:Ana Alonso, Judith Farquhar, Michael Fischer, Bruce Grant, Lisa Rofel, Pauline Turner Strong

Representative to Section Assembly: Daniel Segal (Past SCA Board Member and Past President) (dan_segal@pitzer.edu)

* The membership & subscription reports provided by AAA show that SCA and its journal, Cultural Anthropology, remain healthy.  There were 1,677 members in September 2004, the largest membership base in 10 years.  Nearly 40% of these are student members, consistent with the highest percentages over the past 10 years.  Subscription income from CA has dramatically increased, from $19,151 in 2000 to $37,006 in 2003 (the latest year for which figures are available). 

* In the recent past, the SCA has been able to balance its budget and, in many years, slowly grow its fund balance.  This fortunate financial situation continued in 2004, despite the expenses associated with the 2004 Biennial Conference.  Net assets on 9/30/04 were $123,793.66.

* During 2004, editor Ann Anagnost continued the timely and on-budget publication of Cultural Anthropology, which continues to be among the AAA’s most highly cited journals.  With the launch of AnthroSource in November 2004, CA became available on-line to all AAA members.  The Board will closely monitor the effect this has on memberships.

* SCA’s scheduled 2004 Culture-at-Large Session was postponed to the 2005 AAA meeting due to the rescheduling and relocation of the 2004 Annual Meeting.  The 2005 featured speaker will be Susan Buck-Morss.  The attrition rate for SCA Invited and Sponsored Sessions was high.  Program chair Ana Alonso reported that only 2 SCA-sponsored sessions remained scheduled for Atlanta .  The remaining sessions will be given priority consideration for the 2005 AAA Annual Meeting.

* The third annual Cultural Horizons Prize was awarded to William Mazzarella (Chicago) for his article, “Very Bombay: Contending with the Global in an Indian Advertising Agency,” which was published inCA in January 2003 (Volume 18, no. 1, pp. 33-71). The award will be presented at the Business Meeting/Reception at the 2005 AAA Annual Meeting due to the cancellation of the 2004 Business Meeting/Reception.

SCA held a very successful biennial Conference in Portland , Oregon, April 30-May 1, 2004.  Organized by Bruce Grant and Lisa Rofel, the conference explored the theme of Sovereignty.  The David Schneider Memorial Lecture was given by Mahmoud Mamdani, and the plenary speakers included Ana Alonso, Veena Das, James Ferguson, Bill Maurer, Elizabeth Povinelli, and Kath Weston. Twentyvolunteered sessions and workshops were also scheduled, making this perhaps the largest SCA biennial Conferences ever held.

* The SCA held its annual spring Board Meeting on April 29, 2004 in Portland , Oregon in conjunction with the biennial Conference.  The fall Board meeting was cancelled due to the re-scheduling and relocation of the AAA Annual Meeting, although all three officers, one Board member, and the Section Assembly representative attended officers’ meetings at the AAA Annual Meeting in Atlanta .  An on-line SCA Business was held December 1-10, and the Board will consider whether to continue this practice in the future.  SCA sponsored anOpen Forum on labor relations at the AAA meetings in Atlantaincluding AAA President Elizabeth Brumfiel, UNITE HERE representative Neal Kwatra; and three other speakers.  The forum attracted a distinguished and appreciative audience, and inspired a lively discussion.

* In the last three months of the year the Board focused its attention on the re-scheduling of the AAA Annual Meeting due to a lock-out of unionized workers at the San Francisco Hilton.  Board initiatives in this regard include the following:  a recommendation to the AAA Executive Board that the AAA Annual Meeting be moved to San Jose; an pledge of $2,000 to the AAA Travel Relief Fund on the condition that the fund be expanded to provide relief to students and low-income scholars unable or unwilling to attend the re-scheduled meeting in Atlanta; an offer of preferential treatment for those SCA invited panels and volunteered sessions, papers, and posters that chose to defer their participation in the AAA Annual Meeting until 2005; an on-line Business Meeting; and an Open Forum on labor issues and meeting structure scheduled for the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta.  On behalf of the SCA Board, Pauline Strong introduced a resolution for consideration at the 2004 AAA Section Assembly and Business Meetings calling for a joint AAA Executive Board/Section Assembly committee to recommend a reformulation of the relationship between the AAA Executive Board and the Sections, and ways of facilitating better communication among AAA, its Sections, and its members.  The SCA Board is pleased that the Section Assembly and Business Meethng passed this resolution (the Business Meeting as an informal recommendation due to lack of a quorum), and that the Executive Board and President moved quickly to act on the resolution.

* Board member Bruce Grant served as the SCA webmaster.  The web site was used effectively for registration for the spring meeting and for communicating with members about the actions SCA took with respect to the lock-out of unionized workers in San Francisco .  The Board regrets the departure of Lorie Van Olst, and hope that she is soon replaced so that AAA’s web site will continue to be well maintained.

* Members of the SCA and AES Boards met in Atlanta to discuss coordinating some Section activities.

2. Future Plans:

* Marisol de la Cadena assumed the position of Board member at the end of the 2004 AAA meeting, replacing Pauline Turner Strong.

* At its meeting in April the Board selected two candidates to run for the seats on the board that will be open in November 2005.  Bonnie Urciuoli agreed to serve as Secretary for one additional year; Robert Foster agreed to an extension of two years on his term as Treasurer. This arrangement will ensure that these important positions overlap rather than end simultaneously.

* Discussion of changes in the by-laws to allow for extending officers’ terms was deferred to the Spring 2005 Board meeting due to the cancellation of the Fall 2004 Board meeting.

* Discussion of endowing the David Schneider Memorial Lecture and the Cultural Horizons Prize was deferred to the Spring 2005 Board meeting due to the cancellation of the Fall 2004 Board meeting.

* Judith Farquhar and Robert Foster will organize the 2006 Biennial Conference.

* The SCA Board will continue to focus a great deal of attention on AAA’s plans for AnthroSource, seeking to ensure the financial stability of SCA and its journal.

* Working through the Section Assembly, the SCA Board will strive to take an active role in reformulating the governance structure of the AAA in order to fashion a sustainable financial and organizational relationship between the Sections and the AAA.

* The SCA Board will seek to support the AAA Executive Board and the Labor Relations Commission in implementing the Executive Board’s resolution to restrict AAA and Section conferences to unionized sites.

3. Other Items:

* The SCA Board recommends that the AAA Executive Board and Long-Range Planning Committees conduct a continuing assessment of the effect of AnthroSource on the financial and intellectual health of AAA Sections.  The Board believes it is crucial that a fair revenue-sharing formula be put into place in the near future, one that includes one or more value components (e.g., citation rates, downloads, or “hits”).

* The SCA Board recommends that the AAA Executive Board and Long-Range Planning Committees develop a mechanism through which the American Anthropologist will operate under the same financial constraints as other AAA scholarly journals.