Society for Psychological Anthropology Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:29:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 102947380 Listserv Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:29:18 +0000 The SPA has a new listserv hosted by the AAA. Click here for more information.

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SPA meetings 2017 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 22:12:44 +0000 Join us for the next SPA Biennial Meetings from March 9-12, 2017 in New Orleans, LA! The deadline for papers, panels, and workshops is October 30, 2016, and the deadline for posters and multimedia presentations is January 9, 2017. Click here for more info, and see you in NOLA!


Psychological Anthropology Mentoring Workshops Fri, 08 Jul 2016 19:40:58 +0000 cog heads


Sign up now for a catered evening of mentoring from leading figures within the Society for Psychological Anthropology and the Society for Medical Anthropology. Any graduate student or postdoc attending the AAA 2016 meetings in Minneapolis, MN may apply to meet with 3-4 mentors. The student will meet with each mentor for 15 minutes at an evening networking reception with the hope of benefitting from sage advice regarding their research and career paths. Students and mentors may also opt to enter into a longer-term mentoring relationship. The workshop will be held on the evening of Thursday, November 17.

For graduate students and postdocs: please submit a short paragraph that includes your name, institution, field specialty/interests, mentoring area of interest (e.g., grant-writing, publishing), degree/post-doc program and SMA and/or SPA affiliation. Submissions are due to Tawni Tidwell by October 1.

We also need mentors: professional members of the SPA and/or SMA. Please indicate your willingness to be a mentor in a short paragraph that includes your name, academic affiliation, researh focus, mentoring areas of expertise/interest (if different or in addition to field specialties), affiliation with SPA and/or SMA, and willingness to be contacted for continued mentorship by mentees after the event. Please send your information to Tawni Tidwell by October 1

 We will do our best to match up students and mentors with similar interests.

SPA elections Sat, 30 Apr 2016 03:00:54 +0000 Don’t forget to vote in the 2016 SPA elections. On the ballot are two items. First, two open positions on the Board are up for grabs. Click here for more information on the four outsanding candidates. Second, the board has voted unanimously to split the Secretary-Treasurer position into two separate positions to handle the recent expansion of SPA activities. However, this amendment to our by-laws requires a majority approval from SPA members. Click here for more information on the proposed changes.

Within the broader American Anthropological Association, a number of positions and resolutions are also being voted on, including the controversial resolution to boycott academic institutions in Israel so be sure to cast your vote.

Members of the AAA can vote here.

Open Positions on the SPA’s Board of Directors Sun, 20 Mar 2016 15:23:54 +0000 Three appointed positions will open on the SPA’s Board of Directors by the end of 2016. We invite any member who is interested to volunteer or to nominate a candidate. The SPA has a number of programs and a diverse membership, which opens many possibilities for leadership. Your voice and involvement can help sustain and develop SPA’s role as a thriving and supportive scholarly home for our members!

Details on the different positions are provided below. If you are interested in nominating yourself or a colleague for any of these positions, please send a brief statement of interest to Hal Odden by March 28th.


The Secretary is responsible for all administrative matters of the SPA under the direction of the President, and is involved in all of the Society’s diverse programs and activities. The Secretary oversees prize and grant selection committees, and is a member of the Biennial Meeting organizing committee. The Secretary is a voting member of the Board of Directors and serves a four-year term (2016-2020). If you have any questions on the position, please contact Hal Odden.

The Treasurer is responsible for the budgeting and administration of the SPA’s finances, and is the Society’s fiscal agent. The Treasurer also administers all grants distributed by the SPA once awardees have been selected, including the Lemelson Fellowship and Conference Grants, and the International Early Career Scholar Travel Grant. In 2015, the Treasurer administered grants worth In excess of $83,000. The Treasurer is a voting member of the Board of Directors and serves a four-year term (2016-2020). If you have any questions on the position, please contact Hal Odden.

Electronic Publications Editor
The Electronic Publications Editor is responsible for developing and maintaining all of the SPA’s online resources and social media, including the SPA website, Vimeo site, Facebook, and Twitter. Experience with website design, HTML, CSS, video-editing, and social media is important. The term of office is four years beginning at the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting (2016-2020). The Editor is a voting member of the SPA Board of Directors. Graduate students are eligible to serve in this position.  If you have questions on this position, please contact Allen Tran and Ted Gideonse .

Call for Applications to the 2016-17 SPA/Lemelson Fellowship Program Mon, 11 Jan 2016 00:37:06 +0000 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.

Prizes! Fri, 04 Dec 2015 12:00:10 +0000 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!

Introducing the SPA’s Vimeo channel Fri, 20 Nov 2015 19:16:11 +0000 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 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…

Student-faculty workshops at the AAAs Wed, 04 Nov 2015 06:44:34 +0000 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.

SPA@AAA2015 Thu, 15 Oct 2015 06:38:21 +0000 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!