Society for the Anthropology of Work




Incoming SAW Column Editor


SAW was the first AAA section I joined as a graduate student and I am honored to fill Anru Lee’s shoes, as she moves on to accept the position of SAW Secretary.  Beyond reporting on recent section news, I’d like to offer the column’s space particularly as a venue for the presentation of new research, and would encourage the submission of column ideas that creatively link anthropological research on work to important current global and local affairs.  If you have comments, contribution ideas or announcements please send them to me at


SAW at the Meetings in Washington D.C.


By Anru Lee (John Jay College)


Much has happened since the alternative meeting in San Francisco last year, in which the SAW was an active organizer and participant (see AN SAW columns, January, February, and May 2005).  After the Canterbury Convocation was signed SAW members cooperated with the AAA and the UNITE-HERE union that represented the hotel workers involved in the San Francisco lockout.  Robert O’Brien, a member of the SAW Executive Board, subsequently joined the AAA’s Labor Relations Commission.  O’Brien reported at our Business Meeting that the Labor Relations Commission had effectively compared the AAA’s conference hotel contract with that of other organizations, had negotiated with the hotels to reach the same understanding, and had successfully broken its contract with the Hilton in San Francisco (where the 2006 AAA annual meeting was due to return, and where the hotel lockout has continued until this day) and moved the 2006 meeting to San Jose.


There have also been major changes in the composition of the SAW Executive Board since last December.  Notably, Ann Kingsolver took over the Anthropology of Work Review editorship in late 2004 (see AN SAW column, April 2005).  Joined by the new book/film review editor, Carrie Lane Chet, Kingsolver has made several changes including publishing AWR three times a year (instead of four), which will allow more pages per issue.  By the time this column is published the SAW membership should have received the Vol. 26 No. 2 issue.  The AWR is also due to join AnthroSource in 2008.  Currently, past issues are available through the online archive but recent issues are not.


AnthroSource may be the reason for many of the changes and challenges that SAW and other AAA sections are facing.  Sam Collins, SAW’s Interim Treasurer, reported that much of the section’s recent revenue has gone toward covering the shared costs of the new web portal.  AnthroSource is potentially capable of bringing an income to the AAA, primarily through library subscriptions.  Currently, however, all sections must initially pay for the advertisement, the scanning of past journal issues, and the fixed cost of AnthroSource and journal production.  By next year we should know more about the impact of AnthroSource to our section and the AAA at large.


The AAA 2006 Meetings


By Belinda Leach (U Guelph) and Sharryn Kasmir (Hofstra)


Anthropological studies of work have long occupied a central place in the discipline, shaping and refining many of its theoretical and conceptual problems. Simultaneously, the work worlds of anthropologists--in the academy, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations--also require our critical attention. The 2006 SAW program will therefore address the anthropology of work and the work of anthropology.  We invite papers that consider the ways in which work is central to key fields of anthropological inquiry, including ecology, globalization, technological frontiers, representation, political mobilization, gender, race and class, as well as papers that offer analyses of our own workplaces, organizations, and ethics.


Proposals to be considered as Invited Sessions at the 2006 AAA Annual Meeting in San Jose should be sent by March 10 to Belinda Leach at Submissions should include a session abstract, names and affiliations of participants and all paper titles and abstracts.


The SAW Mentor Program


By Sarah Lyon (U Kentucky)


In an effort to encourage communication among professors, applied anthropologists and students with an interest in the study of work, SAW has created a web-based mentor program.  The program offers opportunities for senior scholars to provide leadership, academic advice, job opportunities and inspiration to undergraduate and graduate students and others studying or applying anthropology to the study of the work. Please help us expand this valuable program by visiting our web page at to find a mentor or to volunteer.


Please send contributions to this column to Angela Jancius,