SUNTA Annual Report
Submitted by Nancy Foner, President

The Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology had another successful year. Our membership continues to grow, up to 620 in September 2001. Our journal, City and Society, is flourishing; our Leeds Prize continues to be an important book award; we continue to attract excellent new Board members; we have continued to improve our Website; and we organized a series of exciting sessions for the AAA meetings. SUNTA’s finances are in excellent shape and, despite increased outlays for the printing and distribution of City and Society, we continue to have enough on reserve to respond to special projects and needs.

Under editor Jack Kugelmass, City and Society has completed its third year as a semi-annual journal, publishing approximately 300 pages per year, all of them peer-reviewed individual submissions and panels. The journal’s strengths are in its new design and look, the quality of many of the pieces that are published, and the broad range of subjects that are included. This past year, City and Society included essays on New York City, the Great Lakes region, Detroit, Stockholm, Moscow, Tangier, Algiers, Amman, Calcutta, Ismir, Qatar and Tel Aviv. Methodologies ranged from historical ethnography to participant observation. This past year, the journal received 49 submissions. Twenty- two were accepted, yielding a rejection rate of approximately 60 percent, which is quite respectable and, in the editor’s view, as high a rate as can be sustained for now. The journal has a growing number of individual/institutional subscribers -- up to 46 (from 25 a year ago).

After six years as editor, Jack Kugelmass announced plans to step down as of December 2001. Happily, we have found a new replacement -- Emily Schultz -- who has been serving as associate editor of the journal. Details of the transition process are already being worked out, and there is every sign that City and Society will continue to build on the solid foundation created by Jack Kugelmass. There are plans to more actively solicit institutional subscribers by a direct mail appeal to college/university libraries; and arrangements have been made to ensure that the journal appears in various social science indexes.

The Leeds Award in Urban Anthropology was presented at the 2001 AAA meetings to Karen Tranberg Hansen of Northwestern University for her book, Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia (University of Chicago Press) and to Setha Low of the Graduate Center - City University of New York for On the Plaza: The Politics of Public Space and Culture (University of Texas Press). The chair of the 2001 Leeds Award Committee was Ted Bestor; other members of the Committee (both former awardees) were Roger Sanjek and Mary Beth Mills. At the Business meeting, Setha Low and Karen Hansen were each presented with a plaque and a check for $250. The Board has voted to add a student prize, which will be presented at the 2002 meetings; the winning paper will receive a cash award of $250.

In terms of the composition of the Board, three members retired from the board as of the 2001 AAA meetings: Farha Ghannam (councillor); Melanie Bush (student councillor); and Susan Greenbaum (secretary). The new elected officers, who assumed their positions at the 2001 AAA meetings, are Irene Glasser, secretary, Petra Kuppinger, councillor (who will serve on the program committee), and Terese Lawinski (student councillor). On a related Board matter, there are plans to reorganize and re-energize the long-standing long-standing Task Force on Poverty and Homelessness, with several Board members taking a leading role.

SUNTA sponsored or co-sponsored four invited sessions at the 2001 AAA meetings. The Dialogues with the Disciplines session, organized by Roger Sanjek, was entitled, “The Work of Ehnomusicologist Charles Keil.” Chaired by Simon Ottenberg, the session not only included a talk by Charles Keil but also commentaries by anthropologists Steven Feld, Kyra Gaunt, Roger Sanjek, Christopher Waterman, and Brett Williams. SUNTA sponsored the session, “Images of the Immigrant: A Global Perspective” (organized by Leo Chavez), and cosponsored, “Globalization From Below: A Dialogue with Jeremy Brecher,” with the Association for Feminist Anthropology and “Globalism in Africa: Constructing a View from the Perspective of Metropolises,” with the Association for Africanist Anthropology.” In addition to selecting the invited sessions, the program committee, made up of Roger Sanjek (chair), Melanie Bush (student councillor), and Farha Ghannam (councillor), reviewed and ranked many volunteered organized sessions and graded over two dozen individually volunteered papers.

Finally, Lem Purcell continues to oversee and improve our Web-Site, which has grown to 25 pages and includes sections on general SUNTA information, officers and by-laws, member information and services, SUNTA publications, and how to join SUNTA. The site is updated about once a month, mainly with news items from the URBANTH-L listserv and items directly submitted by SUNTA members. On average, the site receives about 400 visitors a month. Plans for future site development include: securing our own domain name; including contents and abstracts from current and recent issues of City and Society; publishing course syllabi relevant to SUNTA-related topics; and continued promotion of the site. The listserv, moderated by Rae Bridgman, is also alive and well, with just over 350 subscribed members.

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