"Psychological anthropology is concerned with subjective and sociocultural worlds and with the interplay between them. Scholars in psychological anthropology examine social and cultural influences on individual psychology and the psychological foundations of social behavior and shared culture."

John M. Ingham, p. 1. Psychological Anthropology Reconsidered. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Call for Proposals for the 2016 AAA Meetings in Minneapolis

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Conferences, News | Comments Off on Call for Proposals for the 2016 AAA Meetings in Minneapolis

The Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) Call for Proposals

2016 Meetings of the American Anthropological Association

The Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) welcomes abstracts for individually volunteered papers, sessions, roundtables, and workshops to be considered for inclusion in the SPA program for the 115th Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.  This year¹s meeting will be held in Minneapolis, MN, November 16th-20th, 2016.  This year’s conference theme is “Evidence, Accident, Discovery.”

Please note that there is now a unified deadline (April 15, 2016) for the submission of ALL abstracts for the AAA meetings.  Sessions seeking invited status will follow the same submission format as all AAA submissions. Invited status will be awarded during the general review period after the April 15 submission deadline. The SPA encourages prospective organizers of invited sessions to consider co-sponsorship with other AAA sections, and to indicate those potential sections as part of their submission.

Additional information about the various kinds of proposals that may be submitted can be found at the AAA Meetings website:

The 2016 SPA Program Committee includes Rebecca Seligman (Northwestern University), Jack Freidman (University of Oklahoma), Eleanor Ochs (UCLA), and Sara Lewis (University of Oregon).

For questions regarding the SPA Program for the annual meetings of the AAA, please contact the SPA Program Chair:

Rebecca Seligman

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Call for Applications to the 2016-17 SPA/Lemelson Fellowship Program

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Call for Applications to the 2016-17 SPA/Lemelson Fellowship Program

The Robert Lemelson Foundation has graciously renewed funding for the SPA/Lemelson Student Fellowship Program for 2016. Consequently, applications are now being accepted for 2016-2017 fellows. Details on the program and application can be found on the SPA/Lemelson Fellowship webpage The deadline for applications is February 28th, 2016. Please let your students and colleagues know about the opportunity!

The Robert Lemelson Foundation and the SPA Board are currently discussing the SPA/Lemelson Conference Fund to try and determine a format that would be mutually beneficial to the two organizations and support the goal of advancing the field. We will not be accepting any applications for conferences and workshops in 2016.

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Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Prizes!

The winners of the SPA’s annual paper prizes were announced at the AAA meetings in Denver, CO. The Stirling Prize for Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology went to Kristin Yarris’ Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry article “‘Pensado mucho’ (‘Thinking too much’): Embodied distress among grandmothers in Nicaraguan transnational families.” Suma Ikeuchi received the Condon Prize for Best Student Essay in Psychological Anthropology for “A case for the fantasy of an audience: Debating Christian selfhood in multicultural Japan.” Look for it in an upcoming issue of Ethos! Finally, P. Steven Sangren was awarded the Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Anthropology for his article “The Chinese family as instituted fantasy: Or, rescuing kinship imaginaries from the ‘symbolic’” in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Congratulations to Kristin, Suma, and Steven!

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Introducing the SPA’s Vimeo channel

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Introducing the SPA’s Vimeo channel

As those of you who were at the Biennial in April may have noticed, the plenaries and the banquet were video recorded. Those recordings have now been edited and uploaded to our new Vimeo channel, which can be found at http://vimeo.com/channels/psychanthro. That URL takes you to all of our videos, and we have also collected the individual events as “portfolios”: The Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Banquet 2015, Postcolonial Theory and Psychological Anthropology: A Conversation with Homi Bhabha, and Controversies in Global Mental Health. All of the videos can be embedded into other sites (like your class websites, etc.), and we have the full events as singular videos and we also broke them down to individual talks.

In the future, we will be uploading more talks from SPA-sponsored events. And we also ask that if you have videos of interest please let us know — your ethnographic films, department colloquiums, and talks from other disciplines. And if you find other videos on Vimeo you think would be of interest, we can include it on our channel as well.

Here’s a taste of the what we have…

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Student-faculty workshops at the AAAs

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Student-faculty workshops at the AAAs

As in previous years, the SPA will be sponsoring a series of workshops in which small groups of students convene with faculty member around professional, theoretical, and methodological themes. These workshops offer an opportunity for students to engage in in-depth discussions within a mentoring context related to the proposed workshop theme, and work through specific research and writing problems with a leading scholar in the field.

Each workshop can accommodate three students, on a first come, first serve basis, provided the student’s questions are closely related to the workshop theme and that they are current members of the SPA. These sessions will take place in a cafe in or near the conference hotel.

Workshop mentors and themes this year include:

  • Ted Lowe (Soka University, Editor of Ethos): Publishing in the Psychological Anthropology Discipline
  • Carol Worthman (Emory University): Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research
  • Cameron Hay (Miami University): Mixed Methods and Research at the Intersection of Psychological and Medical Anthropology
  • Kathleen Barlow (Central Washington University): Mothering and attachment
  • Daniel Lende (University of South Florida): Neuroanthropology
  • Richard Shweder (University of Chicago): Comparative Ethics

To apply for these workshops, please prepare a 250-300 word description of your project as well as your general aims for participation in the workshop. Submit this along with your details as soon as possible at this link.

As we add workshops to the list, the form will be updated, so please check back on the link periodically for new additions. Please direct any questions to Erin McFee.

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in News | Comments Off on SPA@AAA2015

The SPAs have a great lineup of panels at this year’s AAA meetings. Click here for a preview. And don’t forget about the business meeting on Friday, November 20 from 7:45 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. There will be a cash bar, snacks, and plenty of time to socialize before, during, and after the proceedings.

Safe travels to Denver!

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Student rep

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Student rep

The Society for Psychological Anthropology is pleased to launch a call for nominations for the SPA Student Representative to the Board. The student elected to the position will begin service at the 2015 Denver AAAs during the SPA Board and Business Meetings.

If you are, or know of student who may be a good fit for this role, please send the current student representative, Erin McFee, their name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a brief description of the nominee (about 200 words), including why you feel s/he is a good candidate for the position. The board will decide collectively from a selection of submissions and we will notify the individual in mid-October. The student must be a member of the SPA and be able to attend the AAAs in Denver (2015), Minneapolis (2016), and Washington DC (2017) as well as the biennial. Typically, post-field students occupy the position, which includes the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure that the students’ interests are represented in Board matters.
  • Participate proactively in deliberating SPA issues as they periodically arise (for example, planning discussions for the Biennial Meeting in 2017, requested input from the editorial leadership at Ethos, membership issues for the Society).
  • Attend and participate in planning for the AAA meetings each year, including organizing student-faculty workshops, an SPA tradition at the AAAs.
  • Attend and participate in planning the student involvement at the SPAs, including scheduling and staffing the volunteer group that manages the reception and registration desk at the meeting.

Questions? Please write to Erin McFee.

Submit your nominations by the application deadline of September 22, 2015.

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